Mr. Ark: Race Preview

Mr. Ark is running Saturday afternoon in the 7th race.  The race is a $7500 claiming race on the turf going five furlongs.  He is breaking from post 8 and has former Canterbury rider Leandro Goncalves aboard.

The Club has space in Silks tomorrow and it is Group 2’s time in the paddock.

Here is the field:

Pepper Prince (McKinley/Sanchez) – Winner last out at $4000 coming off the pace over the dirt at 29-1.  This will be his first try over the turf course.

Lonesome highway (Bethke/Lindsay) – A winner over the turf and in the money in half of 10 attempts, he has shown ability on the grass – he just hasn’t seen it in a while.  Super consistent six year old with recent wins in Nebraska but has finished second twice this season at Canterbury on the main track.

Six Ninety One (Hanson/Hamilton) – Opened the Canterbury season with a 5 1/2 furling main track win going gate to wire.  Switched over to the turf course he finished a stubborn second at this level three back.  Certainly will be prominent early.

Smarty Party Papa (Lund/Thompson) – Pace pusher has won three of four at Canterbury this season.  Has not won on the turf but has hit the board in two of three efforts – all here in Shakopee.

Magic and More (Spencer/Escobar) – Prairie Meadows shipper is one of six over the turf with a place and show as well.  Canterbury turf record is one second in his lone try.

JP Rocker (Rarick/Velazquez) – Winner in a $12,000 optional claiming sprint over this turf course earlier in the season over the quick Boston Charley.  Should be sitting right off the speed.

Outrun the Posse (Silva/Eikleberry) – 2-1 morning line favorite, he claimed by Miguel Silva early in the meet for $4000 and came back to win at $5,000 two starts later then was a winner last out at this distance first time over the turf virtually gate to wire.

MR ARK (LITFIN/GONCALVES)

Scherer Magic (Diodoro/Mojica) – The pair is winning at 26% at Canterbury and Robertino Diodoro is 21% first off the claim (he claimed this one last out at Prairie Meadows for $5,000).  Definitely a speedster, he’ll have his work cut out for him breaking from post 9 and in only his 3rd start over the turf, but this barn is a good one and speed is never a bad thing to have on your side.

Star Spangled (Richard/Stevens) – Minnesota beat open company over the turf before, gate to wire in a $20,000 conditioned claimer in 2017.  Has had a rough time of it recently.

Mr. Ark broke his maiden over the turf in impressive fashion at Lone Star, taking command half way in the 7 1/2 furling race and drawing off by 5.  He only got on the grass one more time and that was at Lone Star in a $15,000 non-winners of 2 lifetime and he finished up the track, though he did have some trouble in the race.  He never tried the turf again.

The intention when we claimed him was get to Canterbury, win a race early (since he was a multiple winner over the main track it didn’t make sense to play around with what was working) and then experiment a bit on the turf.  He’s never really lived up to his promise so we’ll give him a go over the turf now and see what happens.

He’s quick enough that he should be able to get position early.  I’m not sure he’s fast enough to get the early jump over some of the speed inside of him but Leandro may be able to get position just behind it.  If he can, then it will be a matter of the early speed tearing each other up and picking up some of the pieces late.  It will be interesting to see if he has a closing kick over five furlongs.  In theory (335 Tomlinson for the distance on the turf) this should be right in his wheelhouse.  This doesn’t mean that he’s necessarily good enough, but we may have a puncher’s chance.

See you tomorrow and GOOD LUCK!

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