09/13/2014 8:44AM

Castletown takes HBPA Sprint Stakes

Coady Photography
Castletown and jockey Jorge Carreno win the HBPA Stakes by a length Friday night.

SHAKOPEE, Minn. – Neck-and-neck with perennial leading trainer Mac Robertson for the Canterbury Park training title, Robertino Diodoro sent out Castletown on Friday night in the $40,000 HBPA Sprint Stakes. The Mercedes Stable homebred did not disappoint, leading from gate to wire, covering the six furlongs in 1:10.06, and keeping Diodoro two wins behind Robertson.

Diodoro also won the 10th and final race Friday night to get within one win of Robertson’s 45 victories heading into the final day of the meet.

Castletown ($6.40) broke alertly under Jorge Carreno and led the field through early fractions of 21.55 and 44.18 seconds while under mild pressure from At My Discretion.

“This horse doesn’t care for outside pressure, and once [At My Discretion] fell back, Jorge said he knew he had it won there,” Diodoro said. “Even though he was getting along pretty good, I felt good when I saw him doing it alone.”

Our Lucky Son, the even-money favorite, tried to catch Castletown in the stretch, but the 6-year-old gelding held on to win by a length. Sneaky Blowout was third.

Diodoro, in his second year at Canterbury Park, almost didn’t make it back this season after a tough first season in which nothing seemed to go right.

“We had help issues, horses getting sick, you name it,” Diodoro said. “I wasn’t going to come back, but [Minnesota HBPA president] Tom Metzen kept after me in Phoenix to try again. I do really like it here, and after evaluating our horses and where they would fit, I decided to give it another try, but we weren’t going to do it halfway.”