05/13/2010 11:00PM

Battle of comebackers in Lady Slipper


Canterbury Park will run its traditional opening weekend stakes events for Minnesota-breds at six furlongs, the Lady Slipper and the 10,000 Lakes, both with a purse of $35,000.

The Lady Slipper Stakes is topped by Chick Fight, who was undefeated in three stakes starts last summer at Canterbury, all as the odds-on favorite. Her victories came by a combined 15 3/4 lengths. Her biggest obstacle will be a near nine-month layoff.

The defending Lady Slipper champion, Bella Notte, also hasn't raced since August. The Beyer Speed Figure of 100 she earned for her 15-length win in the Minnesota Distaff Sprint is 22 points higher than what Chick Fight was given for winning the Minnesota Distaff Classic on the same card. Both Chick Fight and Bella Notte are trained by Mac Robertson.

Longtime fan favorite Wally's Choice is entered in the 10,000 Lakes Stakes. Now 9, Wally's Choice looks to rebound after going 1 for 4 here in 2009. Trained by Michael Biehler, Wally's Choice will face another 9-year-old gelding in Sir Tricky, the defending champion of the 10,000 Lakes, who is trained by Robertson. Sir Tricky struggled in three fall starts in Chicago last year.

An interesting price play is Perfect Bull, a 4-year-old trained by Canterbury mainstay Bernell Rhone. After winning the Minnesota Derby and Minnesota Classic here last year, he faced tough stakes competition in the fall at Remington Park and Churchill Downs. He tuned up for this race in an optional claiming race on the turf at Tampa Bay Downs.