Jockey Eddie Martin Jr. won the Minnesota Oaks on the betting favorite and the Minnesota Derby on a 29-1 outsider July 31 for a stakes sweep at Canterbury Park.
Each race, at one mile and 70 yards on the main track, had a $60,000 purse.
Martin sent Hunter's Tiger Paw, the prohibitive 3-5 favorite, to the lead in the Oaks and held off a late challenge to win by 1 ½ lengths in 1:42 2/5. She paid $3.40 to win. Finishing second was Sasha's Fierce and third was Yonstar.
Hunter’s Tiger Paw, owned by Joel and Kris Zamzow of Duluth, Minn., won her second stakes and fourth race in her six-race career but had never run on a dirt track.
“I was skeptical of her on the dirt,” trainer Cory Jensen said. “She showed a lot of heart today. I was getting a little worried in deep stretch but she is a good one.”
In the Minnesota Derby, Martin confounded the betting public when he won with Tsar Tops Dancer for owners TTD Partners. The gelding returned $60 to win.
Martin tracked eventual third-place finisher Our Family Affair into the far turn where they matched strides. Martin took the lead at the top of the stretch but was passed in mid-stretch by Our Family Affair only to battle back again. He held off a late charge by favorite Bet Your Boots and won by 1 ¼ lengths in a final time of 1:43 3/5.
Tsar Tops Dancer provided trainer Nevada Litfin with his first Canterbury stakes win.
“I didn’t know if I could win this race but I knew if the horse was in position to do it, I had the right rider,” Litfin said. “I give all the credit to Eddie, he rode a great race.”