Quick hit on jockeys here or soon to arrive:
Many familiar names are returning this season.
Jorge Carreno (represented by former assistant racing secretary Keith Kelley)
Alex Canchari, currently riding in Iowa, is expected to be here for the opener May 20.
Scott Bethke, 16-year-old son of trainer Troy Bethke, who began his riding career this winter at Fonner Park, will arrive soon. He is being represented by a blast from the Canterbury past in Eddie Cervantes who rode more than 2,900 mounts in Shakopee. His professional riding career ended in 2003.
Agent Chuck Costanzo will represent the ‘Cajun Connection’ with Eddie Martin Jr. and new face and veteran reinsman Chris Rosier.
Horses are steadily arriving. There are 800 on the grounds now.
All reports indicate that the Raver Stable is ready to go. ‘All reports’ means the trainer Nevada Litfin.
Another former Canterbury rider, Chad Anderson, will not be an agent this year but instead will work in the room as a valet. He was set to represent a couple of jockeys but when Andrew Ramgeet was injured at Turf Paradise, and Scott Stevens decided not to start the meet here, those plans changed.
The meet hasn’t even begun and there’s already a controversy brewing on the backside. Or maybe it would be more apt to say not brewing. The racing office underwent a much-needed facelift over the winter and kudos to whoever made that happen. Gone missing however is the Bunn commercial coffeemaker that served as a meeting place for many horsemen and enhanced the social fabric of the racing community.
It is not entirely clear who is behind this oversight, but new racing secretary Rob Junk wants it known that he is not to blame.
That 12-cup, dual warmer, pourover model was like the Serengeti watering hole. Wait there long enough and you were bound to see everyone. The track PR crew knew that if the coffee was strong and hot, the stories would arrive. Studies have shown that, depending on level of intake, caffeine, the key component of coffee, can help to improve mental performance, especially on alertness, attention and concentration. Subtract those three things and the situation gets dangerous.