Sunday’s Father’s Day race program at Canterbury Park features a pair of $100,000 stakes races: the 24th running of the Lady Canterbury and the fourth edition of the Mystic Lake Mile. Both races, conducted at one mile on the turf course and run as the seventh and eighth races respectively on the 11-race card, drew 11 entries.
Trainer Joe Sharp, who operates stables at several tracks and has a string at Canterbury this summer, has entered three horses in the Lady Canterbury and one in the Mystic Lake Mile. His Mile entry, the speedy Aztec Brave, has won five of 16 career starts on the turf including stakes wins last year at Aqueduct and Mountaineer. The 5-year-old most recently finished third in a May 21 Churchill Downs stakes after setting the early pace. Chris Rosier will ride Sunday.
“He’s just an honest horse,” Sharp said. “He got a bit aggressive in that last race and opened up a big lead on the backside and came up a little short. This is his third start off a layoff and I expect a big effort.”
One of Sharp’s three Lady Canterbury entries is Calypso Run, owned by Barry and Joni Butzow of Eden Prairie, Minn. The 4-year-old filly figures to be part of the early pace over a course that is not unkind to frontrunners. She too will be ridden by Rosier.
“She’s pretty quick. I expect her to be competitive in here,” Sharp said. “She doesn’t need the lead but if she is there I won’t be unhappy about it. She is getting better and better and can be successful around two turns.”
Sharp also trains Mexican Miss, the 7 to 2 morning line favorite in the Lady Canterbury, who he claimed from a maiden race for owner Brad Grady in the fall of 2014. Since the claim, Mexican Miss has three wins, including one in the Jersey Lilly Stakes at Sam Houston, three seconds, and one third from seven starts. Mexican Miss will be ridden by Denny Velazquez.
“She’ll be tough to beat,” Sharp said.
If the morning line holds true and Mexican Miss is the wagering favorite, she will need to defy history, as the favorite in the Lady Canterbury has won just 3 of the 23 editions of the race.
Sunday’s races begin at 12:45 p.m. For more information visit http://www.canterburypark.com .
Saturday post time changed to 12:15 p.m.
With 12 races including six trials for the $165,600 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, racing officials have changed first post on Saturday to 12:15 p.m. The purse for the Northlands is a record for the race which has been run 28 times dating back to 1986. The 10 fastest horses from the six trials combined will advance to the final July 10.