HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, June 22, 2021 — It’s encouraging to see that smaller tracks are adapting to the simulcast market in ways that promise to benefit them financially and aesthetically. Take Canterbury Park.
Indeed, most horseplayers took notice that on Wednesday night the track in Shakopee is offering its annual Turf Racing Festival, which include six stakes races beginning with Race 3 and through Race 8.
In case you hadn’t noticed, the races will be conducted on a Wednesday night exactly simulcast prime time. And, by the way, no racing on Saturday vs. the heavy-head circuits.
The Minnesota track is also proud of its 50-Cent Pick 5 with a 10 percent takeout that tonight commences with Race 6 through the Race 10 finale. Two dirt races complete that sequence.
It has been out experience, limited as it may be, that Horses for Courses is a good jumping off point for handicappers. And since it’s grass, with class completing that handicapping mantra, it’s not surprising when other big Midwest outfit ship in to feast on the local competition.
Enter Mike Maker and Brad Cox who, among their unique talents, are very adept at playing the grass game. And wouldn’t you know? Cox has the early line favorite in the third and eighth races: Maker saddles the early public choice in the sixth and seventh.
But they are only two of five in tonight for a turf master: Amalfi Princess (7-2) takes on Cox favorite Saranya (9-5) [Florent Geroux] in the third and saddles an uncoupled pair in the eighth:
Chess’s Dream (4-1) with Ricardo Santana and Shady McGee (12-1) with Dean Butler and a puncher’s chance to upset Cox favorite T.D. Vance (5-2).
It comes as no surprise that Maker is very effective shipping into the Minneapolis suburb. According to Dave Valento of Track Phantom, Maker has shipped 17 horses to Canterbury in the last five years, all turf stakes, winning with five, with another five in-the-money finishers.
We’ll take a few chances, if only to see whether or not we’re walking around lucky. Both are from the prolific MacLean Robertson shedrow. Taking turf-to-dirt turnback Berry Good (5-2) in the ninth and Cinco Star (9-2) in the seventh vs. both Cox and Maker. At least fair odds seem assured in this spot.