Road to Kentucky Contest Week 10 Recap – CUPID


“When Baffert ships there (Oaklawn Park), he’s doing one of two things.  He’s going there with live horses, and he’s also exposing the competition.” – Mike Watchmaker from Daily Racing Form after selecting Cupid to win the Rebel Stakes.

The contest track for Road to Kentucky Week 10 was Oaklawn Park for the featured Rebel Stakes.  Last year, trainer Bob Baffert was already a Kentucky Derby front-runner with Dortmund when he confidently arrived with his brilliant two-year-old champion American Pharoah, who kicked off his historic three-year-old campaign with a dominating win in the Rebel Stakes.  This year, he brought recent maiden winner Cupid, who was scratched out of last week’s San Felipe to run in the Rebel Stakes on Saturday.

Bob Baffert’s numbers at Oaklawn Park are hard to ignore.  Over the past five years in Graded Stakes races at Oaklawn Park, Baffert was 9 for 17 with all runners.  He was 8 for 13 with 3-year-olds prior to this year’s running, and track announcer Peter Aiello nailed the Rebel call as Cupid added another win to that total with a handy front-running score at odds of 5/2.  Cupid earned a Beyer speed figure of 95 for the win, which puts him in the mix with other top 3-year-olds of 2016 from a Beyer speed figure standpoint.  The race was also impressive from the standpoint that all the other forwardly placed horses early in the race finished far back at the end.  He ran the others off their feet.  If I’m not mistaken, Baffert has now won the Rebel 6 of the previous 7 years!!

For contest purposes, the play of the day was in Race 1 when G P’s Girl rallied to victory at 20-1 odds with Alex Canchari aboard.   That winner was worth 688 points right off the bat!  With all the big fields and wide open races, I was expecting chaos throughout the card.  But things calmed down a bit after the opener, and the maximum score for the week was 3,006 points.  Look for something in the 1,500 – 1,800 range to take down the top prize this week.

I ended up with 416 points this week with a few in-the-money finishers.  My selection in the Rebel Stakes was the Lukas entry at 35-1.  Gray Sky actually moved into second at the top of the stretch, but he fell apart mid-stretch as the closers picked up the pieces.

A hat tip and shout out to Dave Handeland, a regular contest player at Canterbury Park who hit the Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream Park on Saturday with some friends while in Las Vegas.  It paid close to 40K and it’s a 20-cent increment, so you can cover a lot of combinations compared to the normal $2.00 increment for pick six pools at other tracks.  The Rainbow 6 might be worth a look if you want to throw a few dollars at something that has lottery payoff potential.  It can happen!

This Saturday the contest track is Fair Grounds and the featured race is the Louisiana Derby.  Several runners from the Risen Star will be back in for the Louisiana Derby, including Mo Tom who was the beaten favorite last time.  Hope to see you here!

Don’t forget Saturday is also Dubai World Cup with racing beginning at sunrise!

The Oracle


News and Notes will have information soon about trainers that will be racing here this summer as stall applications for the 2016 race meet, May 20 through Sept. 17, and due today, March 21.

Expect many of the usual faces to return but there will be new ones as well. Several new and recognizable names have indicated interest.

Leading trainer Robertino Diodoro will be back of course, as will Canterbury Hall of Famer Mac Robertson.

The $10 million Dubai World Cup is this Saturday. Racing begins at 6:45 a.m. with the headliner scheduled for noon. Watch and wager at Canterbury Park.

Jockey Dean Butler is just 10 victories away from his 2,000th career win.  Dean is racing at Tampa Bay Downs and will return to Canterbury. If he does not achieve the milestone in Florida, he will likely do so here in the first weekend of the meet.

National Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron will be in the Twin Cities in late April. A casino night fundraiser to benefit the Leg Up Fund is in the works for Tuesday, April 26 in the Triple Crown Club at Canterbury. More details on that will be available soon.

The Leg Up Fund was formed in 2014 to assist local jockeys who are injured while performing their duties at Canterbury Park. This is a great opportunity for fans to support the cause and meet a two-time Kentucky Derby and nine-time Breeders’ Cup winning rider. Rumored prizes at the casino night include a chance to golf at Hazeltine April 27 with McCarron (expect a live auction too) and tickets to the September Ryder Cup.

McCarron has a speaking engagement with the Twin Cities Dunkers the following morning.


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