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Anthony Kelzenberg Wound His Way To Racehorse Ownership

By Rebecca Roush

Growing up in Watertown, Minnesota, racehorse owner Anthony Kelzenberg would often make the trip to Canterbury Downs in 1985 to help his father pick horses to bet on. After a year of coming to the track, he started becoming a fan of the sport. “It took me a while to really get into it like my dad was, but I’m glad he brought me out here,” Kelzenberg said.

One of Kelzenberg’s first and favorite memories from the track was in 1986 when Cheapskate, a long shot, won the $300,000 St. Paul Derby by a nose, beating Broad Brush, the top pick. The horse paid $146 to win on a $2 ticket and made national headlines.

Since then, Kelzenberg has visited Canterbury countless times and recently formed Savvy Gopher Stable named after his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, where he majored in Metallurgical Engineering.  He later went on to grad school at Northwestern University for Materials Science.

Over the years, Kelzenberg says he has had the opportunity to become friends with “many great racing fans while at the park.” One of these fans includes Patrick Mooney, who has recently joined Savvy Gopher Stable to claim GetUpBabyGetUp in Kentucky. They saw the 3-year-old filly run at Canterbury Park for the first time on July 21. Even though the horse ran sixth, Kelzenberg was surrounded by friends and family to watch the race and “had a great time.”

“Patrick is a great guy who is as passionate as I am about the sport. That’s why I think we make a good team,” Kelzenberg said. Mooney mentioned that Kelzenberg “does all of the leg work for the stable. He’s really good with numbers and the organizational aspect.”

Kelzenberg’s other horse, owned in partnership with Charles Garvey and Lana Smith, is Holiday Mischief, an 8-year-old gelding from Kentucky.

Both horses are trained with Robertino Diodoro, one of Canterbury Park’s top thoroughbred trainer. “Diodoro is very easy to work with,” said Kelzenberg. “He is always available to us and answers any questions we have.”

Kelzenberg explained that the aspect he enjoys most about racing is how versatile it can be. “With new owners, trainers, jockeys, and horses coming into the sport constantly, there is never a dull moment,” he said. “There aren’t many other sports where the teams are constantly evolving the way horse racing does.”

When Kelzenberg is not at the track or following races, he tutors math part time. “Racing has become one of my favorite past times and I can’t imagine my life without it,” he commented.