Simply put, Brittany Arterburn’s summer is quickly becoming one of “Splendor on the Grass.”
Her workdays are often short but productive.
Or as Jerry Simmons, the jockey room custodian, put it: “Ride one, win one, go home.”
Arterburn had just entered the jockeys’ room after riding Left It In Vegas to a solid win on the turf in the second race, her only mount on Thursday’s card. She has done that more than once this season and more often than not it’s after a race on the turf, on one of her parents’ horses.
Arterburn has won seven races this meet, six of them on the grass where she is an astounding 6-for-10. She rides almost exclusively for her parents’ barn, on horses she works and even sometimes shoes.
It’s truly a family operation .
The Arterburns left Florida this winter, headed for Shakopee with 14 horses. “We ended up with a lot of turf horses,” Brittany said. “We thought of Canterbury right away because of the great course here.”
Lonnie Arterburn, meanwhile, has sent out 19 horses and has seven wins, three seconds and two thirds.
Brittany Arterburn recently married Scott Rhone, a farrier who makes the rounds of the Canterbury stable area on a daily basis. She has picked up tips from him and her father on the fine points of shoeing a horse.
“I might do the front half of a horse one day and finish him up the next,” she said, admitting that it can be a grueling business.
The subject of shoeing horses quickly caught fire. ‘I did one horse in my life,” said Simmons. “That was all I wanted.”
“Hey, we’ve got a young valet here who’s studying the trade.”
“I’ve been studying the last six weeks under Les Harper,” said Antony Steele, the valet in question. “It think it’s a good trade. You have to know what you’re doing though. It’s sometimes like a puzzle, figuring out a horse’s foot and fitting the shoe.”
“Oh, you have to clip those toes just right,” he said. ‘It might take a certain angle to correct the foot.”
Horses don’t always appreciate the effort, either.
“One got me the other day,” said Steele. “He began pushing on me while I had a foot so I pushed back. He got me in the left heel and right here (upper leg).”
Arterburn’s win was part of an evening when the girls ruled…well, sort of.
Anne Von Rosen got the card under way with her 11th win of the meet, on Stamp of Approval in race one for trainer Mike Chambers, who had two wins on the card.
Lori Keith has been on a roll since the reopening after the state shutdown. She brought in Dixie Buck at 20-1 in race four, ran second on Marina Nolan (no relation to Paul) in race five, and won on Hula King for Chambers in race seven.
The two wins were Keith’s 16th and 17th of the meet and lifted her into fourth place in the standings, behind Dean Butler, Derek Bell and Ry Eikleberry.
“She’s a good little rider,” said Chambers. “She had a good meet in Phoenix. She can ride, and she’s smart. Real Smart.”
A LONG RIDE TO SARATOGA SPRINGS
The second place horse in the race won by Left It In Vegas was Oak Flat, trained by Valorie Lund, who was headed back to the barn in short order to finish packing for a trip to New York.
Lund left Thursday night with the big horse in her barn, Atta Boy Roy, his companion pony and the horse’s groom for Saratoga Race Course.
Atta Boy Roy will run in the $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes on Aug. 7. Lund and her assistant had a long hike ahead of them after leaving Shakopee late Thursday.
She expected to make the first stop between Toledo and Cleveland in the early hours Friday and arrive at their destination late Friday or early Saturday.
Roy and Ellie Schaefer, the horses’ owners, will fly to Saratoga Springs from their home in Port Orchard, Wash., for the race.
Jesus Castanon, who rode Shakleford to a Preakness Stakes victory, will ride Atta Boy Roy for Lund.
If they win?
“There will be a big party at the barn,” she said.
The barn in Shakopee, of course.
A WINNING HOMECOMING
Patrick Canchari grew up in Shakopee. He graduated from Shakopee High School in 2009. But he had never ridden a winner in Shakopee.
Until Thursday night.
Canchari, whose father, Luis, rode at Canterbury in the early days, was on Woodyville for owner/trainer Loren Brocka in the sixth race. There was a contingent of Patrick’s high school classmates waiting for him outside the winner’s circle when he dismounted.
There was also a trainer waiting to see if Canchari would return to Canterbury next Wednesday to ride for him.
Yes, Canchari said, he would make the trip from Prairie Meadows, where he is located now.
Canchari began riding on Feb. 11 and has 14 wins in his brief career. He left Shakopee after Thursday’s race in quite a hurry. He had the cook in the jockey’s room prepare him food to go for his return trip to Iowa.