08/17/2004 11:00PM

Robertson loaded for Champions Day


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Mac Robertson is listed as the assistant trainer to his father, Hugh, in the Canterbury Park program, but is clearly the one in charge of the stable's Canterbury shed row. Mac Robertson has guided the locally based Kissoon Thoroughbreds through what might prove its most productive season ever and is poised to add to the stable's accomplishments in Sunday's Festival of Champions Day, which comprises seven stakes offering combined purses in excess of $300,000.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Mac Robertson laid out plans for some of his horses in Sunday's races. Vazandar, recent winner of the Iowa Stallion Auction Stakes, will be entered in the Minnesota Turf Championship.

"I think he's the best Minnesota-bred grass horse," said Robertson, noting Vazandar has already beaten open company in the Canterbury Derby. "The fact that he's won over the main track will just be an added benefit if they scratch the race off the turf."

Robertson said that Lady Slipper Stakes winner Swasti would be entered in the Minnesota Distaff Sprint and that Canterbury Oaks winner Nilini would be entered in the Minnesota Distaff Championship. Saribinda, winner of his last two starts on the grass, will also be entered in the Minnesota Turf Championship.

One of Kissoon Thoroughbreds' best producers, Unbroken Circle, will be represented by Shikhar in the Northern Lights Futurity. A 2-year-old homebred colt by the Kissoon's own stallion Takur, Shikhar is a half-brother to Ashar, winner of the 1997 Northern Lights. Shikhar's sister Darika is the dam of last year's Northern Lights Futurity winner Vasant.