Mr. Jagermeister Impressive in Chesapeake Stakes Victory

Mr. Jagermeister won the $100,000 Chesapeake Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths Saturday evening at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Virginia. The 4-year-old Minnesota-bred colt was ridden by Leandro Goncalves and is trained by Valorie Lund. As the wagering favorite he paid $4.20.

Goncalves rode Mr. Jagermeister confidently on the inside, battling with Old Time Revival before pulling away in the stretch and holding off a late charge by Lewisfield. “He’s an awesome horse,” Goncalves said following the win.

Lund was hauling Mr. Jagermeister back to Canterbury Sunday, expecting to arrive in Shakopee in the wee hours of the morning.

“I’m very pleased,” Lund said. “[Mr. Jagermeister] was feisty this morning. He is feeling pretty happy with himself.”

Lund intends to run the 2018 Canterbury Horse of the Meet on Sept. 1 in the Minnesota Festival of Champions. “He will run in one of the two races, but I have not decided yet” she said, referring to the $100,000 Minnesota Sprint Championship or the $100,000 Minnesota Classic Championship, which the colt won last year.

Mr. Jagermeister had not raced since an allowance win at Oaklawn Park April 25. He had a setback that sidelined him this summer but when he returned to the track, he was training so well that Lund knew he needed a race before Festival. “I would have stayed home and run for less money,” she said, but the trainer could not find a race that filled.

Lund’s inclination now is to run in the sprint on Sept. 1 because of the training missed during the lay-off but has time to make that call. Possible foes that day include Hot Shot Kid, who last year won the sprint, or Mister Banjoman winner of the Minnesota Derby. Both are trained by Mac Robertson.

Mr. Jagermeister Ships East To Race Saturday

Bon voyage to 2018 Canterbury Park Horse of the Meet Mr. Jagermeister who ships Wednesday morning from Shakopee to Colonial Downs in New Kent County, Virginia for the  $100,000 Chesapeake Stakes at six furlongs on the main track. Accompanying the 4-year-old Minnesota-bred colt on the 1,250 journey will be trainer Valorie Lund and two other horses entered elsewhere on the card: Ship It Red and Fiftyshadedofgrayce.

Mr. Jagermeister has not run since late April when he won an allowance race at Oaklawn Park. He was entered in the 10,000 Lakes Stakes but scratched due to a wet track and had a minor physical setback that laid him up. He has had five timed workouts since July 13, three of them bullets.

“This is the last chance to run him before Minnesota Festival of Champions,” Lund said over the weekend as she was considering this option and communicating with the Colonial racing secretary to make sure the stake would fill. “He needs a race. He is kicking  the stall down.”  The Festival, which offers both a state-bred sprint and a route, each with a $100,000 purse, to choose from is Sunday,  Sept. 1. In 2018, Mr. Jagermeister won the 1 and  1 /16 mile  Wally’s Choice Minnesota Classic Championship on Festival Day.

The Chesapeake attracted a field of six and will be the fifth race on a 10-race program.  Regular rider Leandro Goncalves has been named on Mr. Jagermeister. Post time is 5:52 p.m. central. Colonial Downs races are simulcast in the Canterbury Park Race Book.

Ship It Red runs in race eight. He won at Oaklawn in April and has since run four consecutive thirds at Canterbury this summer. Fiftyshadesofgrayce has a win here this summer and most recently raced at Arlington Park. She is entered in race six, an allowance optional claiming turf sprint with a $70,000 purse. Goncalves has those mounts as well.

Chairman Heads Juvenile

Chairman Crooks -  06-16-13 - R01 - CBY - Stretch FinishThere are two distinguishable features about this precocious two-year-old – his name and his physical appearance. He is stout, muscular and powerful looking. He is Chairman Crooks; and If that sounds familiar, it should.

The horse was named for the late Stanley Crooks who died last August, the chairman of the 420-member Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the son of Norman Crooks, the tribe’s first chairman.

The name came about because of a promise made by Canterbury Park’s Curtis Sampson, the man responsible for returning racing to Minnesota who became a friend of Crooks in the final weeks of his life, after the Mdewakanton Community and the racetrack struck their historic deal.

“He knew we were going to name a horse for him,” said Sampson. “I said we would.”

Sampson wanted the name bestowed on the best two-year-old he could find, and he did just that after trainer Mac Robertson bought this horse for him at the Keeneland fall sale.

This son of After Market and grandson to Storm Cat is from Overly Tempting, and proved to be just that when Robertson first saw him.

The purchase was made and the horse was sent straight to Ocala to begin training. By the time his new owner saw him, Chairman Crooks looked like a body builder tuned up for the Olympics. “He was a real specimen already. In fact, he was only a two-year-old but he looked like a stallion,” Sampson added.

When the horse was then shipped to Arkansas to join the Sampson’s stable of youngsters, Chairman Crooks stole the show. “He was clearly the standout,” Sampson said. “He’s not a tall horse. He’s more like a quarter horse.”

Chairman Crooks has one race to his credit, a maiden-breaking effort at Canterbury Park his first time out, on July 14, in which he went gate to wire, winning by four lengths.

It gets a whole lot tougher Saturday in the $100,000 Shakopee Juvenile at 7 and ½ furlongs on the turf. A tall order indeed, with two-year-olds trained by respected trainers arriving for the race, which is 2 and ½ furlongs further than the Chairman’s only other outing.

“There is a question of distance,” said the horse’s trainer Tony Rengstorf, who became the beneficiary of a horse already broken and ready to go when he took charge. “We’re going to learn a lot about him (on Saturday).”

There are factors to support Rengstorf’s belief that Chairman Crooks might be better suited to a shorter race. “He’s not very big, more like a quarter horse,” he said. “You might say he has more the makeup of a sprinter. We don’t know how far he can go. We’ll find out.”

Distance is not the only issue. General Jack is also. So is My Corinthian.

General Jack, a maiden son of Giant’s Causeway, ran his only race at Belmont Park, finishing second by a half length in a six-furlong debut clocked in 1:09 and 4/5.

My Corinthian is 1-1-1 from three starts after breaking his maiden at Colonial Downs. And there are six other starters.

“He’s a little young to tackle horses this tough,” said Sampson. “But we’re not backing off at all as far as our confidence. We only worked him once on the grass. He worked 7 and ½ furlongs and ran out a full mile and was strong at the end.”

The Juvenile is one of three stellar stakes on a card, highlighted by the $200,000 Mystic Lake Mile on the turf, the richest race in Canterbury Park annals.

A field of eight, headed by Dorsett and Officer Alex will line up for that one.

The first of the stakes trio is the $100,000 Northbound Pride Oaks at a mile on the turf. Eden Prairie and Kipling’s Joy head a field of eight.

Three races worth a guaranteed $400,000 with $270k of that amount from the Mystic Lake Purse Enhancement Fund that resulted from the agreement between Mystic Lake and Canterbury.

Chairman Crooks was named to honor the late chairman of the Mdewakanton Community but he might just as easily have been named for his father, too.

Norman Crooks bought a string of horses to race at Canterbury when the track opened in 1985. When he died, nine horses were turned over to his son.

“Stanley was working for Whirlpool at the time,” said Sampson, “and he couldn’t afford to keep the horses. He told me that he had wanted to do a deal (with Canterbury) of some kind for a long while that would help horse owners, the horsemen. He knew something about what it took to have horses.”

Today, Chairman Crooks will discover what he knows about stretching out and taking on the big boys.

This blog was written by Canterbury Staff Writer Jim Wells. Wells was a longtime sportswriter at the Pioneer Press and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.

Mystic Lake Derby Day Nears

MysticDerby_LogoGo ahead and pick up the champagne, dig out the attire you wore last year for the race, careful to assure everything is the same, not a single accoutrement out-of-place, cross your fingers and don’t say anything that might be construed as a jinx.

“My dad’s superstitious,” said Lori Keith. “It will have to be the same shirt, everything.”

The topic at hand is the second running of the Mystic Lake Derby on Saturday and the preparations of Mr and Mrs. Keith – William and Philomena (or Bill and Phil as they’re known) – for Saturday’s race.

For the uniformed, Lori Keith, a native of England and a regular rider at Canterbury Park, won the first running of the biggest race in Canterbury Park history last year aboard Hammers Terror, owned by Terry Hamilton and trained by Michael Stidham.

Bill asked his daughter in a recent conversation whether she would ride in the race again this year. When she informed him that the chances appeared good, he began making plans. “He wanted to know if he should get the champagne,” Lori said.

Keith’s parents, who own a restaurant in the South of France, watched the inaugural running down the street from the restaurant, at an acquaintance’s home. Good viewing, just a matter of connecting the laptop to the telly, as they say, and they saw their daughter win the biggest race of her career.

They plan on looking in again on Saturday.

Keith will ride a horse named Dorsett, owned once again by Hamilton and trained once again by Stidham. And, get this, she is breaking from the No. 2 hole in an eight-horse field, just as last year.

A year ago, Keith took the morning line second choice to the winner’s circle after surviving a stewards’ inquiry for interference in the stretch. This time she is on the 5/2 morning line favorite.

“I think he has a great shot,” she said. “On paper he looks very good, but I think it will be a very competitive race.”

Dorsett, a son of Artie Schiller from Dontgetnmyway, has two wins, a second and a third from eight career starts with earnings of $74,670. He is part of a field of eight that will engage at one mile on the turf.

$200,000 Mystic Lake Derby Field & Morning Line
PP Horse Trainer Jockey ML
1    Impassable Canyon Michael Maker Victor Lebron 5-1
2 Dorsett Michael Stidham Lori Keith 5/2
3 Finding Candy Michael Biehler Denny Velazquez 12-1
4 Coastal Breeze Wayne Catalano Channing Hill 4-1
5 Kale’s Kourage Kelly Von Hemel Ry Eikleberry 10-1
6 Evan’s Calling Neil Pessin Eddie Martin Jr. 8-1
7 Red Zeus Dan McFarlane Alex Canchari 6-1
8 Officer Alex Lynn Whiting Leandro Goncalves 9/2

Last year the purse was for a guaranteed $150,000 and produced a total of $162,000 and change after adding in the entry fees. This year the race offers a guaranteed $200,000. The lion’s share of that funding, $150,000, is provided by the Mystic Lake purse enhancement fund.

The inside post was drawn by Impassable Canyon, a colt by Tapit from Anna Forever, owned by F. Thomas Conway and trained by Mike Maker.

Finding Candy will line up in the No. 3 hole. He is a colt by Candy Ride, owned locally by Al and Bill Ulwelling and trained by Mike Biehler.

The No. 4 hole will go to Coastal Breeze, a colt by Empire Maker that is owned by Barry Golden and trained by Wayne Catalano. The No. 5 hole belongs to Kale’s Kourage who has earned $85,511 lifetime and has won three of his seven career starts. He is owned by Pam Von Hemel and trained by Kelly Von Hemel.

Lining up in the No. 6 spot will be Evan’s Calling, with one win in 11 career starts. The No. 7 belongs to Red Zeus, who has earned $112, 426, running primarily at Turf Paradise in Phoenix with two starts locally, including a win at six furlongs his last out. He is owned by Peggy Hopwood and trained by Dan McFarlane.

Officer Alex drew the outside post. He has earned $163,000 running on the circuit between Churchill Downs and Oaklawn Park. He is trained by Lynn Whiting, who saddled Lil E. Tee, the winner of the 1992 Kentucky Derby.

So, there you have it, the lineup for the richest race in Canterbury Park history, a whopping $200,000 guaranteed and an opportunity for Lori Keith to top last year’s take.

“Oh, I can’t believe it,” she said. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”

Is superstition a genetic trait?


Both races offer $100,000-guaranteed purses.

The Oaks at a mile on the turf has been run in some form, fashion or name since 1985 and was won in 2012 by Soonerette, ridden by riding champion Tanner Riggs for Donnie Von Hemel.

$100,000 Northbound Pride Oaks & Morning Line Odds
PP Horse Trainer Jockey ML
1    Eden Prairie Neil Pessin Channing Hill 3-1
2 Kipling’s Joy Michael Stidham Dean Butler 9/2
3 Stoupinator Mac Robertson Alex Canchari 5-1
4 I’m Already Sexy Wayne Catalano Scott Stevens 4-1
5 Seeking Treasure Larry Dunbar Ry Eikleberry 10-1
6 Raising Dakota Tevis McCauley Luis Garcia 8-1
7 Kissmeimdanish Valorie Lund Derek Bell 8-1
8 American Sugar Kenneth McPeek Victor Lebron 6-1

Saturday’s edition has a field of eight, including the Ken McPeek-trained American Sugar, who is trying the grass for the first time and is 5-0-3 from 13 starts with earnings of more than $200,000. Robert Lothenbach’s Eden Prairie is 2-0-1 from six grass starts and earnings of $70,000-plus. Michael Stidham’s Kipling’s Joy is 2-0-3 from nine career starts, both wins on the grass, with earnings of $62,200.

I’m Already Sexy arrived from Arlington Park and has won twice from three turf starts, is three-for-six overall, and earned $81,141. Wayne Catalano trains. Locally-owned Stoupinator, trained by Mac Robertson, has hit the board three times in three turf starts and is 2-1-2 overall from six career starts with earnings of $76,000. Here’s a look at the field:

The Juvenile, for colts/geldings and fillies, is being run for the first time, at 7 and 1/2 furlongs on the turf and has attracted a field of nine boys.

$100,000 Shakopee Juvenile Field & Morning Line Odds
PP Horse Trainer Jockey ML
1    A P Is Loose Michael Biehler Lori Keith 6-1
2 Aft Michael Lauer Leandro Goncalves 8-1
3 Rumbauer David Van Winkle Ry Eikleberry 6-1
4 My Corinthian Dane Kobiskie Luis Garcia 7/2
5 Fling Orrin Cogburn Eddie Martin Jr. 12-1
6 Clarisimo Sandra Sweere Nik Goodwin 10-1
7 General Jack Michael Maker Victor Lebron 3-1
8 Chairman Crooks Tony Rengstorf Dean Butler 6-1
9 Pure Surprize Vic Hanson Jenna Joubert 10-1

Among those is a 2-year-old colt named General Jack, a Kentucky-bred son of Giant’s Causeway who is looking to break his maiden on Saturday after running second among maiden special weights for $70,000 at Belmont Park.

He had a bullet work in late June and is trained by Mike Maker who has made a habit of winning big races at Canterbury.

Aft, trained by Michael Lauer, broke his maiden last time out in Indiana. Lauer tried to run Aft on the lead his first out and finished second. He ran him off the pace in his second start with improved results.

My Corinthian has hit the board three times in three career starts and was the first of the shippers to arrive, stabling here on Monday. He is trained by Dane Kobiskie. He is 1-1-1 from three career starts and is 1-1-0 from two outs on the grass.

Mike Biehler will saddle A P Is Loose, who ran third in his first start, at Canterbury on July 11. Clarisimo, trained by Sandra Sweere, is another local horse who broke his maiden here on June 16. Dave Van Winkle will saddle locally stabled Rumbauer, who broke his maiden under Ry Eikleberry on July 11 in his second start.

Vic Hanson will send out Pure Surprize, a local juvenile who broke his maiden at first asking on July 14. Fling, trained by Orrin Cogburn, did not hit the board in two previous starts.

Curtis Sampson’s Chairman Crooks, named for the late leader of the Mdewakanton Community, is trying the grass for the first time. He broke his maiden first time out, on June 13.

Wagering Opportunities Abound

The three races will be run as races 6, 7 and 8 on the card with the Oaks leading off, followed by the Juvenile and then the 2nd running of the Mystic Lake Derby. Post times are 4:10 CDT, 4:40 CDT and the Mystic Lake Derby will go off at 5:12 CDT. The three races anchor Saturday’s late pick 4 which continues to feature a 14% takeout, among the lowest in the country. Additionally, the three stakes comprise an all-turf Pick 3 also featuring the same low takeout rate of 14%.

Check back here often to learn more about the participants for Saturday’s big races over the coming days.

This blog was written by Canterbury Staff Writer Jim Wells. Wells was a longtime sportswriter at the Pioneer Press and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.

Coady Photography – It’s a Family Tradition

There is something special about the ability to take a picture at precisely the right instant, catching the emotion of a single moment on a person’s face, the joy or grief of a specific occasion.

Well-taken pictures can tell us who won and at what cost, who lost and its expense. They can capture all that needs be said about an event. Well-taken pictures are worth a thousand words and often more.

They preserve the past and sometimes predict the future… if only the latter were true at the racetrack!

You might have noticed that the photography at Canterbury Park has taken on a different, distinctive and even artistic quality this summer. You might have noticed that the colors are brighter, the angles more revealing and even the shading sometimes evocative.

The horses come to life, preserved for future generations in a compelling pose or restive moment. The jockeys are by turns happy, even gleeful, irritated, even angry, reflective, even expressionless.

Say hello to Shawn Coady, one of several members of a family born with spare film in their pockets, several lenses in their knapsacks and a love for picture-taking as it was intended.

Grandpa Jack, a transplanted Phoenician from Chicago, started out snapping pictures for the Arizona Republic in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Often on assignment at Turf Paradise, he struck up a friendship with the track’s publicity head. Welcome to picture-taking in the equine world and the start of a family industry covering tracks across the nation.

Shawn, his younger brothers Kevin and Kurtis, their father, Jeff, and their uncle, Jack, Jr. are all involved in the photo business at various tracks.

It started many years ago when Jeff and Jack, Sr. headed to Canada and Stampede Park. Shawn and his brothers were born there. “We have dual citizenship,” Shawn said before Saturday’s race card in Shakopee.

Shawn, 37, was maybe 14 years of age when the Coadys returned to Phoenix, around 1988 as he recalls.

His boyhood home and the school he attended, Thunderbird High School, were not much more than a mile from Turf Paradise.

His father had a home with horse property on Greenway Ave., room enough to board 20 horses or so.

Shawn’s grandfather took pictures that are racetrack classics, precursors to the talent his grandsons inherited and display in their work today.

A couple of examples of their grandfather’s work hang in Shawn’s office at Canterbury Park, Jackie Gleason standing near a jockey on the scales, Jackie Gleason surrounded by riders, some in silks others in street clothes, overhead telephone lines a dead giveaway to a different American era.

“I was lucky. I got to work with him all those years at Turf Paradise,” said Shawn, who was with his grandfather some 16 years or so up until his death three years ago.

Coady is unable to point to anything specific his grandfather told him about picture-taking, but it is very likely nothing needed to be said. Shawn was taking winner’s circle pictures by the time he was 16 and likely learned much of the craft, outside of classes he took, by osmosis, spending as much time as he did with a master craftsman.

For several years Coady handled the photography at Turf Paradise during the eight-month autumn-winter meet there and then headed to Yavapai Down in Prescott, a meet corresponding roughly to the one in Shakopee.

With Yavapai closed, he had a summer opening on the calendar and didn’t take long to make the decision to head north after being contacted by Canterbury Park.

“I had never been here before,” he said. “I had never even been to Minnesota.”

But several riders and trainers in Phoenix had.

“I talked to Scott Stevens, the Raricks (Red and Wade). I knew Doug Oliver had been here.”

He made the decision to head north within a couple of days. Originally, Virginia was on his calendar.

His opinion, now that he’s here?

“As far as the people, the management, the horsemen probably one of the best tracks I’ve been at,” he said.

That covers some territory.

For Shawn and the rest of the Coadys, the nation’s tracks are their studio.

Jeff, who is mostly at Oaklawn, is now at Colonial Park. Jack, jr., is at Prairie Meadows. Kurtis is at Calder. Kevin is on call to assist with undertakings of any kind at most racetracks.

Take a look at some of Shawn’s work on-line ( Some day, perhaps future children or grandchildren will hang copies of it in their offices.

This blog was written by Canterbury Staff Writer Jim Wells. Wells was a longtime sportswriter at the Pioneer Press and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.

Photo Courtesy of the Coady Family