Robertson Wins Five at Minnesota Festival


Trainer Mac Robertson continued his Minnesota Festival of Champions dominance by winning four of the six Thoroughbred stakes and an allowance race Sept. 1 at Canterbury Park.

Robertson has now won a record 23 Festival of Champions stakes races, seven more than Bernell Rhone. The Minnesota Festival of Champions is a day of racing restricted to state-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.

This was the 20th running of the Festival of Champions. A reported crowd of 15,023, the second largest in festival history, turned out for the 10-race program. More than $500,000 in purse money was awarded.

Robertson's stakes winners included Somerset Swinger in the $55,000 Bella Notte Distaff Sprint, Heliskier in the $55,000 Crocrock Sprint, Congrats and Roses in the $55,000 Glitter Star Distaff Classic and Coconino Slim in the $55,000 Wally's Choice Classic Championship. Dear Fay won the final race of the day, a $34,800 allowance, for Robertson who has been leading trainer at Canterbury each season since 2005.

She Can Ski, trained by Francisco Bravo and owned by Henry Hanson of Adrian, MN, was ridden to victory by Dean Butler in the $75,000 Northern Lights Debutante. Butler also won the $75,000 Northern Lights Futurity on Appeal to the King for trainer Robert Johnson and Wayne Simon of Tolstoy, SD.

Jockey Alex Canchari was aboard three of Robertson's winners: Congrats and Roses and Somerset Swinger, both owned by Bruce and Mary Malkerson of Shakopee, MN, and Coconino Slim who is owned by Catherine DeCourcy of Sunfish Lake, MN.

Heliskier, the 2012 Canterbury Horse of the Meet, is owned by Marlene Colvin and was ridden by Justin Shepherd, who was also aboard Dear Fay.