06/18/2003 11:00PM

Canterbury: Eight fillies for Oaks


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - A competitive field of eight 3-year-old fillies will contest the $40,000 Canterbury Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile race scheduled for the turf course.

With Kristina's Wish, trainer Hugh Robertson will be looking for his second consecutive Oaks victory. Robertson and Jer-Mar Stables, the connections of Kristina's Wish, captured last year's running with Sarah Jade.

Kristina's Wish began the year at Oaklawn Park, where she captured an allowance race before finishing fifth in the Fantasy Stakes. A daughter of Smart Strike, Kristina's Wish prepped for the Oaks in a turf allowance last month, when she finished second to an older rival. She has a pedigree that suggests she will run well on the grass. Seth Martinez returns in the irons.

Persuade demonstrated solid turf form at Tampa Bay Downs in March when she won an allowance in her only attempt on the grass. Persuade will make the trip to Canterbury from Prairie Meadows, and trainer Judy Hicklin has named Derek Bell to ride.

Friendofthefamily was perfect in three starts over the turf while being campaigned at Turf Paradise this winter. A front-running filly, Friendofthefamily set all the pace when she won the Scottsdale Handicap in March and turf allowances in February and April. Regular rider Scott Stevens takes the call.

Trainer Richie Scherer is a fixture in grass races at Canterbury and ships Tricky Truth in from Arlington Park for the Oaks. Tricky Truth finished third in a January allowance at Fair Grounds in her lone turf attempt and is an upset danger. Bobby Walker Jr. will ride.