09/04/2001 11:00PM

Canterbury

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SHAKOPEE, Minn. - There was a storybook ending to the meet when Canterbury Park Hall of Famer Dean Kutz rode Binalegend to a half-length victory in Monday's $40,000 Minneapolis Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Binalegend ($4.40) and the 44-year old Kutz edged Be My Friend in 1:42.25. Binalegend is trained by Carl Nafzger, who also is a member of Canterbury's Hall of Fame.

Binalegend was Kutz's second winner since he began his comeback from throat cancer surgery Aug. 8 at Ellis Park.

Canterbury's 61-day meet concluded with an unexpected gain of 3 percent in average ontrack attendance, to 4,010. This despite more racing days. Average ontrack handle, $260,946, nearly matched that of 2000. Total wagering at the meet, including betting on Canterbury's simulcast signal, totaled $29,022,584, which translated to an increase of more than 12 percent in average daily handle.

Doug Oliver snared the trainers' title for the third straight meeting, with 24 winners. Derek Bell won the jockeys' title for the second straight year, with 65 winning mounts.

Shot of Gold was named horse of the meet, best older male, and top sprinter for his three wins in allowance company this meet. Owned by Tom and Karen Metzen and John and Kathy Voss, Shot of Gold was also named the 2000 National Claiming Horse of the Year by the National HBPA. Shot of Gold, a 5-year-old son of Jolie's Halo, will return to Minnesota next year to stand at stud.