By Rebecca Roush
If you’ve ever been to Canterbury Park before, chances are you have heard announcer Paul Allen. What you may not know is that he owns racehorses as well.
Growing up just outside of Washington D.C. in an apartment complex that overlooked Rosecroft Raceway, Allen began attending races with his mother when he was just 11-years-old.
Allen began his career in the horse racing industry as intern, writing for the Pasadena Star News in 1989. He covered races at Santa Anita Park, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar.
After writing for the paper for three years, Allen decided he wanted to try something different. He began calling races into a tape recorder while at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park for a year. “I knew, after working for the newspaper, that I wanted to call races someday,” Allen said. Determined to one day announce at a racetrack, he recorded himself calling nearly seven hundred races.
He did this until 1993, when a race calling job opened up at Bay Meadows. Allen used his tapes to apply and the rest is history.
After bouncing back and forth between Shakopee and California, Allen settled in Minnesota in 1998. He began owning horses at Canterbury Park just a year later. He has had at least fifteen horses since and currently owns three between three partnerships, the L Team, the TD Group and Spoon Ridge Stable. The horses are all managed by different trainers.
Allen says that it is beneficial for those who are new to horse ownership to “join a partnership of between three and 10 other owners.” He added that it is also important to find a trainer who is good at communicating.
The thing that Allen says he enjoys most about owning horses is not only the excitement he gets from winning, but also being able to share it with his group. “I genuinely appreciate having the ability to bring new people in and let them experience the joy of watching their horse race and win,” he commented.
Last Friday, Allen was able to share this type of experience with many people as they lined up to be with him and his partners, Canterbury Park track analyst, Brian Arrigoni and certified athletic trainer for the Minnesota Vikings, Eric Sugarman, in the winner’s circle. This came after their horse, Starship Impulse, won its first start for the group.
“Before Friday, I had not had a winner’s circle photo in almost two years,” Allen said. “To be able to have partners, who have never experienced that, join me was one of the biggest horse ownership highlights of my life,” he added.
When he is not busy balancing his time between hosting a daily radio show on KFAN, announcing Viking football play-by-play, or informing and entertaining at Canterbury Park, Allen says he enjoys spending time with his friends and family.
“My life is very simplistic,” Allen said. “It is all about my kids and work.” Derek (17), who has been working at Canterbury for three years and Nicole (15) often visit Allen while he is in his announcer’s booth.
If you are interested in exploring horse ownership, you will find information HERE.