07/25/2001 11:00PM

Derby and Oaks homebred havens


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Saturday's card at Canterbury Park features the two races that every Minnesota Thoroughbred breeder marks on the calendar as the ultimate goal for a homebred. This year's runnings of those races, the $50,000 Minnesota Oaks and Derby feature only two runners who are not campaigned by their breeders.

The 1-mile-and-70-yard Minnesota Oaks drew a field of 10 fillies headed by Blumin Bauble, who races for Jim Sterriker. She finished second as the odds-on favorite in the Frances Genter Stakes nearly three weeks ago. In that six-furlong prep for the Oaks, Blumin Bauble was rated well off the pace but was making solid progress late while beaten only a length. Joanne Black returns in the irons aboard the Doug Oliver trainee.

Fancy Injun, in the colors of Darwin Olson, was the runner Blumin Bauble couldn't catch in the Genter. Trained by Wilson Brown, Fancy Injun has steadily improved this year after several promising efforts in state bred stakes last season. Dave Shepherd takes the return call.

Timbia made the pace to the eighth pole in the Genter Stakes before tiring to finish third and has a chance to improve in her third start of the season for owner Barbar Kelley. Derek Bell is named to ride.

Hy Senorita overcame a troubled start to win her maiden in her career debut two weeks ago. Her sustained rally in that contest suggests she could be a significant factor in the late stages of the Oaks.

The 1-mile-and-70-yard Minnesota Derby became a wide-open affair when Balin was not entered following his victory in the Victor S. Myers Jr. Stakes three weeks ago.

Now Playing may be favored off his second-place finish in the Myers. Trained by Bernell Rhone for owners Art and Gretchen Eaton, he overcame a wide trip to contend in that contest and was clearly the best state bred colt last year. A son of Senor Speedy, Now Playing has never attempted a route distance before his start in the Minnesota Derby. Derek Bell is named to ride.

Curtis Sampson, chairman of Canterbury Park, will be represented by the entry of Timberwolf Power and Dance Hall Prize in the Derby. Timberwolf Power pressed the pace before finishing third in the Myers. Trained by Mike Biehler, he has a chance to shake loose early in the Derby. Bobby Walker Jr. has the return call.

Dance Hall Prize's best career effort came last year when he made a late run for second in the Northern Lights Futurity and has a chance to contend with an extension of that effort. Leslie Mawing has been named to ride by trainer Todd Hoffrogge.

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