08/13/2011 7:10PM

Canterbury Park: Black Tie Benny uncatchable in Minnesota Derby


SHAKOPEE, Minn.  – Black Tie Benny established himself as top 3-year old colt or gelding in Minnesota on Saturday with a wire-to-wire win in the $60,000 Minnesota Derby.

Black Tie Benny went to the front under jockey Martin Escobar in the mile-and-70-yard race over a main track rated good.

“I was a bit concerned when I saw the 22,” said winning trainer Bernell Rhone.  “But Escobar gave a great ride and got him to settle nicely.”

Black Tie Benny held the lead throughout and won by three lengths.

The lightly raced Black Tie Benny, owned and bred by Barbara Rehbein, will not be heading to Minnesota Festival of Champions Day despite the impressive performance.

“He’d have to go against older horses there and he could use some more seasoning before he does that,” said Rhone.  “The next step is open company and then we’ll see.”

Longer term plans could include the Oklahoma Derby following fellow Minnesota-bred Wally’s Choice, the 2004 Oklahoma Derby champion.

Black Tie Benny paid $18.40 to win while covering the distance in 1:42.97.

Bert'slittlesister narrowly prevails in Oaks

Bert’slittlesister settled in behind the early leaders before taking the lead after a half-mile in the $60,000 Minnesota Oaks and held off 3-5 favorite Polar Plunge by a head..

“We wanted to have her forwardly placed and I let her do it on her own,” said Dean Butler, the meet’s leading jockey. 

Bert’slittlesister was able to extend her lead to 1 1/2  lengths before Polar Plunge started to overcome her troubled trip and make a run at the leader.

Shuffled back early, Polar Plunge started making up ground on the backstretch before having to check hard and change direction when 50-1 Martha’s Yankee started backing up badly. Angled to the outside, Polar Plunge made up all but a head of the ground lost by the finish.

“I wanted to reach out and pull forward the wire,” said winning trainer Tony Rengstorf.  “She’ll come back on Festival Day, but we don’t know where.  She’s given us some options.”

Bert’slittlesister, owned and co-bred by Curtis Sampson, paid $11.80 while covering a mile and 70 yards in 1:45.31.