07/28/2004 11:00PM

One rematch on, another is off


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Shakopee and Bleu's Apparition, the one-two finishers in the Frances Genter Stakes on July 10, meet again Saturday in the $60,000 Minnesota Oaks at Canterbury Downs, which is co-featured on the card with the $60,000 Minnesota Derby

Twelve were entered in the Oaks, a mile and 70-yard race that is for Minnesota-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Bleu's Apparition began her career this winter at Fair Grounds and went winless in three starts there. Laid off since February, Bleu's Apparition finished second in her only start since then when she could not overtake the front-running Shakopee in the Frances Genter here.

Trained by Richie Scherer, Bleu's Apparition should improve on that performance Saturday. Scott Stevens returns aboard Bleu's Apparition.

Shakopee surprised Canterbury fans when she broke to the lead and set all the pace to win the Frances Genter at 23-1. Shakopee has since worked five furlongs. Martin Escobar rides.

Other threats in the Oaks include Nilini and Nishani. Nilini has won twice at this meeting and was compromised by traffic problems in the Frances Genter. Seth Martinez has the call. Nishani also suffered a troubled trip in the Genter and gets a rider switch to Iram Diego for the Oaks.

Mrs. Beerman is another filly who should not go overlooked. She demonstrated the ability to negotiate a route in her first try around two turns two weeks ago, when she defeated state-bred allowance foes. Derek Bell will ride.

Derby: Lt. Sampson looks strong

Three weeks ago, Lt. Sampson appeared to have a formidable rival for the Minnesota Derby in Vazandar, whom Lt. Sampson defeated by only three-quarters of a length in the Victor S. Myers Jr. Stakes. That prospect faded, however, after Vazandar's connections elected to run Vazandar in the Iowa Stallion Stakes last week. Lt. Sampson will now face only 10 other 3-year-old Minnesota-breds.

Lt. Sampson comes into Saturday's race with solid form, and his win in the Myers was flattered after Vazandar won impressively last Saturday. A winner of three starts this meeting, Lt. Sampson had a solid work over the track last Saturday.

A half-brother to last year's Minnesota Derby winner, Trickypicksix, Lt. Sampson should be able to stay the mile and 70-yard distance of the derby. Leading rider Derek Bell will ride.

Vasant was entered in the Myers but was scratched after being fractious at the gate. The winner of last season's Northern Lights Futurity, Vasant has raced just once this year, finishing fourth in a grass allowance last month. A bullet six-furlong work Sunday suggests Vasant is ready to claim Vazandar's role as the main threat to Lt. Sampson. Seth Martinez rides.

After finishing second to Vasant in the Northern Lights Futurity, Mean U Gene finished off the board in his next three races before winning his first allowance condition last out. Diego has the assignment aboard Mean U Gene.

Carl won impressively in his last out July 1, in his first start of the year against statebred foes. Carl has been working steadily for the Minnesota Derby since that outing. Mike Ziegler rides Carl.

Sir Tricky finished third in the Myers and got a useful two-turn prep at Prairie Meadows two weeks ago, when he was fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. He will be ridden by Joel Campbell.