09/02/2012 7:11PM

Canterbury: Robertson, Riggs combine to sweep Minnesota Classic stakes

Coady Photography
Sugar Business, ridden by Derek Bell, sets a stakes record for the Northern Lights Futurity by covering six furlongs in 1:10.32.

SHAKOPEE, Minn.– A record Festival Day crowd of 17,053 witnessed Minnesota’s championship day of racing at Canterbury Park.  The previous record of 11,214 was shattered on a gorgeous late summer afternoon.

The large crowd saw trainer Mac Robertson and jockey Tanner Riggs sweep the two Minnesota Classics.

In the $50,000 Minnesota Classic, Coconino Slim took command early in the 1 1/16-mile race and never looked back, turning back a late run by Samendra while drawing off to win by 2 1/4 lengths as the even-money favorite paying $4.20. The time of the race was 1:44.28.

“He’s always come from a bit behind and to have him win on the front end was quite a surprise,” said owner-breeder Cataherine DeCourcy.

In the $50,000 Distaff, Congrats and Roses put away the field on the turn for home and cruised to victory by 11 1/2 lengths.

“I hit her out of the gate to get her head in it early,” jockey Riggs said.

Congrats and Roses stayed engaged through the first half and then started to pull away.

 “We knew she had a lot more talent than she’d shown and she showed it today," said owner-breeder Bruce Malkerson. Tanner and Mac did a great job having her ready.”

Congrats and Roses covered 1  1/16 miles  in 1:45.78 and paid $9.80 for the win.

The day kicked off with a stakes record in the $65,000 Northern Lights Futurity by Sugar Business.  Sugar Business ($4.80  took the lead early and seized control in the stretch while drawing off to win by eight  lengths in 1:10.32 for the six furlongs under Derek Bell. 

Trainer Tony Rengstorf knew the horse was ready, but the “stakes record was a pleasant surprise. We’ll find out if he’s tractable enough to rate next year.”

Nomorewineforeddie became only the second horse to win the $50,000 Minnesota Sprint Championship for three consecutive years.   NomorewineforEddie  ($3) covered the six furlongs in 1:09.52 for jockey Dean Butler while cruising to victory by 6 1/2 lengths.

“You never get tired of winning,” said winning owner Tony Diddier.  “He’s had some problems so he started late, but hopefully he’s over them. I’m certainly hoping we can get him back for one more.”

The day after her induction in the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame, owner/breeder Cam Casby homebred Polar Plunge captured the $50,000 Distaff Sprint Championship, closing to prevail by a half-length over Gypsy Melody as the odds-on favorite. 

“We wanted her from behind,” said Casby.  “Especially with those fractions, they were too fast.”

Polar Plunge paid $3.40 for the win and covered the six furlongs in 1:10.28.

In the  juvenile fillies, the Northern Lights Debutante, Badge of Glory took to the front early, outdueled favored speedster Bleu Moon Magic,  and captured the six-furlong race by two lengths over a hard-charging Adorkable in 1:12.02.

“We knew we couldn’t catch Bleu Moon Magic from behind,” said winning trainer Bernell Rhone, “so we went with her and it worked out.”

Badge of Glory paid $5.60 to win.

* Festival Day weekend kicked off Saturday with the induction ceremonies for the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame. The inductees, besides owner/breeder Casby, were: Quarter Horse owners Robert and Julie Petersen of Cokato;; outstanding contributor Sheila Williams of Roseville; and multiple stakes-winning mare Glitter Star.