Turf Paradise Meet Begins Saturday; Canterbury Horses Prominent

Turf Paradise begins a 132-day meet Saturday with a nine race program where 93 horses have been entered, no fewer than 20 last raced at Canterbury Park. This will be the 62nd season at the Phoenix-area racetrack.

Trainer Robertino Diodoro, who has won the trainer title the past four seasons, has 11 horses entered Saturday, two on Sunday, and five on Monday which means he may have the title wrapped up when the three-day race week ends. Diodoro’s 125 wins in the 2013-2014 season is a record for Turf Paradise.

Many familiar Canterbury faces have again settled in at Turf Paradise. Jockeys include Patrick Canchari, Andrew Ramgeet, Leslie Mawing, Israel Hernandez, Justine Klaiber, Frankie Johnson and others. Canterbury Hall of Famer Scott Stevens, who appeared in Shakopee just once in 2017, is also back in Phoenix where he has won many races and seven riding titles. In addition to Diodoro, trainers include Valorie Lund, Ariel Gordon, Dan McFarlane, Jeff Metz, Miguel Silva, and Dave Van Winkle.

Saturday’s feature race, the 6 ½ furlong $30,000 Bienvenidos, is headlined by Shrewd Move, winner of the Paul Bunyan Stakes on Canterbury’s opening weekend. The 5-year-old is trained by McFarlane and will be ridden by Mawing.

Canterbury Racebook will offer wagering on Turf Paradise each day. Once the meet gets in full swing racing programs will be conducted five days per week, Sundays through Wednesdays.

Mr. Jagermeister Earned A Break

The Minnesota bred 2-year-old Mr. Jagermeister returned to Arizona with trainer Valorie Lund and has been turned out for the time being. “It was a tough decision,” Lund said from her Turf Paradise winter headquarters. “He’s a very sound colt. He came out of the race [on Canterbury’s closing day Sept. 16] in perfect shape. But he earned a rest. I’ll be on pins and needles until i get him back though.”

Mr. Jagermeister won twice at Canterbury this season including a romp in the Northern Lights Futurity. He met filly phenom Amy’s Challenge in the Shakopee Juvenile and battled all the way to the wire, losing by 3/4 of a length, in the fastest six furlongs of the meet.

Lund visited Mr. Jagermeister yesterday at a ranch near Carefree, AZ to deliver and bag of carrots and say hello.

“He has a lot of growing left to do.  He will be a much improved 3-year-old.  So he’s on vacation!” Lund reported.


Earn a BC Bankroll Saturday in Canterbury Racebook

Canterbury’s free-to-enter handicapping contest, known as Countdown to the Cup, continues Saturday in the racebook. Entrants have a chance to win a wagering bankroll for the Nov. 3 and 4 Breeders’ Cup.

This week’s contest track is Keeneland. Players select one horse in each race and submit the official entry card prior to the first race. Points are earned based on mutuel payouts of those selections. The top five point earners win a betting bankroll. Saturday’s Keeneland card includes the Grade 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II.

Here are last week’s prize winners:

$200 Breeders’ Cup Bankroll – Stanley Bass

$100 Breeders’ Cup Bankroll – Cory Bultinck

$100 Breeders’ Cup Bankroll – Kevin Farrell

$100 Breeders’ Cup Bankroll – Charles Knox

$100 Breeders’ Cup Bankroll – Doug Plehal

The Breeders’ Cup publicity team has done a remarkable job with notes. Here is another installment:

Gun Runner Vs. Baffert’s Imposing Trio Highlights Classic, Del Mar’s First Breeders’ Cup

All roads lead to Del Mar for the 34th Breeders Cup on November 3-4. This is the inaugural running at the seaside track outside of San Diego. And while the two-day extravaganza will feature countless equine stars and soon-to-be champions in the 13 races that total more than $28 million in purses and awards, it’s the $6 million Classic that rightfully takes center stage, as divisional leader GUN RUNNER will look to cap off a Horse of the Year campaign when he takes on trainer Bob Baffert’s daunting trio of defending Classic winner ARROGATE, as well as the streaking COLLECTED and upstart 3-year-old WEST COAST.

  • Pre-Entered fields for all 13 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races will be announced on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
  • The Rood & Riddle Breeders’ Cup Post-Position Draw will be held on Monday, Oct. 30.
  • The 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be covered live on NBC and NBCSN. Friday’s coverage will air from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN, while Saturday will be on NBCSN from 1:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET., with the Classic airing on NBC from 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. ET

Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner has used a three-race winning streak to surge past Arrogate in the Horse of the Year race, but his lead is a tenuous one as the 1 ¼-mile Classic looms. The 4-year-old son of Sidney’s Candy (ARG) earned an automatic berth into the Classic when he won Churchill Downs’ “Win and You’re In” Stephen Foster (GI) in June, then followed that win with a win in Saratoga’s Whitney (GI), another Classic “Win and You’re In” in August, and will enter off a dominant 10 ¼-length victory in the Woodward (GI) Sept. 2. Gun Runner is 10-for-17 overall, but is 0-for-3 at 1 ¼ miles and 0-for-2 against Arrogate, which includes a second-place finish in the Dubai World Cup (GI) at Meydan in March. Asmussen has opted for the road less traveled approach, and is training Gun Runner up to the Classic, and has already shipped him to Santa Anita, where on Monday he worked five furlongs in 1:01.60.

Juddmonte Farm’s Arrogate has seen his aura of invincibility take a hit, as the defending Classic winner has lost two straight after rattling off a four-pack of Grade I wins, that started with a track record romp (over Gun Runner) in Saratoga’s Travers in August 2016, continued in the Classic at Santa Anita in November, Gulfstream Park’s inaugural Pegasus World Cup in January and culminated with his-last-to-first win in the Dubai World Cup in March. Little has gone right since for the 4-year-old son of 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Unbridled’s Song, as he was fourth at 1-20 in the San Diego (GII) at Del Mar in July and second there Aug. 19 to Collected in the TVG Pacific Classic (GI), another “Win and You’re In” for the Classic. Arrogate is 7-for-10 lifetime, but like Gun Runner, has his own hurdles to clear, as he’s 0-for-2 at Del Mar. And also like his rival, he’ll train up to the race at Santa Anita as well. On Tuesday, Arrogate worked five furlongs handily in 1:00.20.

Speedway Stable’s Collected wired Arrogate in the Pacific Classic to earn a berth into the Classic and himself would be Horse of the Year if he continues his run at Del Mar. The 4-year-old son of City Zip has come from nowhere this year for Baffert and is undefeated in four starts, with wins in Santa Anita’s Californian (GII) in April and Precisionist (GIII) in June. Collected is 8-for-11 lifetime and is continuing the building trend off training up to the Classic, and showed he hasn’t lost his form, going six furlongs at Santa Anita in 1:12.80 on Oct. 7.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s MUBTAAHIJ (IRE) added to Baffert’s imposing army when he earned a Classic berth with his win in Santa Anita’s “Win and You’re In” Awesome Again (GI) Sept. 30. The well-traveled 5-year-old son of Dubawi (IRE) has been with trainers Mike De Kock and Kiaran McLaughlin and to Dubai and back twice in his four years of racing, but peaked while earning his first grade I win in his first start for Baffert. Mubtaahij is 5-for-18 lifetime and seems a much better horse than the one who was a distant fourth behind Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup.

 Baffert, who has won 14 Breeders’ Cup races, and is second to D. Wayne Lukas (20) in all time Breeders’ Cup wins by a trainer, will be shooting for his fourth consecutive Classic, having trained the last three winners with Bayern, American Pharoah and Arrogate.

Lauren and Ralph Evans’ DIVERSIFY earned the last-of-seven automatic berths into the Classic when he won Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI, see race recap below) at Belmont Park for trainer Rick Violette. The 4-year-old New York-bred son of Bellamy Road stepped up and into his first career graded stakes and wired a modest bunch, but is 7-for-10 lifetime and his speed figures to add to what already looked like a sharp pace, should he run in the Classic.

The 3-year-olds have been subpar all year and took turns beating up on each other through the Triple Crown season, but it’s Baffert again who holds the ace, as Gary and Mary West’s WEST COAST has emerged as a clear divisional leader off lopsided Grade I wins in Saratoga’s Travers in August and Parx Racing’s Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 23. The 3-year-old son of Flatter has clearly turned the corner in his last two wins and will put his 6-for-8 lifetime record on the line when he tests older horses for the first time in the Classic. Paul Reddam’s PAVEL was a close third in the Gold Cup and will also head to the Classic for trainer Doug O’Neill, as will Peacock Racing Stable’s deep closer GUNNEVERA, who was second in the Travers for trainer Antonio Sano, while the Andrew Rosen, Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith could send their Kentucky-bred WAR DECREE, who won the 1 2½ mile Koffy Diamond Stakes (G3) on the all-weather surface at Dundalk on Sept. 29  from Europe to make his dirt debut for trainer Aidan O’Brien.

Donegal Racing and Calumet Farm’s KEEN ICE, who was third in the Classic last year for trainer Todd Pletcher and was second in the Gold Cup, and the speedy multiple graded stakes winner MIDNIGHT STORM, second in the Awesome Again and third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile for trainer Phil D’Amato, are also pointing to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Gold Dream (JPN), who won the “Win and You’re In” February (GI) at Tokyo Racecourse in February, and Girvin, who won the “Win and You’re In” Haskell Invitational (GI) at Monmouth Park in July, also qualified for the race but will not be entered.

Distaff May Finally Have Stellar Wind’s Name on It

 Hronis Racing’s STELLAR WIND will hope the third time’s the charm when she headlines the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, the highlight of four Friday Breeders’ Cup Races. The 5-year-old daughter of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin was second in the 1 1/8-mile Distaff at Keeneland in 2015 and fourth at Santa Anita last year for trainer John Sadler, but has taken her game to a new level this year and will enter undefeated in three Grade I starts. Stellar Wind won the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park in April, the Beholder Mile at Santa Anita in June and then qualified for the Distaff with her win in the “Win and You’re In” Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar July 30. Stellar Wind is 10-for-15 lifetime and hasn’t missed a beat since the Hirsch, as she’s worked seven times, seven-to-eight days apart, since August 19.

Charles Fipke’s homebred FOREVER UNBRIDLED qualified for the Distaff with her victory in Churchill Downs’ “Win and You’re In” Fleur de Lis (GII) in June then won Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Personal Ensign (GI) over the since-retired Songbird August 26. The 4-year-old daughter of 1995 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Unbridled’s Song was third in the Distaff last year for trainer Dallas Stewart, and, like Stellar Wind, has clearly developed into a much more finished product this year. Forever Unbridled is 7-for-16 lifetime, and, somewhat remarkably, every victory has come over a different race track.

G Watts Humphrey’s homebred ROMANTIC VISION earned a berth into the Distaff in Sunday’s “Win and You’re In” Juddmonte Spinster (GI, see race recap below) at Keeneland for trainer Rusty Arnold, though 5-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid was a well-beaten eighth in the Fleur de Lis and will get a major class test in the Distaff.

Pam and Marty Wygod and Steven Sarkowsky’s PARADISE WOODS earned a Distaff berth when she won Santa Anita’s “Win and You’re In” Zenyatta (GI) Sept. 30 for trainer Richard Mandella and looms a dangerous front runner. The 3-year-old daughter of Union Rags has also been an enigma this year, as she won the Santa Anita Oaks (GI) by the length of the stretch in April then was 11th in the Kentucky Oaks (GI) at Churchill Downs in May and sixth at 1-5 in her return in Del Mar’s Torrey Pines (GIII) in August. Paradise Woods is 3-for-6 lifetime and will meet by far her stiffest test in the Distaff.

The East Coast 3-year-olds will garner plenty of support, as both China Horse Club and Clearsky Farm’s ABEL TASMAN and Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s homebred ELATE have the credentials to post a mild surprise. The former, a daughter of Quality Road, surged to the division lead off a trio of Grade I wins earlier this year in the Oaks, Belmont Park’s Acorn and Saratoga’s Coaching Club American Oaks for Baffert, and will enter off a second-place finish in Parx Racing’s Cotillion (GI) Sept. 23, while the latter, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro trained by Bill Mott, was beaten a head in the Coaching Club then aired in their Alabama (GI) in August and against older in Belmont’s Beldame (GI) Sept. 30. Tommy Town Thoroughbreds’ IT TIZ WELL upset Abel Tasman in the Cotillion for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, and is possible for the Distaff.

Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holding’s FAITHFULLY, who was a distant second to Paradise Woods in the Zenyatta for Baffert, is also expected for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, as is Ciaglia Racing’s CHAMPAGNE ROOM, who won the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last year at Santa Anita for trainer Peter Eurton, but has won only the September 24 Remington Park Oaks in two starts since.

World Approval Rolls into Mile, Europeans Hold Heavy Hand in Turf

The Americans have won five of the last six renewals of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile and could add to that run this year, as Live Oak Plantation’s homebred WORLD APPROVAL will take some beating off a 4-for-5 campaign, including two recent dominant wins at the distance. The 5-year-old son of Northern Afleet won Saratoga’s Fourstardave (GI) in August then earned a berth into the Mile with his win in Woodbine’s “Win and You’re In” Ricoh Woodbine Mile (GI) Sept. 16  Video for trainer Mark Casse. World Approval is 10-for-23 lifetime and has a tactical style that should relish the Del Mar turf course.

George Turner and Clipper Logistics’ SUEDOIS (FR) upset Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Shadwell Turf Mile (GI, see race recap below) at Keeneland to earn a berth into the Mile for trainer David O’Meara. The 6-year-old son of Le Havre (IRE) has never been better, as he entered off a win in the Boomerang (GII) at Leopardstown September 9 and is 8-for-32 lifetime. Calumet Farm’s BAL A BALI (BRZ) earned a berth into the Mile when he won Santa Anita’s “Win and You’re In” Shoemaker Mile (GI) in June for trainer Richard Mandella, though he was a disappointing sixth in the Del Mar Mile (GII) August 20.

Godolphin’s RIBCHESTER (IRE), winner of three Group 1 races in 2017, would give the Mile some legitimate international star power and would potentially go favored should he make the trip from Europe, as he rates as their best miler. The 4-year-old son of Iffraaj (GB), who is 6-for-14 lifetime, won the Lockinge (GI) at Newbury in May, the prestigious Queen Anne (GI) at Royal Ascot in June and the Qatar Prix du Moulin (GI) at Chantilly Sept. 10. Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar’s DECORATED KNIGHT (GB) earned a berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf when he won the “Win and You’re In” QIPCO Irish Champion (GI) Sept. 9 at Leopardstown but will cut back in the Mile for trainer Roger Charlton and the 5-year-old son of Galileo (IRE) has knocked heads with Europe’s best going longer all year, which makes the cutback to a mile a very intriguing angle.

The rest of the Breeders’ Cup Mile possibles for the home team have their work cut out for them, as graded stakes winners ANNALS OF TIME, BALLAGH ROCKS, BLACKJACKCAT, HEART TO HEART, MR. ROARY, MISS TEMPLE CITY and OM all have talent, but seem a cut below the top players, even on their best day, while DICK WHITTINGHAM (IRE), HOME OF THE BRAVE (IRE), KARAR (IRE), LANCASTER BOMBER, MONDIALISTE (IRE) and SO BELOVED (GB), could all come from Europe.

While the Americans have enjoyed tremendous recent success in the Mile, the 1 ½-mile, $4 million Longines Turf has had a decided European flavor, as seven of the last nine renewals have gone the way of the foreigners. That trend could continue this year, as Flaxman Stable’s (Niarchos Family) homebred ULYSSES (IRE) hits hard for trainer Sir Michael Stoute, as he has had the misfortune of chasing the indomitable Enable (GB) twice in his past three races. The 4-year-old son of Galileo (IRE) earned a berth into the Turf when he won York’s “Win and You’re In” Juddmonte International (GI) in August and, save for a second to Enable in Ascot’s “Win and You’re In” King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (GI) in July and third to her in Chantilly’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (GI) Oct. 1, would likely be an imposing favorite. Ulysses, who was fourth in the Turf last year at Santa Anita, is 5-for-13 lifetime, which includes a win in the Coral-Eclipse (GI) at Sandown in June, and has long been pointed to the Turf over a Del Mar course that his trainer has said he figures to appreciate greatly.

A trio of Americans earned automatic berths into the Turf, with James Covello, Sheep Pond Partners and Head of Plains Partners’ BEACH PATROL leading the way for trainer Chad Brown. The 4-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid won the “Win and You’re In” Arlington Million (GI) at Arlington Park (GI) in August to earn a berth, then tried 1 ½ miles and won by 5 lengths in Belmont Park’s “Win and You’re In” Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (GI) Sept. 30. Woodslane Farm’s homebred SADLER’S JOY rallied from last to win Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Sword Dancer (GI) in August for trainer Tom Albertrani, but was just a non-threatening fourth in the Joe Hirsch, while Michael House’s HUNT (IRE) won the “Win and You’re In” Del Mar Handicap Presented by the Japan Racing Association (GII) in August but was a disappointing seventh in Santa Anita’s John Henry Turf Championship (GII) October 1 for trainer Phil D’Amato.

Ulysses isn’t the only major player from Europe that could have a say in the Turf, as Coolmore’s HIGHLAND REEL (IRE) won the race last year for trainer Aidan O’Brien and has a dangerous blend of speed and stamina (and a likely firm turf course at Del Mar), though his form this year has been a bit hit-and-miss, while Godolphin’s CLOTH OF STARS (IRE) was second in the Arc and would be a huge threat if he can maintain that form for trainer Andre Fabre. The Americans also have graded stakes winners BIGGER PICTURE, FANCIFUL ANGEL (IRE), ITSINTHEPOST (FR) OSCAR NOMINATED, and TAGHLEEB pointing to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, while defending Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner OSCAR PERFORMANCE is possible.

Several plans for Mile and Turf for the leading Europeans, as well as any late-developing ones, are currently in flux, with Ascot’s Champions Day looming October 21.

Lady Eli’s Swan Song Could Result in Filly & Mare Win

 Sheep Pond Partner’s LADY ELI, who battled a life-threatening case of laminitis only to come back to the races and finish second, beaten a nose, in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita, looks poised to one better that finish this year, as she’ll start as a strong favorite in the $2 million, 1 1/8-mile race. The 5-year-old daughter of Divine Park has enjoyed a tremendous career for trainer Chad Brown, as she won her first six career starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita in 2014 and Belmont Oaks (GI) in 2015, and has won three straight this year, including the Gamely (GI) at Santa Anita in May and Diana (GI) at Saratoga in July. Lady Eli is 10-for-13 lifetime and will emulate the Breeders’ Cup Classic favorites, as she will train up to the race, having not started since winning the Ballston Spa (GII) at Saratoga August 26. The Filly & Mare Turf will be her last career race, as she’s scheduled to be sold at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale in the days after the race.

While Lady Eli will be a heavy favorite, her task of winning the Filly & Mare Turf will be a much more difficult one this year, as several of the American and European automatic qualifiers themselves have distinguished resumes. Ramona Bass’ AVENGE was third in the Filly & Mare Turf last year and won her first race from three starts this year when she earned a berth into the race while defending her title in Santa Anita’s “Win and You’re In” Rodeo Drive (GI) Sept. 30 for trainer Richard Mandella, while Joe Allen’s homebred WAR FLAG qualified for the Filly & Mare Turf when she won Sunday’s “Win and You’re In” Flower Bowl (GI, see race recap below) at Belmont Park for trainer Shug McGaughey, and Sheep Pond Partners and Peter Bradley’s DACITA (CHI) earned a berth when she won Arlington Park’s “Win and You’re In” Beverly D. (GI) in August for trainer Chad Brown.

Coolmore and trainer Aidan O’Brien could bring a pair of automatic qualifiers in HYDRANGEA (IRE) RHODODENDRON (IRE), a pair of 3-year-old daughters of Galileo (IRE) who have proven group I form overseas. The former earned her berth when she upset her heavily favored stablemate Winter (IRE) in Leopardstown’s “Win and You’re In” Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron (GI) then lost by a head to the latter in Chantilly’s “Win and You’re In” Longines Prix de l’Opera (GI) October 1. Coolmore and O’Brien could also run Roly Poly (IRE), who won Saturday’s Sun Chariot (GI, see race recap below) at Newmarket. Stud Couet BIRDIE GOLD won the “Win and You’re In” Clasico Pamplona (GI) at Hipodromo De Monterrico June 25 for trainer Juan Suarez and is also expected to make the trip.

Brown could also run Flower Bowl runner-up GRAND JETE (GB) and reigning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner NEW MONEY HONEY, while CAMBODIA, winner of both the John C. Mabee (G2) and the Yellow Ribbon (G2) at Del Mar, GOODYEARFORROSES, QUIDURA (GB), RESPONSIBLEFORLOVE (IRE), and KITTEN’S ROAR along with Europeans NEZWAAH (GB), SENGA, UNFORGETABLE FILLY (GB), USHERETTE (IRE) and WUHEIDA (GB), could also start in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

As with the Mile and Turf, Ascot’s October 21 Champions Day could have a major impact on the Filly & Mare Turf.

Bolt d’Oro Casts Daunting Shadow in Juvenile, Moonshine Memories Tops Juvenile Fillies

Trainer Mick Ruis’ undefeated BOLT D’ORO figures as one of the shorter prices of the two days when he starts as an imposing favorite in the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, run at 1 1/16 miles. The 2-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro earned a berth into the race when he won Santa Anita’s “Win and You’re In” FrontRunner (GI) by a widening 7 ¾ lengths Sept. 30 to remain undefeated in three starts. Bolt d’Oro gets a few bonus points too, as he’s 2-for-2 locally, having broken his maiden over the track in August before returning the following month to win the Del Mar Futurity (GI).

Albaugh Family Stable’s FREE DROP BILLY emerged as the main danger to Bolt d’Oro when he qualified for the race with a sharp 4-length win in Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (GI, see race recap below) at Keeneland. The son of Union Rags stretched out two turns for the first time and clearly improved for trainer Dale Romans after running second sprinting in Saratoga’s Sanford (GIII) in July and Hopeful (GI) in September. Mr Amore Stable’s homebred FIRENZE FIRE also qualified for the Juvenile Saturday when he closed to win Belmont Park’s one-turn “Win and You’re In” Champagne (GI, see race recap below) for trainer Jason Servis. The son of Poseidon’s Warrior is 3-for-4 lifetime, including a win over Free Drop Billy in the Sanford. Carolyn Wilson’s THE TABULATOR won Churchill Downs’ “Win and You’re In” Iroquois (GIII) September 16 to earn a berth for trainer Larry Rivelli and the son of Dialed In is undefeated in three starts, but will get a stiff class test at Del Mar, while BRAVAZO, ENTICED, GOOD MAGIC, MONTAUK, LONE SAILOR and SOLOMINI could also run in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Bridlewood Farm and Coolmore’s MOONSHINE MEMORIES will be favored in the $2 million 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at 1 1/16 miles. The 2-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon is perfect in three starts and convincingly earned a berth into the race when she won Santa Anita’s “Win and You’re In” Chandelier (GI) Sept. 30 for trainer Simon Callaghan.

Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stable’s LADY IVANKA qualified for the Juvenile Fillies when she won Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Spinaway (GI) Sept. 2 for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, while Klaravich Stable’s Separationofpowers did the same when she won Sunday’s “Win and You’re In” Frizette (GI, see race recap below) for trainer Chad Brown, as did Debby Oxley’s homebred HEAVENY LOVE, who won Friday’s “Win and You’re In” Darley Alcibiades (GI, see race recap below) at Keeneland. ALLURING STAR, CALEDONIA ROAD, MAYA MALIBU, PIEDI BIANCHI, PURE SILVER and PRINCESS WARRIOR could also start in the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Cup Runneth Over with Stars Friday and Saturday

 While the Classic and Distaff are the Saturday and Friday highlights, respectively, several other equine stars will be on display in the remainder of the Breeders’ Cup races, with divisional championships looming in the balance for many of them.

Friday, the $1 million Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile is expected to draw an exceptionally strong cast, with Michael Lund Petersen’s MOR SPIRIT, a 4-year-old son of Eskendereya who qualified for the race when he aired in the “Win and You’re In” Metropolitan Mile (GI) at Belmont Park in June for trainer Bob Baffert leading the way. Major graded stakes winners ACCELERATE, AWESOME SLEW, GIANT EXEPECTATIONS, HONORABLE DUTY, MIDNIGHT STORM, PRACTICAL JOKE and SHARP AZTECA are also expected, as are BATTLE OF MIDWAY, DONWORTH and IRON FIRST.

Friday will also see the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, and both one-mile races figure to be wide open with full fields. West Point Thoroughbreds’ UNTAMED DOMAIN qualified for the Juvenile Turf when he won Woodbine’s “Win and You’re In” Summer (GII) September 17 for trainer Graham Motion, while John Oxley’s FLAMEAWAY did the same when he won Keeneland’s Bourbon (GIII, see race recap below) Sunday for trainer Mark Casse. Qatar Racing Limited’s ROARING LION is expected from Europe for trainer John Gosden earned a berth into the race when he won Newmarket’s Juddmonte Royal Lodge (GII) Sept. 30. ARCHAGGELOS, CATHOLIC BOY, HEMP HEMP HOORAY, IRISH TERRITORY (IRE), MARAUD, MY BOY JACK, SEABHAC, SNAPPER SINCLAIR and VOTING CONTROL could all run for the home team, while BECKFORD (GB), JAMES GARFIELD (IRE), MASAR (IRE), RAJASINGHE (IRE), TANGLED (IRE) and TIP TWO WIN (GB) could come from Europe.

The Juvenile Fillies Turf is expected to be led by Team Valor’s CAPLA TEMPTRESS, who earned a berth into the race when she won Woodbine’s “Win and You’re In” Natalma (GI) Sept. 17 for then-trainer Marco Botti (she has since been transferred to trainer Bill Mott). Coolmore’s HAPPILY (IRE) secured a berth into the race when she won The Curragh’s “Win and You’re In” Moyglare Stud (GI) Sept. 7 for trainer Aidan O’Brien, and also beat males in Chantilly’s Oct. 1 “Win and You’re In” Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (GI). (The Juvenile Turf is restricted to colts and geldings). BEST PERFORMANCE, DIXIE MOON, RUSHING FALL, FATALE BERE and SIGNIFICANT FORM also could start for the Americans, while BILLESDON BROOK (GB), CLEMMIE (IRE), DARK ROSE ANGEL (IRE), GAVOTA (GB), MADELINE (IRE), NOW YOU’RE TALKING (IRE), NYALETI (IRE) and QUIVERY could invade from Europe.

Saturday, the $1.5 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint at six furlongs headlines the remainder of the Cup races and sees Baoma Corporation’s DREFONG looking to repeat after winning the race last year at Santa Anita for Baffert. The 4-year-old son of Gio Ponti earned an automatic berth into the race when he won Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Forego (GI) August 26. Automatic qualifiers IMPERIAL HINT, MIND YOUR BISCUITS, RANSOM THE MOON, ROY H, TAKAFUL and WHITMORE won’t make the repeat bid easy, while AMERICAN ANTHEM, EL DEAL, MOE CANDY and PETROV could also run.

The $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, run at seven furlongs, should have a solid favorite in Don Alberto Stable’s freakish UNIQUE BELLA, who returned to win off a layoff in Sunday’s L.A. Woman (GIII, see race recap below) at Santa Anita. The 3-year-old daughter of Tapit won a trio of winter graded stakes at Santa Anita by 18 ½ lengths but developed sore shins and was forced to the sidelines. BY THE MOON, who won Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Ballerina (GI) Aug. 26, CURLIN’S APPROVAL, who won Gulfstream Park’s “Win and You’re In” Princess Rooney (GII) in July and FINLEY’SLUCKYCHARM, who won Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Thoroughbred Club of American (GII, see race recap below), all earned automatic berths into the race, while defending champion FINEST CITY, as well as AMI’S MESA, CARINA MIA, CONSTELLATION, HIGHWAY STAR, PAULASSILVERLING and SKYE DIAMONDS add to one of the deepest Breeders’ Cup races that will be run.

The $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, run at five furlongs, will showcase Stonestreet Farm, George Bolton and Peter Leidel’s world-traveler LADY AURELIA, a 3-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy who won Royal Ascot’s King’s Stand (GI) in June for trainer Wesley Ward. Elite Racing Club’s MASHA (IRE) earned a berth into the race when she upset Lady Aurelia in the “Win and You’re In” Coolmore Nunthorpe (GI) at York Aug. 25, while Coolmore’s CARAVAGGIO has long been held in high regard by trainer Aidan O’Brien and qualified for the Turf Sprint when he won the “Win and You’re In” Derrinstown Stud Flying Five (GII) at The Curragh Sept. 10 and would rate a major contender, should he make the trip. Americans BIG HANDSOME, BUCCHERO, DISCO PARTNER, HOGY, HOLDING GOLD, MONGOLIAN SATURDAY, PAY ANY PRICE, PURE SENSATION and RAINBOW HEIR could also run, while DUKE OF FIRENE (GB) and INTELLIGENCE CROSS could make the trip from Europe.

Fall Poker Classic Recap, Preview of Main Event

With the 2017 Fall Poker Classic nearly complete, we asked Jacob “Chopper” Vail about how things have gone thus far, and what to expect for the Championship Main Event, set for Oct. 13-14.

Fall Poker Classic 2017 from Kris Janisch on Vimeo.


Looking for a list of winners? Canterbury Park will be updating the list of winners as the tournament series progresses.

Meanwhile, poker players can share their stories, photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #FPC17.

See what players are sharing on social media, and follow @CanterburyCards on Twitter for updates.

Canterbury Flavor In Prairie Meadows Stakes This Weekend

The Prairie Meadows quarter horse meet closes this week with racing Thursday through Saturday.  The Friday card features four stakes races and Saturday’s evening program has nine including the Grade 1 Bank of America Challenge Championship with a $330,000 purse.

Many of the stakes include horses that raced in Shakopee over the summer.  The Grade 3 Two Rivers Stakes on Friday has a pair: Ferrari James and Bye Byefreighttrain. The former has won nine of 18 lifetime starts but was beaten by the latter when they met here in July. Ferrari James turned the tables on Bye Byefreighttrain when they faced off in Iowa in the Grade 3 Keokuk at Prairie. Canterbury’s meet leading Q rider Oscar Delgado has the mount on Ferrari James.

Saturday’s slate includes:

$110,132 Polk County Derby – fastest qualifier Cr Game Changer for trainer Jason Olmstead will be ridden by Brayan Velazquez

$174,400 Jim Bader Futurity – fastest qualifier Cr Lota Girl trained by Jason Olmstead drew post 10.

$145,604 Altoona Derby – second fastest qualifier La Mos Pyc trained by Bill Harris and ridden by Stormy Smith. The 3-year-old won three times at Canterbury including the Gopher State Derby.

$289,830 Valley Junction Futurity – fastest qualifier A Jordon Reed, winner of the $167,600 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, trained by Ed Ross Hardy and ridden by Oscar Delgado, has drawn the rail.

$105,000 AQHA Distance Challenge Championship (G1)

$180,000 Adequan Derby (G3) – includes Faster Than Hasta, trained by Bob Johnson. Multiple stakes winning gelding raced at Canterbury this season and last. Kowboy Jim, winner of all three 2017 CBY starts including the Canterbury Park Derby, is trained by Dean Frey with Delgado aboard.

$130,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) – High Valley Girl made the cut for trainer Bob Johnson.

$105,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) –  Minnesota bred Blacks Cartel won the Cash Caravan Stakes. Jr Rock Star won the Canterbury Distaff Challenge. The 4-year-old filly is trained by Olmstead.

$330,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) – The Fiscal Cliff was voted Canterbury’s Quarter Horse of the Meet after winning both the Zimmerman Stakes and the BOA Championship Challenge. He is 8 to 1 in the biggest race of the night.

Thursday’s program may not have the stakes sizzle but there are Canterbury horses to be found including Jjsir James who was the fastest qualifier here for the NCQHRA Futurity and suffered a less than perfect trip in the final. He qualified for an Iowa futurity despite a terrible trip and then stumbled from the gate in the final. Thursday he faces a much easier field and is 6 to 1 on the morning line.

Curls Happy Wagon drew the rail in race 7.  While she never raced in Shakopee her dam, Eye a Spit Curl Girl, did. The multiple graded stakes winning mare won the Zimmerman Stakes here in 2015. Curls Happy Wagon dominated in her career debut Sept. 23 at Prairie and could be something special. She is 7 to 2 on the line Thursday.

Racing begins at 6pm each night at Prairie Meadows.

Holiday Racing Monday / Keeneland Continues Wednesday

The Monday. October 9, simulcast schedule, bolstered for the holiday, includes racing from Belmont Park as well as Santa Anita.  The thoroughbred schedule is below.

Keeneland’s Fall Meet began Friday and continues Wednesday with an eight-race card beginning at 12:05. The feature of the day is the $150,000 G3 Jessamine Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16th miles on the turf. This ‘Win and You’re In’ stake race will certainly propel horses to the Breeders’ Cup.

Local owners Barry and Joni Butzow of Eden Prairie entered a filly to the Jessamine but will need a defection to get in the starting gate as the field is limited to 14 and She’s All Skeet is the 15th filly and first on the Also-Eligible list. The daughter of Trappe Shot won a $126,000 maiden race at Kentucky Downs Sept. 14 in her second career start at odds of 19 to 1.





11:55 AM Belmont Park

11:55 AM Parx

12:00 PM Woodbine

12:10 PM Finger Lakes

12:10 PM Laurel Park

12:15 PM Delaware Park

12:15 PM Gulfstream West

12:40 PM Thistledown

1:10 PM Zia Park

2:00 PM Portland Meadows

2:30 PM Santa Anita

6:00 PM Mountaineer

7:00 PM Australian Racing B

8:00 PM Australian Racing A

8:01 PM Australian Racing C

Big Race Saturday Could Mean BC For Hogy; His First Stakes Win Came At Canterbury Park

Hogy wins the 2011 Barenscheer Juvenile

Eight-year-old Hogy will make his 46th career start on Saturday in the $200,000 G2 Woodford Stakes, a 5½ furlong turf sprint, the fifth race on a 10-race program at Keeneland. Hogy will be seeking his 18th win in a career that has taken him to 15 tracks.  He has been victorious at nine of them, including once at Canterbury Park, winning in sprints, routes, on the turf, in the mud, over the poly. Graded stakes, allowances, claiming races. Two times he did run for a tag, in both instances for $80,000, he was claimed.  Hogy has hit the board 34 times and earned more than $1.1 million.

He shipped to Shakopee for trainer Joel Berndt in August of 2011, bringing with him a 2 for 2 record, with both wins on the polytrack at Arlington. His task in Shakopee was to win the $50,000 Brian Barenscheer Juvenile at 5½ furlongs on a fast dirt track. Hogy responded with a convincing 3/4 length win as the 1 to 2 favorite.

Florent Geroux was aboard that day as he was for six of Hogy’s first seven scores.  But in that seventh win in the fall of 2012 he was claimed from Berndt by trainer Scott Becker and owner William Stiritz.  Stiritz went on to win nine races with Hogy including the G3 Hanshin at Arlington. In August of 2017 Hogy was entered for $80,000 at Saratoga and trainer Mike Maker dropped a claim for owner Michael Hui. They took Hogy to Kentucky Downs in September and won a G3 turf sprint.

On Saturday at Keeneland, Geroux will be aboard as he has been in the past six starts after a four year absence. In all he has won eight times on Hogy and should they run well Saturday, the owner has indicated a trip to the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar for the Turf Sprint could be in order.

Hogy has tried Keeneland six times but has not found the winner’s circle. He has twice raced in the Woodford with his best finish last year where he flew from 10 lengths back, only to lose by 1/2 length to Mongolian Saturday who he must face again in this edition.  Hogy is the 5 to 2 morning line favorite in the nine-horse field.

First post at Keeneland Saturday is 12:05 p.m. central with the Woodford slated for 2:25.


Free-to-Enter Handicapping Contest Continues; Amy’s Challenge Has Set Back

Canterbury’s Horse of the Meet, Amy’s Challenge, will not race Friday at Keeneland after suffering severe cramping, know as tying up, earlier this week at the Lexington, KY racetrack. Read more about it in this report from DRF’s Nicole Russo. Amy’s Challenge recorded the highest Beyer Speed Figures of any filly in North America in her two wins at Canterbury Park this summer. There is a chance she races later in the Keeneland meet according to trainer Mac Robertson.

The weekly Countdown to the Cup Handicapping Contest continues this Saturday with a noon entry deadline. The featured track is Keeneland as it will be for the remainder of the contest through Oct. 28. Keeneland has a stakes-filled program Saturday including these races:  $1 Million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1), $400,000 First Lady (G1), $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), $200,000 Woodford (G2) Presented by Keeneland Select.

Entry to the contest is free. Players must select one horse in each of Keeneland’s 10 races and earn points based on a mythical across-the-board wager. The five top total scores for the day earn a betting bankroll for Breeders’ Cup weekend, Nov. 3 and 4.

Congrats to the Week 2 winners:

$200 Breeders’ Cup Bankroll – Alex Meyer

$100 Breeders’ Cup Bankroll – Jesse Overton

$100 Breeders’ Cup Bankroll – Robin Dawe

$100 Breeders’ Cup Bankroll – Matt Wiebke

$100 Breeders’ Cup Bankroll – Dan Ovando

Breeders’ Cup notes provided by Breeders’ Cup publicity staff:

Keeneland, Belmont Take Center Stage for Final Set of Breeders’ Cup Auditions

Friday’s kickoff to a tremendous Opening Weekend at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., along with a huge Saturday and Sunday at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., headline the final Breeders’ Cup Challenge weekend, which sees 13 automatic qualifiers take place. The Shadwell Turf Mile headlines an eight-race Challenge schedule at Keeneland, while the Jockey Club Gold Cup tops four at Belmont and will offer the final berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Toss in the “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship in Arcadia, Calif., and the first Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar will be front and center by Sunday evening, as the majority of the heavy lifting will be complete.

Keeneland’s “Fall Stars” weekend is sure to live up to the billing, as all eight Challenge races will play a pivotal role in their respective Breeders’ Cup division during the first three days of the 17-day meet. Saturday, the “Win and You’re In” action is led by the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (GI), which will award an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile, though it’s far from the only highlight on a Challenge schedule that also includes the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (GI, Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile), First Lady (GI, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf) and Thoroughbred Club of America (GII, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint).

Juddmonte Farm’s homebred TIME TEST (GB) will likely go favored for trainer Chad Brown, even though he’s been runner-up in all three U.S. starts this year. The 5-year-old son of Dubawi (IRE) was transferred from Roger Charlton’s barn in Europe after a 2016 campaign that saw him win the York (GII) to close out his year in July and made his first start for Brown when he was second in Aqueduct’s Fort Marcy (GIII) in May. Time Test, who is 6-for-14 lifetime, was also second in Belmont’s Manhattan (GI) in June and enters off a second-place finish to divisional leader World Approval in Saratoga’s Fourstardave (GI) August 12.

Terry Hamilton’s HEART TO HEART, second in the local Maker’s 46 Mile (GI) the last two years, rates a legitimate wire-to-wire threat for trainer Brian Lynch, while WinStar Farm’s homebred AMERICAN PATRIOT upset the Maker’s Mark this year for trainer Todd Pletcher but has been well-beaten in both starts since. Grade I winners DIVISIDERO and MONDIALISTE (IRE) are also expected for the “Win and You’re In” Shadwell Turf Mile, as are BALLAGH ROCKS, LE KEN (ARG), OFFERING PLAN and SUEDOIS (FR), while LANCASTER BOMBER is possible.

The $500,000 Claiborne Futurity, run at 1 1/16 miles, is headlined by Carolyn Wilson’s THE TABULATOR, who already earned a berth into the Juvenile with his victory in Churchill Downs’ “Win and You’re In” Iroquois (GIII) September 16 for trainer Larry Rivelli. The 2-year-old son of Dialed In is 3-for-3 lifetime, which includes a win in Prairie Gold Juvenile at Prairie Meadows in July.

Albaugh Family Stable’s FREE DROP BILLY, who was second in two Saratoga stakes starts this summer for trainer Dale Romans, including a neck beat in the Hopeful (GI) September 4, will make his two-turn debut, as will Valene Farm’s GIVEMEAMINUTE, who was just a neck behind when third in the Hopeful for trainer Dallas Stewart. TEN CITY, who was third in the Iroquois, is also expected for the “Win and You’re In” Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, as are sharp maiden winners BOURBON RESOLUTION, BRAVAZO, LONE ROCK, LONE SAILOR and STRONGER.

The 1-mile, $400,000 First Lady will have an extremely strong field, with The Club Racing, Needle In a Haystack and Sagamore Farm’s MISS TEMPLE CITY leading the way for trainer Graham Motion. The 5-year-old daughter of Temple City has been a superstar over the Keeneland turf, going 4-2-2-0 on the course, which includes grade I wins over males in last year’s Maker’s Mark and Shadwell Turf Mile. Overall, Miss Temple City is 7-for-19 lifetime and got a confidence boost in her last start, when she won the Ladies Turf at Kentucky Downs September 9.

Dom Felipe’s DONA BRUJA (ARG) will cut back for trainer Ignacio Correas after a dead-heat second in Arlington Park’s August 12 “Win and You’re In” Beverly D. (GI), an automatic qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, while Godolphin’s DICKINSON won the local Jenny Wiley (GI) in April over divisional leader Lady Eli but has lost three straight since for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Graded stakes winners HAWKSMOOR (IRE), ROCA ROJO (IRE) and ZIPESSA are also likely for the “Win and You’re In” First Lady.

The $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America, run at six furlongs, is expected to draw a short field, with Carl Moore’s FINLEY’SLUCKYCHARM looming as a decisive favorite for trainer Bret Calhoun. The 4-year-old daughter of Twirling Candy is 8-for-11 lifetime and 3-for-4 this year, including grade III wins in Churchill’s Winning Colors and Chicago and was just second, beaten a neck, to divisional leader Paulassilverlining in Saratoga’s Honorable Miss (GII) July 26.

Claiborne Farm’s homebred BENDABLE, who won the Desert Stormer (GIII) in June at Santa Anita for trainer Richard Mandella, as well as Kirk and Judy Robison’s VERTICAL OAK, who aired in the Prioress (GII) September 3 at Saratoga for trainer Steve Asmussen, are also expected for the “Win and You’re In” Thoroughbred Club of America, as are I’M A LOOKER, IVY BELL, MOIETY and SWEET KHALESI

Alcibiades, Phoenix Highlight Opening Day

The “Win and You’re In” action kicks off with Friday’s Opening Day card, with the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (GI) offering an automatic starting berth into the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and the $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (GII) awarding a berth into the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint, respectively.

The Alcibiades, run at 1 1/16 miles, drew a few stakes winners still trying to make up the pecking order in the local 2-year-old filly ranks. Dawn and Ike Thrash’s KELLY’S HUMOR could be a slight favorite over nine rivals off her second in Churchill Downs’ September 16 “Win and You’re In” Pocahontas (GII), another automatic qualifier for the Juvenile Fillies. The daughter of two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Midnight Lute (2007 and 2008) won the Ellis Park Debutante in August for trainer Brad Cox before suffering her lone defeat in three starts in the Pocahontas.

A solid bid is also expected from Lothenbach Stable’s BET SHE WINS, who won the Arlington Lassie at Arlington Park by 9 ½ lengths for trainer Chris Block.  The filly is owned by Robert Lothenbach of Wayzata, Minn. CAROLINE THE GREAT, DANCING, HEAVENLY LOVE, OVERLY THINKING, PRINCESS WARRIOR PACIFIC GALE, and SASSY SIENNA have also been entered in the “Win and You’re In” Darley Alcibiades.

The six-furlong Phoenix has an 11 horse field, led by Katherine Ball’s homebred LIMOUSINE LIBERAL and Bob LaPenta’s WHITMORE. The former, a 5-year-old son of Successful Appeal, was second, beaten a neck in the Phoenix last year for trainer Ben Colebrook and has won of 3-of-5 this year, including the Churchill Downs (GII) in May. The latter, a 4-year-old son of 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect, was an early-season divisional leader for trainer Ron Moquett off a trio of stakes wins, including the Maryland Sprint (GIII) at Pimlico in May, but has lost two straight, including when third-place at 1-2 in the DeFrancis Dash (GIII) at Laurel Park September 16.

PJG Stable’s FAVORITE TALE was third in the Sprint over the track in 2015 and was second in his lone start this year in Parx Racing’s Banjo Picker Sprint September 2 for trainer Guadalupe Preciado, while Ammerman Racing’s THREEFIVEINDIA exits a solid optional claiming win at Saratoga August 26 for trainer Chad Brown. AWESOME BANNER, IT’S THE JOURNEY, MR. MANNING, LOOSE ON THE TOWN, RICHARD THE GREAT, SEVENTH SENSE (TUR), and UNCONTESTED are entered in the “Win and You’re In” Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix.

Spinster, Bourbon Headline Sunday Card

Sunday’s $500,000 “Win and You’re In” Juddmonte Spinster (GI), run at 1 1/8 miles, will award an automatic starting berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff and, along with the “Win and You’re In” Dixiana Bourbon (GIII), will anchor the final Breeders’ Cup Challenge telecast and will air on NBCSN from 5-6:00 p.m. ET.

The Sprinter is expected to have a compact field, with G. Watts Humphrey’s homebred ROMANTIC VISION leading the way off her win in Churchill’s Locust Grove (GIII) September 16 for trainer Rusty Arnold. The 5-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid is 5-for-18 lifetime and won her first career graded stakes at Churchill when she beat Merriebelle Stable’s BLUE PRIZE (ARG), who has been second in all four U.S. starts this year for trainer Ignacio Correas. The 4-year-old daughter of Pure Prize was a dual-grade I winner in her native Argentina before coming to the U.S. late last year and is 2-for-8 lifetime.

John Gunther’s homebred TIGER MOTH, who was third in the Locust Grove for trainer Brad Cox, and MARTINI GLASS and MO D’AMOUR are also expected for the Juddmonte Spinster.

The $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon, run at 1 1/16 miles, will award an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and is expected to draw an overflow field of 2-year-olds looking to give definition to a division that is always wide open at this point in the year. The Bourbon could be led by Jerry Durant’s BUDRO TALKING, who is undefeated in two starts for trainer Danny Pish, including a win in his turf debut in Louisiana Downs’ Sunday Silence September 9, which gives him a leg up on a group that figures to be made up of mostly maiden turf winners.

Hoolie Racing Stable’s ADMIRALTY PIER, who was third in another “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile Turf, Woodbine’s September 17 Summer (GII), and Run For The Cross’ HIGH PROVIDENCE, second in the Sunday Silence for trainer Jason Meaux, are also scheduled to run in the “Win and You’re In” Dixiana Bourbon, as are ARAWAK, DIAMOND OOPS, FLAMEAWAY, FRED’STWIRLINCANDY, JOHN TIPPMANN, MACHTREE, TAP DADDY, TIGERS RULE, TRENTON TRAVELER and WICKED TRICK.

Jockey Club Gold Cup Tops Quartet of Weekend Challenge Races at Belmont

Belmont’s Fall Championship Meet peaks Saturday, when the $750,000 “Win and You’re In” Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI) will award the last-of-7 automatic qualifiers for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, while the $500,000 “Win and You’re In” Champagne (GI) will offer a berth into the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

The Gold Cup, run at 1 ¼ miles, is shaping up as a wide-open race, with favoritism up for grabs, though Donegal Racing’s KEEN ICE could get the nod, as he’s the most well-known and starts as one of three for trainer Todd Pletcher. The 5-year-old son of 2007 Breeders’ Classic winner Curlin was third in last year’s Classic at Santa Anita, won the track and distance Suburban (GII) in July and enters off a second-place finish to divisional leader Gun Runner in another Classic qualifier, Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Whitney August 5. Keen Ice, who also beat American Pharoah in Saratoga’s Travers (GI) in 2015 when trained by Dale Romans, is just 3-for-23 lifetime, but two of those wins came at 1 ¼ miles.

The most intriguing runner is Paul Reddam’s PAVEL, who blitzed the field by 6 in the Smarty Jones (GIII) at Parx Racing September 4 for trainer Doug O’Neill and will tackle older horses for the first time, while making just his fourth lifetime start. The son of Creative Cause won his debut sprinting at Santa Anta in July then was fourth in Saratoga’s Jim Dandy (GII) later that month. WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and Head of Plains Partner’s GOOD SAMARITAN, third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita, won the Jim Dandy in his dirt debut but was just fifth in their Travers (GI) as the favorite August 26, will also debut against older horses, while Pletcher’s DESTIN and RALLY CRY will get some support in the “Win and You’re In” Jockey Club Gold Cup, as will the speedy DIVERSIFY.

The one-mile Champagne is expected to lure a talented, albeit unproven, field that will test Belmont’s demanding one-turn mile. Favoritism could go any number of different ways, but Godolphin’s homebred ENTICED impressed in his debut win at Saratoga for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and the 2-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro is bred to be a star, as mom It’s Tricky was a three-time grade I winner. Woodford Racing’s ENGAGE, a son of Into Mischief, will get plenty of support for trainer Chad Brown and looked good winning his second career start at Saratoga September 4.

Gold Square’s AVEENU MALCAINU, who is undefeated in two starts against New York breds, including the August 25 Funny Cide for trainer Jeremiah Englehart, and Mr. Amore Stable’s FIRENZE FIRE, who won Saratoga’s Sanford (GIII) in July for trainer Jason Servis but was just fourth in their Hopeful (GI) September 4, are also major players, as are sharp but unproven Saratoga maiden winners HAZIT and HONORABLE TREASURE. BAHAMIAN, CREA’S BKLYN LAW, KOWBOW KARMA and STRONGER could also run in the “Win and You’re In” Champagne.

Flower Bowl, Frizette Offer Bids Sunday

Sunday the “Win and You’re In” action continues at Belmont with $500,000 Flower Bowl (GI), which will award an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, and the $400,000 Frizette (GI), which will offer up a berth into the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

The Flower Bowl may be short on entries, but it’s shaping up as serious tilt, with trainer Chad Brown holding a pair of major players in Sheep Pond Partners and Bradley Thoroughbreds’ DACITA (CHI) and Juddmonte Farm’s homebred GRAND JETE (GB), 1-2 finishers of Arlington Park’s “Win and You’re In” Beverly D. (GI) August 12. The former, a 6-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy, won the berth into the Filly & Mare Turf that the Beverly D. awarded, but it was the latter, a 4-year-old daughter of Dansili (GB), who was probably best after encountering heavy traffic entering the far turn and not getting out until it was too late, yet still closing with a rush to dead-heat for second. Dacita, who was ninth in the Filly & Mare Turf in 2015 at Keeneland, is 10-for-19 lifetime, while Grand Jete, who won the Eatontown (GIII) at Monmouth Park in June, is 4-for-12 lifetime.

Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum’s NEZWAAH (GB) is expected to add some international appeal for trainer Roger Varian. The 4-year-old daughter of Dubawi (IRE) won The Curragh’s Pretty Polly (GI) in July then was fourth in York’s August 24 “Win and You’re In” Darley Yorkshire Oaks (GI), also an automatic qualifier for the Filly & Mare Turf, when finishing behind the superstar filly Enable (GB), who Saturday added to her legend in Chantilly’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (GI, see race recap below). Stakes winner GUILTY TWELVE is also a likely starter in the “Win and You’re In” Flower Bowl, while GRATEFUL, PUCA and WAR FLAG are all possible.

The one mile Frizette will be led by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stable and Michael Imperio’s LADY IVANKA, who already earned a berth into the Juvenile Fillies when she won Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Spinaway (GI) September 2 for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. The 2-year-old daughter of Tiz Wonderful is 2-for-2 lifetime and has a stalking style that figures to appreciate the added distance.

Klaravich Stable’s SEPARATIONOFPOWERS will offer the main danger for trainer Chad Brown and the daughter of Candy Ride (ARG) will try to turn the tables after running third as the favorite in the Spinaway, while Saratoga maiden winners CALEDONIA ROAD, CRITIQUE and PURRFECT MISS must all be respected in the “Win and You’re In” Frizette. PACIFIC, WALL OF COMPASSION and YESTERDAY’S NEWS are all possible, as is MAYA MALIBU, who was second in the Spinaway and would be a huge threat, though she is more likely to run Friday in Keeneland’s “Win and You’re In” Alcibiades (GI, see preview above), another automatic qualifier for the Juvenile Fillies.

Sprint Bid on the Line in Santa Anita Sprint Championship

Saturday’s $300,000 “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship (GI) will award a starting berth into the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the six-furlong test will likely have a short but competitive field, led by Agave Racing Stable and Jeff Wilke’s RANSOM THE MOON. The 5-year-old son of Malibu Moon already qualified for the Sprint with his win in Del Mar’s “Win and You’re In” Bing Crosby (GI) July 29 and also won the local Kona Gold (GII) in May and is 5-for-19 lifetime.

WinStar Farm, Head of Plains Partners and China Horse Club’s AMERICAN ANTHEM will test older horses for the first time for trainer Bob Baffert. The 3-year-old son of Bodemeister was on the Triple Crown Trail this winter but was well-beaten in both the Rebel (GII) at Oaklawn Park in March and Santa Anita Derby (GI) in May and has found a new home at one-turn since. American Anthem, who is 3-for-7 lifetime, won the local Laz Barrera (GIII) in May and Belmont Park’s Woody Stephens (GII) in June and was third in Saratoga’s Allen Jerkens (GI) August 26.

Gatto Racing’s GIANT EXPECTATIONS, who earned a berth into the Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile when he won Del Mar’s “Win and You’re In” Pat O’Brien (GII) August 26 for trainer Peter Eurton, is also expected for the “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship, as are stakes winner MR. HINX and OCHO OCHO OCHO.

Night Nation Run: A Party Disguised as a 5K

What do you get when you cross a 5K with a concert and a light show?3 Night Nation Run Canterbury Park Twin Cities 2017

The Night Nation Run, of course.

Billed as the world’s first running music festival, the Night Nation Run is coming to Canterbury Park on Saturday, Oct. 7.

The event/run/spectacle encourages a joyful atmosphere, replete with glowing accessories, a lighted course and music throughout. At Canterbury Park, there will be a main stage and three smaller stages throughout the course, where people are encouraged to jog, skip, walk or dance their way along.

Food trucks will be on hand, and beverages, including beer, will be available.

Event Details

4:30 p.m. – Gates open at Canterbury Park

6 p.m. – Pre-Party begins

7 p.m. – First wave of runners

It’s a fun run with both a pre- and a post-party. As they say on the event website, “If you’re looking to set your 5K personal record, this might not be the run for you!”

People can use the hashtag #NightNation to share photos and stories and videos on social media.

Among the other unique aspects of the Night Nation Run at Canterbury Park:

  • Selfie stations
  • Dancers
  • Interactive light shows
  • Party zones
  • Fog
  • Confetti guns

The official charity of the Night Nation Run is Stand Up To Cancer.

Find further details and ticketing information on the event website. Get $5 off tickets by using the code CANTERBURY. Children 8 and younger may attend for free.

Keeneland Fall Meet begins Friday

Keeneland begins its 17-day fall race meet this Friday, Oct. 6. The three-day opening weekend features nine stakes races with $3.75 million in purses and Breeders’ Cup implications galore. The Canterbury Racebook will carry all the action. Here are the first nine stakes of the meet:


$400,000 G1 Alcibiades – BC Juvenile Fillies prep

$250,000 G2 Phoenix –   BC Sprint prep


$1 million G1 Shadwell Turf Mile –  prep for BC Mile

$500,000 G1 Breeders’ Futurity-  likely spot for The Tabulator to run. He beat Canterbury’s Mr. Jagermeister in Iowa and then won the G3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs. Key BC Juvenile prep.

$400,000 G1 First Lady

$250,000 G2 Thoroughbred Club of America – BC Filly and Mare Sprint prep race.

$200,000 G2 Woodford


$500,000 G1 Spinster

$250,000 G3 Bourbon – turf race that readies 2-year-olds for the BC Juvenile Turf

The Keeneland website offers a lot of information.

To get a sense of the history of this track browse the extensive Media Guide.

Canterbury Quarter Horses Running Well at Prairie Meadows.

The Altoona racetrack conducted several trials Friday and Saturday and many horses that raced in Shakopee over the summer showed up.

A Jordon Reed, winner of the Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, was the fastest qualifier for the Valley Junction Futurity. The 2-year-old is trained by Ed Ross Hardy. Cr Game Changer, trained by Jason Olmstead, ran the fastest 400 yard time in the Polk County Derby trials. La Mos PYC, a three-time winner at Canterbury trained by Bill Harris, qualified for the Altoona Derby by winning ta trial and recording the second fastest time. Cr Lota Girl ran twice here and was the fastest qualifier in Friday’s trials for the Jim Bader Futurity. The finals, along with the BOA Challenge Championships, will be run the evening of Saturday, Oct. 14.


Interesting Hands from the Ultimate $100K

Ultimate-100k-Results-2017As players stared each other down Friday, Sept. 29, for a shot at $100,000 in prize money, plenty of interesting hands developed during Canterbury Park’s Ultimate $100K No-Limit Hold’em Tournament.

The event saw six flights of players in the week leading up to the Day 2 finale. We asked a few of the players to recount their more memorable hands.

Let’s take a look at some of the action.

Hand 1

At the outset of Day 2, Todd Fisher found himself on the button with 2-2.

With the blinds at 5,000/2,500, a middle position player opened with a 3X raise. The cutoff called, as did Fisher, and the big blind came along, making it four-way action to the flop.

Fisher flopped a full house: Q-Q-2. The player who initially raised before the flop then led out for 10,000 and the player in the cutoff position raised to 25,000.

Fisher decided on jamming his remaining stack, which was about 90,000 to start the hand. The big blind and middle-position player both folded, and the post-flop raiser called, showing K-Q.

The turn was an 8, but the river was a K, leaving Fisher’s full house second best.

Despite losing the bulk of his stack, Fisher was able to grind back to about 95,000 in chips at the break. The Arlington, Minn., resident said he just wanted to build his stack a bit more, “So I can play some real poker.”

Hand 2

Mike Houck, of Victoria, Minn., recalled a couple of memorable hands during the first Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 7.00.11 AMbreak of Day 2 of the Ultimate $100K.

The first was fairly straightforward. After folding to a big stack the previous hand, Houck ran A-A into that same player’s K-K. The aces held up and Houck had doubled through.

The next hand Houck said was more indicative of where he is as a player than the cards themselves. With A-K in the hole, Houck made a raise of 3X the big blind. Another player came over the top with a large re-raise.

Mulling over his options, and reflecting on his overall game, Houck decided on a fold, and felt it was the right move in that particular spot.

Hand 3

Sitting on one of the larger stacks at the first break, Loki Abboud was UTG+2 and opened the pot with J-J. Another player flat called.

The flop came : Jc, 7c, 2h, giving Abboud top set. He opted for a check, and the other player bet out 45,000. Abboud chose to slow-play and called.

The turn was the Ac, and Abboud shoved, getting a snap call from his opponent, who rolled over A-J.

Abboud, of Mendota Heights, Minn., said he was really only concerned about the other player having A-A or Kc-Qc. But having played with him before, Abboud said he thought his hand was good.


Canterbury Park’s Ultimate $100K No-Limit Hold’em tournament paid out 80 places, with first place taking home $18,000. Follow @CanterburyCards on Twitter for the full results.

By Kris Janisch