05/12/2004 11:00PM

Canterbury: Familiar foes favored


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - The $40,000 10,000 Lakes Stakes, a six-furlong race for Minnesota-bred colts and geldings, is the first stakes of the two-day old Canterbury Park meeting and features some familiar statebred rivals.

Canterbury Park co-owners Curtis Sampson and Dale Schenian are each represented by a runner, and they will vie for the favorite's role.

Crocrock, who is owned by Schenian, has won 10 of 20 career starts over the Canterbury Park strip, including the 2002 renewal of the 10,000 Lakes. A front-running 7-year-old gelding, Crocrock just missed in last year's renewal, when he was caught on the wire by J. P. Jet. Trainer Francisco Bravo prepped Crocrock with an allowance try at Prairie Meadows earlier this month. Crocrock is the runner to catch on Saturday, and Randy Schacht will ride.

Timberwolf Power, owned by Sampson, has steadily improved in three seasons of racing at Canterbury Park and capped last year's campaign with a narrow victory over Crocrock in the Minnesota Sprint Championship. Unraced since September, Timberwolf Power has been training in Oklahoma for his seasonal debut. Trainer Mike Biehler has tabbed last year's leading rider Derek Bell for the assignment.

Now Playing is an upset possibility in the 10,000 Lakes. A winner of the Minnesota Derby and Northern Lights Futurity, Now Playing has impressed with several rapid breezes over the Canterbury strip. Scott Stevens is the regular rider of Now Playing, who is trained by Bernell Rhone.