BY JIM WELLS
A conversation ensued among some of the riders on Wednesday regarding how often a horse would run in times gone by.
One of them remarked at the frequency with which thoroughbreds ran in “the olden days” 75 to 100 years ago.
Every few days, a couple of times a week.
The dialogue began at the mention of two horses running in the stakes races on Wednesday’s card, the Frances Genter and the Victor S Myers, both worth $50,000.
Simran, who ran and won on June 29, was entered against five rivals in the Genter, including the even-money favorite Firstmate. Mr. Jagermeister last ran on June 23 at a mile and was entered against four (reluctant?) others in the Myers as the 1/9 favorite.
Cutting to the chase…..both horses won, Simran by a convincing 1 ¼ lengths, Jagermeister by an even more convincing 6 ¼ without so much as a look at the stick.
Interesting stories accompanied both.
Trainer Roopishwar Rampadarat said afterwards he was not in the least concerned about running Simran back so soon since Leslie Mawing didn’t have to use the horse in his previous outing. Mawing agreed, that he had plenty of horse in reserve at the wire.
For Mawing, the Genter win held other significance. Only 16 years of age at the time, he lost his father, Paul, 28 years ago. And for the past 24 years, Mawing has remembered him by winning a race on July 4, his dad’s birthday.
Wednesday, Mawing and mount came out of the gate behind Vidira and Cabloosie Bay, and they stayed within striking distance of the leaders. They made their move coming out the turn and cruised past the wire 1 ¼ lengths in front of Vidira with another length on the favorite, Firstmate, finishing in 1:11.30.
The Myers quickly became a one-horse race, not unexpected, and the reason there were only four other horses in the race. Mr. Jagermeister is the best state-bred sprinter on the grounds. He cruised in this one and ran away from the field inside the 16th pole without so much as a slap from Goncalves. Jagermeister ran well back in the Mystic Lake Derby, competing for the first time on the turf and at a mile distance.
All trainer Valorie Lund wanted in this return race was her rider to get the horse a clear, clean trip and, without incident, she expected to win. Now, she will give consideration to Mr. Jagermeister’s next outing, keeping all options open, even the prospect of another go at a mile.
THE QUARTER HORSES OPEN THE SHOW
Times change. Monarchies rise and fall, fiefdoms give way over time to assembly lines and sometimes, if we’re lucky, income keeps pace with the price of a horse.
Take the North Star Derby, run as part of the first quarter horse racing at Canterbury Downs in 1986.
The Derby drew a 12-horse field that included a four-horse and a two-horse entry (under the guide lines of the time) for the 400-yard race on September 5, 1986.
The purse was $7,000.
Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon and the two races that opened the card, the Canterbury Park Distaff at 400 yards and the Bank of America Championship Challenge, at 440 yards. The first race was worth $34,740 and the second, $49,410.
Corona Springs claimed the opening race under Cristian Esqueda for the Jason Olmstead barn. Corona had a ½ length on Gold Diggin Queen and Clark Chase and another head on Glen Ellyn and Nik Goodwin in a winning time of 19.76.
Young Ryder Olmstead, holding the winning belt buckle for his father, Jason, the winning trainer, proclaimed that he himself would be wearing it in the not distant future.
A bump at the start may have done in the favorite in the Championship Challenge, Ajs High at 4/5. Yett Kowboy Jim’s (4-1) steady run proved good enough to reach the wire ¾ length in front of Damn Strait, with another neck back to Bout Tree Fiddy.
The win had financial benefits on several levels for Dean Frey, since he is the owner, trainer and breeder of the horse. “That’s pretty sweet,” he said. “I just love this horse to death. He gives 100 percent every time he runs.”
Winning rider Nakia Ramirez was joined in the winner’s circle by her five-year-old daughter Jewell, who may at some point join young Ryder Olmstead in the buckle wearing fraternity.
“It’s a beautiful buckle,” said Ramirez. “I was so fortunate to have Jewell here to see this race. I just might let her wear it.”