08/10/2013 7:04PM

Canterbury Park: Li’l Apollo prevails in Minnesota Derby

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L’il Apollo, with Dean Butler riding, paid $16.40 to win.

SHAKOPEE, Minn.  - Li’l Apollo’s sustained run from last place to the lead in the $75,000 Minnesota Derby for 3-year old Minnesota-bred males gave trainer Randy Pfeifer his first career stakes win and made the Shakopee oval feel a bit more like home.

“I’ve been doing this for 10, 15 years, and I spend one-third of my year here,” Pfeifer said. “I really like it here, and now it feels like home to me.”

Under a well-timed ride by Dean Butler, L’il Apollo made steady progress going wide through the turn for him and picked up pacesetters Jantzesfancyfriend and then Evert to put a head in front heading for home.

“I knew he could run far enough if he was rated right,” said Pfeifer. “Everyone else was hanging on the engine at the three-eighths pole, and I knew we had a lot of horse left.”

L’il Apollo continued to open up down the lane and won by 3 3/4 lengths, covering the mile and 70 yards in 1:44.77, paying $16.40 to win.  Evert, the post-time favorite, was second, and then it was another nine lengths back to Jantzesfancyfriend.

Badge of Glory overcomes trouble in Minnesota Oaks

In the $75,000 Minnesota Oaks, a bit of a rough trip did not keep Badge of Glory from capturing her second stakes race of the season under Scott Stevens.  Winner of the Frances Genter, Badge of Glory found herself checked up hard before entering the far turn but rallied back to pull within even terms with Sweet Tango through the turn.

“She had to check up in the Genter as well,” said trainer Bernell Rhone.  “She just doesn’t give up.”
Stevens worked on Badge of Glory in the lane to open up by 2 1/2. Sweet Tango tried to rally up the rail under Alex Canchari and got to within three-quarters of a length from the lead when Stevens asked for more and opened up to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

Badge of Glory paid $4.40 to win as the favorite, covering the mile and 70 yards in 1:46.16.  Sweet Tango was second and BJ’s Angel third.