By Noah Joseph
It would be somewhat crazy not to write about a horse with a patriotic name with the Fourth of July coming up this Tuesday. One horse that raced at Canterbury had one of the most patriotic names, and was and still is one of the greatest to race in Minnesota; that horse was Hoist Her Flag.
A big grey, almost white, filly, she was sired by the unraced Aferd, who was sired by Hoist The Flag. Foaled in North Dakota in 1982, she was owned by Seven Springs Racing Partnership of Dan and Beverly Mjolsness and trained by Greg Markgraf. She raced in red silks with a white “SS” with blue sleeves.
In 1985 and 1986, Hoist Her Flag finished in the top three in 10 of 11 starts. She won six races in 1987, four of them stakes including two in six days and she beat the boys in one of them. She was also stakes-placed three times. In that time, she developed a rivalry with another fine mare named Lil Preppy. Hoist Her Flag picked up right where she left off the following year winning five races in 10 starts, including three stakes. She placed in two other stakes as well. Her final year of racing was 1989, in which she won four races in nine starts, all of them stakes. She retired that year after racing in Minnesota, Arkansas, Illinois, and Alabama and won 19 races, 11 of them stakes victories in 49 starts and earned almost $300,000.
As a broodmare, Hoist Her Flag had three foals, all daughters. While all three raced at Canterbury, her first foal, First Flag, by Woodman, was a multiple stakes winner like her mother. First Flag won two stakes, including the 1993 Northern Lights Debutante, held that year at Arlington Park. First Flag was Hoist Her Flag’s only foal to win a race, and the only one to ever win at Canterbury. She won an allowance race at Canterbury in 1995.
Hoist Her Flag is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall Of Fame. She was named Canterbury Horse of the Meet in 1987 and 1989. She and Heliskier (2012 and 2013) are the only two-time winners of that award.
Canterbury will race six consecutive days through July 4 beginning Thursday.
Noah Joseph is a longtime Canterbury Park and horse racing fan. He’s been attending races at Canterbury since 2000 when he was 3 years old and has enjoyed every minute of it. Noah provides a weekly piece on CanterburyLive.com.