08/09/2006 12:00AM

Metzen, Van Winkle to join Canterbury hall


The Canterbury Park Hall of Fame committee has named Tom Metzen and David Van Winkle as its 2006 inductees. They will be officially inducted in a ceremony at the track on Saturday.

Metzen, regional vice president of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, has been involved in Thoroughbred racing in Minnesota for over 40 years. As president of the group Minnesotans for Horseracing, Metzen helped direct efforts that resulted in the passage of parimutuel wagering legislation in Minnesota in 1984. Metzen, 67, has also acted as vice chairman of the Minnesota Racing Commission and is a past president of the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association.

As the president of the Minnesota HBPA, Metzen was a key player in the creation of the Claiming Crown, an annual event at Canterbury Park.

An 18-year cancer survivor, Metzen has campaigned a number of top runners at Canterbury Park, including Shot of Gold, Prime Step and Chisholm.

Trainer David Van Winkle, 44, first came to Canterbury Park in 1992, his first season as a licensed trainer. He topped the trainer standings at Canterbury in 1995, and then again in 2002 and 2003.

From 2001 to 2004, Van Winkle trained four consecutive horses of the year at Canterbury: Shot of Gold (for Metzen), J. P. Jet, Prime Step, and Chisholm.


The field for this meeting's showcase event in the handicap division, Saturday night's $150,000 Evangeline Mile, attracted a field of eight when it was drawn Wednesday afternoon. The starting highweight at 121 pounds is High Strike Zone, recent winner of the $75,000 Ark-La-Tex Handicap at Louisiana Downs.

Also in the field is Stockholder, who won the recent $100,000 Omaha Stakes at Horsemen's Park and finished a close second in the Grade 3 Texas Mile at Lone Star Park on April 29. He is the second highweight at 119.

Trainer Brandon Marks and owner Carrol Castille will send out the powerful entry of Watchem Smokey, who set the one-mile track record here in the $75,000 John Henry Stakes in early May, and Evangeline Downs newcomer Salic Law. Salic Law will be making his first start since a fourth-place finish in the Stymie Handicap at Aqueduct in early March.

Dreamsandvisions comes off a stakes victory of his own, having defeated Texas-breds in the $75,000 Assault Stakes at Lone Star last month.

Biloxi Breeze, Mauk Four, and Biloxi Pride complete the field.

- Jeff Taylor


After a thrilling stretch run, Bevys Dazzler continued his winning streak Saturday night at Columbus with a gutty head victory over Track Hero in the Hall of Fame Stakes.

Track Hero took the lead from Bevys Dazzler entering the far turn and was about a length clear passing the furlong marker. But Bevys Dazzler dug back in and wore his rival down through the closing yards to post a head victory.

It was the fourth straight win for Bevys Dazzler, a 3-year-old son Dazzling Falls. The win gave his dam, Bevy Anne, her third stakes-placed or stakes-winning foal from three to race. Bevy Anne won the Inaugural Stakes at Columbus in 1997. In addition to Bevys Dazzler, she has also produced the multiple stakes winner Bevys Affair and stakes-placed Bevys Boy.

* A pair of 11-year-old Nebraska-breds, High Dice and Doug's Shadow, plus 7-year-old What About David are expected to meet in Saturday's Amadevil Stakes at six furlongs.

High Dice defended his title in the Who Doctor Who Handicap at Horsemen's Park in July, while What About David took the Big Red Mile at Lincoln in May. Doug's Shadow is the defending champ in the Amadevil but has not been out since March at Fonner Park.

* John Pabon Jr., who recently shifted his tack here from Fairmount Park, scored a riding double Sunday.

* Horsemen can now find Columbus overnights on the track's website at www.agpark.com.

- Bill Hodtwalker


Rafael Hernandez and Danush Sukie, the two leading riders at Fairmount Park, both scored riding triples on last Friday night's card. Hernandez's wins were consecutive, and included the featured third-level allowance won by Favorite Fun. Claimed for $15,000 at Churchill Downs on June 14, Favorite Fun has since won twice in allowance company at Fairmount for trainer Tom Trione Jr. Favorite Fun's winning Beyer last Friday was 79, the highest earned during the week at Fairmount.

* An unlikely winner pulled off a stunner in the eighth race Tuesday. Delaverne Blues, who had been beaten a combined 61 1/2 lengths in his three previous starts, two of which were last-place finishes, won a nonwinners-of-two claimer and paid $63.20. The win payoff perhaps would have been higher in a larger field, but Tuesday's race went with only six horses.

* Fairmount's perennial leading trainer Ralph Martinez has jumped out to an early lead in the Ellis Park standings. Through last Sunday, Martinez had six wins, one more than Barbara McBride and two more than Bob Holthus, Dale Romans, and Mike Maker.

- Vance Hanson

Finger Lakes

Jockey John Grabowski, a six-time leading rider at Finger Lakes, will miss the rest of the year as the result of multiple fractures to his pelvis that he sustained during a spill prior to the start of Sunday's first race.

Grabowski, who ranks fourth at the meet with 48 winners, was unseated by the 2-year-old maiden filly Lookslikecash.

Following the incident, Michael Davila picked up the mount on Lookslikecash, who proceeded to blow away her field, scoring by seven lengths in 1:05.70 for 5 1/2 furlongs, earning a 59 Beyer Speed Figure.

Lookslikecash, trained by M. Anthony Ferraro, is a candidate for the $100,000 Lady Finger for New York-bred juvenile fillies on Aug. 19.

* The 4-year-old filly Mighty Annie R won for the seventh time in her last eight starts when she led from start to finish in Saturday's featured overnight handicap. She covered 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.77, and was awarded a 77 Beyer.

Mighty Annie R., owned and trained by Paul Barrow, was one of three winners on the card for jockey David Osorio.

- Joe DeVivo

Great Lakes Downs

Felipe Santos has won many races since moving to the United States from the Domincan Republic in 1983, but last Saturday he won his first as a citizen of this country.

Santos, who is eighth in the Great Lakes standings, took his oath of citizenship on Aug. 4 in Ohio and returned to ride here the next day. He guided Importantbusiness around the field on the final turn in the six-furlong race and was up late to win by a head while wearing red, white, and blue silks.

* Trainer John Rupert will marry longtime girlfriend Jennifer Weenum on Friday in a ceremony on a beach in Charleston, S.C. Rupert, a successful jockey in the Midwest before turning to training, met Weenum in 2000. Weenum is a third-year law student at the University of Michigan and just completed an internship at a Lexington, Ky., law firm.

- C.A.Shoemaker

Sam Houston

Sam Houston has set Sept. 23 as the date for its seventh annual qualifying tournament for the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association Handicapping Championship. The qualifier is open to 200 entrants, and the first three finishers will win a trip to the finals in Las Vegas in January 2007.

The cost to enter the Sam Houston qualifier is $200.

"This year's first prize award has been increased to $10,000, in addition to the qualifying spot to the finals, so I expect a full field of 200," said Troy Lawrence, director of player services for Sam Houston.

To register for the qualifier, contact Lawrence at (281) 807-8801, or go to Sam Houstons's web site at www.shrp.com.

- Mary Rampellini


Entries for the first Oaklawn Park qualifying tournament for the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship close at 5 p.m. Central on Friday. More than 125 handicappers are already set to compete in the tournament, which will be held at the track on Saturday and Sunday.

The first three finishers win trips to the finals in Las Vegas in January 2007.

The entry fee is $300, with $120 of that amount to be used as the player's bankroll. The first-place finisher in the tournament will earn $12,000.

* Walter Soes has joined the Oaklawn staff full-time as assistant track supervisor. He will work under track superintendent Steve Breckling. Soes had served as the identifier during live racing at Oaklawn since 1995. He is a 48-year-old native of Louisiana and a graduate of Louisiana Tech.

- Mary Rampellini

River Downs

Catlaunch, who won two stakes earlier this year, returned to his best form in winning Saturday's featured $19,200 open allowance at a mile and 70 yards by nine lengths. The win was his fifth of the season, and his first since taking the six-furlong Rowland Memorial at Thistledown in June. Catlaunch also won the six-furlong Babst Memorial at Beulah in May, equalling his career-best Beyer figure of 98.

Victories in the Babst and Rowland would normally give Catlaunch a leg-up on his rivals for Ohio champion sprinter honors, though the multiple graded stakes winner Too Much Bling would seemingly have the edge in that division. There is precedent, however, for Ohio-breds that achieve success on a national level to be given special recognition awards at the annual Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners awards ceremony, with divisional honors instead going to a runner campaigned primarily in Ohio. Previous Ohio-breds that were honored in such a fashion were Harlan's Holiday and Phantom on Tour.

* Spring Tribute seemingly has no equal in marathon starter allowances on dirt at River Downs. The 4-year-old son of Gold Tribute is now 6 for 6 over the main track after winning a 1 5/8-mile starter allowance last Sunday, a victory preceded by starter allowance wins at a mile and 70 yards, 1 1/8 miles, and 1 1/4 miles. The combined margin of victory in Spring Tribute's five wins during the meet has been 28 1/4 lengths.

As impressive as Spring Tribute has been in his four starter allowance wins, he did not seriously threaten the track records for those distances, which are among the oldest in existence in the country. The mile and 70-yard record at River dates to 1945, the 1 1/8-mile record to 1925, the 1 1/4-mile record to 1926, and the 1 5/8-mile record to 1934.

Spring Tribute's win was also the second of three straight on the card for apprentice jockey Brandon Minnock.

* Go Lionel Go made his first start for owner Billy Hays and trainer Joe Woodard a winning one in Tuesday's featured $15,000 open allowance at five furlongs on the turf. Claimed for $50,000 in his last start at Churchill Downs, a race he won, Go Lionel Go scored impressively Tuesday by 2 1/4 lengths, covering the distance in 56.40 seconds and earning a 93 Beyer figure.

- Vance Hanson


Twinpost had little trouble validating her status as the 2-1 favorite in Sunday's $15,000 Helen Anthony Memorial. Trained by F.C. Frazier, Twinpost was coming off a disappointing run in the July 10 Monrow Stakes. That day, going a mile as the 4-5 favorite, the 3-year-old daughter of Wild Deputy set the pace, opened up, but was erratic through the lane and ended up third behind Along Came Jones and Brighton Book.

In the Helen Anthony, Twinpost moved back to a sprint and that made all the difference. She stalked the pace, took over into the lane, and powered home to win by 3 1/2 lengths. Snowbound in Rio and Queen Razyana, who battled on the pace all the way, ended up second and third, respectively. Along Came Jones and Brighton Book were no factors this time, finishing fifth and seventh, respectively.

Twinpost covered the six furlongs in a fast 1:08.08 under Jocelyne Kenny. She paid $6.20.

* General manager Jim Grundy reports that handle figures at the meet have increased, allowing the track to implement a 10-percent across-the-board purse increase.

Grundy pointed to several factors, including an increase in the number of state offtrack betting facilities from 50 last year to 63 this season.

Racing continues with a Saturday through Tuesday schedule through Sept. 5 with simulcasting offered at the track daily.

* A limited number of spots remain for the only qualifier to be held in Arizona this year for the 2007 Horseplayer World Series in Las Vegas. It will be held as two separate tournaments on Aug. 19-20. For more information or to get an entry blank call the track at (928) 775-8000 or go to the track's website at www.yavapaidownsatpv.com.

- Michael Hammersly