07/01/2013 1:17PM

Canterbury Park: Princess Elaine Stakes, Blair’s Cove top evening card

Coady Photography
Congrats and Roses, the 2012 Minnesota Distaff Classic champion, should be on the front end in the Princess Elaine.

SHAKOPEE, Minn. – A pair of $50,000 statebred turf stakes are on tap to begin the holiday week on a special Wednesday evening card at Canterbury Park.

The 1 1/16-mile Princess Elaine Stakes has two trainers each sending out a pair of contenders. Mac Robertson trainee Grace of Greatness, the 7-2 morning-line favorite, was the third-place finisher last year and will look to improve upon that with her late-running style. Stablemate Morgans a Blumin will be trying to bounce back after only six days off a hard-charging fourth-place finish in $12,500 claiming race.

Trainer Gary Scherer sends out a pair of Camelia Casby homebreds, Keewatin Ice and Talkin Bout. Keewatin Ice had a rough start to her 2013 Canterbury season, finishing a tired sixth in a $25,000 open optional-claiming race. Talkin Bout, the most lightly raced filly in the field, has not finished worse than second in any of her five starts, including a very convincing win over statebred allowance foes in her prep.

Happy Hour Honey will look to take the field from gate to wire from the inside. She stretches out after two sharp second-place finishes in six-furlong dashes, including a second in the Lady Slipper Stakes. She will have to contend on the front end with the 2012 Minnesota Distaff Classic champion, Congrats and Roses.

Another who should be a bit closer to the pace than the Robertson duo is It’s Tamareno. It’s Tamareno started her 2013 campaign just missing in an Arlington Park allowance and then soundly defeating Minnesota-bred foes in an allowance sprint here. She will be trying 1 1/16 miles for the first time.

Minnesota-bred males will square off in the 1 1/16-mile Blair’s Cove. Minnesota’s 2012 champion older male, Mack’s Blackhawk, will square off against two more Robertson trainees, the late-charging Tubby Time and front-running Coconino Slim.

Tubby Time’s seasonal debut was a flat effort in an open allowance at Canterbury, but his last two seasons started similarly and his first start those years were precursors to winning streaks that included victories in the last two editions of the Blair’s Cove.

Stablemate Coconino Slim will be looking to set the pace and has started off 2013 impressively with a close second and then a front-running victory in a pair of Arlington Park $40,000 optional claimers. He will have company on the front end from Mack’s Tiger Paw, who will help keep the pace honest for stablemate and fellow Joel Zamzow homebred Mack’s Blackhawk.

Mack’s Blackhawk comes out of the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap, where he contended for the first half of the race before fading. Mack’s Blackhawk has hit the board in each of his 13 Canterbury Park turf starts and has proven to be able to rate just off the pace.

Post time at Canterbury on Wednesday is 4 p.m., with the annual fireworks display to follow the last race.