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Canterbury: Statebred 3-year-olds square off in pair of stakes
By Ted Grevelis
SHAKOPEE, Minn. – Minnesota-bred 3 year olds will take center stage on Saturday with the Frances Genter Stakes for fillies and the Victor S. Myers Stakes for colts and geldings.
The $50,000 Myers, run at six furlongs over the main track, has a 1-2 favorite in Heliskier. Undefeated in three career starts, the Mac Robertson trainee has been dominant. He closed out his 2-year-old campaign in the Northern Lights Futurity by drawing off to win by 10 lengths. He duplicated that performance in his first start of 2012, a statebred allowance, sailing to a 10 1/2-length victory and earning a 94 Beyer Speed Figure.
Speakfromyourheart last faced Heliskier in the Northern Lights when he led the field to the top of the turn before giving way. In his last race, a statebred allowance win, Speakfromyourheart stayed on the flank of the leader before taking command and withstanding a late charge for the victory.
TezVirat, in post 4 of the six-horse field, also has speed and will be an early challenger to Speakfromyourheart, which could pave the way for Heliskier in the latter stages.
Cheap Chocolate made his 2012 debut in an open allowance for 3 year olds and up and had some trouble staying with the field. He’ll be back in with his age group here as well as statebred company and should be more of a factor.
Genter Stakes: A Northern Lights rematch
The $50,000 Frances Genter, run at six furlongs over the main track, features two fillies who ran away from the field in last year’s Northern Lights Debutante: Keewatin Ice and Jills Summer Raine.
Keewatin Ice, who won the Northern Lights by 1 1/4 lengths, will be cutting back in distance after several attempts at a mile, including a third-place finish in the $100,000 Instant Racing Stakes at Oaklawn in April. This will be her first start of the season at Canterbury, where she was undefeated as a 2-year-old. She’ll be looking to close into an early pace that should be set by a couple of “Jills.”
Jills Summer Raine couldn’t hold on against Keewatin Ice in last year’s Debutante but was seven lengths clear of the third-place finisher. She comes into this race following an impressive wire-to-wire statebred allowance victory against older rivals. She will be without regular pilot Scott Stevens, who has elected to ride Go Go Jill.
Go Go Jill narrowly missed taking an open $16,000 optional claiming race over the Canterbury turf last out, facing older fillies and mares. She debuted this season with a wire-to-wire victory in a statebred allowance and should be part of the early pace.
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