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Streak Begins? (Heliskier Update)

Blues Edge - Fast Forward Medical Derby - 06-29-13 - R03 - CBY - FinishTrainer Bernell Rhone was asked about a horse he handled last year named Gold Brew, the first horse in his career to win six consecutive races.

“I’ve stopped some winning streaks,” Rhone quipped Saturday afternoon, “but, yes, that was the first horse to win that many in a row for me.”

Gold Brew was back in Rhone’s barn to start the meet this spring, but is now in a Hugo pasture owned by Wayne Scanlan.

Rhone has six of Scanlan’s horses this meet but Gold Brew is not among them. “We brought him back this year but he has a hot tendon,” Rhone explained.

Rhone didn’t end any streaks on Saturday but he started a new one with a horse named Blues Edge, sired by Scanlan’s stallion Obstacle from his mare Auser Blue.

Scanlan is a North Dakota native with horse racing in the family bloodlines. His grandfather, Wayne D. Branch, was a trainer of note in the West, at Long Acres, Golden Gate, Turf Paradise and such and recently elected to the Washington Hall of Fame.

Scanlan’s mother kept those bloodlines going by marrying his father, a cowboy from Miles City, Montana, and they wound up in North Dakota.

“A native of North Dakota just like Bernell,” Scanlan of himself Saturday after the third race.

When Canterbury Downs opened in 1985 Scanlan’s father, Joe, pointed the way if horses were to be a part of his future, getting a piece of land north of Hugo. Wayne was introduced to the state at the University of Minnesota, where he studied veterinary medicine. “They don’t have (a veterinary school) in North Dakota,” said Scanlan.

Scanlan has 25 or more horses on his place in Hugo, including his sire and mares. He once raced a horse at Canterbury called The Pilot. His mares have included Play N Fare, by The Pilot, and Desert Star. If asked how many horses exactly, Scanlan shakes his head and says “too many. You’ll have to ask my wife.”

The Scanlans lost Play N Fare three years ago, a blow to future plans. She was not only a favorite but “she was going to become the foundation mare for our next generation,” he said.

Play N Truth, her last foal, ran well out of the money on last Thursday’s card.

There was some satisfaction nonetheless after Blues Edge (above), with Dean Butler up, recorded the second win of the meet for Scanlan, finishing in front of Somerset Ballerina in the third race.

Scanlan is a practicing veterinarian but other than his own horses he restricts his business to dogs and cats.

“Not other people’s horses,” he said. “I want to continue being able to walk upright, to have the use of all my limbs. Caring for other people’s horses is an accident waiting to happen.”


Jack Walsh was lamenting the long, dry meet he has experienced this wet, wet summer during Saturday’s card. “I haven’t won a race the entire meet,” he said.

He made the statement after the third race on the card in which his Somerset Ballerina finished three lengths behind Blues Edge in the claiming sprint.

Lo and behold, the skies parted, the sun shone forth and Silver Somerset, with Brandon Meier up, ended the dry spell in race No. 8…at 20-1 odds nonetheless.


Canterbury Park’s 2012 Horse of the Year is back in training and appears fine, but no decision has been made regarding his next start.

“I think he is all right,” said owner Marlene Colvin. “He’s back in training.”

We’re going to take our time with him just to make sure everything is all right. That’s what (trainer) Mac Robertson said we should do. He said that’s what Bun would do and I agree.”


Bun Colvin is Marlene’s late husband and Heliskier is the last horse he broke for the track

Marlene said that Heliskier has stood in the gate and has been galloping after losing for the first time in his career last time out. Heliskier was racing against open company for the first time but was out of the race at the break when he went head first into the dirt, scraping his nose and head badly.

“Bun always said to do what is best for the horse. He was walked a few days (after the accident) to make sure there was nothing serious wrong. So far, everything sounds all right,” Marlene said.

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.