08/03/2010 8:48AM

Stachys keys Canterbury domination at Assiniboia


Stachys captured the $75,000 Manitoba Derby, Ruby’s Big Band won the $50,000 Assiniboia Oaks via a disqualification, and Paris By Night prevailed in the $30,000 Graduation as horses based at Canterbury Park dominated the showpiece card of the Assiniboia Downs season on Monday.

Stachys, coming back-to-back scores over dirt and turf in Minnesota, was the second choice at almost 9-2 in the 1 1/8 mile Assiniboia Derby. After stalking a modest pace and having to await room on the final turn, Stachys swung out and finished strongly to prevail by two lengths for jockey Eddie Martin Jr. and trainer Michael Biehler.

“I was on the inside; I just had to wait and bide my time,” said Martin. “When I pulled the trigger, I was really on top of them pretty quick.”

Locally based Cherokee Goal finished second at 7-1, with Chief’s Counsel, favored at 2-5 after shipping in from Woodbine, ending another 1 1/4 lengths back as the third-place finisher in the field of seven..

*Ruby’s Big Band ran her record to 5 for 6 over the local oval after finishing second in the one-mile Assiniboia Oaks but being promoted to the top spot upon the disqualification of Illinois shipper Rime Ice.

The stewards ruled that Rime Ice, who had come just off the pace to finish first by 1 1/4 lengths, had interfered with third-place finisher Honorable Lady in upper stretch and placed her third behind that rival.

Trainer Charlie Smith saddled Ruby’s Big Band with his local go-to rider, Rohan Singh, in the irons.

Paris By Night, ridden by David Shepherd and trained by Nevada Litfin, came from off the pace to score by three-quarters of a length in the 5 1/2-furlong Graduation.

Little Widow Maker, who also is based at Canterbury but stayed in Winnipeg after winning the Debutante on July 16, completed a filly exactor in the Graduation, with the gelding Scotty Q ending third in the field of nine.