06/26/2003 12:00AM

Canterbury track report


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - The $40,000 Canterbury Park Derby has apparently lost none of its luster even though its purse was downsized from $100,000 last season to fund the re-establishment of this season's Lady Canterbury Stakes. Twelve 3-year-old colts and geldings were entered in Saturday's Derby, which will be run at one mile on turf.

Drawing the rail and bringing the most turf experience into the race is Scottago, who is trained by Hugh Robertson. Scottago won his maiden on turf at Fair Grounds in February and has since captured two allowance races on grass. Seth Martinez is named to ride.

Bodgiteer represents the Team Valor partnership and has already earned black type for his connections by winning the Prairie Mile at Prairie Meadows in his last start. All three of Bodgiteer's career victories have come in races where the gelding was able to set the pace and shake clear, making him the likely pacesetter in the Canterbury Derby. Joe Johnson will ride Bodgiteer, who is trained by Steve Moyer.

Hero's Pleasure should not be overlooked after beating older rivals in a turf allowance race in his first local appearance last month. Hero's Pleasure was forced to steady avoiding a fallen rival in the St. Paul Stakes three weeks ago but still ran well to finish third. Scott Stevens will ride the Doug Oliver trainee. Mike Biehler trains Clem Sky, a son of Skywalker who easily bested allowance foes in the slop in his last appearance.