Gleason’s from the old school of horsemanship. A native of Dodge City, Kan., he’s been training horses for four decades. He started out in the Kansas bushes and then worked his way to New Mexico, Colorado and, of course, Nebraska. Gleason,64, spent several seasons at Aksarben Race Track, the jewel of Nebraska at one time. He’s raced in Oklahoma and Arkansas, too.
He’s been a regular at Prairie Meadows in Iowa the last several seasons,and occasionally ventured to Shakopee to run horses in various races but had never brought his stable here _ until now.
He’s been at Canterbury Park for several days with 20 horses. A bit late in the season to be switching sites with so little time left in the Canterbury meet, one might conclude.
There is an explanation.
Prairie Meadows shooed out its thoroughbred trainers to make room for arriving horses for the track’s quarter horse meet. Gleason plans to move his stable to Turf Paradise in Phoenix for its upcoming meet, but he can’t get in there until Sept. 7.
Canterbury offered the perfect solution, a place to hang out for August and run his horses at the same time.
Well, something south, rather than north, of Altoona, Iowa, might have worked better since he’s headed to the Southwest in the next couple of weeks.
But Gleason plans to make do while he’s here. He’s already run a couple of horses and has one entered on Friday and two on Saturday’s card.
ANOTHER CANCHARI LOOKS TO RIDE
The stable area is nothing new to 19-year-old Patrick Canchari. He’s worked off and on in Troy Bethke’s barn for the last four or five years.
At one time, he visited the area as a youngster, with his dad, who was a familiar figure in Canterbury’s early years, a rider known as Louie the Glove.
Louie came to the U.S. from Peru and in the last few years has imported some good riders from his native country. But Louie is a Minnesotan and has been for many years. He married a Minnesota girl. Patrick attended Shakopee High School. His brother Alex,16, is there now. They have a sister working on her masters degree at Minnesota State University Mankato.
Patrick is Minnesotan enough that he played hockey for Shakopee’s Sabres.
“They always thought I was too skinny,” he said. Patrick was on the Sabres varsity as a senior but broke an ankle. Besides, the call of the racetrack was always right there.
Louie sent Patrick to Lima, Peru, last year to work for trainer Arturo Morales. Now, Patrick is about to test his mettle in another aspect of racing.
He hopes to get his apprentice license and ride his first race on Canterbury’s final weekend.