07/13/2013 7:46PM

Canterbury Park: Awesome Flower, Mister Marti Gras take off-the-turf stakes

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Awesome Flower wins the $100,000 Lady Canterbury under Chris Landeros.

SHAKOPEE, Minn. – The more than four inches of rain that fell in a two-hour period Friday night was enough to render the Canterbury Park turf course a bog and force Saturday’s inaugural running of the $125,000 Mystic Lake Mile and the $100,000 Lady Canterbury Stakes off the turf.  The rash of ensuing scratches included the morning-line favorite in the Lady Canterbury, Hooh Why, and second choice Grandma’s Rules while contenders Hammers Terror and Slip and Drive scratched out of the Mile.

In the Lady Canterbury, the Ken and Sarah Ramsey-owned supplemental entry Awesome Flower surged to the front along with odds-on favorite Bryan’s Jewel through the turn. Awesome Flower then held off Bryan’s Jewel in the lane by a half-length under a strong ride by Christopher Landeros.

“She warmed up great so I had an awful lot of confidence,“ Landeros said. “She broke a bit slow and I thought ‘aw man, were going to get stuck back here,’ but I took my time with her. I pressed a button when it was time to go and she was just great today.”

Trained by  Michael Maker, Awesome Flower covered the mile in 1:37.54 over a fast track. Kune Kune finished strongly for third and finished 2 1/4 lengths behind Byran’s Jewel. Awesome Flower paid $13.20.

Unfortunately for Landeros, a stakes sweep was not in the cards as he was upended in the Mystic Lake Mile when his mount, Derby Kitten, took a bad step leaving the starting gate. Landeros was up quickly and was not injured.

Wild Jacob went to the lead at 15-1 in the Mystic Lake Mile under Ry Eikelberry and set fractions of 25.60 and 50.16 seconds. He was collared by Major Gain and A Diehl at the top of the stretch while 3-5 favorite Mister Marti Gras was trapped behind a wall of horses under Francisco Torres.

“The races had been setting up for coming from behind so I just waited for my spot,” Torres said.

Torres moved Mister Marti Gras to the center of the race track to find racing room and they rallied to win by three-quarters of a length.

“When I called on him, he went,” Torres said.

Stachys closed fast up the rail for second, just edging pacesetter Wild Jacob by a head. Mister Marti Gras completed the mile in 1:38 and paid $3.20.

Owner Robert Lothenbach, a native of  Eden Prairie, Minn., decided to supplement the horse because “I like what Canterbury is doing with purses here. It’s now possible to ship horses in here and make money.  We’ll be back again.”