Can a Three-Year-Old Win The MN Classic?


It is expected that Minnesota Derby winner Hold for More, undefeated in four starts this year and six for seven overall, will tomorrow be entered by trainer Francisco Bravo to run in Sunday’s Wally’s Choice Minnesota Classic Championship.

It has been common practice for 3-year-olds to skip the race and not face the top older state-breds. Here is a look at how 3-year-olds have fared in the Classic:

Since its inception in 1992, four 3-year-olds have won the Classic. Eight Minnesota Derby winners have tried to beat older in the Classic. Three won: J. P. Jet in 2002 as the favorite, Wally’s Choice in 2004 as the favorite, and Perfect Bull in 2009 as the favorite. Rock ‘n Fire finished third in the Derby and won the Classic with Mack’s Monarch, second in the Derby, finishing behind him.

The Minnesota Festival got its start in 1992. Minnesota Derby winner Nic by Vic was bet to 4 to 1 in the inaugural Classic, flashed speed, and faded to last. The race was won by future Hall of Famer Timeless Prince.

Tricky Pick Six was an unexpected Derby winner. He was bet to 5 to 2 in the Classic but finished fifth in a seven-horse field.

Cubfanbudman won the ’08 Derby and was fourth in the Classic at 6 to 1.

In 2010, Tsar Tops Dancer won the Derby and lost the Classic at 6 to 1 odds.

Black Tie Benny, 2011 Derby winner, was favored in the Classic but was injured and did not finish.

News and Notes

Jockey Lori Keith is riding at Remington Park in Oklahoma City. She left Shakopee a couple of weeks ago after winning with eight of 72 mounts at Canterbury. She currently has 499 career wins.

Alex Canchari has been absent from entries for several days as he serves a 10-day suspension handed down by the stewards Aug. 28 for a riding infraction on Aug. 21. His suspension runs through Sept. 6 but he would be allowed to ride on Festival Day and serve the subsequent racing day.

The annual Countdown to the Cup Handicapping Contest begins Saturday, Sept. 19 with the races from Churchill Downs. The free-to-enter contest runs each Saturday through Oct. 24 and awards Breeders’ Cup wagering bankrolls to the daily and overall winners.

The popular Perfect Pick pro football contest begins Sunday, Sept. 13. Each Sunday of the football regular season is a separate contest. Contestants must correctly select the winners of all noon football games to win. If no entrant is perfect, the prize money carries over to the following Sunday.  There is no fee to play. Entries must be submitted by noon. An MVP Rewards membership is required for entry.


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