News & Notes June 29

By JIM WELLS

Successful corporate bosses sometimes say that the best plans often are modifications or overhauls of ideas presented in barnstorming sessions.

Sometimes those grand thoughts come about in much different fashion. Take Canterbury Park’s July 3 fireworks card.

“We backed into that one,” said Canterbury president/CEO Randy Sampson. “It was an accident.”

Everyone should have similar misfortune.

The July 3 combination of racing and fireworks has turned into one of the track’s most successful days of the season and will be offered for the third time, at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Buck night _ $1 hot dogs, admission, racing programs etc. for Thursdays _ will be in effect. A top-notch race card is the central part of the show. Christy Love, former lead singer for Boogie Wonderland, will also perform.”

“It’s become one of those days that helps the cause,” said Eric Halstrom, vice president of racing operations. “If we have a slow Saturday or something, we count on this making up for it.”
Helps the cause indeed.

Management went ahead with the idea in 2006 _ on a Monday night. The turnout was nearly 12,000.

“The short answer is that we were shocked. That was really something for a Monday night,” Halstrom added.”

Even more interesting was the on-track live handle _ $442,00. Was it a mirage, a novelty-response?

Doesn’t appear so.

The turnout was 12,107 last year and the on-track live handle was $404,000. Those wagering figures for the first two July 3 cards take on a whole different meaning when compared to the average daily on-track live handle last year _ $226,000.

“You never know when you’re going to strike it big,” Halstrom added.

Sampson said that vice president of marketing John Harty had been pushing for a big fireworks display on the Fourth of July for years, but that horsemen opposed it, fearing the noise would upset the horses.

An agreement was formed. Management provides loads of pizza to keep the grooms in the barns that night and also provides ear-plugs for the horses. July Fourth, with a 1:30 p.m. post would not work for a fireworks display, so instead the July 3 plan was launched.

“And it really hasn’t affected the Fourth of July turnout,” said Halstrom.

“I don’t think they are necessarily the same group both days.”

GRADE III CANTERBURY PARK QUARTER HORSE DERBY

Ed Ross Hardy’s barn was thin on three-year-olds this spring, so he began surveyed his surroundings at Remington Park.

He found a gelded son of Feature Mr Jess and Bubba Suz at Remington Park on April 3 and put in a claim for $10,000.

Sunday, that claim, Mr La Bubba, kept a head in front of hard-charging Classy Dashin to win the $41,000 Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby, covering the 400 yards under Tad Leggett in 19.863 seconds.

.”We’re still learnin’ about this horse. We’ve run him four times now and every time he’s run different,” said Hardy. “Sometimes it works out.”

Classy Dashin’, trained by Amber Blair and ridden by Jason Olmstead, ran out of racetrack with a hard, late charge. “That’s the horse we were most concerned about,” said Hardy. “Amber and Jason do a great job.” Im Gone for a Corona was third.

Hardy and Leggett teamed up again to win the 10th race, at 350 yards, with a 2-year-old named First Hand Luke, bred and owned by Rodney Von Ohlen of Alpha, Minn.

GARCIA ON THE MEND

Jesse Garcia was thrown from a mount leaving the gate on Saturday’s card and has a hairline fracture of the clavicle (collarbone).Although he plans to resume racing this week, he will need a paramedic’s approval to do so.

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