06/08/2013 5:37PM

Canterbury Park: Signsealndeliver rallies to win Dark Star Cup

Coady Photography
Signsealndeliver, with Ry Eikleberry up, gets through on the inside to win the Dark Star Cup.

SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Midwest Thoroughbreds won their first stakes race of the Canterbury Park meet, with Signsealndeliver taking the inaugural running of the Dark Star Cup for trainer Roger Brueggermann, covering the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.66 under a bold ride from Ry Eikleberry.

Midwest's  uncoupled entrant, Southern Dude, broke swiftly from the gate and quickly put two lengths on the field down the backstretch.  As they went into the turn, longshot Absolutely Cool ranged up and challenged Southern Dude for the lead blazing through a half-mile in 44.61 seconds and six furlongs in 1:09.04.  Straightening out for home, Absolutely Cool's rally was extinguished as he drifted outward, and Southern Dude began to draw away when Eikleberry split the two front-runners in deep stretch to prevail by a length.

Signsealndeliver tracked the entire field through the first quarter before Eikleberry started picking his way between horses.

"My instructions were to let him settle and then let him make his run," Eikleberry said.  "At the three-eighths  pole I knew I had a lot of horse left.  I had never ridden this horse before, so I watched a lot of replays, and while I knew he liked to be outside, I also knew he'd split horses.  When the outside horse drifted, the hole opened and I sent him."

Signsealndeliver returned $11.80 to win.  Southern Dude, the odds-on favorite, was second, while 14-1 Absolutely Cool held on for third.