07/07/2011 1:35PM

Canterbury Park: Samendra a big favorite in sales stakes


SHAKOPEE, Minn. – A resolution to the state’s budget impasse or a favorable ruling by a judge will bring racing back to Canterbury Park this weekend and along with it a pair of Minnesota-bred stakes races. The MTA Stallion Laddie and Lassie stakes for 3-year old colts and geldings and 3-year old fillies, respectively, will be contested at 6 1/2 furlongs over the dirt and feature the progeny of stallions that were sold at the 2006 Minnesota Thoroughbred Association’s stallion auction. Each stakes carries a purse of $25,000.

In the Laddie, even-money morning-line favorite Samendra comes in primed after scoring a one-length victory in a statebred allowance. The Bernell Rhone barn has been sharp, sweeping the last two stakes run at Canterbury before the shutdown and leading the trainer standings.

Chasing Samendra will be Dancingwithbigron who has been very competitive in statebred allowances this season and finished just behind the favorite last out.

The only other winner in the field of six is The Third Guy, a $10,000 maiden-claiming winner in his last. Rounding out the field are maidens Manlee Spirit, Rocket Wrench, and Cluny.

The Lassie’s morning-line favorite, Bert’slittlesister, has put in two nice runs since returning to Canterbury this season, narrowly missing in her 2011 track debut before putting together a front-end victory in a statebred allowance June 4.

All Bets Are Off is another front-runner who scored her first victory of the season in a statebred $5,000 conditional claiming race last out but will be losing top jockey Dean Butler for this stakes appearance.

Making a trio of early speed is Sajani, who won her maiden last out in her second attempt after failing to handle an off track in her debut. She will be cutting back from a mile and picking up Butler.

The two closers looking to capitalize on a speedy front end will be Gazette’s Girl, who has yet to break through this season but should have enough tactical speed to stay in touch with the early leaders, and Ricky’s Honor, who won her maiden last out closing from the back of the pack and should appreciate the early speed as well.

Dazzling Mama and maidens Silent Copy and Bailout Bailey complete the Lassie field.