Favorites Look Tough To Beat In Wednesday’s Minnesota Oaks, Derby At Canterbury Park

There will be prohibitive favorites in both the Minnesota Derby and Minnesota Oaks Wednesday at Canterbury Park. Thealligatorhunter in the Derby and Star of the North in the Oaks are both 3-5 on the morning line and represent the best of the 3-year-old statebred crop in a pair of $100,000 stakes conducted at one mile and 70 yards on the main track. The 11-race card, billed as Made in MN Night, begins at 5:00 p.m. and also includes the $50,000 Wally’s Choice and $50,000 Glitter Star Stakes for older Minnesota breds.

Thealligatorhunter and Star of the North have finished first in their seven collective races this season at Canterbury, however Thealligatorhunter was disqualified for interference and placed second in his most recent start.

Each won their July 14 six furlong Oaks and Derby prep races. Star of the North went gate to wire in the $50,000 Frances Genter Stakes as the odds-on choice, winning by 3 1/4 lengths. Thealligatorhunter took control of the Victor S. Myers Stakes mid-race and cruised home by four lengths. Ry Eikleberry rode Star of the North for trainer Francisco Bravo. Alonso Quinonez rode Thealligatorhunter for Tim Padilla. Both will be aboard again Wednesday.

The colt and filly tried a longer distance for the first time in one mile allowance races. Star of the North again led her field gate to wire, winning easily as the unchallenged 1-9 favorite on July 29. Thealligatorhunter faced a bit tougher task Aug. 1. He was bumped at the start before dueling throughout with the older Minnesota Miracle. At the sixteenth pole Thealligatorhunter shifted out, making contact and held a 3/4-length edge at the finish line, but was subsequently disqualified.

The Minnesota Derby is the sixth race on the card with a 7:40 post time and is followed by the Oaks.

Drop of Golden Sun won the 2020 Wally’s Choice racing gate to wire in the 1 1/16 mile stake, defeating Cinco Star, the morning-line favorite in this year’s rendition, by four lengths. The two met July 14 when Cinco Star closed to win the Ralph Strangis Stakes. Quinonez will ride Drop of Golden Sun while Roimes Chirinos, who left Shakopee in late July to ride in New Mexico, returns for the mount on Cinco Star for trainer Mac Robertson.

Chirinos also is named on Ready to Runaway, the favorite in the Glitter Star who won this stake in 2019 and 2020 for owner John Mentz and trainer Robertson. The consistent 5-year-old mare has 11 wins and three second-place finishes from 14 starts at Canterbury. Mentz claimed her as a 3-year-old for $25,000 and since she has won nine races including seven stakes, and $390,185 in purses for the Lakeville owner. Ready to Runaway’s earnings racing at Canterbury of $400,675 is the fourth largest sum in the history of the Shakopee racetrack.

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