05/16/2007 11:00PM

Sprinters get chance to shine


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Minnesota-bred sprinters skirmish for the first time this meeting Saturday in two $45,000 stakes at Canterbury Park, the Lady Slipper and the 10,000 Lakes.

The 10,000 Lakes, a six-furlong contest for 3-year-olds and upward, drew eight runners, but showcases Vazandar and Careless Navigator, who finished second and fourth in the Shot of Gold Stakes on opening day.

Careless Navigator, who won last year's 10,000 Lakes in a season that saw him named Minnesota champion sprinter, is the probable pacesetter. Regular rider Anne Von Rosen will be aboard Careless Navigator, an Almar Farm homebred who is trained by Vic Hanson.

Vazandar won the 10,000 Lakes in 2005 and finished second by three-quarters of a length last year. A Kissoon Thoroughbreds homebred son of Demidoff, Vazandar finished second by a nose in the Shot of Gold two weeks ago. Trained by Tammy Domenosky, Vazandar will be ridden by Dylan Williams.

Ten fillies and mares meet in the six-furlong Lady Slipper Stakes, and Sentimental Charm should prove the favorite. An attractive daughter of Silver Charm who was bred by her owner, Jim Peltier, Sentimental Charm showed promise last season as a 3-year-old when she bested older rivals in the Lady Slipper and returned to prevail in the Frances Genter Stakes.

Trained by Mac Robertson, Sentimental Charm will be making her first start of the meet after finishing second in an optional claiming contest at Oaklawn Park. Her two subsequent breezes over the Canterbury strip and the naming of first-call rider Seth Martinez complete the scenario for the red-hot Robertson barn, which has sent out 8 winners from its first 14 starters at the meeting.

Jills Classy strung together a three-race win streak at Canterbury Park last season and capped off her meet with a head-bobbing victory over Sentimental Charm in the Minnesota Distaff Sprint. Unraced since October, Jills Classy has had a steady series of workouts in preparation for her seasonal debut.

Speed Wagon makes her seasonal debut after winning the MTA Stallion Auction Lassie Stakes last year.