07/01/2005 11:00PM

Vazandar aims for stakes triple


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Monday's holiday card at Canterbury Park is topped by two stakes named for the Minnesota Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, the $40,000 HBPA Sprint for 3-year-olds and up and the $40,000 HBPA Mile for fillies and mares on the turf.

Vazandar, owned by Kissoon Thoroughbreds, is the likely favorite in the Sprint. The winner of the Shot of Gold and 10,000 Lakes Stakes at this meeting, Vazandar has a late-running style that fits the 6 1/2-furlong distance of the Sprint. He was also entered in the Blair's Cove Stakes on Saturday but scratched, probably because this is a better spot for him. Seth Martinez rides for trainer Mac Robertson.

Lt. Sampson was also cross-entered in the Sprint and the Blair's Cove Stakes and was scratched from the Blair's Cove. Trained by Mike Biehler for Canterbury Park chairman Curtis Sampson, Lt. Sampson edged Vazandar last year in the Victor S. Myers Jr. Stakes but finished fourth behind that rival in two stakes appearances this season. Derek Bell is Lt. Sampson's regular rider.

Wimplestiltskin makes his second start of the year in the Sprint after finishing fourth, beaten less than three lengths, in the Honor the Hero Turf Express Stakes last month. Wimplestiltskin finished second in the Sonny Hine and Rushing Man Stakes last season. His recent bullet works at his home base of Prairie Meadows suggest he is ready for his best effort. Trainer Nick Canani has named Scott Stevens to ride.

HBPA Mile: Ghostly Gate looks tough

Six fillies and mare make up the field in the HBPA Mile on the Canterbury Park turf. Ghostly Gate is the likely favorite following her close second to Rue des Reves in the Lady Canterbury Stakes two weeks ago. Ghostly Gate, owned by Jer-Mar Stables, won the Northbound Pride Stakes last year and followed that with a second-place finish in last year's HBPA Mile. Ghostly Gate, 4, won the Mary Colleen Stakes at Hawthorne in April.

Trainer Richie Scherer ships Kalahari Cat to Canterbury Park from her Arlington Park base. A two-time winner against allowance foes in Chicago this year, Kalahari Cat disappointed as the favorite in the Reluctant Guest Stakes at Arlington four weeks ago. She was transferred to the Scherer barn after that race. Stevens has the call.

Music Way has been a steady performer on the turf in recent months and defeated optional claiming foes at Arlington in her most recent appearance. She makes her first start for trainer Tom Amoss in the Mile.

Lost Bride is the likely pacesetter in the Mile. A front-runner, her most recent victory came against optional claiming foes at Fair Grounds. Paul Nolan rides for trainer Mike Stidham.