Kevin Gorg Handicaps the 2019 Academy Awards

Kevin Gorg, Fox Sports North personality and former Canterbury Park racing analyst, does not miss many movies.

He is as opinionated about film and actors as he is about a horse race.

Over the years he has offered his Academy Awards selections along with his betting line. Gorg has been remarkably good (and occasionally off the mark), but always provides useful insight for your office pool.

Here is a look at his odds for the 91st Academy Awards, held this Sunday, Feb. 24.

Best Picture

“Green Book” — terrific movie that mixes the horrific history of prejudice in this country and well-timed humor… slight lean here. 5/2

“A Star Is Born” — my favorite flick of the year by far (I’ve seen it nine times). The acting is powerful and the music is amazing but likely won’t win because Hollywood doesn’t respect remakes.  7/2

“Roma” — the betting favorite in Vegas is a foreign language film that is getting a ton of buzz. I haven’t seen this one but you must respect the noise around it.  9/2

“Bohemian Rhapsody” — another movie that I went to see multiples times. The story of how Queen came to be and the remarkable journey of their lead singer Freddie Mercury with all the fixings, which include not just the music but some cool concert experiences… 6-1 (Sneaky longshot.)

“The Favourite” — dark comedy that had its moments for certain but I’m not sure the juice was worth the squeeze.  15-1

“Black Panther” — of all the Oscar-nominated movies I think I enjoyed this one the least. More special effects and the story just did not grab me… Many enjoyed this one but it wasn’t for me.  25-1

“BlacKkKlansman” — now this was a movie I really loved seeing, making fun of the KKK and doing it in a very entertaining way. It was a true story, by the way, which makes it even more hilarious… well worth seeing and deserves to be in the mix.  30-1

“Crazy Rich Asians” — another beautiful movie that combines solid humor and a story that is worth investing your emotions, too. Likely an outsider when it comes to bringing home the hardware but another movie I think everyone enjoyed seeing.  40-1

“If Beale Street Could Talk” — if you are looking for a big longshot that might outrun the odds this one is it. A love story with a twist and the acting in this one is top shelf. Long odds to win because it really has been under the radar but a damn good flick.  50-1

The Field — all others are super longshots and likely have no shot. The one not listed that I enjoyed the most was “Vice,” which had many, many laughs and the actors looked and sounded like the famous politicians they were playing.  100-1

Best Actress

Glen Close in “The Wife” — don’t get me wrong, she did a fantastic job in this one; the movie and performance were great but the reason she wins is because Hollywood loves repeat winners (see the history with Meryl Streep). Overwhelming chalk here but not my favorite performance.  3/5

Lady Gaga in “A Star Is Born” — this young lady is amazingly talented and showed some real skills in this movie. She actually made us believe she was some nobody and then transformed into who she really is in real life (a legit star). The emotional range she showed acting and the chemistry with Bradley Cooper jumped off the screen. She should win but likely won’t… 3-1

Olivia Colman in “The Favorite” — like this movie I get that this performance was solid… just not in the same class as the top two.  25-1

Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns” — tough to take this role and be compared to the legendary original. I love this gal but a huge longshot in this deep and talented group.  50-1

The Field — many solid performances in this bunch maybe led by Nicole Kidman in “Boy Erased.” The top ladies here just are too good… 100-1

Best Actor

Rami Malek in “Bohemian Rhapsody” — absolutely stunning performance. He should crush in this category… Best Bet.  1/5

Bradley Cooper in “A Star Is Born” — any other year he likely takes this one home. He was damn good but his best was second best here.  9/2

Christian Bale in “Vice” — can’t believe how much he looked and sounded like Dick Cheney. Solid job done here for sure.  15-1

Viggo Mortensen in “Green Book” — another performance that might get over shadowed this year but deserves a mention.  40-1

The Field — all others are likely no match for the top couple in here. Of them John David Washington (BlackKklansman) was best.  50-1

–Kevin Gorg

 

 

Recipes for Holiday Treats, From Canterbury Park

With the holidays upon us, many of us will be gathering with friends and families to enjoy a meal together. And that often means preparing a special treat for the occasion.

At Canterbury Park, we have our own traditions when it comes to tasty delights. Here are a few recipes for the holidays and the stories behind them. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Hours at Canterbury Park

No Bake Mock Strawberries – Shyla Howell Marketing Director 

This tasty favorite holiday treat was first introduced to my family in 1960 by my great-grandmother Ina Knudson, who typed the recipe on a 4″ x 6″ recipe card using a standard typewriter for her daughter Jean (my grandmother).

My great-grandma’s note read: “These cookies really add a specialty to the Christmas cookie plate.”  While my Grandma Jean still uses the typed recipe card, I click on a Word document to open my favorite holiday cookie recipe.

No Bake Mock Strawberries

• 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
• 1 cup chopped walnuts or ground almonds
• 2 cups shredded coconut
• 1 (6-ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
• 1 (3-ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
• Tube of green frosting

Directions:

Shyla recipeMix all the ingredients except the 3-ounce box of gelatin. Cover mixture and place in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, roll mixture into strawberry shapes.

Place the 3-ounce box of gelatin in a plate and roll the shaped strawberries in the gelatin until coated. Use the tube of green frosting to make two leaves (or leaf like decoration) on each strawberry.

Makes about two dozen strawberries.

Enjoy! And Happy Holidays!

Russian Tea Cakes – Rebecca Ramm, HR Generalist

This is a recipe from my Grandma Miller, who passed away about 10 years ago. These are a Christmas tradition on my mom’s side, and I know everyone thinks of her when we bake them.

Rebecca Ramm 2Russian Tea Cakes

• 1 cup butter
• ½ cup powdered sugar
• 2 ¼ cup flour
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• ¾ cup chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients and form into approximately 1-inch balls. Bake 14-17 minutes at 400 degrees. Turn them over after 8 or 9 minutes. Roll into additional powdered sugar while warm. Cool and roll again.

Doodads – Jennie Palmer, Director of Guest Services

For as long as I can remember, I have looked forward to the tradition of making Doodads for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Doodads were a kitchen recipe and tradition stemming from my great grandma. My mom had my sister and me helping out in the kitchen when we were very little and this was the most fun we had cooking as little kids.

Now I have four littles of my own and I love getting to pass on this fun experience to them. This year three of the four of them were old enough to get their hands full of butter and flour!

Doodads

Doodads, from Jennie Palmer
Doodads, from Jennie Palmer

Gather leftover pie crust dough pieces after making your holiday pies, or make pie crust dough just for the Doodads. Sprinkle counter surface with flour, then roll dough out into a rectangular shape.

Spread a thin layer of butter across the dough, covering all but an inch around the edges. As kids this was the fun part! We used our hands to spread the butter across the dough and smoothed it out like we were painting.

Next, sprinkle a generous amount of sugar and cinnamon over the same area. Roll the dough up like a cinnamon roll, wet the edge with just a little water and press gently to seal.

You can bake in two ways.

1) Close the ends by wetting the dough, fold over and press to seal. Place the whole rolled Doodad into tinfoil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your Doodad.  If I make it this way, I like to add minced apples before rolling it up.  Slice into serving sizes after cooked.

2) You can also cut the roll into one inch pieces prior to baking.  Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. I like to set the Doodads out with a bowl of whipped cream for dipping on the side.

Bon appetit!

The Great Schindini: Former Rider Became a Trainer

By Rebecca Roush

While some may know Scot Schindler from his days of racehorse riding, most now know him for the horses he trains and owns. Growing up in Fessenden, North Dakota, a town of less than 500 people, Schindler began riding his family’s “ponies” at a local track and slowly moved on to racing Thoroughbreds.

In the mid-80’s Schindler began riding professionally at tracks in the Midwest and Canada before branching out and racing across the country. He made it to Canterbury Park in 1991, where he rode off and on over the years and earned two quarter horse jockey titles. “I had the opportunity to race all over,” Schindler recalled. “I couldn’t stay still most of the time.”

Schindler finished his professional riding career in the fall of 2005 with a lifetime win record of 900 from 8,307 starts. He rode Qs and thoroughbreds, and also had a win on a Arabian at Arpahoe Park in Colorado. He is the third winningest quarter horse rider in Canterbury history. This was not the end of his career in horse racing however.

After retiring from riding, he decided to stick to his passion for racing and purchased “a few yearlings at sales in Kentucky for a bargain when the economy had crashed.” He continued to own horses with his brother, trainer Jeff Schindler. In 2015 Schindler received his training license so he could begin working with the horses himself.

Since taking on the young horses, Schindler has “had to work very hard to get them to where they need to be,” he said. “Even though what I do takes a lot of time and hard work, I have had a lot of help and guidance along the way.” Schindler says that since making the decision to own horses he has learned how important it is to “be humble and realize that this business has its ups and downs.”

The “Great Schindini”, as many call him, currently owns two horses and trains them with the help of his wife, Laurie. His horse, Schindlers Risk is a 9-year-old Gelding that has been with him since the beginning. His other is a 4-year-old Filly named Maria that is owned in partnership with Bob Schwerzler, a long-time friend of Schindler and a former Canterbury Park employee. The partners have seen recent success from Maria when she won a claiming race on June 29 at odds of 29 to 1.

When Schindler is not busy on the backside of Canterbury tending to his horses’ needs or in the stands cheering them on, he enjoys golfing and spending time with Laurie and her children, Aaron and Kaylin. “This job keeps me very busy, but I am lucky enough to live just a mile from the track, making it easy to be on call,” he said.

The horse racing industry has been a longtime passion for Schindler. “I can’t imagine my life without it,” he commented. “The only thing left for me to wish for is to retire healthy and happy someday,” he added.

Breeders’ Cup Nuts & Bolts

Spend The 34th Breeders’ Cup at Canterbury Park

Watch and Wager on North America’s richest day of racing live from Del Mar Thoroughbred Club!

Friday, November 3– first post 1:25 pm; first BC race – 4:25 pm
Saturday, November 4– first post 12:10 pm; first BC race – 2:00 pm

More than $26 million in purse money for the 13 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup races.

Handle exceeded $156 million over the two days last year.

Bet Minimums:

$2.00 – WIN, PLACE, SHOW, DAILY DOUBLE, PICK 6

$1.00 – EXACTA, DISTAFF/CLASSIC DAILY DOUBLE

$.50 – TRIFECTA, PICK 3, PICK 4, PICK 5, SUPER HI 5

$.10 – SUPERFECTA

Guaranteed Pools

Friday:

Pick 5: $500,000 (races 1-5)

Pick 6: $500,000 (races 4-9)  (Last year the Pick Six paid $292,423!)

Pick 4: $1.5 million (races 6-9)

Distaff/Classic Daily Double: $500,000

Saturday:

Pick 5: $500,000 (races 1-5)

Pick 4 $1 million (races 5-8)

Pick 6: $2 million (races 7-12)

Pick 4: $3 million (races 9-12)

Friday Line-Up

BC Juvenile Fillies Turf 4:25 PM  race 6

WPS EX TRI SUPER PICK 3 DD PICK 4

BC Dirt Mile 5:05 PM  race 7

WPS EX TRI SUPER PICK 3 DD PICK 4

BC Juvenile Turf 5:50 PM  race 8

WPS EX TRI SUPER PICK 3 DD

BC Distaff 6:35 PM  race 9

WPS EX TRI SUPER SpDD SupHi 5

Saturday Line-Up

BC Juvenile Fillies 2:00 PM  race 4

WPS EX TRI SUPER PICK 3 DD

BC Turf  Sprint 2:37 PM  race 5

WPS EX TRI SUPER PICK 3 DD

BC Filly & Mare Sprint 3:14 PM race 6

WPS EX TRI SUPER PICK 3 DD PICK 4

BC Filly & Mare Turf 4:00 PM race 7

WPS EX TRI SUPER PICK 3 DD PICK 6

BC Sprint 4:37 PM race 8

WPS EX TRI SUPER PICK 3 DD

BC Mile 5:19 PM  race 9

WPS EX TRI SUPER PICK 3 DD PICK 4

BC Juvenile 5:58 PM  race 10

WPS EX TRI SUPER PICK 3 DD

BC Turf 6:37 PM race 11

WPS EX TRI SUPER  DD

BC Classic 7:35 PM race 12

WPS EX TRI SUPER Super Hi 5

Canterbury Racebook opens Friday at 9:30 AM and Saturday at 8:00 AM. Plenty of free seating is available in Clubhouse Level simulcast center and throughout mezzanine level.

Advance wagering for Friday and Saturday full cards available Thursday.

 

All times are CDT

Del Mar

Fall Poker Classic Recap, Preview of Main Event

With the 2017 Fall Poker Classic nearly complete, we asked Jacob “Chopper” Vail about how things have gone thus far, and what to expect for the Championship Main Event, set for Oct. 13-14.

Fall Poker Classic 2017 from Kris Janisch on Vimeo.

Looking for a list of winners? Canterbury Park will be updating the list of winners as the tournament series progresses.

Meanwhile, poker players can share their stories, photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #FPC17.

See what players are sharing on social media, and follow @CanterburyCards on Twitter for updates.

Interesting Hands from the Ultimate $100K

As players stared each other down Friday, Sept. 29, for a shot at $100,000 in prize money, plenty of interesting hands developed during Canterbury Park’s Ultimate $100K No-Limit Hold’em Tournament.

The event saw six flights of players in the week leading up to the Day 2 finale. We asked a few of the players to recount their more memorable hands.

Let’s take a look at some of the action.

Hand 1

At the outset of Day 2, Todd Fisher found himself on the button with 2-2.

With the blinds at 5,000/2,500, a middle position player opened with a 3X raise. The cutoff called, as did Fisher, and the big blind came along, making it four-way action to the flop.

Fisher flopped a full house: Q-Q-2. The player who initially raised before the flop then led out for 10,000 and the player in the cutoff position raised to 25,000.

Fisher decided on jamming his remaining stack, which was about 90,000 to start the hand. The big blind and middle-position player both folded, and the post-flop raiser called, showing K-Q.

The turn was an 8, but the river was a K, leaving Fisher’s full house second best.

Despite losing the bulk of his stack, Fisher was able to grind back to about 95,000 in chips at the break. The Arlington, Minn., resident said he just wanted to build his stack a bit more, “So I can play some real poker.”

Hand 2

Mike Houck, of Victoria, Minn., recalled a couple of memorable hands during the first Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 7.00.11 AMbreak of Day 2 of the Ultimate $100K.

The first was fairly straightforward. After folding to a big stack the previous hand, Houck ran A-A into that same player’s K-K. The aces held up and Houck had doubled through.

The next hand Houck said was more indicative of where he is as a player than the cards themselves. With A-K in the hole, Houck made a raise of 3X the big blind. Another player came over the top with a large re-raise.

Mulling over his options, and reflecting on his overall game, Houck decided on a fold, and felt it was the right move in that particular spot.

Hand 3

Sitting on one of the larger stacks at the first break, Loki Abboud was UTG+2 and opened the pot with J-J. Another player flat called.

The flop came : Jc, 7c, 2h, giving Abboud top set. He opted for a check, and the other player bet out 45,000. Abboud chose to slow-play and called.

The turn was the Ac, and Abboud shoved, getting a snap call from his opponent, who rolled over A-J.

Abboud, of Mendota Heights, Minn., said he was really only concerned about the other player having A-A or Kc-Qc. But having played with him before, Abboud said he thought his hand was good.

Tournament

Canterbury Park’s Ultimate $100K No-Limit Hold’em tournament paid out 80 places, with first place taking home $18,000. Follow @CanterburyCards on Twitter for the full results.

By Kris Janisch

Mac Robertson wins his 11th training title

Track President Randy Sampson with trainer Mac Robertson

When racing concludes Saturday, Mac Robertson will have won his eleventh leading trainer title at Canterbury Park. The trophy could have been presented June 3 when Mac took command in the standings and never relinquished the lead.

His purse earnings this season, nearly $1.6 million, are more than the combined total of the trainers in second and third, Bernell Rhone and Robertino Didodoro. He has already eclipsed the all-time purse earnings record in the history of the track. He has 62 wins, 27 more than Rhone, entering the final two days of the season and his starters have hit the board 60 percent of the time.

Mac has been involved in the racing industry his entire life. At the age of 12 he began working for his father Hugh as an assistant trainer.  He also worked for other trainers for a couple of years until he decided to go on his own in 1994. Robertson, now 43, scored his first career victory that year at Ak-Sar-Ben Race Track in Omaha, Neb. He saddled only 72 starters under his name through 2004, often overseeing a division of his father Hugh’s stable instead. In 2005, Robertson made a name for himself at Canterbury, winning the first of nine consecutive training titles. He was inducted into the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame in 2011 and is the all-time leader in purse earnings.

This year Mac has again handled several talented horses including 2-year-old Amy’s Challenge who will race in Saturday’s $75,000 Shakopee Juvenile Stakes. Amy’s Challenge won her only start, drawing off by 16 1/2 lengths and earning a 91 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest in the nation for any 2-year-old. Other familiar names from the Robertson stable are Honey’s Sox Appeal, A P Is Loose, and Teddy Time.

Mac spends the winter training at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas before making his annual trek to Shakopee each spring.

2017: A Look Back

By Noah Joseph

Well, it’s that time of the year. Closing weekend is upon us. The 2017 season is almost in the rear-view mirror, and it was a wonderful season. Here’s a look at some of the great moments.

For the fans, there was much to see, and parts of the summer had gone to the dogs. Literally, thousands of fans showed up to watch dogs race, whether it was wiener dogs, bulldogs, or corgis. Extreme Day was an extreme success with camel, ostrich, and zebra races. Also, the Indian Horse Relays were a success in their own right.

This year brought some records along with it, too. Jockey Nik Goodwin got his 1,000th career win. Canterbury Hall of Fame trainer David Van Winkle also got his 1,000th win, and Hold for More became the richest horse in Canterbury Park or Downs history.

There were several new names to make their presence felt in the Canterbury jockey colony. Jareth Loveberry was one of them. In just his first season at Canterbury, Jareth has won 69 races, including one week where he had 13 victories. He is named to ride in 25 of the 26 remaining races. Another jockey, Chad Lindsey, also in his first season at Canterbury, won more than 20 races. The familiar names like Alex Canchari, Dean Butler, and others had successful seasons as well. Leslie Mawing, who rode at Canterbury at the beginning of the century, returned to Shakopee and won more than 40 races.

The racing was top notch as always, especially in stakes competition. Hotshot Kid took his connections on a wild ride, winning the Vic Meyers and Minnesota Derby; Sweet Tapper used her late closing kick to run down Insta Erma in the Lady Canterbury, Puntsville had a dominating score in the Hoist Her Flag running the fastest six furlong time of the meet. The Fiscal Cliff dominated his foes in multiple stakes en route to being one of the best quarter horses to run at Canterbury. Hay Dakota, a Grade 3 winner and local horse just holding on in the Mystic Lake Mile; and Giant Payday’s flying finish in the Mystic Lake Derby.

2017 was a great season for Canterbury fans and horsemen alike. Here’s to 2018 being just the same. To all the Canterbury employees, horsemen, and fans, thank you!

KOWBOY JIM RIGHT HORSE AT RIGHT TIME

By JIM WELLS

Right place at the right time. An urban myth, pure fantasy, akin to a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

Try telling that to jockey Nik Goodwin or Jim Western, a contractor from Sanger, California. They aren’t apt to buy it, not after what happened on Sunday.

Goodwin was in his truck on the phone with his father Sunday morning when trainer/owner/breeder Dean Frey approached him. Western so happens to be working in Woodbury this summer, building a new Costco store.

Sunday afternoon  they were both part of the Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby because of their specific circumstances, both enjoying a victory by a horse name Kowboy Jim.

First some details. Goodwin is having the summer of his career and it just keeps on giving. He was in his truck in the right place at the right time. Frey saw him and approached with an offer. “He asked if I wanted to ride his horse in the Derby,” Goodwin said. Of course, he did.

The Derby was worth $81,125, the richest purse in the race’s history. “I knew his horse had the fastest qualifying time,” Goodwin added.

Frey originally intended to use Berkley Packer who was unavailable at the last moment. No explanation was offered so it is possible he: A. Was having a late breakfast. B. Missed his flight. C. Was abducted by aliens.

Goodwin didn’t have a mount in the race, despite the fact he has more wins than any other rider in track quarter horse annals. Of course he was willing to ride

Now, for Jim Western’s part. He is a neighbor to Frey in California and the two are close enough that Frey named the horse for him: Kowboy Jim.

Kowboy Jim won the race easily, finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of Pyc Jess Bite Mydust with Bout Tree Fiddy a head out of second in a time of 19:78, matching the time he posted in the trials on July 2 under Packer.

Western recalled that Kowboy Jim was a “slow developer” but had certainly improved from what he observed on Sunday. “He came across the line so easily,” he said.

It was obvious from paddock to track to gate that Kowboy Jim was quite comfortable in his own skin, calm, relaxed and comfortable with his surroundings.

“He’s all class,” said Frey. “In the morning when the chores are done, he lays down in the stall. Seems to know what it’s all about.”

Kowboy Jim went across the line easily, proving at the same time that right place, right time are akin to clean break, no interference.

The second place horse in the race got a poor break and was steamrolling at the end, closing ground like a cheetah on steroids.  Would Pyc Jess Bite Mydust have won with a clean break?

Rider Bryan Velazquez thought so. Velazquez said the horse throws its head in the stall, interfering with the timing of his break. “He had to go around several horses and still finished second,” said Velazquez. “With a clean break, he would have won.”

That sometimes is the only difference in quarter horse racing, a small break means the difference between winning and running second. Just as it was right place at the right time for Kowboy Jim and his connections, PYC Jess’s head was in the wrong place at the wrong time for his chances on Sunday.

DO HORSES PREFER PEPPERONI OR SAUSAGE?

Two large pizzas arrived in the pressbox on Sunday, one of them inscribed with a note of thanks to everyone who had backed her on Thursday night. Sent by a horse!!!

Here is the note that accompanied a large pepperoni:

To Jeff + the Boys…

Thanks so much for rooting so hard for me on Thursday!

Couldn’t have done it without ya!!!!

Love, Annoy

Annoy is a six-year-old mare bred in Kentucky and a winner of its 10th career race on last Thursday night’s card. Owned by Nichole Helen Biebighauser, trained by Eric Heitzmann and ridden by Alex Canchari, Annoy has earnings of $190,000 after winning Thursday’s race, certainly enough to keep sending those pizzas each time she wins.