05/19/2012 7:46PM

Canterbury: Hidden Gold repeats in Lady Slipper


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Speed has been king the first few days of the 2012 Canterbury Park meet, and the first two stakes of the season on Saturday were no exception. 

In the Lady Slipper, jockey Dean Butler made sure that defending champion Hidden Gold stayed close to speedsters Sheso Dazzling and Polar Plunge, overtaking the pair at the top of the lane and shaking loose to win by 1 1/4 lengths.  Sheso Dazzling held on for second while Polar Plunge settled for third.

"The mare has really matured, and we figured she'd be right in there.  Dean did a great job.  He rode a great tactical race to stay with the speed and get there in the end," said winning trainer Francisco Bravo. 

Owner Sunil Sachdev, bounding into the winner's circle moments before the photo, suggested that another force may have been at work.

"It was superstition," he said behind a broad smile.  "I had to stand in the same spot during the Lady Slipper that I did last year - that's what did it."

Hidden Gold returned $5.60 and stopped the clock at 1:10.4 for the six- furlong dash.

In the 10,000 Lakes, jockey Juan Rivera sent Bet Your Boots to the lead from the rail and never relinquished the top spot to win by a half-length over perennial runner-up Bizet, with Samendra third.

"I told Juan, 'Hold the rail and don't let anyone get in front of you,' " said winning owner Richard Bremer. "The horse was off all last summer with bad bruises on his feet.  Trainer Chris Richard did a great job taking care of his feet and getting him ready to race again."

"Once I got to the turn for home and we were in the lead, I was really confident," said Rivera.

Bet Your Boots covered the six furlongs in 1:11 over a fast main track and paid $10.80.