08/19/2011 1:56PM

Canterbury Park: Restricted HBPA Sprint Stakes lures evenly matched field


SHAKOPEE, Minn. – Sunday’s $25,000 HBPA Sprint Stakes at Canterbury Park features three contenders who finished within a neck of each other on opening weekend and who have faced each other several times since. The six-furlong HBPA Sprint is for horses who have not won a stakes and has attracted a field of 10.

The 7-2 morning-line favorite is March Twelth, who posted a career best 97 Beyer Speed Figure in his last start, a 5 1/2-furlong optional claiming victory on July 24. He has steadily improved since being claimed for $16,000 at Tampa Bay Downs in February. Trainer Clay Brinson has been white hot at the meet, winning 56 percent of his races. Leading rider Dean Butler gets the call.

Just Jebicah finished a half-length behind March Twelth on July 24 after trying to take the field wire to wire. He also emerged with a career best Beyer of 96.

Malone Slam, coming in off a third-place finish over the turf, defeated the top pair two starts back in an optional claiming race from which he was taken by owner-trainer Lonnie Arterburn for $16,000.

On opening weekend in mid-May, March Twelfth won a second-level optional claiming race by a head over Just Jebicah, who in turn was a head in front of third-place finisher Malone Slam.

Silver Magnus ships in from Delaware for trainer Mac Robertson. Earlier this season Silver Magnus finished second at 31-1 in the Grade  3 Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn Park after taking the lead briefly in upper stretch. His last two starts have been solid efforts in seond-level optional claiming turf sprints at Delaware Park.

The Valorie Lund-trained Gatling Gun has led at every call in his two wins this year, including a 2 3/4-length win over a muddy Prairie Meadows surface last time out.