by Angela Hermann
A full field of twelve is set to take on Crown the Cat on Sunday. There are some faces she’s seen (and beat) in the past, as well as some new shooters seeking their second win in this N3L. Lori Keith takes over from Ry Eikleberry on the cutback, and they will break from post five. Let’s take a look at each horse in the field:
1 – One More Palo – Mike Chambers just took this filly over from Miguel Silva, and she comes in off a lengthy layoff. He’s only worked her twice since June, neither work blows this handicapper away. However, the fastest filly in the field draws the rail. The way our track’s been playing lately, she looms as the main danger on the front end under Adolfo Morales. However, they may have bought this filly with the hopes of taking her back to Arizona. She won twice this spring over that surface but thusfar hasn’t hit the board at Canterbury. Mixed signals from a hot and cold barn.
2 – War Victory – A filly that Crown the Cat defeated last time, they cut back together. This McShane trainee is making her third start off a short layoff, but hasn’t been quite the same filly in Minnesota that she was in Iowa. She appears to be a need-the-lead sort whose only two wins have come in gate to wire fashion. With One More Palo drawn to her inside, she may have to sit further back than she’d like.
3 – Academy’s Win – Her two wins have also come in pace setting/pace dueling fashion. Every other race of hers has ended in double-digit defeat, although she does exit the Minnesota Oaks. Two back against statebreds she was last throughout, and really would be a surprise to get a piece of this.
4 – Annie A.P. – Though she’s light on the win end, this filly loves Canterbury. Frank McKinley’s two win’s this year have both come thanks to this one, both for a $5,000 tag. She’s got speed, but not quite the brand of One More Palo. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with her, though Birt-Carmouche typically sends. She’s only missed the board twice over the local surface, and looms a threat once again to get a piece. She and Crown the Cat look to get similar trips.
5 – Crown the Cat – She’ll certainly have endurance off two route races, and the speed mostly lies to her inside. Lori will have to hustle to keep her in contention, as it appears she needs to be in the race early to make an impact. If she can stay within a few lengths of One More Palo, she should be able to make a decent charge at the end for at least a share. The only horse that’s defeated her in the past – Silver Direction – drew the ten hole. Looks like she’ll be tough if a few things break her way.
6 – In the Wind – Though she’s 0-7 this year, the drop to this level last time seemed to move her up. With an extra furlong to navigate today and a little more pace, win number three is not out of the question. She hasn’t been nearly as close this year, though, as she was last year at a similar level. She also has five lengths to make up on Thisheartsforyou, and returns off short rest to try this level again. Seems to be headed in the right direction but still needs to improve to make an impact.
7 – Secret’s Rifle – This filly has only two wins to show for 47 starts, but those wins have not come at Canterbury. She’s only hit the board once and is the oldest member of the field at age eight. Though she picked up win number two last year, it was in a suspect race. Another that would need a lifetime best to get the win in here.
8 – Thisheartsforyou – Similar to Secret’s Rifle, Thisheart’sforyou has a lot of on the board finishes with only two wins. She is two for thirty-five to be exact, but seeks win number three off three consecutive runner-up efforts. Derek Bell rode her for two of those and rejoins today for Erfle. She looked primed to take at least two of those past races, but didn’t continue once she hit second. This seems to be the pattern for this six year old mare. She certainly fits on ability….just not so sure on the middle part of her name.
9 – Dia Mayo – An unexpected entry, as she only has one lifetime win to her credit. That win came at this price, but she’s also running for the third time in two weeks. She ran decently enough in her first stab at winners, but was defeated by Silver Direction who lands just to her outside. She gets her third jockey in as many starts as well. The odds are against it.
10 – Silver Direction – Though she rode Dia Mayo last time around, Britney Arterburn opts for this Nicole Walt trainee. She appears to be one of the main dangers to Crown the Cat, and has rebounded from a slightly off race on August 6th. Though she too returns on short rest, the price here gets cut in half. She’s beaten a few of them in here as well – Expect this horse to go off favored.
11 – Pic Three Bertie – Her Canterbury career started off successfully at this level, but since then has tailed off a bit with non-winners of three. Her last two races have been defeats behind Thisheart’sforyou, but Dean Butler does see fit to hop aboard. She has not been beaten by bad horses either, including Kwik Rebel and Ms. Cecile. It appears that she, too, likes to stay close to the pace….a tall order from the eleven post.
12 – Keyhole Kate – The other Minnesotan draws the unfortunate outside post to try for her third win. Both of her wins to date have come against state bred foes, with her only open race ending in a 20 length defeat. She, however, took the drop to claimers this year and seemed to appreciate it. Nik Goodwin rejoined last time for a last place effort at the beginning of August. Freshened for over a month, she could throw in an improved effort. It may not be enough improvement to beat the Cat!