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"Girl Power" in North Dakota: Dakota Girl is Derby favorite while Tiff is talk of the Futurity

July 19, 2013     E-mail this page to a friend!

Story by Ryan Roshau, courtesy of North Dakota Horse Park

In most years, the North Dakota Derby and North Dakota Futurity are run as feature races on their own separate cards. But 2013 isn’t “most years.” The boutique meet this summer necessitates that the high profile races are doubled up on one race card. And oh, what a race card it is.

The $10,000 estimated North Dakota Derby highlights the Saturday, July 20, card as the “Run for the Prairie Roses” goes off as the day’s ninth race—a one mile test over the oval. The leading lady in the field is Ralph Buchholz’ Dakota Girl who comes into the race off of two straight victories at Chippewa Downs, the latter being a 4¾-length frolic in the $7,000 NDTOBA Stallion Derby.

Buchholz, a long-time veteran of the North Dakota thoroughbred game last saddled a winner of the Derby here in Fargo ten years ago with Maddies Blues, but the last horse he won the ND Derby with as an owner/trainer was Patty Kim up at Assiniboia Downs in 1991. Fittingly, Patty Kim is the dam of Dakota Girl who tries to emulate her mother 22 years later. Before this race turns into an overwhelming ‘Chick Flick’ let’s remember that in the history of the ND Derby in Fargo, no filly has won the race; 0 for 8 since 2003 and some quality members of the fair sex have tested the Derby’s one mile distance. MistysDancer

Dakota Girl's competition is Butch Herman's 1-2 punch to take down the race favorite in Hello Scarlet and Tattle Tale Cat. The former has won multiple stakes including the NDTOBA Futurity here in Fargo last July. Since that impressive run she has lost three straight as a sophomore and finished a woeful fifth in the NDTOBA Stallion Stakes at the hand of Dakota Girl. Tattle Tale Cat meanwhile broke her maiden at Chippewa Downs in mid-June and ran second in the NDTOBA Stallion Stakes. Damon Leeds gets the call on Hello Scartlet while Mikhail Carmichael is up on Tattle Tale Cat. The fourth member of the Derby’s fearsome foursome is Go Socks Go, the only maiden the quartet. Gordy Wilke’s charge will be ridden by Jordan Olesiak. ‘Socks is 0/5 lifetime but does carry the good breeding put into her by Bill Maulding and she has shown to be coming on in her recent starts. If the mile distance is to her liking she could be a lights-out winner that few expect.

And if there is one thing we have learned from coming to the Horse Park over the years, it is to expect anything in the North Dakota Futurity. The $10,000 estimated race for juveniles is anybody’s guess due to the short field and the lack of seasoning. After all, only three races have been run amongst the five horses in the field, and that one race was the $4,000 NDTOBA Stallion Futurity at Chippewa Downs that saw Butch Herman’s Classi Coyote top Joe Kid and Two Eyed Kid in 1-2-3 sequential order. The time was solid but the 2 1/2 furlongs run is a far cry from Saturday’s 5 1/2 furlong trek around the Horse Park. Herman’s Classi Coyote is a half sister to Derby contender Hello Scarlet and will be ridden by his son Jeremy.

While there is form of some note from the first three contenders, the two horses on the inside are a mystery to the fans. But the options behind Door #1 and Door #2 might be worth making a deal over. Tuff Grit has yet to answer the starter’s bell but the son of the speedy sprinter Orientate may love the one-turn distance. He also has the soft touch of jockey Tiff Mosset (pictured above) who has been galloping some of the best two-year olds in the land for D. Wayne Lukas. Speaking of bloodlines, Tuff Grit is he son of Strike an Image who won the ND Futurity north of the border a decade ago. Meanwhile, Devron Leingang’s Boozeinablender is a flashy chestnut filly who has been posting solid works at Canterbury Park, most recently blazing three furlongs in :381. Also worth noting is that Leingang has a good hand with campaigning juveniles as he won the 2009 Futurity with Hemietta in wire to wire fashion.

The popular silver cup, in circulation since 1964, will go to the winning owner to retain in his or her possession for the next calendar year. The last time the Derby and Futurity were run on the same day was back in 2003 when Maddies Blues won the Derby and Foxy Scott took the Futurity. The Futurity goes off as race four in a ten race card.