Minnesota Bred Stakes Nominations Show Strength of Industry

Canterbury Park

Nominations to the main targets for those owners and trainers with young Minnesota bred thoroughbreds closed in early April.

The Northern Lights Futurity drew with 59 nominated 2-year-old colts, and the Northern Lights Debutante, for Minnesota bred 2-year-old fillies, attracted 57 nominations.

Many familiar names fill both lists with Sampson, Schenian, Almar, Astar, Sprick & Bremer, Ulwelling and others well represented. There are encouraging signs that new blood continues to get involved as well. Bob Lothenbach, well known nationally, has a couple of homebreds on the list. Names that might not be as familiar, such as Empire Racing, with one nominated in each race, can also be found.

The Minnesota Derby and Minnesota Oaks , each with an $85,000 purse, benefit this year from the large foal crop, nearly 300 percent larger than the prior year’s crop, that was a result of the 2012 SMSC purse enhancement agreement.

The Oaks has 52 nominations and the Derby 54.

Longshot winner of the 2015 Debutante, La Petite Cheri, is on the Oaks list. At this time she has no published works but with the premier Minnesota bred races not run until July 30 there is no urgency.

Of the 52 nominations, only 15 did not race last year. The last filly to win the Oaks with no 2-year-old racing experience was Chasin Mason in 2006.

Smooth Chiraz, undefeated winner of the Northern Lights Futurity, is on the list of Derby hopefuls. Pensador, the favorite in the ’15 Futurity, is in training at Lone Star with Francisco Bravo. He worked four furlongs April 10 at Lone Star.

Canterbury Park’s Minnesota-bred stakes calendar is different this summer than in past seasons, with the 2016 Festival of Champions being slightly earlier on the calendar. This should provide Minnesota bred an additional opportunity to race after Festival. Here are some key dates to remember for Minnesota-breds:

 

May 20       Opening Night                       $60,000 10,000 Lakes Stakes

May 21        Preakness Stakes Day           $60,000 Lady Slipper Stakes

July 3          Fireworks                               $60,000 Princess Elaine & $60,000 Blair’s Cove

July 4          Fourth of July                      $60,000 Victor S. Myers & $60,000 Frances Genter

July 30        Festival Preview                   MN Oaks, MN Derby & $40,000 MTA Futurity

August 21    Festival of Champions        8 Stakes & More than $600K in Minnesota-Bred Purses

Sept. 5         Labor Day                               $55,000 MTA Stallion Auction Stakes

 

Horses will begin arriving at Canterbury April 24.

more news………

Jockey agent Pete Antonucci will represent Manoel Cruz at the upcoming meet. Antonucci also handles business for four-time leading Canterbury rider Dean Butler.

Cruz, a multiple graded stakes winner, has 2,776 career wins and more than $60 million in purse earnings.

Meanwhile, Butler is just four wins away from the milestone 2,000 win mark. He will continue riding at Tampa Bay Downs until traveling north for the local meet.

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