Opening Weekend In Review

Country House in Churchill Winner's Circle

Derby Day A Success At Canterbury Park

The sun was shining brightly in Shakopee for Kentucky Derby Day festivities. The track began its 25th season of racing the night before, providing a test run for what was to come the following day. The third largest crowd in track history, 20,770, flocked to the facility to gamble and party, filling all three levels of the grandstand as well as the track apron on Saturday.

Robertson and Arrieta Lead Early

Twelve-time leading trainer Mac Robertson got off to a quick start, winning four races from nine starters. Mac also had a second and third place finish. Robertson was in Louisville saddling Amy’s Challenge in the $500,000 Grade 1 Humana Distaff Saturday. The 2017 Canterbury Horse of the Meet finished third after setting the early fractions. Alex Canchari was aboard for local owner Joe Novogratz.

Trainer Mike Biehler was the only other with multiple winners. He won two races from five starters.

Jockey Francisco Arrieta made the most of his 11 mounts, winning five times. Three other riders each won twice: new face Constantino Roman, Dean Butler, and Eddie Martin, Jr. Arrieta is named on four horses at Turf Paradise as they close out their meet today.

Claiming Slow To Go

Six of the 16 races run this weekend offered horses to be claimed yet no claims were dropped. Expect that to change next weekend and horses to begin changing hands via the claim box.

Rider Injured in Paddock Incident

Jockey David Lopez came to Canterbury Park last week for the first time, expecting to fit the jockey colony well and make a living. He rode three horses Friday and six of the first seven on Saturday. When preparing to climb aboard his mount Brandy Chaser in the eighth and final event of the weekend, Lopez was kicked in the chest by the colt.

Lopez, a graded stakes winning and leading rider in Northern California during a career that began in North America in 2001, spent the winter at Turf Paradise in Phoenix. He came north with agent Chad Anderson and a reputation as a hard-working and patient rider.

The medical team on hand in the paddock yesterday quickly tended to Lopez and prepared him for transport to HCMC.  Anderson reported this morning that Lopez suffered broken ribs and that there is concern from doctors about possible internal complications.  Early prognosis is that a minimum three months on the sidelines can be expected.

Support the Leg Up Fund which assists riders injured in the line of work as they recuperate and return to the saddle.

Mother’s Day Racing Ahead

Live racing takes place this coming week on Saturday and Mother’s Day Sunday. Both days first post will be 12:45 p.m.

 

Photo courtesy of Coady Photography

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