06/11/2003 11:00PM

Canterbury: 'Flying' faces pressure


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Nine older runners were entered in the $40,000 Brooks Fields Stakes, a race named in honor of Canterbury's founder.

The Brooks Fields - a turf race scheduled for 7 1/2 furlongs - will feature Flying Supercon, recent winner of the Honor the Hero Stakes. Flying Supercon has a pace-pressing style and will be making his first attempt around two turns. It appears he will have some company early in the race from Vito Corleone and last year's Minnesota-bred horse of the year, J. P. Jet.

Should a speed duel ensue, Promise of War appears most likely to benefit. Promise of War has won the Tri-State Handicap at Ellis Park and last year's running of the Yaqthan Stakes at Kentucky Downs.

A 7-year-old gelding, Promise of War is trained by Joey Ruhsam. He demonstrated a return to his best form when he won a main track allowance race at Prairie Meadows six weeks ago. Jason Eads is named to ride.

Afleet Buck, owned by Irish Acres Farm, returns to Canterbury Park a year after turning in his best career effort while winning the Canterbury Park Breeders' Cup Derby.

After facing allowance company on the main track at Oaklawn and Prairie Meadows this year, Afleet Buck will be making his first start of the year on turf, his preferred surface. He will be reunited with jockey Paul Nolan for the first time since his victory in the Canterbury Derby.

Upset possibilities include Jose Gaspar, a Churchill Downs shipper who makes his second start on turf, and Dontbotherknocking. Rider Derek Bell gives up his familiar spot on J. P. Jet to ride Dontbotherknocking, a 5-year-old gelding who has won allowance races on the turf in Illinois and Texas.