07/12/2007 12:00AM

Rich Fantasy will be pressured in Lady Canterbury


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Rich Fantasy might prove a narrow favorite Saturday among the 10 fillies and mares in the $100,000 Lady Canterbury Breeders' Cup, the Canterbury Park meet's annual centerpiece.

Rich Fantasy comes into the one-mile contest off a third-place finish behind Lady of Venice in the Ouija Board Handicap at Lone Star six weeks ago. Lady of Venice came back to win the $1 million CashCall Mile at Hollywood Park last Friday.

Rich Fantasy, a front-running filly, won the Lyrique Handicap at Louisiana Downs last year. Trainer Ronny Werner prepared Rich Fantasy for the Lady Canterbury at his Churchill Downs training base and has secured Jesus Castanon to ride.

A number of pace-pressing types have been entered in the Lady Canterbury, making Rich Fantasy a vulnerable favorite. Chief among her challengers will be Tens Holy Spirit, an accomplished 5-year-old mare who has garnered more than half of her career earnings on the Canterbury turf course.

An upset winner of the Claiming Crown Tiara last season, Tens Holy Spirit won the Minnesota HBPA Mile on the Canterbury turf last month. Regular rider Paul Nolan will be aboard Tens Holy Spirit. Nolan was the architect of an upset in the Lady Canterbury in 1997, when he piloted K Z Bay to victory at odds of 33-1.

My Chickadee ships from Arlington for the Lady Canterbury and she has a stalking style that should be effective in this contest, although she has yet to win over turf in three attempts. After finishing fourth, beaten less than two lengths, in the Grade 3 Chicago Handicap over the Arlington Polytrack last month, My Chickadee prepped for this race with a bullet work there last week. Trainer Brian Williamson has named Dean Butler to ride.

Like My Chickadee, On Safari has never won on the grass in three starts, but she closed well to finish second behind Tens Holy Spirit in the HBPA Mile last month. Derek Bell has the call for trainer Thad Keller.

October Winds is yet another upset possibility in the Lady Canterbury. A 6-year old mare, October Winds could make no impression on the front-running winner Radiant Avie in last season's Lady Canterbury, finishing ninth on a day when the temperature spiraled to more than 100 degrees. She followed with a fourth-place finish in an allowance race in August and didn't return until Juneo17, when she captured an allowance on the turf here. Juan Rivera rides October Winds for Gary Scherer.