06/14/2013 3:49PM

Canterbury: Hammers Terror major threat on front end in Brooks Fields


Hammers Terror, winner of the inaugural Mystic Lake Derby last year at a mile on turf, returns to Canterbury Park’s turf course as the tepid 4-1 morning-line favorite in the $50,000 Brooks Fields Stakes at 7 1/2 furlongs on Sunday.

Fresh off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Hanshin Cup on Polytrack at Arlington, where he battled for the lead for a half-mile before fading to finish a distant third, Hammers Terror will be looking to control the pace in a race seemingly void of early speed. Among his opponents, Red Lead, the Sunland Park Handicap runner-up, has flashed some speed in the past but has done his best running from slightly off the pace.

The Mac Robertson-trained Slip and Drive had a good season in 2012, when he captured a pair of allowance races at Delaware Park before stepping way up in class for the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland. At odds of 100-1, Slip and Drive closed well for third, only five lengths behind 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan. He will be making his first start since October.

Red Lead is part of a quartet of horses who prepped for Sunday’s race in an allowance locally on May 26. While Red Lead won the prep by 2 1/2 lengths, runner-up Wild Jacob is 3 for 5 over the Canterbury turf course, including the 2012 John Bullit Stakes, where he prevailed over 2012 Brooks Fields champion Stachys.

Stachys won last year’s running of the stakes when it was moved from turf to a sloppy main track. Eight of his nine wins have been on dirt. His lone turf victory came in the Dean Kutz at Canterbury in 2010. He will be making his first start since January.

Derby Kitten, winner of the Grade 3 Lexington on Polytrack as a 3-year-old in 2011, is coming off a win in a $50,000 claiming race at Churchill. He was cross entered in Saturday’s $100,000 J. Kenneth Self Stakes at Indiana Downs, where he was the 7-2 second choice in a seven-horse field.

◗ Also on Sunday’s card, Minnesota horse of the year Heliskier, who ran his career unbeaten streak to seven races by winning his first start of 2013 last month, makes his first start against open company in a second-level optional $25,000 claimer (race 7). Iris Cartelsbadnews, 5 for 7 in 2012, makes his season debut going 350 yards in the $20,000 Skip Zimmerman Memorial Stakes for Quarter Horses (race 11).