Jockey Jareth Loveberry arrived on the Canterbury scene for the first time in 2017 and on the second day of that season won with a horse that paid $112.20. When the meet ended he had won the riding title, winning 77 times and compiling purse earnings of $1.59 million.
“Glad to be back,” he said about the 2018 meet that will last 70 racing days, three more than last year.
Loveberry worked the 2018 Oaklawn Park meet before coming back to Shakopee. He had 11 wins and more than a half million in purses.
“I had a decent meet. Won the right races.”
By the ‘right’ races he means allowance and stakes. Jareth was aboard Amy’s Challenge when she won the $125,000 Dixie Belle and again when the 3-year-old filly, who was the 2017 Canterbury Horse of the Meet, finished second in the Grade 3 Honeybee.
Loveberry joins a colony here that, in the opinion of most observers, is deeper than in past years. Four riding champs are in the mix: Loveberry, Dean Butler (who has five titles), Ry Eikleberry, and Leandro Goncalves. Winning the right races, when this is how you earn your living, will be crucial this summer as well. Jareth began the meet with one win over opening weekend from 12 mounts, but the win was in the $50,000 Paul Bunyan Stakes. A ‘right’ race.
The Bunyan win was aboard Malibu Max for trainer Mac Robertson and owner Joe Novogratz. That trio was victorious often in 2017. In fact they took leading jockey, trainer, and owner honors for the meet. On Saturday they also teamed up to run second in the $50,000 L’Etoile du Nord Stakes Saturday with Hotshot Anna. Loveberry, who quickly became a popular rider in 2017, rode for five different trainers last weekend, hitting the board five times.
Loveberry’s career began in 2005. He has compiled more than 1,100 wins while riding at several tracks around the country. “Canterbury is great. Great atmosphere. Good people. You get people at the races for the races,” he said. That was evident on opening night when a crowd of more than 7,500 fans celebrated the return of live racing. The next day, Kentucky Derby Day, more than 19,000 were in attendance.
“It’s going to be a good meet. It’s always competitive,” he said. “It brings out the best in you.”