07/21/2011 12:13PM

Canterbury presents co-featured stakes for 3-year-olds on first weekend since reopening


A pair of six-furlong stakes for Minnesota-bred 3-year-olds, the Frances Genter for fillies and the Victor S. Meyers for colts and geldings, headline the first Saturday at Canterbury Park since the Minnesota state government closure cost the track 12 racing dates and forced the postponement of six stakes races. Track officials plan to reschedule the stakes later in the meet.

The $35,000 Frances Genter features the impressive Cam Casby-owned filly Polar Plunge. Installed as the track’s 2-1 morning line favorite, Polar Plunge ran once as a 2-year old, winning her maiden handily at Fair Grounds. She also romped in her 3-year old debut in a statebred allowance at Canterbury.

Challenging her will be Minnesota 2-year old champion filly Esprit de Bleu. The Mac Robertson-trained Esprit de Bleu led older fillies and mares into the stretch last out in an open company optional $25,000 claiming race and should step up here in her third race back after a layoff.

Bert’slittlesister has moved forward recently with a second and a win in back-to-back statebred allowance sprints while Terice will be stepping up into stakes company after a front-running maiden victory.

All Bets Are Off, Sajani, and Congrats and Roses will fill out the seven-horse field.

Leading trainer Bernell Rhone will send out a powerful one-two punch in the $35,000 Victor S. Meyers. Samendra started the season finishing fourth in an open allowance, and then came back to win a statebred allowance – both against older horses. Back in with 3-year olds, he is the 5-2 morning line favorite.

His stablemate Black Tie Benny, 2010 Minnesota champion 2-year old colt, will finally make his seasonal debut that was delayed first by the weather and then the track’s shutdown. Black Tie Benny has been training well, has really filled out since his 2-year old season, and should be dangerous.

Desert Alley wired a statebred allowance field on June 4 and has since posted three bullet works and is coming into the race well-prepped.

Mondavi, cutting back from a mile and 70 yards for the stakes, comes into the race after a hard-fought dead heat in a statebred allowance.

Victory Sled, Good Guy Larry, and Vic the Kick round out the field.