06/08/2004 11:00PM

Canterbury: Turk Flyer wins in return


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Canterbury Park hosted its first turf races of the meet this week, and Sunday's card saw the return of a seasoned veteran in Turk Flyer. From the David Van Winkle barn, Turk Flyer had been laid up for two seasons after finishing second in the John Bullit Handicap at Canterbury in July 2001. Following an unsuccessful comeback on the Nebraska-Iowa circuit last season, Turk Flyer was returned to the Van Winkle shed row this year.

Making his first start over the grass course in nearly three years, Turk Flyer disposed of a field of $7,500 claiming horses in a fashion suggesting he had lost none of his old form. Sent off at 7-1 odds, Turk Flyer prevailed by 3 1/2 lengths under rider Seth Martinez, returning $16.80 as the fourth wagering choice and improving his record over the Canterbury grass to six wins from eleven starts.

* A number of Prairie Meadows regulars have taken advantage of the track's dark Sundays to compete at Canterbury Park. Posting a sharp allowance win on the Sunday card was the Iowa-based Willa Cather, ridden by Alex Birzer for Prairie Meadows trainer Judy Hicklin.

* Jockey Iram Diego continues to make new believers in the ranks of Canterbury's $2 bettors. Diego booted home three winners on the Sunday card, including Queen's Last Hart ($7.60), Hesa Jeb ($27.40), and Love That Amber ($52.20).