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A Little Shipping Money

Sharp%20Richard%20-%20%2008-30-13%20-%20R02%20-%20CBY%20-%20FinishNothing signals the end of the summer any more definitively than the final days of the Minnesota State Fair and the sight of school buses not seen for the previous three months.

Minnesotans are prepared for both eventualities in the coming days and will adjust their calendars and daily schedules accordingly.

There is a different barometer people look to at the racetrack, and the signs are becoming evident now as the meet at Canterbury Park winds down.

Trainers begin cleaning out their barns in the hope of picking up some last minute cash to finance the trip home, in some cases an expensive proposition if the destination is, say, Phoenix or someplace even more distant.

In the case of trainer Doug Oliver, Phoenix is in fact the destination when the meet at Canterbury Park concludes on Sept. 14.

So, Oliver saddled up a four different runners for Friday night’s card with different results.

He sent out Depeche in race one but the 5-year-old mare failed to hit the board. So much for that one.

There were quite different results in race two with a 3-year-old gelding named Sharp Richard (pictured above), who hit the wire first at 7-1.

Oliver divided his attention between Eurasian and Our Family Affair in race six. He not only trains both horses but also owns them.

Our Family Affair picked up the second half of the trip back to Phoenix in that race, with Marcus Swiontek up, running down front-running Appeals the Deal in the final 30 yards.

“I’ve done better this week than I’ve done all summer,” Oliver remarked.


In a single night he doubled his wins for the meet.

A guy never knows what he’ll uncover when he starts cleaning out the basement, garage or, in this case, the barn.


Alex Canchari turned what appeared to be a runaway for the riding title into a two-man race with a remarkable performance on Thursday’s card, riding five of eight winners.

That cut Dean Butler’s lead to seven, and the battle between the two riders continued on Friday’s card.

Butler jumped back in front by eight in race two, winning on Sharp Richard. Canchari responded in race three, winning aboard Threefiftysevenmag.

Tit for tat.

Butler went back up by eight riding the winner of race seven, Great River Skier.

This blog was written by Canterbury Staff Writer Jim Wells. Wells was a longtime sportswriter at the Pioneer Press and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.