Prairie Meadows Picks for Friday, May 26

Prairie Meadows Selections By

For Friday May 26, 2017

Race 1: 

1 Judge Money (Should have no issue)

6 Langdom (Coming off 2 wk layoff, third last out at same distance)

5 Wild Little John (LONG SHOT) (Fonner shipper, good works at                PrM, jockey stays aboard)

  Race 6:  (Best Chance For BIG Payout!)

2 Lazy Daisy May* (Bad race two back, will get it today)

4 Straightersgreater (Fonner shipper fought for the win last out)

6 Dazzling Pioneer (Another Fonner shipper just missed last out,                will fight for it today)

Race 2:

1 Canela Caliente (Should get it this time, but look for an upset)

2 KJ’s Lioness (Won last out at this distance, track)

9 Just Jilly (Also won last out in same company)

Upset Alert:  6 Iowa Eclipse

  Race 7:

5 Bandi’s Gal * (Posing for pic)

6 Strike Perfection* (The relentless stalker)

1 Grace at Midnight (Won last out, Birzer stays aboard)

Race 3:

6 Box Office Appeal (Big name connections can’t be ignored)

7 Esperanza (Winner last out, gutsy horse)

3 Big Alice (LONG SHOT PLAY) (Sunland closer likes the mile)

  Race 8:

1 Lunar Gaze* (Needs more distance and will get it here)

7 Cleverness* (Won last time out)

6 Perfecta (Too wide at last try, Carreno will correct this time)

Race 4:

1 Tapitifyoudare (Tapit offspring breaks the maiden)

3 Red Hot Steel (Place last out, if gets the room needed he wins)

10 Naivasha Montana  (LONG SHOT) (Watch – could pull upset)

  Race 9:

10 Colonel Cody * (Should hit the winner’s circle this time)

7 Save the Bet* (Needed a few more furlongs and will get it here)

6 Readyaimfire (Can get ITM at 6f and 1 mile – curious at 1.70)

Race 5:

6 Free and Proud * (No problems here – picture time)

5 Dark Bloom (The slight cutback should help)

1 Traintopalazzo (No steam in this train after 3rd track in 3 tries –                maybe Prairie Meadows is the charm)


* Key picks in Jackpot 5

Best bet of the day:  Anything Ramon Vazquez is sitting on:
Canela Caliente, Lazy Daisy May, Free and Proud, Bandi’s Gal

Best Race Of The Day :  Race 4

Rain on the Roses

The 143rd Kentucky Derby is May 6th at Churchill Downs in Kentucky and a 70% chance of rain is in the forecast.  Finding a good mudder in this group of 20 is nearly impossible.  We thank Mike Battaglia, the odds maker at Churchill Downs, for giving us a morning line favorite at 4-1, Classic Empire, but come race day his odds will plummet from that enticing 4-1.

This is a very interesting and thought-provoking Derby.  Missing are the obvious favorites like California Chrome and American Pharoah, instead we have a field of 20 horses with no clear domination in the Derby prep races.  Every handicapper you talk to will give you a different group of horses.  There’s money to be made in this Derby and the key is navigation.  We have 20 young horses who have rarely raced in a field this size, in front of a crowd this size, and on a potentially wet surface.  Yes, it’s all about navigation.  And for that reason, I’m looking to the jockey. Experienced, veteran jockeys who are familiar with large fields and less-than favorable conditions, jockeys that have been on their horses before and know what moves to make.

Mudders with potential:

Classic Empire (4-1):  Broke his maiden on a wet surface at Churchill Downs in 2016. Veteran rider Julien Leparoux has been aboard for all of Classic Empire’s starts.

Tapwrit (20-1):  Also broke his maiden over a wet surface.  My concern with Tapwrit is that his head is not in the game.  He’s worth at look in a superfecta at this price and on Derby Day.

Gormley (15-1):  Also has a win on a wet surface in California, but a wet surface in Southern California is very different than a wet surface in Kentucky.  The only advantage for Gormley is his veteran jockey, Victor Espinoza.  Gormley races well in California but the ship to Kentucky is a mystery.

Battle of Midway (30-1):  Another California shipper who broke his maiden on a wet Santa Anita surface.  Finished second behind Gormley in the Santa Anita Derby, has always been in the money in all of his four races.  In a very scattered Derby, this horse deserves a look, especially at this price.

The Real Deals:

I have to admit, Girvin was my Derby horse going in.  However, he recently suffered an injury and has not been able to work properly.  With this type of surface on Saturday, I think I will have to look for another horse.

Classic Empire has been on my radar (and everyone else’s) since he won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.  He’s kind of a sassy horse.  He’s been known to train when he feels like it, but certainly shows up for the race.  With his veteran jockey, consistent money finishes on his resume, and can run on a wet surface, Classic Empire lands on the top of my list. Besides all that, he’s American Pharaoh’s little brother.  So the pedigree is perfect.

Gunnevera (15-1): Come post time, Gunnevera may be my top pick.  I’d like to play an Exacta box with Classic Empire and Gunnevera.  This two-year old has raced with multiple runners in the Derby and has the number one jockey in the country on his back, Javier Castellano.  When Castellano got in the saddle, Gunnevera finished in the money four out of his last four races and they were all graded stakes races.  Gunnevera finished third his last race, the Florida Derby, behind Always Dreaming and State of Honor, but he didn’t really need to win that race because he’d already punched his ticket to Kentucky with his win in the Fountain of Youth.

McCracken (5-1):  McCracken finished third in his last race behind Practical Joke and Irap in the Bluegrass, but again, he didn’t need to win because he was already in with his win in the Sam F. Davis Stakes.  Until the Bluegrass, McCracken was undefeated, and veteran jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. has been with him from the first race.

Filling out the Superfecta:

Always Dreaming (5-1):  Three wins in a row for Always Dreaming since veteran jock Johnny Velazquez took over, but only one graded stakes win, the Florida Derby, which he needed to get to Churchill Downs.  A veteran rider, but little graded stakes experience and no races on a wet track.  However, he’s been training well at Churchill and has put in some impressive bullet works since he arrived.

Ones to watch:

Thunder Snow (20-1):  This is the European entry.  Entering the gates as a multiple graded stakes winner in Europe with extremely impressing speed figures, but has no American racing experience and has ran most of his races at sprint distances.  The check mark on this horse goes to the connections and that the fields in Europe are bigger than they are here.  The UAE Derby, which Thunder Snow won, had 15 entries.  He will not be shy of the 20 in the gate.

State of Honor (30-1):  I wanted to make this horse my superfecta filler, but he has one knock:  His jockey, Jose Lezcano.  Julien Leparoux has been on State of Honor for his last four races, which were stakes races, and in which State of Honor finished on the board all four times.  But, Leparoux is also the jockey for Classic Empire.  (What a choice?)  This Mark Casse trainee gets a definite look and will be taking superfecta money come post time.

Of Note:

Practical Joke (20-1) was doing fine until he got into races with the other Derby contenders then he couldn’t seem to get around Gunnevera, Classic Empire or Irap. He has no wet surface races, doesn’t like the distance or the crowds.

Patch (30-1):  Uniquely named since he has only one eye.  Also, the Pletcher horse has a very young jockey taking the reins on Derby Day, Tyler Gaffalione.  Patch has a short resume,  probably because he was sidelined for surgery to remove his damaged eye.  Curious that Pletcher would go with a young jockey when navigation through the field of 20 on a rainy day will certainly be difficult, and even more difficult for a horse with one eye.  Patch will rely heavily on the guidance his young rider.




Canterbury Park’s $200,000 Big Day

The $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby is the features race on Minnesota Derby Day.  Let’s get right into this impressive card:

Race 1:  A four and half furlong sprint kicks off Derby Day at Canterbury Park.  No Bling comes off a second place finish on a sloppy track. Alex Canchari stays aboard for leading trainer Mac Robertson.  Freakin Stormy flattened out at the five and half furlongs and should enjoy the cut in distance.  American Miz and Top Hat Wildcat are playable numbers.  Go deep in the beginning of the Pick 4 and enjoy the lowest payout in the country.  5-6-2

Race 2:  The Minnesota HBPA Distaff:  Turf milers and Prado’s Sweet Ride ships in from Arlington Park with Graded stakes races on his resume.  More than most of the other milers in this race, Prado brings with him Francisco Torres who is no stranger to the turf at Canterbury Park.  Calypso Run and Fine Assay are the two local runners to beat in this race.  Calypso Run is three of five over the turf and today might be the day he gets passed Fine Assay and may even steal the race from the graded stakes runner Prado.  The cutback in distance for American Mon Amie should put this horse in a good position but she doesn’t run well at Canterbury.  1-5-6

Race 3:  The Brooks Fields is the second stakes race at a mile on the turf.  Bill Mott ships in a good one in Go Around and Valdivia is a seasoned rider to boot.  Go Around failed to hit the board in the Grade 1 Man O War at Belmont in May but the cut in distance to a mile at Canterbury is just a walk in the park for this class of the class.  Majestic Pride comes off a two race winning streak and Red Zeus was right behind him.  Look for these two, along with Broken Key to fight for the minor rewards.  7-1-2

Race 4:  $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, another mile on the turf, and it brings out some big name horses and trainers.  Mark Casse ships in Whatawondeflworld who is coming off a second place finish in the John Battaglia. Again, the cut to one mile and the lack of better runners should put this horse in the Winner’s Circle.  The only other graded stakes challenger is One Mean Man who is the morning line favorite.  Jockey Santo Sanjur makes the short flight from Chicago to ride for Bernard Flint in the Mystic Lake Derby.  This will be Sanjur’s first ride on One Mean Man, who has bested both Oscar Nominated and Madtap in previous races.  Albarado had the mount on previous races but decides to ride for Casse in the Mystic Lake.  The best local boy in the bunch is Hay Dakota coming off two wins at longer distances and in all three turf races has hit the board.  6-4-1

Race 5:  All the money in this one will go to Bar Fight with the veteran rider Scott Stevens, but at 6/5 no thanks.  Hattie’s Jewel is my best bet of the day at morning line 6-1.  Orlando Mojica is by far one of our best bet jockeys.  Six furlongs is Hattie’s favorite distance.  Bold Advantage and Sweet Pitch both enjoy smaller distances and Mojica jumps off Sweet Pitch for Hattie’s jewel and take notice.  This is the best betting race of the day with prices coming in the super and trifecta.  8-1-4

Race 6:  Too many runners in here stretching out to a longer distance in this one and it’s a head-scratcher.  No horse really wants to run at the mile distance.  You have to look deep in the past performances to find one that has even tried more than 7 furlongs.  Mojica bowed to Scott Stevens on Summerset Bing whom he put in the winner’s circle last out, and opted for 5-1 lukewarm favorite Rant N Rave.  Pure Magic sets the pace and fades off in most of her races.  Not much to do here except stick with the experience and talent 3-9-4.  My pick in this race is in the AE list; More Mona More.  If space opens up and she gets in, that’s my top pick.

Race 7: The Careless Navigator is sprint for two year olds.  Anything could happen and any of these youngsters have a chance to win.  Line Judge for Joe Sharp pretty much told every other horse in the race how the race would be run in his last win.  The one to beat.  Warrior’s Kid had a rough start last out and if Chris Rossier can get this horse out of the gate proper and clean, he’s got a chance as well.  Note:  Rossier also rides Quarters, so has an edge on gate exits. Irish Beauty, Even Thunder are coming off wins and Even Thunder has actually bested the favorite Line Judge.  For that reason I go 1-4-3.  Money to be made in this one, go deep in the exotics.

Race 8:  Nothing much to be said other than Bellamy Run.  Alex Canchari is going to have Bellamy Run gunning out of the gate.  His last race at 1 1/16 on the turf didn’t fit him but the one mile will suit him fine.  He’ll find Ranger School and Big Shots Rumor coming up quick.  Both Prairie Meadows’ shippers will be enjoying the Canterbury dirt and the PM shippers do well when they arrive late in the season.  I’d like to put Ranger School on top in this one, but will play the 384 Tri box.

Race 9:  Ella’s Kitten should cruise at the mile distance in the nightcap, but I’ve been burned by this horse before as he never seems to find the winner’s circle… camera shy I guess.  For that reason, On Cycle looks to be in good form and ready to fire for the Litfin Barn, and with Mojica their go-to jock it’s worth the bet.  Don’t be surprised if long-shots Bandini Moon or Houdini Hill jump up for show.

Best Bet:  Go Around in Race 3

Best Play:  .50 cent Pick 5 starting in Race 5 – could be profitable with playable mid-level long shots with upset potential. 1478/53/143/63/25 $48


Down the Extreme Stretch with Mike Mills

Extreme Race Day at Canterbury Park is one of the biggest draws of the meet.  With the perfect weather conditions looming for Saturday, it should be an extremely busy day.  Let’s look to @M_Mills21 to navigate the thoroughbreds through the camels and zonkeys.  Take it away Mike!

Race 1:  First of two quarter horse sprints on Extreme Race Day.  This first is 220 yards and is basically a starting gate challenge.  It won’t take long to reach the finish line.  The outside post has the best chance at this one, Crusin the Lake, with the connections of leading trainer Jason Olmstead and Brayan Velazquez.  Seasoned quarter horse rider Stormy Smith gets aboard Into the Fray and can get this horse out quickly.  In a race like this, you have to stick to the “safe” gates.  A Valiant Cartel out of Corona Cartel gets the final nod in this one.

Race 2:  The Dash in a Flash Stakes: Don’t blink after the gates open – the race should be over in about 10 seconds.  110 yards is anothergate work.  Iowas Texas Tlp has been a really nice horse at Canterbury Park this summer and has few gate issues.  My favorite quarter horse on the grounds is Rickey Separate, another horse that avoids issues at the start, lost the Skip Zimmerman Stakes by a neck last out.  Sudden Separation should get the speed on the outside without interference.

Race 3:  The first thoroughbred race on extreme day is a Maiden Special Weight for trainers who have not won a race at the meet. Dusty Princess is lightly raced and has put together a couple nice efforts, has a nice tracking style that should give jockey Larren Delorme options, Chuck Turco gets his first win, Poverty Flats has run well in two of her past three and the one bad effort was off an extended break, could be the controlling speed in a race lacking speed. When the trainer is struggling why not rely on the top jock? Alex Canchari rides More Mona More for Ron Thompson, although she hasn’t hit the board yet this year but her speed figures are competitive with this bunch, could make some late noise.

Race 4: Trill Point cuts back while taking a slight dip in class, was a part of a quick pace last out and held well to finish 4th, will have to use that speed from the hedge and should take them along way today. Joe Dunk In broke his maiden this spring in Arizona and we have to assume the last race was a prep for today, should sit a nice trip for expert connections. Northampton Kid finally broke thru in his last and takes the logical next step versus winners, horses like this who often take time to break their maiden seem to have a big wakeup call when they do finally win, but Canchari jumps ship to Bellamy Run, hhmmm??

Race 5: This is a quirky 2 furlong race for Thoroughbreds, World Famous Sam T seems to be a horse that fits this race, he is a great breaker and plays catch me if you can, rider Scott Bethke rides the quarter horses too so we know he can get them out of the gate which is ultra crucial here today. Five Seasons may be the quickest of them all but with a tough rail post draw he must break perfect and avoid trouble on the inside, strictly the one to beat. Wildcat Moon is the defending champion in this race from last year, he goes turf to dirt and should be right there when the dust settles.

Race 6: “Battle of the surfaces” horses running on the dirt and turf at the same time. Callingahardten runs on the turf, he has 3 wins from 8 starts on the Canterbury turf and has hit the board 6 of 8 times,  was beaten last out by a wire to wire winner, gets a good set up today and should make amends for the rough trip last out. Gavar runs on the dirt, his speed will put him in the mix all the way around, Canchari will have to keep his eye on the race going on to his inside while keeping an eye on what’s behind him on the mail track.  Megastar didn’t run well last out but with a 4 for 5 record ITM on Canterbury turf we have to assume he needed that start off the bench, he should be flying late at a monster price.

Race 7: Alternative Use ran a very nice when third in his turf debut last out, although he did finish behind a couple of today’s rivals in that race he was making up ground in a race that went to a wire to wire winner, upset potential. Malacrianza comes in from Lone Star and drops into the claiming ranks, but at 1 for 16 it’s hard to trust him on the win end. Moon Track broke his maiden last out at Arlington Park, his stalking style fits this race well with some many deep closers and should be able to get the jump on them when the real running starts.

Race 8: Minnesota Outlaw drops to the bottom after a couple poor efforts at the MSW level, the last time he was in versus claimers he was narrowly beaten a neck, tough. Justcallmecharlie drops into the claiming ranks for the first time, he goes turf to dirt and cuts back to sprint distance, with those route races under his belt he should be plenty fit to come running at the end. The Great Casby ran well first off the layoff at this level last out, should be more fit for this run and good outside attack post should give Delorme options.

Race 9: Sir Searsucker is turf marathon specialist, he has hit the board in all 4 tries at today’s distance and runs second off the layoff after spending the winter down in Arizona. P Millers Clock runs for Villafranco who had success at Remington last fall with this runner winning twice on the grass, must overcome the hurdle of trying the extended turf marathon distance for the first time. Local Reason has tried the longer turf distance a couple of times with some success, he has no early foot, he will sit back and make his late run.


Race 10: Bail Out Tino made a mild rally last out, should be more fit this time for Diodoro, expect more speed with the second time blinkers. The second Diodoro runner Chart Room takes a big drop in class and goes from turf to dirt, should be plenty fit but 0 for 17 is tough take at a short number. Lootn Shootn tried MSW foes in his career debut, now runs against claimers in his second start, should be closer to today’s pace after chasing fast fractions on turf.

Down the Stretch with Mike Mills

Another solid card at Canterbury Park this weekend.  On Sunday, we start the day with six quarter horse races including the QH Derby, the Northlands Futurity and Minnesota Stallion Breeders stakes. But let’s get to Saturday first!  Last weekend, we watched Alex Canchari pick up his 500 win.  This weekend, we wait for Orlando Mojica to get his 2,000 win.  He is only three away as of today.

Happy to have Mike Mills back providing analysis for One Lucky Mudder.  Give him a follow @M_Mills21.

Race 1:  Two-year old Quarter Horse will go 300 yards in the Saturday opener at Canterbury Park.  Top QH jockey Nik Goodwin draws the outside gate in both races but I’m heading to the middle with the 5 horse Ada Lida with leading trainer Jason Olmstead and the red-hot rider Brayan Velazquez. The pedigree on the 3 shows speed, La Mos Pyc and Nik Goodwin can stay clear on the 9 with Promise Me Bob.

Race 2: $15,000 Optional Claiming race for Race 2 and I’m sticking with the Olmstead/Velazquez on the 4 Ms Dynasty.  Three starts this year and twice in the winner’s circle.  Nik Goodwin gets the outside post in this one too on the very impressive Lota James.  This horse also has two winners in three starts.  Big Bad Ivory has a career of hitting the board.  Six career starts and three times in the money.  The distance should fit perfect with the pedigree.

Race 3:  Coastal Breeze was in a tight spot when going long off the layoff, cuts back today and should plenty fit coming from just off the pace, Minnesota bred Chris Mars takes a drop in class and faces open company for the first time at Canterbury, he looks to be the quickest of the bunch and if he gets away from them early he will tough to catch late. Kill Shot runs second of the layoff and from this outside post should sit a great trip behind the speed, top connections always seem to fire.

Race 4: Ms. Bubbette never seemed comfortable in her last when chasing a wire to wire winner, Mojica takes the call today and with some different tactics she should be right there all the way around.  Classy Teacher didn’t much running last time out but she has run some nice turf races in the past, sharp turf connections will have her save all the ground and make one run, Kenna Mae is perfect over the turf facing Minnesota breds, she tries open company and with her natural speed she will take them as far as she can. Speed threat.

Race 5: Da Kleinen Shatzi faced winners for the first time last out and ran a respectable third, inside post will force Butler to get her in the race early today but that style suits her well and the slight cutback will work in her favor, Adorkable hasn’t faced this kind of company before, last year she was knocking at the door in the allowance ranks, a couple dull efforts to start the year and the logical drop is taken but at 1 for 23 is the drop coming to late? Renamed beaten chalk last out at the level gets a great attack post today, just like our top selection she should be involved from the start and should appreciate the cut back.

Race 6: Many runners return from the June 18 race in which Bourbonnais won clear, Solamente was trapped down on the rain and never got to do much running until it was too late, with a better trip today he can make amends for that effort, Streaking Schiller tried turf for the first time last out, he was near a pace that collapsed after he made a brief bid towards the lead, if Keith can get him to relax early he should have more punch in the stretch, Moecaro ran into that collapsing pace on June 18 and got in some trouble in the stretch, with a clean trip he should be making noise late.

Race 7: Daddy Devine has been facing tougher and not showing much, todays drop could wake him up and with a pace pressing style he should have every chance to make his presence felt in the lane, Startingold should appreciate the extra distance today, late running sprinters aren’t always the best at a route distance but he is proven at the distance with three wins, Deja I’Etoile runs third off the layoff after getting bumped at the break and losing all chance last out, another with a pace pressing style that will help in a field without much speed signed on.

Race 8: G Road returns the turf where he broke his maiden last summer, he hasn’t shown much of last but the slight drop in class should help with the turf wake up call, Leavinglosangeles is the speed of the speed, he has very consistent speed figures and made a good account of himself in his only other try on the lawn, Qahr is one that doesn’t win very often but he does show up with some nice efforts including a third place finish over slightly tougher last time out, could be the bomb in the exotics.

Race 9: Toskiko takes a class drop into the claiming ranks after facing the ultra tough Honey Sax Appeal last out, she has a nice stalking style and check out that workout on July 3rd! Hide the Hooch cuts back to a distance she has had success at in the past, turf to dirt is always a good angle with lightly raced horses, nice to see Paul Nolan back in Shakopee, Wicked Attitude is a speedy filly that also comes out of the ‘Honey race, she got shut off last time out and never recovered, could take them a long way with a better outside trip.



Down the Stretch with Mike Mills

Mike takes us the rest of the way with the start of six thoroughbred races at Canterbury today.

Take it away Mike!  Please give this talented handicapper a follow @M_Mills21.

Race 7: Sioux Appeal has been around two turns twice and hit the board both times, the return race wasn’t pretty but we can forgive that effort after a long layoff, expect Butler to be aggressive here. You have to go back to 2014 to the last time Stellabrini went around two turns on a fast main track and she ran well that day, just like our top pick he return race wasn’t pretty but the return to a route should help. Blues Edge is a proven router and returns to state bred ranks off the bench, she has a fine record over the Canterbury main track and anything close to her best will make her a player in here.

Race 8: Charlie Again was placed first last time out after encountering trouble, he takes a drop off that win into the claiming ranks and anything close to his last will make tough to deny, best bet. Purimeter made a nice late run last out going 5/8th on the grass, he’s bred to handle the extra distance, should be right there if the favorite falters. Cernobbio broke his maiden here last summer on the turf and has a fine 5 for 10 ITM turf record, the drills in the morning have been consistent off the 6 month break.

Race 9: Handsome Roy has been a nice claim for the Broberg barn, he’s the speed of the race and from a great attack post Canchari will be able to put him wherever he needs to be, Nicolas Cajun takes a slight class drop and should be gunning from the rail, second time back for a trainer due for some racing luck. Paradise Rock returns from the layoff to a track he has been ITM 7 of 13 tries but with no wins he is hard to back on the win end, should be flying late.

Race 10: Bluffs Edge made a nice appearance in his first start of the year and with that race behind him he should be ready for a top effort today, his pace pressing style and outside post will give Escobar options and if he can avoid trouble he will be tough. Streakin Schiller didn’t do much running in his career debut but that race was washed off the turf which if the surface he is bred for, and many times a horse will improve the most between starts one and two. Kilarney Blarney takes a drop from MSW to maiden claiming and stretches out around two turns, the even style he has shown suggests he will appreciate the extra ground today.

Race 11: Wishihada drops from a small stakes race into the allowance ranks, pace presser should sit a nice trip and be tough to hold off in the lane. Honey’s Sox Appeal just crushed MN bred allowance foes and not takes on open allowance foes, sib to 127k earner Thunder and Honey, lots to like. My Winchester Lady caught a muddy track in her seasonal debut, she ran some really nice races last year here at Canterbury and will flying late.

Race 12: Todays finale takes us to the lawn, Solamate takes a slip class drop and tries the grass for the second time in his career, the form isn’t good but first time gelding combine with expert connections make him playable. Doughboy Bay makes his career debut for Bravo who wins with 21% of his first time starters, bred ok for the lawn but is bred to really like two turns. Italian Ballet made a nice impression first time on the grass last out, takes a drop from MSW to maiden claiming, could be the longshot in the gimmicks.

Saturday Feature: Playing the Quarters at Canterbury

This Saturday Mike and Miz are back at our home track after stepping away to cover Creator’s exciting win in the Belmont Stakes.

Saturday’s card at Canterbury opens up with six quarter horse trials, followed by six thoroughbred races.

Let’s begin with the quarters:

Race 1:  Kt Perry exits a second place finish at Remington Park and was gaining ground in that first time effort and Stacy Charette-Hill and Jorge Torres are a winning connection at Canterbury.  Chrism is a first time starter for Ed Ross Hardy and with leading quarter horse jockey Nik Goodwin in the irons, you can’t overlook this first-timer.  Lithe is the outside horse and will be trying the 350 yards for the first time but put in a game finish behind Kt Perry in his last race and came up just short in his first race at Remington Park.  Will keep this one in the trifecta.

Race 2:  The slight cutback for Damn Fast Wagon will only help this speedy horse in the number 1 gate.  Damn Fast Wagon impressively broke the maiden first time out and maintains the winning connections.  Damn Fast Wagon is my number one pick in the trials. Two Timin Suzy on the outside is coming off a win at Remington Park at 300  yards which seems to be her favorite distance.  The pedigree (One Dashing Eagle/Suzy Cartel) and the post position on this one deserves a look. Streakin Folly has hit the board in two of his last three starts and hasn’t raced since April.  Fresh legs and recent work at Canterbury and the help of veteran quarter horse rider Stormy Smith gives this filly the warranted 3-1 morning line.

Race 3:  This is the most difficult race to find one winner.  Eklypz, Matts Corona, Mrs Aqua Perry, Cr Game Changer and Bp Painted Valentine all have a shot at the wire, and all have hit the board at this distance, or close to it.  Matts Corona and Mrs Aqua Perry both finished third in their last efforts and will have to do more in this competitive field.  Eklypz has all the things you look for in a quarter horse past performance.  She had a very bad break her first start, but came back and broke clean winning her second race at Remington.  Cr Game Charger had to grind out a win by a neck in her last time out.  She gets the help of Denny Velazquez’s brother, Brayan Velazquez, who is making his debute at Canterbury Park this season.  The distance won’t be an issue but the horse to her right will be.  The Torres/Charette-Hill connections on Bp Painted Valentine will help the maiden get closer to the winner’s circle.  Valentine just missed on her last effort at this distance.

Race 4:  I Put It On Ya had an impressive first start at Canterbury on June 5.  A quick start and avoiding traffic is everything in quarter horse races.  But June 5 is a little too soon to come back, and I’m looking elsewhere.  B a Mighty Dream faltered from previous performances in her last races, but fresh legs from Remington Park will help.  Get There gets the nod in this one with the Goodwin/Hardy connection.  Get There had a bad start in the futurity on March 16, but again, fresh legs and a fairly good work at Canterbury are all keys.  Interesting jockey switch as Stormy Smith picks up the mount on Hals Flying Eagle.  Hals broke his maiden on May 28 at 300 yards over the Canterbury dirt.  Stormy rode this horse prior to his win at Canterbury and gets back on a horse with a taste of victory.  Should be good if the break goes well.

Race 5:  A field of nine looking for their first win.  Pyc Jess Bite Mydust is the only horse in the field to make any money, having finished third in his last (and first) race.  The aforementioned Brayan Velazquez and Pyc Jess Bite Mydust could both break their maiden at Canterbury Park in this race.  The rest of the field is very underwhelming.  Xcentrick and Haynes Blue Boy have both raced at 350 yards but didn’t do well at all.  Royal Dashof Diamond has trouble in the gate, and that’s not good either.  The Torres/Charette-Hill connections are on Aregal Rainbow but is not the best horse in this field, but at least had a work at Canterbury.  Giant James finished four back in his first race and hasn’t had a work at Canterbury.  A very lackluster field.

Race 6:  Now, this trial is more interesting.  Mary Paintyourwagon and Mascoutah are the two best horses in this field.  Mary is coming off a powerful finish and victory at 250 yards.  I’m hoping that late momentum will help propel her the next 100 yards.  Mascoutah also has a victory at 250 but came back and failed to hit the board at 350 yards on May 14.  Okey Ivory has finished second in both of her starts, and the extra 50 yards may be just what she needs.

Saturday Feature: Betting Belmont with Mike and Miz

We look to the East Coast this Saturday for the Belmont.  Mike and Miz have given analysis for races 3 through 11 on Belmont’s big day.  Race 11 is the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes and the return of Exaggerator to the big stage.  Its big card and big money to made!  Good Luck!

Race 3: The BIG 3 will be ultra tough here, Carina Mia had a smashing win last time out in the 8Belles at Churchill, she had every excuse to get tired when facing Sophia at Keeneland two back so this time she should give a better account of herself vs. that rival. Speaking of Cathryn Sophia she has been ultra impressive winning 5 of her 6 career starts, the Keeneland race was a bit of a puzzler but she made amends when taking the G1 Kentucky Oaks, strictly the one to beat.  Paola Queen doesn’t have near the credentials of the big 3 but looks to be the speed of the race and if the big 3 spend too much time worrying about each other she may be able to take them a long way on the front.

Race 4:  Kid Cruz comes into the Brooklyn Invitation with a two-race winning streak.  The mile and a half will be the longest distance most of the horses in this race will travel but it should be no problem for Kid Cruz who is racing at his best as of late.  The top jockey at Belmont Jose Ortiz keeps the mount and should have the Kid coming up late down the stretch.  The Chilean Turco Bravo exits the $100,000 Flat Out Stakes on May 15 narrowly defeating Securitiz who is also in the Brooklyn.  This should be a good rematch as both will try the lengthy distance.  Javier Castellano will stay aboard Turco Bravo.  Securitiz had the momentum in the May 15 race with Turco Bravo traveling well down the stretch.  Jockey Irad Ortiz gets back aboard.

Race 5: Carrumba has never missed the exacta in 8 career tries, she needs to make up some ground on a couple of today’s rivals and has never been in this kind of company but have a feeling the connections wouldn’t be taking this shot if they weren’t confident she would give a good account of herself. Classy mare Stopchargingmaria took last year G1 Breeders Cup Distaff and narrowly missed in her return at Keeneland, she should be ready to fire a big shot today with improvement from the return race. Wow! is all you can say about Curalinas romp in the La Troiene at Churchill last out, it’s very tough to come out firing after an extended layoff and crush the way she did, however, with such a big performance off a layoff and a career best Beyer there is a real regression possibility, be careful here.

Race 6:  The Grade 3 Jaipur for four-year olds and up on the turf is a race to look for big payouts.  You cannot overlook French connection of jockeys Florent Geroux and Julien Leparoux on the turf.  I won’t do that here, and go to the outside with Leparoux and the horse in gate 13 Take Cover.  This is a gutsy little horse coming off two wins in a row.  Only downside, those wins weren’t against the best of company.  Guns Loaded on the other hand has been racing with better at Santa Anita.  Had a little trouble in the Grade 3 Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on May 6 but Mario Gutierrez should know how to avoid traffic this time around and if Guns Loaded gets the trip, he could be headed to the winner’s circle for the fourth time in five races.  The Chad Brown-trained A Lot is a horse that I like a lot.  He’s coming into this race taking a slight cutback in distance which he enjoys.  A Lot was in the barn of Bill Mott for his entire career but after being claimed by Chad Brown and cutting back in distance, I’m hoping for A Lot to be winning a lot more. (Editor’s Note:  Take Cover scratched from Race 6.)

Race 7: Counterforce will be going past 6 furlongs for the first time in his career but the extra panel should be just to his liking, when facing Justin Squared last out he was pace compromised and with all the speed signed on today he should get a great trip.  Sharp Azteca attended a blistering pace in the Pat Day Mile and held well for the score, will be forced to use that pace from the rail but with two excellent works since that last win we know he’s feeling good. Awesome Gent didn’t care for the slop in his last two but before that he rattled off three beauties in a row, should sit a nice trip and expect connections add to long shot intrigue.

Race 8:  The Longines Just a Game Turf mile is one of the most difficult races to handicap and one of the best on the card.  Rainha Da Bateria finished second to Tepin in her last race and any horse that can hang with one of the best turf horses in this country deserves the respect in this field.  Javier Castellano will try to keep her a little closer than 6 wide down the stretch, but count on Rainha to be making up ground.  Celestine is 8 of 9 on the turf and is coming out of a solid and impressive victory in the Honey Fox.  She set the pace in the mile distance and kicked clear to win for Bill Mott and Junior Alvarado. Three bullet works should put Celestine in good form for the mile.  Strike Charmer will enjoy the cut back in distance to the mile and always gives a good solid effort from this veteran turf runner.

Race 9: The Metropolitan handicap is known as a sire making race and this year is no exception with the talent signed on. Calculator has been getting to the leaders in the past few at 7 furlongs, the mile trip should be right up his alley and Alvarado should know exactly when to push the button now having ridden him his past two starts. Upstart is the type whose good race will dazzle you and then will throw in a clunker, he has some huge figures that would make him tough in here including a 102 over this trip and course as a two year old, back class play. It will be hard to keep one of the Pletcher trio off the board and of those three we like Blofeld the best, his stalking style should play very well and two back victory at this one turn mile distance was his best yet.

Race 10:  The Grade 1 Manhattan brings the best of the best male turf runners.  Look no further than the number 1 post and World Approval.  The Casse horse doesn’t have the best work tab but is a graded stakes winner and in good form.  Leparoux is hitting 29% for the Casse barn and the mile and a quarter might be the distance World Approval has been looking for.  Big Blue Kitten is a veteran at long distance on the turf.  Multiple graded stakes races make this consistent son of Kitten’s Joy hard not to include on a ticket.  Joe Bravo knows this horse well and has faced the same rivals over and over.  Divisidero at 8-1 is a gift.  In the head-to-head duel with World Approval in the Turf Classic on Derby Day, he prevailed by a neck.  I give the edge to World Approval this time around.  Since Prado got in the saddle, Divisidero has hit the board in his last three races, all graded stakes races.

Race 11:The feature of the day is the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes, Destin ran a respectable 6th is Louisville off an 8 week break, his style should put him in a tracking spot without much pace signed he should get first run on the leaders and that is a great asset in this marathon. Suddenbreakingnews encounter all sorts of trouble in the Derby and still came running to narrowly miss third, gets the hall of fame services of Mike Smith today and if anybody knows how to get a horse to come from the clouds on a big day its him. Lani has been a real interesting horse to follow while making every race in the Triple Crown, his latest works have been much improved and you have to think at some point he will show up with a big effort, flyer.

Down the Stretch with Mike Mills

We are happy to have Mike Mills contributing to the One Lucky Mudder webpage!  Mike will be providing picks and analysis every Saturday on One Lucky Mudder.  Canterbury Park will be our regular Saturday feature track.

Mike is from Savage, Minnesota and was introduced to racing at a young age by his grandfather who owned and trained standard bred horses.  Mike started playing the races before he was a teenager and has been an avid player ever since. He has won multiple handicapping tournaments and last spring won a seat through Canterbury Park to the Horse Player World Series in Las Vegas.

Please give him a follow on Twitter @M_Mills21.

Today’s picks and analysis!  Good luck!

Race 1:  Wallykazam is a first time starter for Ed Ross Hardy and jockey Nik Goodwin is having a great start with his quarter horse mounts.  Wallykazam ships up from Remington Park where he’s put in some good works.  Jess a Chance and One Rare Ivory are the only two in the field with racing experience.  Jess a Chance broke poorly his first time out.  If that can be corrected, he’ll be closing.

Race 2:  The second quarter horse race of the day at 350 yards.  The outside runner Fast Copy Kat has the outside post which should suit him well, and gets the help of Nik Goodwin.  His last race at Remington at 110 was not enough.  Fast Copy Kat needs a little more distance to get into stride. Next to him will be Bella Nona who finished third at this distance in the last race.  Should do well in this field.  Shezawinesnob in the Number 2 post should do well in this spot with a good break.  Has been running at further distances.

Race 3: Harnersbach makes his second start of the year after a respectable third in seasonal debut he should be ready to fire his best today. Sword of David didn’t do much running in his Canterbury debut but with top connections and a couple of nice races down at Oaklawn this winter we should expect a much better effort here.  Vestibule ships in from Tampa for the Padilla barn and with the tough rail draw Butler will be forced to put him in the race early, but that’s not always a bad thing on the main track.

Race 4: Greedy American goes out for the Sharp barn after tiring in his last at a longer distance todays route distance should be more to his liking with sharp efforts at the Fairgrounds this winter. Dorn ran well here last summer on the lawn and if the race is washed off the turf we know he can handle the main track, dual surface threat. Water Issues ran some very competitive turf numbers last spring at Santa Anita but has fallen off form as of late, looking for a wake-up call

Race 5: Aces over Kings has run well since being acquired by the Berndt barn, his last race may have just been too far for him, returns to a sprint today and should get a nice outside stalking trip. Supreme Stature is second off the layoff and ran an even fourth here opening weekend, should be more fit this afternoon and we are still expecting the Brinson barn to heat up. Mr. Megatron should be rolling late after being on a speed favoring track last out we hope todays track plays better to his style.

Race 6: With all of the speed sign on here we will take a shot with Fiona Cat, she comes in off an off an 8 month layoff but if she is ready to fire the race will set up perfect for her. Scent of Gold will be a part of that quick pace but seems to have a bit of tactical ability to go along with her speed, top connections should have her ready to go in her local debut. Prospector d’oro tries turf and two turns for the first time, both are significant hurdles to overcome, know her early not sure about late.

Race 7: Dakotaroan was on a dead rail in his career debut and ran an even third, with second time out improvement expected he should be right in the mix. Pitch Perfection ran second in his career debut at Tampa in a maiden claimer, he joins his MN bred friends in this spot and will be the one to catch and beat when they turn for home, tough. Poverty Flats showed improvement at the end of last season with the addition of blinkers and entices top jock Canchari, sizzling work 5/30 adds to intrigue.

Race 8:  This could be today’s best betting race with many ways to go, we land on Vanderboom Ridge. He ran like a horse who needed his last after the 8 month layoff, made a bid at the leaders and tired late, Bravo barn shows 26% win rate second off the long layoff and he should be right the when the hit the wire. Vino Limbo Tango seemed to have run off a bit last time out but if Canchari can get him to relax on the front end he should be a tough customer to pass in the lane. In a wide open race we take a flyer on Affirmed Cure for third, he ran some very competitive numbers on the Canterbury turf last summer and could be the bomb for the exotics.

Race 9: Pensador should take a lot of money once again, she was beaten at the odds on favorite in her seasonal debut after racing wide, we can give her a pass for that as it was her first race in 8 months. King George is another who was on that dead rail opening weekend, speed of the speed in a wide open race. Darkhorse Ty comes out of the same race as King George but his style is to sit and pounce, with all that speed lined up to his inside Goodwin should get a nice trip and be rolling late.

Race 10: The last of the day takes us around 2 turns, Duty Proper is 2 for 4 over the main track here at Canterbury, his tactical style should suit him very well in this spot and we know Tampa shippers love it here in Shakopee. Denali Success ships in for Diodoro after spending the winter at Oaklawn, this will be his first run over the local track but with a nice work on 5/22 we think he might like it here. Unstoppable Colby is 5 for 7 in the money here at Canterbury and runs third off the layoff after shipping up from Arizona, the Arizona shippers have not done well at the meet so we can’t trust he will fire his best but he is a must include.

Down the Stretch with Mike Mills

We are happy to have Mike Mills contributing to the One Lucky Mudder webpage!  Mike will be providing picks and analysis every Saturday on One Lucky Mudder.  Canterbury Park will be our regular Saturday feature track.

Mike is from Savage, Minnesota and was introduced to racing at a young age by his grandfather who owned and trained standard bred horses.  Mike started playing the races before he was a teenager and has been an avid player ever since. He has won multiple handicapping tournaments and last spring won a seat through Canterbury Park to the Horse Player World Series in Las Vegas.

Please give him a follow on Twitter @M_Mills21.

Today’s picks and analysis!  Good luck!

Race 1:  Quarter horses take to the track first.  Hals Flying Eagle has a bumpy trip last out.  With a clean front near the outside post, he should be rolling late.  Giant James is trained by Ed Ross Hardy who brings in good quarter horses every year.  Nik Goodwin up.  Catch This Train is bred by Freighttrain B out of Pyc Paint Your Wagon with new jockey Scottie Bethke in the irons.  This will be Scott’s debut as a jockey at Canterbury. His Dad is thoroughbred trainer Troy Bethke.

Race 2: Red N Black and Attack ships in from So. Cal and Diodoro takes over the training, in a race void of much early pace he should get a nice stalking trip and a repeat of his Feb 27th performance will make him tough. Kipper Key was popular at the claim box this winter at Oaklawn and faced much tougher starter allowance foes in his last, Brinson barn due to heat up, should be rolling late. De Facto may get the lead and the cut back from recent route races and that scenario is always dangerous, know him early.

Race 3: Sassy Moe showed last summer he likes the main track here at Canterbury, without a win he did hit the board in all three local races, overmatched this winter at Oaklawn he finds a much more comfortable spot here.  Speaking of liking the main track National has won 8 of 12 local tries, he carries a three race winning streak into this race and will take some real beating today. Politicallycorrect has earned nearly 600k and is the clear class of the race but having run here opening weekend, the 6 day turnaround is cause for pause, tread lightly here.

Race 4: G Road has been off since getting crushed by restricted claimers last September, but he owns a win on this turf course and seems to enjoy the lawn better than the main. Longshot. Sassy Prance is 6 for 7 in the money on the Canterbury turf course but at 1 for 18 lifetime we can’t trust him on the win end. Manlee Spirit owns a 1 for 53 record so we can’t back him on the win either but he tends to jump up with good performances at huge prices every once in a while and with a 47 and 4 work a few days ago, we know he’s feeling good.

Race 5: Justeveryday has been facing slightly tougher down in Florida and should get a good trip outside the other speed. Top jockey trainer combo seals the deal. No Rain has great speed but doesn’t stick around late, however, the way the main track played here opening weekend he should be able to take his speed farther than normal. Dixie Lover was facing much tougher at Oaklawn over the winter and with his tactical speed and top jock Canchari aboard should have every chance to run them down in the lane.

Race 6: Keep Me Posted has been going strong all winter in Arizona, no wins in 2016 but has been running races that put him right in the mix with this field, two fine local works add to the intrigue.  Alvear has been very inconsistent over the past couple of season but with rain in the forecast he would greatly benefit if this race was moved to the main track having put up a huge wet track number on the main track here. The veteran grey gelding Vibrato Jazz has been an ultra consistent performer over his career and is a recent claim for Diodoro. The one to beat.

Race 7: Winningcherokee takes a class drop for the Brinson barn and with a 2 for 4 record over the Canterbury main track he should be in prime position to make it 3 for 5 today. Sonicvelocity ships in from Arizona for his local main track debut and the 47 and 2 work May 22nd signals he’s ready to fire. Raton Pass is a horse for the course, after a tough winter in Florida he should appreciate the change in venue. Jockey Martin was aboard for last year’s 11-length romp.

Race 8: Today’s finale is a turf route with many chances, She Spends My Lute owns a fine career record and seems to have found a new home on the grass, local turf debut today but with expert connections at the helm make her the one to beat. Octavia Hill is the speed of speed and that can be a big advantage on this turf course, first time on the turf is the question mark. Racinrosemary also tries turf for the first time today but she is taking a big class drop for this and connections are hoping that wakes this filly up.