Stats from the 2017 Meet

Tack was packed, stalls were stripped, and plans were finalized in the stable area at Canterbury Park as trainers, their employees, and their charges shipped to other destinations such as Churchill, Turf Paradise, and Hawthorne. The exodus began in full last week Sunday.  Many horses are simply turned out for the winter months, to return to training after the first of the year.

While the backside is nearly a ghost town now, there are yet a handful of outfits still on the grounds awaiting the opportunity to ship into Keeneland, but give it another week and the once bustling mini-town will be deserted for the winter months.

The Midwest Paddock Report did a fine job of covering the Canterbury race meet and its personalities again this season and the wrap-up piece on 2017 is worth a look. Plenty of facts and figures for you.

For those that want a deeper dive into some numbers, here are more:

Trainer and Jockey Stats broken down into different categories.  For example, Bernell Rhone won at just an 8 percent clip on the turf, but overall when a Rhone horse was favored it won 46 percent of the time.

Biggest and smallest mutuel payouts and fastest and slowest final times for all distances. Two-year-old Amy’s Challenge, the Canterbury Horse of the Meet, ran the fastest six furlong time. The slowest final time for one mile on the turf was recorded in the track’s richest race, the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby.  However, the turf that evening was yielding, and more akin to a bog than a lawn.

Claims for the 2017 meet.   The most expensive claim was on June 2 when Hurricane Force was tagged for $25,000 by owner John Mentz and trainer Mac Robertson.

The Oracle, an occasional contributor to the blog, found these additional stats interesting. Robertson had a positive ROI of $1.01 for each $1 wagered. Mac had 45 horses go off at odds of 8 to 1 or higher and seven won returning a positive $1.98. According to The Oracle’s database, Robertson had a single horse go at odds of more than 20 to 1 and it won. That was Teddy Time who won the July 3 Blair’s Cove and returned $48.40.

Planning for the 2018 race meet is already underway. It is likely a request for race dates will be submitted to the Minnesota Racing Commission in November and approved in December.

RACE OF YEAR BRINGS DOWN CURTAIN

 

Amy’s Challenge

BY JIM WELLS

You can put a stamp on it. Mail it home. The verdict is in. The hype was real. Canterbury Park saved the best for last.

The race of the year was just that.

As anticipated when the race was written, the best horses showed up. The lineup was one for 2017 and for time to come.

The best babies stabled here in track annals, one of them a Minnesota-bred, went head-to-head and gate to wire in a show of talent and maturity beyond their ages on the final day of racing.

The season ended with a couple notable changes. Paddock analyst Brian Arrigoni filled in for track announcer Paul Allen, on assignment as the Minnesota Vikings radio voice. Arrigoni filled in admirably, calling the races with the voice and insight of a seasoned pro. His spot was taken over by former paddock analyst Angela Hermann, who brushed off the cobwebs and was in typical fine form.

The race of the year featured speed and then some, with three two-year-olds that had dominated their previous opposition with lopsided wins lining up in an eight-horse field to face one another a first time.

Would they continue the shows they had previous staged _  winning by 16 ½, 15 ½ and 13 lengths _  when facing one another, the filly Amy’s Challenge against two standout colts, Mr. Jagermeister and Soul of Discretion.

Yes, they did. In the case of Amy’s Challenge and Mr. Jagermeister, gate to wire.

Although the skies were overcast and the air a bit autumnal _ chilly by some standards _ the feature races, the $50,000 Tom Metzen HBPA Sprint and the $75,000 Shakopee Juvenile, offered something considerably more appealing.

Sir Navigator brushed off a challenge from Smooth Chiraz to win the Sprint, and then Amy’s Challenge, whose 91 Beyer speed figure is tops among the nation’s two-year-olds, fought off a game, hard challenge from Mr. Jagermeister.

Soul of Discretion was left well back, in fourth, along with the rest of the lineup, struggling in the wake of the two leaders.

Amy’s Challenge, the 4/5 favorite, broke first and maintained her lead to the top of the stretch where Mr. Jagermeister, at 6/5,  got his head in front and appeared primed to take over in what quickly became a two-horse race in the stretch.

Amy’s Challenge fought back and had ¾ length on him at the wire, with the next closest another 18 lengths back.

“I heard the other horse coming and he got a head on us,” said winning rider Jareth Loveberry, the champion rider of the meet. “Then she dug in and kept digging and digging.”

The winning time and the fractions for the race were better than even older males who ran on Saturday’s season-ending card: 21.95, 44.48, 56.67 and 1:09.58.

Valorie Lund, the trainer of Mr. Jagermeister, was hopeful that what she had just read on her smart phone might portend good luck for her horse, who had lost only once. The winner of that race had just won at Churchill Downs. “The colt that beat us just won the Grade III Iroquois,” she said hopefully.

Afterward she approached Mac Robertson, Amy’s trainer, and gave him a hug, relieved that the race was over and that regardless of the outcome the colt she owns with two of her sisters is still maturing and is a speed demon.

Amy’s Challenge, on the other hand, is owned by Joe Novogratz of Chanhassen and has attracted offers of $1 million or more.

Robertson also saddled the winner of the other stake on the closing day card, the Tom Metzen Sprint.

Sir Navigator, ridden by Israel Hernandez took an inside route to the winner’s circle, finishing 1 ½ lengths in front of Smooth Chiraz and Loveberry and another ½ length ahead of Adens Dream

Owned by Jerry and Marlene Myers, Sir Navigator won for the fourth time in 2017, exceeding $120,00 career earnings with Saturday’s win.

Then, at 6:55 p.m. Betyar crossed the finish line _ leading rider Jareth Loveberry in the irons, leading trainer Mac Robertson collecting one more win and Joe Novogratz, in the final race of the meet, winning the title as leading owner for 2017.

With that the season came to a close.

Jareth Loveberry

WIENER DOG RACES

The smart money was on a little gal called Mustang Sally in the 2017 wiener dog championship, and she backed up her backers in grand fashion, putting on a late rush to hit the finish line a clear winner.

Then again, Sally is not a stranger to these things. She recently won a mixed dog race at Remington Park

That’s right, Oklahoma City. Sally, her owner Pamela Coffey, friend and starter Luann Annerud and Texas friend Carmen Villalobos made the 10 hour drive from Nola, Oklahoma for the second time this summer and came away with the gold.

They were prepared and so was Sally, who trained regularly at the Harmony Training Center for horses, running up and down shed row in addition to longer jaunts on the track.

Her owner also had Sally run alongside the rail next to the track while her friends, several grooms and trainers, hooted and hollered to prepare Sally for noise she would experience during the Canterbury championship run.

 

CLOSING NOTES:

The fears that accompanied Irma for some Canterbury riders and personnel as she bore down on Florida recently were replaced by relief and gratitude in the days that followed the hurricane’s landfall.

Rider Nik Goodwin, for one, had concerns about the family home in Ocala, and was relieved afterward upon finding that it was spared by the killer storm. “Everything is fine,” he said.

Jockey lounge custodian and clerk of scales Mark Anderson and his wife had lesser concerns. They were planning a trip to Nassau for the second year and wondered if that trip, too, would not take place.

A year earlier their planned Caribbean jaunt was cancelled when employees at the resort went on strike.

    CANTERBURY’S 2017 CHAMPIONS

Horse of the year: Amy’s Challenge

Quarter horse of the year: The Fiscal Cliff

3-year-old colt/gelding: Hot Shot Kid

3-year-old filly: Double Bee Sting

2-year-old: Amy’s Challenge

Older horse: Hay Dakota

Older filly/mare: Honey’s Sox Appeal

Sprinter: Honey’s Sox Appeal

Grass horse: Some Say So

Claimer: Monday Confession

Thoroughbred trainer: Mac Robertson

Thoroughbred jockey: Jareth Loveberry

Thoroughbred owner: Novogratz Racing Stables

Quarter horse trainer: Jason Olmstead

Quarter horse jockey: Oscar Delgado

Quarter horse owner: Thomas Scheckel and Dean Frey (tie)

Disqualification Makes Malibu Pro $50,000 John Bullit Winner

Malibu Pro won the $50,000 John Bullit Stakes via disqualification Friday night at Canterbury Park. Immediately after the 1 1/16 mile race the stewards posted an inquiry. Following a five-minute deliberation, they ruled that Way Striking and jockey Orlando Mojica, who led the six-horse field from start to finish and won by a nose, had floated out in deep stretch, intimidating and herding Malibu Pro and jockey Jareth Loveberry, costing them an opportunity to win. As a result Malibu Pro was declared the winner and Way Striking was placed second.

Malibu Pro is trained Mac Robertson and owned by Novogratz Racing Stables. Robertino Diodoro trains Way Striking. High Security finished third for trainer David Van Winkle. Malibu Pro returned $17.80 to win.

Disqualification Makes Malibu Pro $50,000 John Bullit Winner

Malibu Pro won the $50,000 John Bullit Stakes via disqualification Friday night at Canterbury Park. Immediately after the 1 1/16 mile race the stewards posted an inquiry. Following a five-minute deliberation, they ruled that Way Striking and jockey Orlando Mojica, who led the six-horse field from start to finish and won by a nose, had floated out in deep stretch, intimidating and herding Malibu Pro and jockey Jareth Loveberry, costing them an opportunity to win. As a result Malibu Pro was declared the winner and Way Striking was placed second.

Malibu Pro is trained Mac Robertson and owned by Novogratz Racing Stables. Robertino Diodoro trains Way Striking. High Security finished third for trainer David Van Winkle. Malibu Pro returned $17.80 to win.

Trainer Valorie Lund Has Mr. Jagermeister Ready For Shakopee Juvenile

Mr. Jagermeister

Mr. Jagermeister is a very talented Minnesota bred 2-year-old trainer by Valorie Lund. On Saturday he faces perhaps the fastest filly in the country in Amy’s Challenge. In this video Valorie discusses her colt and the upcoming race.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=244W2hCc0XY&w=560&h=315]

Mac Robertson wins his 11th training title

Track President Randy Sampson with trainer Mac Robertson

When racing concludes Saturday, Mac Robertson will have won his eleventh leading trainer title at Canterbury Park. The trophy could have been presented June 3 when Mac took command in the standings and never relinquished the lead.

His purse earnings this season, nearly $1.6 million, are more than the combined total of the trainers in second and third, Bernell Rhone and Robertino Didodoro. He has already eclipsed the all-time purse earnings record in the history of the track. He has 62 wins, 27 more than Rhone, entering the final two days of the season and his starters have hit the board 60 percent of the time.

Mac has been involved in the racing industry his entire life. At the age of 12 he began working for his father Hugh as an assistant trainer.  He also worked for other trainers for a couple of years until he decided to go on his own in 1994. Robertson, now 43, scored his first career victory that year at Ak-Sar-Ben Race Track in Omaha, Neb. He saddled only 72 starters under his name through 2004, often overseeing a division of his father Hugh’s stable instead. In 2005, Robertson made a name for himself at Canterbury, winning the first of nine consecutive training titles. He was inducted into the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame in 2011 and is the all-time leader in purse earnings.

This year Mac has again handled several talented horses including 2-year-old Amy’s Challenge who will race in Saturday’s $75,000 Shakopee Juvenile Stakes. Amy’s Challenge won her only start, drawing off by 16 1/2 lengths and earning a 91 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest in the nation for any 2-year-old. Other familiar names from the Robertson stable are Honey’s Sox Appeal, A P Is Loose, and Teddy Time.

Mac spends the winter training at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas before making his annual trek to Shakopee each spring.

Mac Robertson wins his 11th training title

Track President Randy Sampson with trainer Mac Robertson

When racing concludes Saturday, Mac Robertson will have won his eleventh leading trainer title at Canterbury Park. The trophy could have been presented June 3 when Mac took command in the standings and never relinquished the lead.

His purse earnings this season, nearly $1.6 million, are more than the combined total of the trainers in second and third, Bernell Rhone and Robertino Didodoro. He has already eclipsed the all-time purse earnings record in the history of the track. He has 62 wins, 27 more than Rhone, entering the final two days of the season and his starters have hit the board 60 percent of the time.

Mac has been involved in the racing industry his entire life. At the age of 12 he began working for his father Hugh as an assistant trainer.  He also worked for other trainers for a couple of years until he decided to go on his own in 1994. Robertson, now 43, scored his first career victory that year at Ak-Sar-Ben Race Track in Omaha, Neb. He saddled only 72 starters under his name through 2004, often overseeing a division of his father Hugh’s stable instead. In 2005, Robertson made a name for himself at Canterbury, winning the first of nine consecutive training titles. He was inducted into the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame in 2011 and is the all-time leader in purse earnings.

This year Mac has again handled several talented horses including 2-year-old Amy’s Challenge who will race in Saturday’s $75,000 Shakopee Juvenile Stakes. Amy’s Challenge won her only start, drawing off by 16 1/2 lengths and earning a 91 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest in the nation for any 2-year-old. Other familiar names from the Robertson stable are Honey’s Sox Appeal, A P Is Loose, and Teddy Time.

Mac spends the winter training at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas before making his annual trek to Shakopee each spring.

2017: A Look Back

By Noah Joseph

Well, it’s that time of the year. Closing weekend is upon us. The 2017 season is almost in the rear-view mirror, and it was a wonderful season. Here’s a look at some of the great moments.

For the fans, there was much to see, and parts of the summer had gone to the dogs. Literally, thousands of fans showed up to watch dogs race, whether it was wiener dogs, bulldogs, or corgis. Extreme Day was an extreme success with camel, ostrich, and zebra races. Also, the Indian Horse Relays were a success in their own right.

This year brought some records along with it, too. Jockey Nik Goodwin got his 1,000th career win. Canterbury Hall of Fame trainer David Van Winkle also got his 1,000th win, and Hold for More became the richest horse in Canterbury Park or Downs history.

There were several new names to make their presence felt in the Canterbury jockey colony. Jareth Loveberry was one of them. In just his first season at Canterbury, Jareth has won 69 races, including one week where he had 13 victories. He is named to ride in 25 of the 26 remaining races. Another jockey, Chad Lindsey, also in his first season at Canterbury, won more than 20 races. The familiar names like Alex Canchari, Dean Butler, and others had successful seasons as well. Leslie Mawing, who rode at Canterbury at the beginning of the century, returned to Shakopee and won more than 40 races.

The racing was top notch as always, especially in stakes competition. Hotshot Kid took his connections on a wild ride, winning the Vic Meyers and Minnesota Derby; Sweet Tapper used her late closing kick to run down Insta Erma in the Lady Canterbury, Puntsville had a dominating score in the Hoist Her Flag running the fastest six furlong time of the meet. The Fiscal Cliff dominated his foes in multiple stakes en route to being one of the best quarter horses to run at Canterbury. Hay Dakota, a Grade 3 winner and local horse just holding on in the Mystic Lake Mile; and Giant Payday’s flying finish in the Mystic Lake Derby.

2017 was a great season for Canterbury fans and horsemen alike. Here’s to 2018 being just the same. To all the Canterbury employees, horsemen, and fans, thank you!

2017: A Look Back

By Noah Joseph

Well, it’s that time of the year. Closing weekend is upon us. The 2017 season is almost in the rear-view mirror, and it was a wonderful season. Here’s a look at some of the great moments.

For the fans, there was much to see, and parts of the summer had gone to the dogs. Literally, thousands of fans showed up to watch dogs race, whether it was wiener dogs, bulldogs, or corgis. Extreme Day was an extreme success with camel, ostrich, and zebra races. Also, the Indian Horse Relays were a success in their own right.

This year brought some records along with it, too. Jockey Nik Goodwin got his 1,000th career win. Canterbury Hall of Fame trainer David Van Winkle also got his 1,000th win, and Hold for More became the richest horse in Canterbury Park or Downs history.

There were several new names to make their presence felt in the Canterbury jockey colony. Jareth Loveberry was one of them. In just his first season at Canterbury, Jareth has won 69 races, including one week where he had 13 victories. He is named to ride in 25 of the 26 remaining races. Another jockey, Chad Lindsey, also in his first season at Canterbury, won more than 20 races. The familiar names like Alex Canchari, Dean Butler, and others had successful seasons as well. Leslie Mawing, who rode at Canterbury at the beginning of the century, returned to Shakopee and won more than 40 races.

The racing was top notch as always, especially in stakes competition. Hotshot Kid took his connections on a wild ride, winning the Vic Meyers and Minnesota Derby; Sweet Tapper used her late closing kick to run down Insta Erma in the Lady Canterbury, Puntsville had a dominating score in the Hoist Her Flag running the fastest six furlong time of the meet. The Fiscal Cliff dominated his foes in multiple stakes en route to being one of the best quarter horses to run at Canterbury. Hay Dakota, a Grade 3 winner and local horse just holding on in the Mystic Lake Mile; and Giant Payday’s flying finish in the Mystic Lake Derby.

2017 was a great season for Canterbury fans and horsemen alike. Here’s to 2018 being just the same. To all the Canterbury employees, horsemen, and fans, thank you!

Odds and Ends With Four Days To Go

Entries close Friday for the final three stakes of the 67-day meet that ends Sept. 16.  The $50,000 John Bullit will be run Sept. 15 while the $50,000 Tom Metzen HBPA Sprint and the $75,000 Shakopee Juvenile Stakes will be held on closing day.

The purse of the six-furlong Shakopee Stakes, restricted to 2-year-olds, was boosted by $25,000 last week. Racing officials also added an additional $25,000 for Minnesota breds making it worth $100,000 for those foaled in state.  The hope is to attract all of the fast juveniles that are stabled at Canterbury this summer. Amy’s Challenge earned the largest Beyer Speed Figure, 91, of 2-year-olds to have raced in North America when she cruised to a 16 1/2 length victory here Aug. 6. Robertson has indicated the fill would run in the Shakopee. Soul of Discretion was another powerful maiden winner that earned an 85 Beyer Speed Figure when he won by many in his debut. He however is entered on Saturday in the $75,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity where he has been made the morning line favorite.  The certainty that he races in Chicago however is low.

The Shakopee would be a logical spot for Mr. Jagermeister to land. The Minnesota bred is unbeaten in two starts at Canterbury and finished second when shipped to Prairie Meadows for a stake race. His 81 Beyer Speed Figure from the maiden win and effortless gallop in the Northern Lights Futurity make him a legitimate contender. Entries for the final two days of the meet will be taken this Sunday.

Handicapping Contests this Weekend

The Dog Days of Summer Handicapping Tournament, now in its 21st year making it America’s longest-running and first live-bankroll contest, takes place this Saturday and Sunday. The winner receives a $10,000 entry to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and a National Horseplayer Championship entry plus cash. Second place is an NHC entry and cash.  Complete rules can be found HERE.

On Friday night is the Ultimate NHC Qualifier, another live-bankroll event, that calls for players to wager half of their existing bankroll on each of six Canterbury races. The two players with the largest bankrolls at contest end receive NHC seats.  Rules and information can be found online.

Meet Stats With Four Days To Go

Racing resumes Friday at 6:30pm. Jockey Jareth Loveberry went on a win-binge last week scoring 13 victories and distancing himself by eight wins from Orlando Mojica in the standings. Loveberry actually had 14 wins but was disqualified from one last Friday when his mount Why Frank crossed over and dropped rider Katlin Bedford.  Loveberry received a seven-day suspension that begins Sept. 8. Bedford suffered a broken ankle that will require surgery. She is returning to Oklahoma for the procedure and will recuperate there.  Mac Robertson has 61 wins this meet and has been in control since June. He will win his 11th training title at Canterbury. The thoroughbred owner leaderboard is currently headed by Curtis Sampson who has a two win lead over Joe Novogratz. Sampson has four more wins than Lothenbach Stables who leads in what may be the most important category, purse money earned. From 50 starts, Lothenbach runners have earned $379,670.