06/23/2004 11:00PM

Canterbury: It's Lucky can handle turf


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Canterbury Park bettors get a tough handicapping challenge when 10 3-year old colts contest the $50,000 Come Summer Stakes, formerly known as the Canterbury Derby.

It's Lucky brings the strongest credentials to the one-mile turf contest after finishing second in the OBS Championship in March. It's Lucky didn't menace in two subsequent sprint contests but demonstrated an affinity for two turns when he finished second by a head in the Prairie Mile Stakes last month at Prairie Meadows.

A son of Prix Robert Papin winner Lucky Lionel, It's Lucky has the pedigree of a runner who should handle the transition to the turf course. Canterbury's leading rider, Derek Bell, takes the mount.

The Hugh Robertson barn is well represented in the Come Summer with the entry of Roll Your Own and Vazandar. Roll Your Own finished second in his lone try over the grass at Hawthorne last year and displayed solid form in his most recent outing at Arlington, when he won an optional claiming event. Seth Martinez has the call. Vazandar is a Minnesota-bred who may be prepping for the Minnesota Derby.

Another Arlington shipper in the Come Summer is Heath's Hideaway, who finished a near-miss third when he raced on the turf for the first time at Hawthone last October.

Heath's Hideaway validated that form when he won his maiden race in his next start over the Hawthorne turf in May, then returned to beat optional claiming foes over the Arlington turf in his most recent outing. Joel Campbell will ride.

Not to be overlooked is the Noel Hickey entrant, Tour Dance, who will be joined by rider Paul Nolan for his first start on the turf. Nolan and Hickey teamed up two years ago to win the Canterbury Derby with Afleet Buck.

Trainer Doug Oliver has not won a race this meet but could change that in the Come Summer with Plum Red. A Will Farish-bred grandson of the 1989 Canterbury Oaks winner, Capades, Plum Red has produced some eye-catching late runs on the Turf Paradise grass course in stakes company that suggest he could be a major factor in the Come Summer Stakes. Scott Stevens has the call.

Another horse to be reckoned with is Thundering Verzy, who ships up from Nebraska.