CHINESE TREMOR REACHES SHAKOPEE.
The devastating earthquake in China could be felt 1,000 miles away and produced a ripple effect felt in places around the world.
Including Canterbury Park.
Jockey Paul Nolan was standing outside his truck the other morning on the backside when an exercise rider rode past and yelled something. “Yeah, I got a mouthful and it didn’t taste all that good,” Nolan responded. Earlier, a fractious two-year-old had dumped Nolan and he still bore the telling dirt marks on his boots and jeans.
Nolan’s thoughts were clearly not on the rambunctious green horse at that point. He had been talking about the whereabouts of a relative in China when the rider trotted past.
When Nolan resumed the conversation later on by phone, he spoke of his aunt and godmother, a missionary nun stationed in China; where, he isn’t certain.
What concerned Nolan most was his inability to reach his aunt, Sister Maureen Grant, by email.
“I can’t get hold of her, and I’m not sure why,” Nolan said. “She’s a teacher over there, a Mother Superior I guess, and I know that some schools were hit hard.”
Grant belongs to the Missionary Sisters of St. Columban, an order founded in Ireland in 1924 and is a sister to Nolan’s mother, who lives in Safford, England.
“I’m going to contact my mother and see if she’s heard anything,” he said. In the meantime, Nolan is hopeful that he hasn’t heard anything because all is well.
“You know the saying,” he said. “No news is good news.”
AN EMPTY STALL AT THE MALL
Nolan represented Canterbury Park and the racing industry as part of a presentation at the Mall of America this week celebrating Minnesota’s 150th birthday.
“It was a pretty good history of Minnesota,” said Nolan, who appeared in silks and brought along a riding saddle but no horse. “They had a number of different aspects of Minnesota life.”
Among other organizations represented from the Shakopee and Eden Prairie areas were the Renaissance Festival and the Minnesota Vikings.
“Bob Lurtsema, the former Viking was there,” added Nolan, who will be wearing a variety of silks this weekend.
He has six mounts on Friday’s card, seven on Saturday and five on Sunday.
A LEAN, MEAN AGENT
Yes, that is Richard Grunder, jockey agent extraordinaire, slim and trim after cutting back on the sweets and mashed potatoes and adding afternoon walks to his daily regimen. Grunder has the book for defending riding champ Derek Bell and Adolpho Morales. Although that will require a bit of barn-hopping mornings, it is afternoons when Grunder gets in the serious walks.
“I do six miles a day,” he said.
He has trimmed about 36 pounds. “And I’m going to cut more,” he said.
Grunder has been cutting back on the sweets and snacks and taking smaller plates at mealtimes.
It isn’t easy at times.
“I love ice cream,” he said. “I just love it.”
It doesn’t help that he recently discovered Cold Stone Creamery. “Oh, my,” Grunder added. “I’m driving down the road and that red car just tries to turn in.”
Late night television is a dangerous time, too.
“I was watching Law and Order and nodding off last night when I spotted a bag of chips,” he said. “
His current appearance would suggest that Grunder resists more temptations than he succumbs to.