Canterbury Park’s Northern Stars Turf Festival, featuring five turf stakes, attracted jockeys and trainers from around the country. Locally based horses stood their ground and won two of those stakes when Cupids Crush wired the field in the $75,000 Curtis Sampson Oaks and Golden Bandit won the $100,000 Canterbury Derby. The remainder of the evening belonged to Florent Geroux, one of the top riders in the country, who won the other three $75,000 stakes, the Brooks Fields, the Dark Star Turf Sprint and the Lady Canterbury, all for trainer Jonathan Thomas.

Cupids Crush, a Minnesota-bred filly owned by Xtreme Racing Stables LLC and trained by Mac Robertson, was making her sixth career start but had not raced a route of ground or on the turf. She broke alertly under Eduardo Gallardo and was never seriously challenged stopping the clock in stakes record time of 1:34.35 for a mile on the turf.

“I always really like her. She’s done everything right,” Mac Robertson said. “She’s always been fast.”

Robertson worked her over the turf course June 17 to allow Cupids Crush to see the course the trainer said. Cupids Crush paid $18.60 to win, the largest price of the evening.

Golden Bandit, the 2 to 1 third choice in the Canterbury Derby, stalked One in Vermillion, passed him coming out of the final turn, pulled away by 4 lengths mid-stretch and held on to win by 1 1/2 lengths as One in Vermillion attempted to rally. Favorite Worthington finished third, another 1 1/4 lengths back.

Golden Bandit was ridden by Adam Beschizza, trained by Coty Rosin and is owned and was bred in Kentucky by Barry and Joni Butzow. He paid $6.00 to win.

Geroux’s wins came aboard Fuerteventura in the Brooks Fields for owners Robert LaPenta and Brereton Jones, Regal Realm in the Lady Canterbury and High Front in the Dark Star Turf Sprint, both owned by Augustin Stables. Fuerteventura paid $3.80, Regal Realm $4.80 and High Front $6.00, all as the betting favorites.

The evening ended with another winning favorite, the fifth on the card, as Sir Sterling won the $55,000 MTA Stallion Auction Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths with Lindey Wade aboard. Wade won his 1,500th career race earlier on the card aboard Wright Winged. Sir Sterling is trained by Tony Rengstorf for owner Chad Kuehn. He paid $3.80.

Total handle for the nine-race card was $2,522,806.

Golden Bandit

(info courtesy of Canterbury Park)

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