Racing at Canterbury Park
Racing at Canterbury Park|Coady Photography / Canterbury Park

Thoroughbreds Friday: RT picks the Opening Night card at Canterbury Park in Minnesota, and hopes to be hotter than the weather

Post time is 7 pm EDT


RT’s childhood home.
RT’s childhood home.RT

My Old Kentucky Home ↑
Incredibly, my mother raised a husband, 3 sons and a daughter in that tiny house.

Handicapping the card at Canterbury Park since I’ll be in attendance. Temperature in the low 50s.

It’s best to bet Francisco Arrieta with frequency.

It was 1985 and Canterbury Park, the Canterbury Downs, had just opened. I went out on opening day and it was evident by the $2-to-show bettors who were queued at the windows en masse, as well as the generous odds, that the track did zero to educate Minnesotans on how to handicap. Having gotten the form the night before, I thought that many of the races were certainly going to be at short odds. To my surprise (and pleasure), the tote board would read 17-1 for clearly the best horse in the field. I hammered a few of these and when the day was over, I walked out +$3300. I went into work the next day and resigned, knowing how I would spend the summer . . . and oh what a summer it was. One horse comes to mind that summer and his name was Come Summer. He shipped in from Churchill and was clearly the best of the bunch in his first race here. It was the first time I ever put a dime on a horse. He won handily and ended up peeling off 5 in a row at Canterbury. The next fall, I was in Louisville with family and we ended up at Churchill. It was The Clark Handicap. I looked up at the tote board and my cousin Eddy, told me, “nobody’s going to beat Taylor’s Special today.” I told him that I was going with Come Summer and Eddy was thoughtful enough to remind me that I was pissing my money away. As they made their way down the stretch, Taylor’s Special was leading and all-of-a-sudden, Come Summer catches him at the 1/16th pole and takes it. He paid $102 to win and the exacta was in the $300 range. Eddy looked over and sheepishly said…”dinner’s on you tonight.” Gladly.

$10K MCL 3yo+ 6.5f
1 – French Dancer (9/5) Arrieta/Diodoro team pulling in 36% winners and will bet these two frequently . . . except this guy will take a lot of money. OP shipper moves down from $30K claiming level and has, by far, the best last E Speed figure.
6 – Kaun Te (6/1) admittedly, it has been many years since I’ve followed Canterbury and the last I did, Tampa shippers were a good bet.
2 – Jimbo’s Biz (9/2) another colt from the Diodoro barn, Jimbo’s last race at OP was in the slop and it was, uneventful. Prior to that, he has racked up improved numbers and he drops to this level where he’ll be a player.
5 – Sink The Bismarck (8/1) Oaklawn shipper taking a class drop and is a 4yo going against the two favorite 3yo’s. Must consider.
Canterbury Race 1 Bets
1 - $20/w $40/p
$2 Exacta Box 1-6-2
$1 Trifecta 2-6/2-6-5/1, 2-6/2-6-5, 1/2-6/2-6-5

$36K MSW - Minnesota Bred – F&M 3yo+ going 5.5f
6 – Patriotic Bei Bei (4/1) experienced 4yo carrying almost the same weight as the 3yo’s with jockey Goncalves (38% last 30 days) in the irons. Made a good closing move last out (August) and has worked forwardly for this. Comes out of a positive key race.
3 – Trendy Neve (5/1) first time starter has shown stellar works with the longest being a bullet 5f breeze, in Tampa, clocking in at 1:01.2. This is almost as fas as most of these have run in an actual race.
5 – Shez Just Cruisin (3-1) another benchwarmer, Shez comes out of an open maiden race last out and jockey Lori Keith with trainer Mike Biebler hitting at 20%. This filly is what all handicappers look for in a race – the lone speed.
4 – Legendolly (5/2) the only other 4yo in the field, she too has been on hiatus since this past fall. This filly showed some closing pep in her last race and Dean Butler/Tim Padilla a 17% win prop.
Canterbury Race 2 Bets
6 - $20/w $40/p
$2 Exacta Box 3-5-6
$1 Trifecta 3-5/3-5-4/6, 3-5/6/3-5-4, 6/3-5/3-5-4

$38.5K Allowance - MN Bred – F&M – 5.5f
6 – Vidira (8/1) comes out a positive key race and gets Francisco Arrieta back in the irons. Last time, she ran in the Francis Genter Stakes, this past fall, and fought like crazy before finally being taken near the wire. She’s been basking in the sun at TuP and just recently nailed a :47 workout for 4f.
3 Honey’s Sox Appeal (8/5) tough to go against home field advantage. Honey has a record at Cby of 14 times ran, winning 7 of those, with two 2nds and a 3rd for $262K.
4 Pinup Girl (9/2) another homer, Pinup has had 14 races here with 8 wins, 2 seconds and three thirds for $272K.
Canterbury Race 3 Bets
6 - $25/w $50p
$2 Exacta Box 6-3-4

The rest of the card:
4th) 4 - Lila’s Lucky Lady (2/1) – had an MSW race off a layoff three weeks ago and Arrieta up.
5th) 6 – Alotta Soul (8/1) trainer Francisco Bravo finding the winners circle 39% of the time with 1st starters.
6th) 2 – Archie (9/2)
7th) 8 – Dancin’ Nicky (8/1) taking a drop from stakes company, this colt is 3:2-1-0 at Cby
8th) 6 – Kathleen V (10/1) gladly betting Arrieta with a 10-1 price.

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