Rake Farms, Butler Dominate Minnesota Card
Photo: Coady Photography
Hold For More wins the Northern Lights Futurity.
Hold for More was a convincing 5 1/4-length winner of the Northern Lights Futurity Stakes (VIDEO), one of two $75,000 races for juveniles on the Minnesota Festival of Champions program for state-breds Aug. 31 at Canterbury Park.
Dale Schenian's Hold Me Back   gelding was one of three winners on the card for jockey Dean Butler.
Hold for More moved up to second, two lengths behind pacesetter Prayintheprairie as a half mile went in :46.24 and collared the leader to open a two-length advantage into the stretch and win with authority at 7-10 odds. 
Soon after the start, the winner came over on Samstar, causing him to check and resulting in a stewards' inquiry that was eventually dismissed.
Trained by Francisco Bravo, Hold for More covered six furlongs in 1:03.06 on a fast track. Prayintheprairie held on for second, with Chris Mars finishing 10 1/2 lengths back in the third in the field of 11.
Hold for More, bred by Wood-Mere Farm, has a 2-1-0 record from three career starts. He is the first stakes winner for freshman sire Hold Me Back, who stands at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky.
Rake Farms' and trainer Bernell Rhone had two homebred winners on the card, both guided in by Butler. They combined with Sky and Sea in the $60,000 Bella Notte Minnesota Distaff Championship Stakes for fillies and mares, and Bourbon County, who took the $60,000 Crocrock Minnesota Sprint Championship Stakes.
Sky and Sea, a 3-year-old daughter of Latent Heat, notched her third straight win, all stakes victories. The 6-5 favorite tracked pacesetter Happy Hour Honey from second, and then edged past that rival to lead by a head in early stretch. She had to dig deep in closing stages to hold off the closing rush of runner-up Polar Plunge and scored a neck victory in the six-furlong event. The time was 1:10.62 on fast track.
"Sky and Sea, she had a phenomenal race," Scott Rake said. "She gets better all the time and she's just so game. She's got so much heart and just wants to win. And she came back good. She'll be back next year."
Bourbon County, a 4-year-old Dehere gelding, drew clear to a 1 3/4-length win the Sprint Championship after dueling for the early lead. He finished the six furlongs was 1:10.49 while winning for the fourth time in eight career starts. 
Jeff Larson's homebred Sioux Appeal got up in the final stride for a head-bobbing win over pacesetter and favorite Castle Queen in the $75,000 Northern Lights Debutante Stakes  (VIDEO) for juvenile fillies. Tracking from fourth early, the Successful Appeal   filly uncoiled her winning rally at the five-sixteenths pole and wore down the leader to prevail. With the victory in 1:13.03 for six furlongs, the filly is perfect in two career starts.
After racing next to last in the six-horse field for the $60,000 Glitter Star Minnesota Distaff Championship Stakes for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles, Camelia J. Casby's homebred Talkin Bout shook free of the front-runners on the turn and romped to a 7 1/2-length triumph. The win was the third in five starts this season for the 5-year-old mare, who became the 25th stakes winner for sire Yonaguska. The 2-1 second choice, she finished the trip in 1:46.10.
Catherine DeCourcy's homebred Coconino Slim dueled with runner-up Affirmed Cure throughout and thrust out his head at the finish line to take the $60,000 Wally's Choice Minnesota Classic Championship Stakes. The 7-year-old Slew City Slew gelding, the 4-5 favorite in the field of six, was timed in 1:45.67 for 1 1/16 miles. He has an 8-6-1 record from 25 starts and $235,410 in career earnings. 

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