08/27/2010 2:15PM

Canterbury meet concludes with Champions Day


SHAKOPEE, Minn. – Canterbury Park will conclude its live season Sunday with Minnesota Champions Day, eight stakes showcasing Minnesota-breds.

In the $35,000 Turf Championship at a mile, 9-year-old gelding Sir Tricky will be looking for his seventh stakes victory, and third Champions Day win. Sir Tricky won this race in 2006 and the Sprint in 2008. Trainer Mac Robertson likes his gelding’s chances.

“I think he’ll win,” he said. “He won his last two. He’s awfully sharp right now.”

He faces tough competition in the Turf, including stablemate Sarahs Son, who followed up a win in the Blair’s Cove with two second-place finishes to Green Secret in optional claiming races.

Mack’s Blackhawk has a chance to steal the race on the front end. He has put in three good efforts in a row, winning his last two, the most recent by disqualification.

Minnesota Mafia, the lone mare in the field, could beat the boys if she improves in this, her third start of 2010. She started the season well, finishing third in the Princess Elaine on June  20. She followed that effort with a disappointing seventh against the boys in an optional claiming race. She appears to be sharp, working five furlongs in 59.20 on Aug.  21.

In the $50,000 Distaff Classic Championship, for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, Chick Fight will battle for her 10th victory from 12 starts over the Canterbury surface. Robertson indicated that part of the reason he is stretching her out is to avoid a match-up between her and stablemate Bella Notte.

Bella Notte will start in the $50,000 Distaff Sprint Championship for fillies and mares going six furlongs. She is coming off a 4  1/2-length win in a third-level optional claimer at Arlington Park.

“I couldn’t get a race to go for her here, so I ran her at Arlington, and she won by daylight,” Robertson said.

Bella Notte takes on five others, including closer Special Occasion.

“After a couple of years she began to relax, and she has become a pretty good closer,” said trainer Tim Padilla. “The pace could make this race, as Special Occasion would benefit should a speed duel develop between Bella Notte and Downerbythemeadow.”

In the $55,000 Northern Lights Debutante, eight 2-year-old fillies will try six furlongs for the first time. Congrats and Roses exits a victory in a statebred optional claiming race. She is two for two, but faces a talented and developing field of fillies, including Esprit de Bleu, who won her maiden by 10 3/4 lengths in June.

In the $55,000 Northern Lights Futurity, 10 2-year-old boys will try six furlongs. Mondovi exits a second-place finish in the Brian Barenscheer at Canterbury on Aug. 8.

The $50,000 Classic Championship at 1 1/16 miles features a field of eight. Suddenly Silver, winner of this stakes in 2008, and runner-up in 2009, enters off of three good efforts in optional claimers. He will take on Minnesota Derby winner Tsar Tops Dancer, who will try to take a step forward against older stakes company.

There are two stakes for Minnesota-bred Quarter Horses. In the $15,000 Futurity, seven 2-year-olds will sprint 350 yards. Seis It Fast has had a perfect start to his career, winning four races from four starts, including two futurities.

In the $15,000 Derby, eight 3 year olds will dash 400 yards. Six It Up has won three straight, including his most recent effort in the Bob Morehouse.