05/22/2009 11:00PM

Excessive Heat tops Turf Express for Rivelli


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - The filly Excessive Heat might be the runner to catch when she faces the boys in a field of eight for Monday's $35,000 Honor the Hero Turf Express Stakes at Canterbury Park, a five-furlong race on the grass.

Owned by Richard Ravin and trained by Larry Rivelli, Excessive Heat may have history on her side. Rivelli also trained the filly Nicole's Dream, who won a renewal of the Turf Express in 2006. Excessive Heat has the profile of a turf-sprint specialist, having won 5 of 7 starts at the distance. Tracy Hebert, who is making an immediate impact in his first season at Canterbury, has the call.

Trainer Tammy Domenosky, who continues to saddle winners at an impressive clip, entered Moralist in the Turf Express. Moralist, a 4-year old gelding, improved markedly after being claimed last October and given a short break this winter. Moralist's most recent victory came in an allowance at Hawthorne in April, and he continues to display that sharp form in his morning works. Jose Ferrer is named to ride.

King A. J. and Joni's Justice race as an uncoupled entry for trainer Mac Robertson. Joni's Justice is a Minnesota-bred who finished third in the Turf Express last season and makes his second start of the season after a pace-pressing effort at Hawthorne. Dean Butler has the call.

King A. J. is a 5-year old who makes his first start of the season in the Turf Express. A late-running sprinter, King A. J. will be ridden by Derek Bell.

Nordic Wind should not be overlooked in the Turf Express. Stakes-placed as a 3-year-old on the grass at Turf Paradise last season, Nordic Wind demonstrated even stronger form when he was tried in a sprint on the turf in his third start of the year, capturing the Answer Do Stakes in April. He will be ridden by Adolfo Morales.