By Noah Joseph
If you’ve ever driven through Shakopee or along any major highway, you’ve seen several 18 wheelers on the road. Well, in the late 1990s, Canterbury Park didn’t have an 18 wheeler, but it did have a four-legged wonder with a lot of horsepower. That was Jest for a Trucker.
Jest for a Trucker was one of the first accomplished Minnesota bred horses during the early Canterbury Park era which began in 1995. The bay son of Prince Forli was bred by Carol Price, who also owned him. He was trained by David Van Winkle, who is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame, and still trains to this day. Jest for a Trucker was later trained by Donald Mularkey, who owned and bred his dam, Jester’s Joy, who raced at Canterbury in 1985 and 1986. Jest for a Trucker was ridden in most of his races by the late Mike Ziegler.
Jest for a Trucker made his racing debut at Canterbury in June 1995 as a 3-year-old, where he raced three times without winning. He broke his maiden the next year at Turf Paradise in Phoenix and then won again before shipping to Canterbury.
He won his first two races in Shakopee that spring before making his stakes debut on July 5, 1996, in Canterbury’s Blair’s Cove Stakes, where he won by half a length. In addition to that being his first stakes win, it was also his fifth consecutive victory. Jest for a Trucker failed to win the John Bullit Handicap in his next start, but bounced back to win the Polaris Industries Championship Handicap (now known as the Wally’s Choice Minnesota Classic Championship) on Minnesota Festival of Champions day.
His wins would lead him to be named Canterbury’s Older Horse of the Meeting and Horse of the Year in 1996. Jest for a Trucker lost five consecutive races between September of 1996 and June 1997 before repeating as the winner of the Blair’s Cove Stakes. It was his final stakes victory, and the second to last victory of his career. His last win came in an allowance race at Canterbury on June 25, 1999. His final start was a sixth place finish that same year in the Minnesota Classic Championship. He retired with an outstanding eight wins from twenty-five starts, three of them in stakes races, and with earnings of $108,031.
Check out this video from 1996, produced by Mouse Mikkelson, featuring Jest for a Trucker and a lean, mean Paul Allen.