While human beings melted under the oppressive conditions while merely lifting a cold drink to their lips, horses named Tubby Time, Rare Sunset and Hollywood Trickster refused to wilt under any conditions Tuesday.
Tubby Time (pictured above) won the $50,000 Blair’s Cove Stakes for the second consecutive year, and Rare Sunset used her extra gear to repeal a challenge from Gold N Glamore in the final 1/16th to win the $50,000 Minnesota H.B.P.A. Mile. The Trickster ran in even more hot, humid conditions in the card opener, but won convincingly nonetheless in the $21,150 quarter horse Great Lakes Stakes
With even more oppressive conditions forecast, track officials postponed the Fourth of July card until Saturday, when everything originally planned for the occasion will take place, including the wiener dog races, hot-dog eating contest and free hot dogs.
“The health of both our equine and human athletes as well as our race fans is always our primary concern,’’ said track president/CEO Randy Sampson.
Derek Bell has struggled to find the winner’s circle this meet, but found it twice on Tuesday’s card, in the opening stakes on Hollywood Trickster (pictured below) and again in the Blair’s Cove with Tubby Time.
Tubby Time’s owner Jeff Larson sized up his horse’s chances in the paddock before the race. “We’ll see if he’s fit,’’ he said.
He wasn’t the last time out, on June 12, but that was his first race in a year. Trainer Mac Robertson had him tightened up nicely for Tuesday’s race and Tubby moved from mid-pack to the lead in the final half furlong, winning by 1 and ¼ lengths over Coconino Slim, by three lengths over Mack’s Blackhawk.
“Just like Darth Vader said, ‘it’s all too easy,’ ’’ Bell said with a grin.
The difference between this race and Tubby’s last one?
“I had twice as much horse,’’ Bell said.
Larson got his answer at the same time.
“He’s fit,’’ he said.
Rare Sunset (pictured above) won gate to wire and was in charge in the stretch drive until Gold N Glamore put a move on her in the final 1/16th.
But under Geovanni Franco, Rare Sunset rebroke, refused to give ground and finished ½ length in front.
Winning owner Jill Buffie had a firm reaction afterward. “Lady Canterbury, here we come,’’ she said, referring to the $100,000 race on Aug. 4.
Buffie has been with Rare Sunset since her two-year-old season. First she groomed the horse, later she bought her. How’s that for a racetrack dream come true.
Winning rider Geovanni Franco was surprised afterward that no one came after him, so he had the horse necessary to repel a stretch challenge.
Scott Stevens, who rode Gold N Glamore had a different analysis. “My horse ran a great race,’’ he said. “She hadn’t run in more than a year.’’
More than 11,000 fans were in attendance to watch July 3rd racing at Canterbury. On track patrons bet $276,359 while off track customers wagered $832,176.
A recent article in which Scott Stevens was quoted did not include enough surrounding context to reflect his true intent.
He was quoted as saying that his mother didn’t care for his brother Gary’s character in the HBO series Luck and wouldn’t watch. “Hey, he was just playing himself,’’ Scott added.
The character, however, was prone to certain outrageous, drug-related behaviors that are not part of Gary’s personality in any way whatsoever.
Scott only meant to imply that Gary and the TV character were both competitive people with quick-tempered reactions at times.
The article did not include additional information that would have made that clear.
July 3 Festivities
Here’s a video recap of the July 3 Festivities:
This blog was written by Canterbury Staff Writer Jim Wells. Wells was a longtime sportswriter at the Pioneer Press and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.
Photo Credit: Coady Photography
Video Credit: Jon Mikkelson & The Canterbury Park Television Department