Hall of Fame Jockey Chris McCarron hosts Leg Up Fundraiser


Casino Night with Chris McCarron

National Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, who twice won the Kentucky Derby, will host a Casino Night Fundraiser Tuesday, April 26 at Canterbury Park to benefit the Leg Up Fund. Established in 2014, the Leg Up Fund provides emergency financial assistance to jockeys injured while riding at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack.

The Casino Night will be held from 7 – 9:30 p.m. in Canterbury’s Triple Crown Club. Admission is $35 in advance or $45 at the door and includes a presentation by McCarron, dinner, soda, and 3,000 in chips. A $100 per-person VIP Meet and Greet event from 6 – 7:00 p.m. that includes appetizers, open bar, and 6,000 in chips precedes the main event. Tickets can be purchased by calling (952) 445-7224.

“I am really looking forward to participating in the Leg Up fundraiser. I have fond memories of Canterbury, having won the first ever turf race there on a mare named Sauna in the inaugural Lady Canterbury Handicap in 1986,” McCarron said.

McCarron has long appreciated the need to assist injured riders. He, along with actor Tim Conway, founded the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund in 1987 and was involved until the fund ceased operation in 2011. The MacBeth Fund provided financial assistance and helped with the cost of medical and rehabilitation services for injured riders nationally.

“I really appreciate and respect the fans at Canterbury as well as the riders, owners and trainers because of the very generous contributions they made to the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund and I know they support the Leg Up Fund with the same enthusiasm,” McCarron said. “Each year while the MacBeth Fund was operating, Canterbury was a leader in contributions on our ‘Jockeys Across America’ day.  Minnesota race fans should be very proud of that accomplishment and of what they are now doing with the Leg Up Fund.”

Leg Up Fund

Guests at the Casino Night use their chips to play games of chance such as blackjack, Let It Ride and Texas Hold ’em. and become eligible to win prizes including a round of golf April 27 with McCarron at Hazeltine National Golf Club, home of the 2016 Ryder Cup; a Minnesota Twins game as a guest of McCarron; Ryder Cup tickets; and a Day at the Races in the Owner’s Box. A live auction will also be held for similar items.

McCarron began riding as a professional in 1974 and won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey that year. In 1977, he scored the first of his three victories in the Kentucky Oaks. In 1980, he won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey and the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.

McCarron won nine Breeders’ Cup races, including five runnings of the Classic. He also won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes twice each. Other major wins for McCarron include the Del Mar Oaks (4 times), Del Mar Futurity (4), Del Mar Handicap (6), Del Mar Debutante Stakes (3), La Jolla Handicap (7), San Bernardino Handicap (6), Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (7), San Felipe Stakes (7), Florida Derby, Eddie Read Handicap, Bing Crosby Handicap, Jockey Club Gold Cup (2), Arlington Million, Fantasy Stakes (4), San Clemente Handicap (5), Hollywood Gold Cup, Woodward Stakes (2), Santa Anita Handicap (3), Haskell Invitational (2), Santa Anita Derby (4), San Diego Handicap (6), Pacific Classic, Canadian International and Japan Cup.


McCarron rode many of the best horses of his era, including John Henry, Alysheba, Precisionist, Lady’s Secret, Sunday Silence, Paseana, Tiznow, Touch Gold, Go for Gin and Alphabet Soup.

He led all North American jockeys in earnings in 1980, 1981, 1984 and 1991. He also topped the leaderboard in wins in 1974, 1975 and 1980. McCarron retired in 2002 with 7,141 wins and purse earnings of $263,985,905. He currently instructs aspiring jockeys at the North American Racing Academy, which he founded to help hone the skills of young riders.

McCarron was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1989.

Road to Kentucky Contest Week 10 Recap – CUPID


“When Baffert ships there (Oaklawn Park), he’s doing one of two things.  He’s going there with live horses, and he’s also exposing the competition.” – Mike Watchmaker from Daily Racing Form after selecting Cupid to win the Rebel Stakes.

The contest track for Road to Kentucky Week 10 was Oaklawn Park for the featured Rebel Stakes.  Last year, trainer Bob Baffert was already a Kentucky Derby front-runner with Dortmund when he confidently arrived with his brilliant two-year-old champion American Pharoah, who kicked off his historic three-year-old campaign with a dominating win in the Rebel Stakes.  This year, he brought recent maiden winner Cupid, who was scratched out of last week’s San Felipe to run in the Rebel Stakes on Saturday.

Bob Baffert’s numbers at Oaklawn Park are hard to ignore.  Over the past five years in Graded Stakes races at Oaklawn Park, Baffert was 9 for 17 with all runners.  He was 8 for 13 with 3-year-olds prior to this year’s running, and track announcer Peter Aiello nailed the Rebel call as Cupid added another win to that total with a handy front-running score at odds of 5/2.  Cupid earned a Beyer speed figure of 95 for the win, which puts him in the mix with other top 3-year-olds of 2016 from a Beyer speed figure standpoint.  The race was also impressive from the standpoint that all the other forwardly placed horses early in the race finished far back at the end.  He ran the others off their feet.  If I’m not mistaken, Baffert has now won the Rebel 6 of the previous 7 years!!

For contest purposes, the play of the day was in Race 1 when G P’s Girl rallied to victory at 20-1 odds with Alex Canchari aboard.   That winner was worth 688 points right off the bat!  With all the big fields and wide open races, I was expecting chaos throughout the card.  But things calmed down a bit after the opener, and the maximum score for the week was 3,006 points.  Look for something in the 1,500 – 1,800 range to take down the top prize this week.

I ended up with 416 points this week with a few in-the-money finishers.  My selection in the Rebel Stakes was the Lukas entry at 35-1.  Gray Sky actually moved into second at the top of the stretch, but he fell apart mid-stretch as the closers picked up the pieces.

A hat tip and shout out to Dave Handeland, a regular contest player at Canterbury Park who hit the Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream Park on Saturday with some friends while in Las Vegas.  It paid close to 40K and it’s a 20-cent increment, so you can cover a lot of combinations compared to the normal $2.00 increment for pick six pools at other tracks.  The Rainbow 6 might be worth a look if you want to throw a few dollars at something that has lottery payoff potential.  It can happen!

This Saturday the contest track is Fair Grounds and the featured race is the Louisiana Derby.  Several runners from the Risen Star will be back in for the Louisiana Derby, including Mo Tom who was the beaten favorite last time.  Hope to see you here!

Don’t forget Saturday is also Dubai World Cup with racing beginning at sunrise!

The Oracle


News and Notes

Canterburylive.com will have information soon about trainers that will be racing here this summer as stall applications for the 2016 race meet, May 20 through Sept. 17, and due today, March 21.

Expect many of the usual faces to return but there will be new ones as well. Several new and recognizable names have indicated interest.

Leading trainer Robertino Diodoro will be back of course, as will Canterbury Hall of Famer Mac Robertson.

The $10 million Dubai World Cup is this Saturday. Racing begins at 6:45 a.m. with the headliner scheduled for noon. Watch and wager at Canterbury Park.

Jockey Dean Butler is just 10 victories away from his 2,000th career win.  Dean is racing at Tampa Bay Downs and will return to Canterbury. If he does not achieve the milestone in Florida, he will likely do so here in the first weekend of the meet.

National Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron will be in the Twin Cities in late April. A casino night fundraiser to benefit the Leg Up Fund is in the works for Tuesday, April 26 in the Triple Crown Club at Canterbury. More details on that will be available soon.

The Leg Up Fund was formed in 2014 to assist local jockeys who are injured while performing their duties at Canterbury Park. This is a great opportunity for fans to support the cause and meet a two-time Kentucky Derby and nine-time Breeders’ Cup winning rider. Rumored prizes at the casino night include a chance to golf at Hazeltine April 27 with McCarron (expect a live auction too) and tickets to the September Ryder Cup.

McCarron has a speaking engagement with the Twin Cities Dunkers the following morning.