Updated on 09/16/2011 7:35AM

Canterbury: Sarah Jade solid for Oaks


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Several promising fillies entered in Sunday's $40,000 Canterbury Park Oaks look ready to score their first career stakes wins.

Sarah Jade has the best credentials to capture the Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that has drawn a field of eight. An Allen Paulson-bred daughter of Jade Hunter, Sarah Jade is trained by Hugh Robertson. Sarah Jade sparkled in her seasonal debut at Oaklawn Park when she won her maiden by daylight, and then came right back to best allowance foes by seven lengths in her next outing. Tried next in the Honeybee Stakes, Sarah Jade broke in the air and had a four-wide trip but still finished a good third to Bedanken. She improved on that performance when she finished second to Sweet Sixteen in the Althea Stakes on Oaklawn's closing day.

Sarah Jade exits a solid performance in the Summertime Promise Breeders' Cup at Hawthorne, where she led in midstretch but was run down late by the salty Maliziosa and finished third. The Canterbury Oaks will be Sarah Jade's second try on the turf, and an extension of her last effort might be enough to prevail. Seth Martinez is named to ride Sarah Jade.

Don't Countess Out has been very consistent in four starts this season, winning three races and finishing a good second in the Goldfinch Stakes at Prairie Meadows. A pace-pressing filly, she will be ridden by Terry Thompson.

Persimmon Ridge makes the trip from Kentucky for the Mike Lauer barn and had an excuse in the Fair Grounds Oaks when she stumbled at the start and then chased a rapid pace set by the victorious Take Charge Lady. In her most recent start, Persimmon Ridge finished third following a stalking trip in the National Jockey Club Oaks. Joel Campbell is named to ride.

The locally based runner with a chance to pull the upset is Gist, trained by Bernell Rhone. Gist won her maiden at Tampa at long odds, then shipped to Canterbury and has captured two consecutive allowance races. Her most recent victory came in her first attempt over the turf. Derek Bell is Gist's regular rider.

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