Canterbury Park: Saturday Minnesota Oaks, Derby Analysis

Chris Adams

Written by: Chris Adams

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Canterbury Park: Saturday Minnesota Oaks, Derby Analysis cover


Summer is a time for the marquee tracks like Saratoga and Del Mar. However, many other tracks across the country are running during the summer months. Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN is among them.

Saturday’s card features 4 stakes races including the Minnesota Oaks and Derby. The track also boasts an industry low takeout in the pick 4 and pick 5.

Industry Low Takeout

Canterbury Park has worked hard to put money back in the hands of bettors. After several seasons of success with just 10% takeout in the pick 5, Canterbury has extended the rate to the post time pick 4, which includes races 1-4 on the card.

More Money For Winners

Although still higher than traditional sports betting vigorish, the reduced rate means that it is far more competitive than other bets which can take anywhere from $.15 to $.35 on the dollar.

Furthermore the rate is a huge advantage to a 5 horse parlay which would take a higher rate, 15% on win wagers, for each race a bet was placed. In the pick 5 this house cut is taken only 1 time.

A Signal To Other Tracks

Given that there is no universal wagering menu that is applied across all tracks, other venues across the country pay attention to these innovative approaches. At the end of the day, tracks make their money only off the cut from the betting public.

Initially many tracks are resistant to lower takeout more than likely due to the idea that taking 3% less out of the pool means a 3% decrease in revenue. However, if tracks see that the reduction of takeout by 3% increases pool size by 10%, it means more money on their bottom line.

In turn these tracks are more likely to adopt a similar or perhaps even more competitive takeout rate. This makes the industry low takeout a double bonus for horseplayers. First, more money back in their pocket when they win, but also as an opportunity to drive lower takeout across the country.

Betting Canterbury Park

Canterbury Park does not have the gravitas of a Saratoga or Del Mar. It is a local track supported largely by a local fan base. Here are some helpful tips and tricks when betting Canterbury.

Small Fields

Due to a reduction in purses following the end of a 10 year agreement with a local tribal nation, field sizes have been much smaller than in years past. Many races are going to post with 5-6 runners.

This means that money is not spread around to as many betting interests and payouts can be pretty light. Bettors looking to make money at Canterbury should focus only on their strongest opinions and keep tickets extremely lean.

Rather than spreading your money around to a bunch of different options, it is best to hammer your opinion for a greater dollar amount.

Lower Caliber Horses

Even though half the card is comprised of stakes races, the horses at Canterbury are not to the caliber of those in Saratoga Springs or Del Mar. The good news for bettors is that these horses tend to be more inconsistent and can produce some crazy longshots.

Don’t be afraid to bet a super longshot if you like something in the past performances. This can be especially true if the horse is making changes (blinkers, gelding, Lasix, etc.) or is “over-jocked.” This term refers to a horse getting a top jock despite poor odds.

Don’t Bet the Closers

One of the keys to betting Canterbury is to eliminate as many horses as you can right away. This will help with creating more efficient tickets. One trend that has emerged over the past several seasons is that speed kills.

Most winners are on the lead or sitting just in behind the first flight of horses. While this is not atypical for most dirt tracks around the country, it is even quite pronounced on the turf course.

Using early pace figures and beaten lengths at the 2nd call is a vital part of finding winners at Canterbury Park.

Saturday Full Card Analysis

Canterbury Park Saturday Full Card Selections
Canterbury Park Saturday Full Card Selections

Canterbury Park- 1

Race Time: 5:05 PM CT; $100k Minnesota Oaks spanning 1 mile and 70 yards on dirt; Field: 5 entrants

  • #2 CUPIDS CRUSH (4-5) earns the top nod. Anticipate her to vie for the lead or be close, aiming to stave off the late charge. Recent starts showcase her consistency, setting the stage for a potentially strong performance.
  • #3 LOVER GIRL (9-2) emerges as a marginal contender here. The distance shouldn’t pose much of a challenge.
  • #1 THUNDERS ROCKNROLL (3-1) holds promise as well. She fits these conditions well
  • #4 CHECKCASHINGCONNIE (10-1) is a price runner, likely vying for a minor placing. There shouldn’t be any issue with the distance.

Picks: 2 – 3 – 1 – 4

Canterbury Park- 2

Race Time: 5:35 PM CT; $27k Maiden Special Weight covering 4 1/2 f on dirt; Field: 6 entrants

  • #1 CRESSONS LIL CHARM (4-1) emerges as the standout. Positioned as the field’s premier contender.
  • #6 XTREME SMOKE SHOW (2-1) debuts and is fancied on the morning line. The combination of Robertson and Gallardo adds to her credibility.
  • #5 TAPITURE’S LADY (5-1) makes her debut and carries potential. Rosin’s barn and Wade’s expertise bolster her chances.
  • #3 MISS SILVER (9-2) should progress from her first start and remains in contention. The first run was productive and she could potentially seize control early on.

Picks: 1 – 6 – 5 – 3

Canterbury Park- 3

Race Time: 6:05 PM CT; $10.5k Maiden Claiming spanning 1 mile on dirt; Field: 7 entrants

  • #5 GOING AT IT (8-5) stands out as the prime choice. Berndt and Roman’s partnership strengthens his position. Recent form sets the stage for a good showing.
  • #1 HE’S CONNECTED (5-2) holds promise. A front-flight position and a late running kick chance seem plausible.
  • #2 CLASS COMPOUNDS (4-1) makes a case for inclusion in secondary ticket tiers. Expected to feature in the early pace.
  • #4 JUST BECAUSE (8-1) also merits consideration for underneath positions. Litfin and Hernandez are never a bad bet, especially at the price.

Picks: 5 – 1 – 2 – 4

Canterbury Park- 4

Race Time: 6:35 PM CT; $65k Glitter Star S. covering 1 1/16 miles on dirt; Field: 6 entrants

  • #6 CHARLIE’S PENNY (8-5) takes the lead spot. Berndt and Wade’s collaboration augments her strength. With tactical speed, she can track leaders and launch an effective late surge.
  • #5 MOLLY’S ANGEL (2-1) merits consideration with favorable race dynamics potentially working in her favor.
  • #2 SHE’S MY WARRIOR (8-1) targets a minor placing. She makes some sense in the group of runners.
  • #3 START SINGING (6-1) contends for a lower placing. Rengstorf and Bridgmohan team up which lends weight to her chances.

Picks: 6 – 5 – 2 – 3

Canterbury Park- 5

Race Time: 7:05 PM CT; $12.5k Claiming across 7 1/2 f on turf; Field: 6 entrants

  • #3 JEWEL AZUL (5-2) secures the top position. Expected to rally strongly in the late stretch. Possesses the group’s highest overall power rating.
  • #5 A THOUSAND DREAMS (7-2) emerges as a major contender. Rarick and Hernandez’s collaboration bolsters her appeal.
  • #6 ROYALS’ LIL DIVA (2-1) stands as a peripheral challenger. She is very competitive on overall rating and comes into the race in excellent recent form.
  • #1 CURIOUS INJI (6-1) is another fringe contender. Capable of surpassing the group with strong past showings. She could potentially lead from the front and never look back.

Picks: 3 – 5 – 6 – 1

Canterbury Park- 6

Race Time: 7:35 PM CT; $65k Wally’s Choice S. spanning 1 1/16 miles on dirt; Field: 6 entrants

  • #2 BAYOU BENNY (7-2) prevails as the favored choice. Previous races establish his caliber to triumph over this field.
  • #3 THEALLIGATORHUNTER (2-1) contends for victory as well. Past experience attests to his proficiency under these conditions. The distance isn’t a concern.
  • #5 DEVIL VISION (5-1) holds significant potential. Might capitalize on a brisk pace. Past experience validates his ability at these conditions.
  • #1 XAVEY DAVE (5-2) remains competitive in this race. Could profit from a fast tempo up front.

Picks: 2 – 3 – 5 – 1

Canterbury Park- 7

Race Time: 8:05 PM CT; $11k Claiming across 6 f on dirt; Field: 7 entrants

  • #3 JOHNNY UP (8-5) seizes the top position. Previous experience in these conditions reinforces his favoritism.
  • #1 DIRECT ACTION (2-1) contends for victory. Previous races and solid recent form bode well for a strong performance.
  • #2 RISKY SITUATION (10-1) holds appeal as a long-shot contender. Suitable for secondary ticket positions.
  • #6 WEST BAY (8-1) vies for minor placings and enters the race with a strong recent form.

Picks: 3 – 1 – 2 – 6

Canterbury Park- 8

Race Time: 8:35 PM CT; $100k Minnesota Derby spanning 1 mile and 70 yards on dirt; Field: 8 entrants

The 2022 Minnesota Derby at Canterbury Park featured a Lothenbach Stables Exacta
The 2022 Minnesota Derby featured a Lothenbach Stables Exacta | Coady Photography
  • #8 SIR STERLING (2-1) leads the pack. Rengstorf’s barn and Wade’s riding enhance his chances. No concerns regarding the distance.
  • #5 IT’S BOBS BUSINESS (8-1) maintains competitiveness. Could benefit from a swift pace. Berndt trains and Roman rides for the owner who had the top two finishers last year.
  • #4 ROSES BY LIAM (7-2) contends for victory. Speed figures validate his chances. Fast pace could play to his advantage.
  • #2 WEST ISLAND (5-1) merits lower-tier consideration. Rengstorf and Hernandez’s partnership adds weight to his chances.

Picks: 8 – 5 – 4 – 2

Chris Adams
Chris Adams

Chris first got introduced to horse racing in 2009 at Canterbury Park (Shakopee, MN). Along with handicapping and betting, Chris has worked as a teller at his local track and participated in ownership partnerships. He now enjoys sharing his passion with his wife and two young daughters who love going out to the track each and every summer.

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