Joe Novogratz of Chanhassen, racing as Novogratz Racing Stables, tied for leading owner honors with Charles Garvey at the conclusion of the 2018 Canterbury Park race meet. Both are associated with the two top trainers in Shakopee. Novogratz’s horses reside in the Mac Robertson stable while Garvey has used Robertino Diodoro for nearly a decade. Each owner made 15 trips to the winner’s circle last season.
From a young age, Garvey had a passion for the sport of horse racing. At just 13-years-old he was already making trips to Northlands Park, a local racetrack in his home town of Edmonton, Alberta. Garvey says he was the “first guy in line” at the track for the 1974 racing season.
Eleven years later, he purchased his first racehorse, named Highland Leader, and began his ownership career at Northlands. Garvey’s intention after high school and during those early days at Northlands Park, was to get a college education, but he instead got involved in the oil industry. He ended up with his own business, which he later sold, but formed another with drill pipe factories in Canada and Houston.
Garvey and Diodoro were later introduced by Canadian trainer Dale Saunders and teamed up in 2011 at Turf Paradise. Garvey was the leading owner three straight seasons there and also won the 2019 owner title.
Novogratz became involved in horse racing more than a quarter century ago when he joined a partnership and immediately experienced success.
“We bought one horse and named it Joseph’s Dream. His first race he ran, he won,” Novogratz said. “From then on I was hooked.”
Novogratz was a standout linebacker for the Pitt Panthers and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings. He later founded IDI Distributors Inc., a company that he still leads.
Novogratz Racing Stables also took top honors at Canterbury in 2016 and 2017. Amy’s Challenge, owned by Novogratz, is expected to race Saturday at Churchill Downs in the $500,000 Humana Distaff, a Grade 1 seven furlong sprint.