07/27/2006 12:00AM

Competitive Derby, Oaks


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - The $60,000 Minnesota Derby and $60,000 Minnesota Oaks showcase the state's best 3-year-olds, and Saturday's renewals, each at a mile and 70 yards, feature several promising runners.

Trickyville Dew should prove the favorite in the Minnesota Derby. Trickyville Dew began this season racing at Oaklawn and Prairie Meadows, where he won his first start around two turns in allowance company in May.

Trickyville Dew, trained by Kelly Von Hemel, returned to Canterbury Park as the favorite in the Victor S. Myers Stakes three weeks ago, but suffered an eventful trip as rider Terry Thompson was forced to steady several times in traffic. Thompson is back aboard on Saturday.

Rock' N Fire held off the late charge of Trickyville Dew to win the Myers, and he is capable of repeating that effort. A first-out winner at Churchill Downs last season, Rock' N Fire was third in the Turfway Park Prevue Stakes and also raced well in optional claiming company at Oaklawn this season.

Eddie Rascal finished second to The K B Kid in last year's Northern Lights Futurity. Given the winter off, Eddie Rascal has steadily improved this meet and completed his preparation for this race with a daylight win over allowance foes.

Sentimental Charm stretches out in Oaks

Sentimental Charm might be favored in the Oaks, but her recent win in the Frances Genter Stakes suggests she might be vulnerable. A dominating winner in the Northern Lights Debutante last season, Sentimental Charm was named the state's champion 2-year-old filly.

Trainer Troy Bethke had Sentimental Charm back on the beam early in the meet when she beat older rivals in the Lady Slipper Stakes. In the Genter Stakes, Sentimental Charm chased a fast pace and prevailed by three-quarters of a length, but her effort left questions as to how she will handle the added distance of this race.

Chasin Mason finished a close second in the Genter while racing in close quarters along the rail through the stretch.

Hills of Ireland was just a nose behind Chasin Mason when third in the Genter.