05/27/2013 7:25PM

Canterbury Park: Bet Seattle takes Honor the Hero Stakes

Coady Photography
Bet Seattle and jockey Giovanni Franco win the Honor the Hero Stakes by two lengths Monday.

SHAKOPEE, Minn. – Jockey Giovanni Franco learned he was picking up the mount on Bet Seattle in Monday’s $50,000 Honor the Hero Stakes at Canterbury Park at 9 a.m. the day of the race. After a bold inside move at the top of the lane through a hole left open by a tiring Stig’s Deputy, he found himself standing in the winner’s circle.

“My agent called me this morning and told me I had the ride, so I got instructions and rode the race,” Franco said.

Pinched back hard out of the gate, the 10-1 shot settled in midpack in the five-furlong dash and waited for an opportunity. Stig’s Deputy broke alertly and led the field through an opening quarter-mile in 22.66 seconds over the soft turf course. After a half-mile in 46 seconds flat hugging the rail, Stig’s Deputy drifted out enough to leave Franco and Bet Seattle some room along the inside.

“The hole was there, and I went for it,” Franco said. “It started to close up pretty quickly, too, but he got through.”

Bet Seattle had to hold off the late charge of stablemate El Seventyseven to win by two lengths, giving one of Canterbury’s top trainers, Mac Robertson, his first win in the Honor the Hero. Betting favorite Canuletmedowneasy closed well but had to settle for third.

Bet Seattle paid $23.60 to win and completed the five panels in 58.08.

Jockey Nik Goodwin avoided serious injury when he was thrown by his mount, longshot Hidden Blessing, who slid on the backstretch, propelling Goodwin headlong onto the turf. He was able to walk to the ambulance under his own power.