05/11/2006 12:00AM

Sprinters prep for Hoist Her Flag


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Seven fillies and mares meet in a $23,000 allowance on Saturday at Canterbury Park that should serve as a useful prep for next month's Hoist Her Flag Stakes.

Katy Smiles may be favored in Saturday's six-furlong sprint. A winner of the Dean Kutz Stakes at this meeting last year, Katy Smiles also won the City of Phoenix Handicap while wintering at Turf Paradise. In her most recent outing, Katy Smiles finished a close second to the formidable Muir Beach in the Cactus Flower Handicap at Turf Paradise.

David Van Winkle trains the 4-year-old Katy Smiles and has named Juan Rivera to ride.

Sparkling Sabia won the Hoist Her Flag last season for her owner, Hugh Robertson. The 6-year old Sparkling Sabia has not started since November but has been working steadily in Chicago. Paul Nolan rides Sparkling Sabia, who is trained by Robertson's son, Mac.

Also in the field is Two Bayou, who has strung together a series of bullet workouts in preparation for her first start of the season.

Big crowd for opening day

Canterbury posted its largest opening day attendance when 17,111 patrons visited the track last Saturday to watch the nine-race card and Kentucky Derby simulcast. Papa Fuse won the featured $40,000 Shot of Gold Stakes on opening day, besting pacesetting Outsmokem by 1 3/4 lengths and completing the six furlongs in 1:09.25. Full Moon Madness finished a neck further back in third. Tommy Molina rode the winner for trainer Robert Gorham.

Statebred champions to be honored

The Minnesota Thoroughbred Association will host a luncheon for its members on Saturday morning at Canterbury, honoring statebred champions in all divisions. The breeders and owners of The K B Kid, Sentimental Charm, Key Issues, Glitter Star, Bleu's Apparition, and Wally's Choice will all receive awards.

Quick Cut has been named Minnesota stallion of the year and L'Etoile Jolie is broodmare of the year. Demidoff will receive the Thoroughbred Times Stallion Award.