05/14/2008 11:00PM

Statebreds to divvy up $100K in stakes


Statebreds to divvy up $100K in stakes


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - The focus will be on Minnesota-bred runners at Canterbury Park on Saturday, as the card contains two $50,000 stakes for statebreds, the Lady Slipper and the 10,000 Lakes Stakes.

Twelve fillies and mares were entered in the Lady Slipper Stakes, but it appears two 3-year-old fillies will vie for favoritism when A. J. Bakes meets Pretty as a Smile in the six-furlong contest.

A. J. Bakes was named champion 2-year-old Minnesota-bred filly last year following her impressive 11 3/4-length victory in the Northern Lights Debutante. She will be making her first start since that August race.

Pretty as a Smile finished a distant third in the Northern Lights Debutante, which was contested over very sloppy going. She served notice that she will be a serious contender in the Lady Slipper when she bested male rivals with a 4 1/4-length victory in her most recent start, a statebred allowance test.

Thanks for the Tip, a 4-year-old filly, should not be overlooked. A winner of three races over the Canterbury strip last season, Thanks for the Tip finished second in the Frances Genter Stakes last year, then returned with a gutty effort to win the MTA Stallion Auction Lassie Stakes.

10,000 Lakes: Vazandar back

Vazandar, now 7, will attempt to win the 10,000 Lakes for the second time in his career.

Vazandar won the 10,000 Lakes in 2005 and returned in 2006 to finish a close second to Careless Navigator. Vazandar made a sharp debut last season, missing by a nose in the Shot of Gold Stakes, then was outfinished by a 1 1/4 lengths when he finished third in the 2007 10,000 Lakes.

Vazandar, owned and bred by Kissoon Thoroughbreds, has flashed signs of his old form with a series of sharp workouts preparing for his seasonal debut. Jason Lumpkins rides for trainer Tammy Domenosky.

Trainer Mac Robertson will saddle two runners in the 10,000 Lakes. His charge Sir Tricky won the 10,000 Lakes last season, narrowly edging Careless Navigator. Sir Tricky, 7, will be making his 2008 bow in the six-furlong contest.

Robertson also entered the 4-year old Bee O Bee Bob, who has finished second in several memorable contests at Canterbury despite some problematic starts.

Trickyville Dew looms a late-running threat. Winner of the 2006 Minnesota Derby, Trickyville Dew has worked sharply for his first 2008 start.