The 2001 Thoroughbred stakes schedule, highlighted by the third renewal of the $550,000 Claiming Crown and the $250,000 Minnesota Festival of Champions, was released Thursday by Canterbury Park. The 2001 schedule features 30 races worth nearly $1.6 million – an increase of almost 10 percent over the purses offered in 2000. "We're well aware of the impact the Canterbury card club has had on the daily purses, but now our stakes program is reaping the benefits as well," director of racing Doug Schoepf said in a press release from the track. "The minimum purse will be $35,000. That's the highest figure since the track re-opened in 1995 and should translate into a very competitive series of races." Live racing returns to Canterbury Park Friday, May 18 as part of a 61-day schedule running through Labor Day...Last year's Breeders' Cup Classic in which Tiznow defeated Giant's Causeway has been voted the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's "moment of the year." Balloting was conducted on the NTRA's Website, with the Tiznow/Giant's Causeway race receiving 27% of the vote, edging out Laffit Pincay Jr.'s 9,000th win, which earned 22% of the vote. Fusaichi Pegasus's Kentucky Derby victory was a distant third, claiming 14% of the vote. As part of the "NTRA Moment of the Year" contest, Todd Root, a 35 year-old transaction analyst from Houston was selected at random from among those voting for the winning moment. Root and his wife Suzanne will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Eclipse Awards...Peak Condition, an 8-year-old mare by Fit to Fight in foal to Jules, brought $28,000 to top the first open session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2001 Winter Mixed Sale. Dan Mallory, agent for John D. Murphy, purchased Peak from Cloverleaf Farm Inc. OBSC reported 197 horses sold for a total of $871,400, compared with 171 horses grossing $969,100 in the corresponding session a year ago. The average price was $4,423 compared with last year's $5,667 while the median price was $3,000 compared with $3,500 in last year's first open session. (Results, OBSC)...A colt by Cappuccio produced from the Great Prospector mare Logan's Blush who was born Wednesday became the first foal for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's operation at the Blackburn Correctional complex near Lexington, Ky. The mare was purchased by breeder John Hettinger from the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale and donated to TRF. The mare and foal will remain at Blackburn until an adoptive home is found.

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