08/09/2009 11:00PM

Stakes double gives Stevens his 4,000th winner


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - The crowd of 15,128 on hand for Extreme Day at Canterbury Park was also witness to a remarkable milestone as jockey Scott Stevens earned his 4,000th career victory with a memorable stakes double in the Brian Barenscheer Juvenile and the John Bullit Stakes.

In the $50,000 Barenscheer for 2-year old colts and geldings, Stevens guided Cejka to a front-running victory, prevailing by a head over Launch Light. In the stewards' inquiry that followed the race, Launch Light was disqualified for interference on the turn and was placed last. Raton Pass, who had finished three lengths behind the top pair after a troubled trip, was placed second and favored Bet Your Boots was placed third.

Cejka, who earned his victory in the Barenscheer for owner-trainer Brian Porter while making just his second career start, completed the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.32. Sent postward as the longest shot in the field of seven, Cejka returned $31 and capped an exacta that returned $347.

Stevens used the same tactics to capture the $50,000 John Bullit Stakes for older horses aboard Trying Brian. On a turf course listed as good after some rain earlier in the weekend, Trying Brian opened a clear margin on his eight rivals while setting a measured pace, carving out fractions of 48.86 seconds and 1:13.24. Still just clear as the field left the far turn, Trying Brian turned back a challenge from Pursue a Dream to prevail by a half-length while completing the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.56. Gilded Leader rallied for third, another 2 1/2 lengths behind the top pair.

Mac Robertson trains Trying Brian for his breeder, John Castro. The winner earned his first black type in the John Bullit and returned $13.20 as the third choice in the wagering.

An emotional Stevens thanked Canterbury Park management and Minnesota racing fans for their support in a ceremony that followed in the winner's circle. Stevens was the leading rider at Canterbury Downs from 1990 through 1992 and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame. Stevens has won 24 races at the current meeting.