07/28/2012 7:03PM

Canterbury Park: Hammers Terror survives inquiry to win Mystic Lake Derby

Coady Photography
Hammers Terror, with Lori Keith up, wins the $161,250 Mystic Lake Derby.

SHAKOPEE, Minn. –  Hammers Terror had to survive a stewards’ inquiry and an objection from second-place Delegation’s jockey, Jermaine Bridgmohan, to ultimately became the first winner of the $161,250 Mystic Lake Derby in front of 10,127 on Saturday at Canterbury Park.

Hammers Terror took the lead exiting the first turn in the one-mile turf race and never relinquished it.    Delegation, stumbling badly at the start, recovered enough heading into the first turn to take a brief lead before surrendering it to Hammers Terror.  Second most of the way, Delegation ranged up through the far turn, but was never able to get closer than a length to the winner.

About 20 yards from the wire, Hammers Terror veered out across the path of Delegation, causing him to steady.  After reviewing the video of the stretch run, Canterbury Park stewards determined that the interference did not cost Delegation a better placing and let the victory stand.

Trainer Michael Stidham’s assistant, Chris Davis, who saddled Hammers Terror said, “He’s never shied away from a left-handed stick before.  He must have seen something.”

“I was told just to get him to relax, wherever he ended up” winning jockey Lori Keith said.  “This was my biggest race ever.”

Keith got the ride aboard Hammers Terror from a previous connection with owner Terry Hamilton, riding horses for him at Turf Paradise.

“He came out of the mile-and-an-eighth race well,” Davis said.  “He shipped well, very professionally.  This was a good field with a good purse, and with our base in Chicago it was easy to come up for.  Where he ends up next is up to Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Stidham.”

With purses up more than 35 percent since the Mystic Lake/Canterbury Park agreement and expected to double next year, Hamilton sees a reason for racing back in Minnesota after letting his local stable dwindle to a single horse.

“I plan to bring horses back – all types of them,” he said. “This is what it’s all about. This agreement is great.”

Hammers Terror covered the mile in 1:37.18 and paid $9 to win.  Delegation was second, and locally based Take Heart was third.