07/17/2002 11:00PM

Canterbury Park track report


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - An accomplished field of grass runners square off in the $40,000 John Bullit Stakes at Canterbury Park. Three of the seven runners entered in the 1 1/16-mile turf contest are recent stakes winners.

Four on the Floor, campaigned by Minneapolis-based Robert Lothenbach, comes to Canterbury Park for trainer Pat Cuccurullo after capturing an allowance at Arlington and winning the Overage Stakes at Hawthorne in May.

Claimed at Fair Grounds in February, Four on the Floor has found his best form this summer and might rate as the slight favorite in the John Bullit based on his recent performances. Larry Sterling Jr. is named to ride.

Four on the Floor has a big assignment in the John Bullit: facing Al's Dearly Bred, who has won all three career starts over the Canterbury turf course. Al's Dearly Bred simply galloped away from his rivals in the Brooks Fields last month to prevail by better than seven lengths while racing on six days' rest. Seth Martinez is Al's Dearly Bred's regular rider. Hugh Robertson trains Al's Dearly Bred, a gray son of Waquoit, for John Castro.

Minor Wisdom may prove the wild card in the John Bullit, as he may have faced the strongest field faced of any runner in this group in his last start. Minor Wisdom finished fourth, beaten less than a length, in the Cardinal Stakes at Arlington in his last appearance. While that field was restricted to Illinois-breds, the winner of that event, Mystery Giver, had previously beaten open stakes company at Fair Grounds. In his start before the Cardinal, Minor Wisdom was an easy allowance winner over the Canterbury turf course. Scott Stevens journeys to Canterbury to take the mount on Minor Wisdom for trainer Richie Scherer and owner Carolyn Friedberg.

Ashar, recent winner of the Blair's Cove Stakes for Minnesota breds, is also entered in the John Bullit. Leading rider Derek Bell returns in the irons.