|Sunday Racing Preview|
|News - Misc|
|Saturday, July 20, 2013|
Multiple stakes races puts exclamation point on the weekend By Ryan Roshau, HRND Media Relations Director
Multiple stakes races puts exclamation point on the weekend
By Ryan Roshau, HRND Media Relations Director
If Saturday’s “Derby Day” card is a tribute to the Kentucky Derby then Sunday’s lineup is an homage to the Breeders’ Cup.
Eight races, highlighted by the $8,000 AQHA Bonus Challenge Stakes, 440 yard dash that pairs some splendid sprinters against one another. The morning line favorite Drinkin the Gold will be saddled by Jim Fleming and ridden by Shaun Herman. ’Gold has tallied back to back fourth-place finishes at Canterbuy Park, most recently in a $7500 Optional Claimer last weekend. The Oklahoma-bred has earned $65,401 in his career and has seven wins to her credit. Junior Dolphus’ mare Pt Special Feature is the best of the circuit entrants. The four year old filly won an equivelant stakes at Chippewa on June 30th with Nathan Haar aboard. The nineteen year-old jockey retains the mount for the AQHA Challenge. Streakin Zoomer, fifth in the Great Lakes Stakes at Canterbuy in his last start has the look of a live contender while Dakota Racing LLC’s Checkin Her Out looks to repeat her win in this race in 2012. The North Dakota-bred filly ran last year’s 440 contest in 22.36.
At $5,000 each, the NDQHRA Derby and NDQHRA Futurity adds intrigue to a lively race card. Dave Wisdom’s Mr Shake Em Diva appears to be the real deal in the Derby at 400 yards. The well bred bay gelding won a Maiden Claimer valued at $15,000 at Canterbury Park on June 27th so a repeat effort could be enough to score in this spot. Eyesa LaJolla won’t make things easy from along the inside and Jenna’s Easy Cash has looked like a world beater at Chippewa Downs. It is all shaping up to be another thrilling run to the wire—as the Derby usually is. Wisdom has won two Derbies previously—including a score in 2009, the last year the NDQHRA Derby was run in Fargo. Four years ago, Wisdom found himself in the winner’s circle with Shake Em Diva, a full sister to this year’s favorite, so it could be Mr Shake Em Diva’s turn in 2013.
In the $5,000 NDHQRA Futurity, there’s a lot to like about the Canterbury prepped Separate Wild. He has Dave Wisdom going for him (winner of this race four times in Fargo including 2006 with Mr Hawkin, right) trainer Ed Hardy, and a maiden win at Fort Pierre in April. In mid June, he ran ninth in a trial race for the six-figure Northlands Futurity. That experience in the big leagues leaves him as the most likely choice to steal the race. But to the race favorite, Jim flemings’s unbeaten colt says, “Dontthrotlemystyle”. The winner of two straight at Chippewa Downs is fit and ready for the next step in his adventure and should get better as the races get longer. Joe Herman’s Major Dasher deserves a nod as he ran very well behind ‘throtle in the Futurity Final at Chippewa. Both Belcourt starters are to be encouraged by the big win by Blurred Cash in the opening race at the Horse Park meet Friday. Blurred Cash finished second behind ‘throtle and ahead of ‘Dasher in that aforementioned Futurity.
The $4,500 Open QH Derby and $4,500 Open QH Futurity have been child’s play for the popular Pierre, SD owner Tom Maher (pictured right) in recent years. Since 2005, Maher has 10 trophies from these two races in Fargo; six straight in the Futurity and four in the Derby. Maher hopes to continue that success with Sheza Classic Tango in the Futurity, breaking from the one hole with Jeremy Herman up, while Eyeofahero is the Derby designee. Sheza Classic Tango hasn’t lived up to the usual Maher billing, but Eyeofahero sure has. The Oklahoma-bred gelding won a $10,000 Futurity at Brown County Fair Memorial Day weekend. Prior to that start, he was very seasoned as a juvenile, starting his career at Remington Park in Oklahoma and then moving on to Ruidoso Downs in May of 2012 when he ran fourth in a Trial Division of the Rainbow Futurity Trials.
Also worth noting are a pair of TOBA races, a six furlong Derby valued at $3,500 and the four and a half furlong Futurity also valued at $3,500. Many of the veterans who will contest Saturday’s ND Derby and ND Futurity, respectively, are also entered in the pair of Sunday stakes.