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A First Class Effort From The Hardy Barn


Josh Van Oort was so sure of himself one day last week that he made a bold prediction to Kari Hardy when he saw her.

The Canterbury quarter horse racing secretary told the other half of the Ed Ross Hardy barn that their colt, Givinitaroyaleffort, would win the million dollar Grade I Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park last Saturday.

“She basically thought I was nuts,” Van Oort said.

Well, not all the way, but maybe a little.

“I didn’t have the same kind of confidence that he did,” Hardy said.

Van Oort had as much confidence in the jockey as he did the colt.
After all, Stormy Smith is his brother in law. “We married sisters,” Van Oort said. Josh married Brooke and Stormy married Bridget.

Oh, and there was one more local connection to the rider.
Monte Roller, part of the Canterbury gate crew, is an uncle to Stormy.

So, Van Oort was brimming with confidence _ mixed with hope _ as he watched the race on his computer.

“I’m going to tell ya, for the connections to that horse it was a lot of run, especially for all us quarter horse people up here, we’re pretty much all friends,” Van Oort said. “To have two good friends and a brother in law win that race is an awesome deal.”

Kari Hardy was considering a number of factors as the race approached, and weighed Van Oort’s prediction accordingly.

“He said our horse was going to win because Stormy was on such a hot streak,” Kari said.
Kari has liked Givinitaroyaleffort since they purchased him as a yearling. He developed into a big, strong two-year-old, but she wondered if he was quite ready for a race the caliber of the Heritage Place. In fact, she thought the Hardys’ other entry, Dahlberg, had the best chance of the two because he was more mature.

But when the race ended, there he was, Givinitaroyaleffort, a head in front Knuckles O Toole, who was there a nose in front of the 4-5 wagering favorite Llano Teller; the winner broke his maiden at 25-1 in his third start.

“I had him at Manor (Texas),” Kari said. “He got all his gate work down there, and the last time I worked him there was another horse unbelievably bred that we worked with. Our colt blew him away. The fellow said he really liked his horse till he ran against ours.”

Ed Ross has saddled winners of big races before. He trained a horse named Capones Vault, winner of the 2002 Texas Classic, the first million dollar race in Texas.

Givinitaroyaleffort is owned by the Texas partnership of LMR2010, a partnership Ed Hardy put together a few years ago that took in a Minnesotan, Craig Meschke of Andover, last year.
Kari watched their Futurity winner run his first race in the rain about 1 1/2 months ago. “It was pouring down rain and he ran terrible,” she said.

He ran a “good” second in his trial race about three years before Saturday’s final.
“He ran a little better each time, but he still has room to improve,” Kari said.

Van Oort was joshing with some folks in the winner’s circle a couple of days ago, and pointed out that he had introduced Stormy Smith to the Hardys. “I should get a 10 percent agent’s fee for that,” he said.

Well at least he got to celebrate, according to Kari Hardy.

“He partied as if the horse was his,” she said. “I was informed about that.”

Craig Meschke got into a racing four years ago. “It was on my bucket list,” he explained.
The Andover man, Bruce Scheuing of Chaska and Baudelio Munoz of Columbia Heights teamed up to buy a horse named Makeout Artist.

“The horse has won 100 grand,” said Meschke, who believes he has been living a charmed life. “We’ve been to the winner’s circle seven times with that horse.”

Last year Meschke bought in as the fifth partner in a group called LMR2010 that purchased three horses:
Freda Blue, Timeto Vanish and Givinitaroyaleffort, the winner of Saturday’s million dollar Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park.

Meshke, 50, watched the race on his computer and could hardly believe his eyes.

“How many horses out there could you do this with?” he wondered. “I’ve just been with the right horse at the right time.”

Meschke said he was stunned as he watched the race. “Is this really happening,” he wondered.
Then a thought occurred to him.

“I thought it was time to make a cocktail,” he said.