One Mean Man takes show on the road to Canterbury for Mystic Lake Derby

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

August 26th, 2016

Not only is Saturday the biggest day of the Saratoga meet, but Canterbury Park in Minnesota also has one of the richest days of its season that evening. Conveniently, there is no overlap among the two cards with first post at Canterbury scheduled for 6:13 p.m. (CDT).

The nine-race card features four open stakes, highlighted by the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby (race 4) over a mile on the turf for three-year-olds. One Mean Man, who captured the American Derby (G3) July 9 and was a credible fourth in the Secretariat (G1) last out, figures to be a solid favorite. The field also includes the stakes-placed Whatawonderflworld, a dual winner on grass for trainer Mark Casse that placed in the John Battaglia Memorial when last seen in March.

Others who could sneak into the exotics include Epic Journey, an off-the-turf allowance winner at Indiana Grand last time; Hay Dakota, who has romped in his last two appearances on the local lawn; and the speedy Way Striking, who drops back into three-year-old company following a recent fourth in an allowance. Meanwhile, Regal Kitten returned from a six-month layoff for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Joe Sharp.

The $75,000 Minnesota H.B.P.A. Distaff (race 2), for fillies and mares at one mile on the turf, features Prado's Sweet Ride, who captured the Regret (G3) last season and was a close third in the Pucker Up (G3). However, the Chris Block charge has been unplaced in her past five starts.

Also vying for favoritisim is America Mon Amie, who captured the Northbound Pride Oaks over this course a year ago and was a rallying third in the $100,000 Lady Canterbury here in June after falling far off the pace.

Block has another serious contender in the $75,000 Brooks Fields (race 3) for older horses, also at a mile on the turf. Nun the Less closed from 10 lengths back to take the 2015 Mystic Lake Derby and seeks to snap a five-race losing skid.

Other serious contenders include the Bill Mott-trained Go Around, a Grade 3-placed stakes winner who was fourth in the Arlington H. (G3); Peyton, a Canadian invader who starts first off the claim for the dangerous Robertino Diodoro barn; and local allowance winners Majestic Pride, Broken Key, and Giacallure.

The $40,000 Careless Navigator (race 7), a 5 1/2-furlong overnight stakes for two-year-olds later in the card, attracted a field of seven. Warrior's Kid could be favored off a narrow loss in the $65,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile, while the filly Bella's Back has talent but also a tendency for offbeat starts which can compromise her chances.

(Four Footed Fotos)