Canterbury Invaders Primary Reason To Watch Iowa Tonight

Prairie Meadows in suburban Des Moines, Iowa hosts a pair of $65,000 sprint stakes for 2-year-olds tonight and Canterbury winners will have a strong presence.

Race 7 at Prairie, the Prairie Gold Juvenile, includes Richard Ronald , who will be ridden by Leandro Goncalves. He was aboard the colt June 19 when he crushed a field of four others by 5 ¼ as the odds-on favorite. The son of Misremembered is trained and co-owned by Gary Scherer along with Robert Bernacki. Scherer will not make the trip to Iowa as he has multiple horses running tonight at Canterbury, but that is not an indication Scherer lacks confidence. Richard Ronald sports the highest Beyer Speed Figure in the six-horse field. “I expect the Asmussen horse [Bubba Bling], the one that won at Churchill, is the horse to beat,” Scherer said. Bubba Bling is the 2 to 1 favorite while the Scherer charge is second choice at 7 to 2.

In the filly division, the Prairie Gold Lassie, is Rumpleminx, a California-bred full sister to MN-bred super star Mr. Jagermeister.  Rumpleminx won at first asking July 5 over a muddy track while racing wide. Goncalves rode that night and will again tonight for trainer Valorie Lund.

Lund transported both Rumpleminx and Richard Ronald to Iowa this morning. “They shipped really well and are all put away now,” she said earlier today.

“I feel really, really good about [Rumpleminx],” Lund said. In the Canterbury win Lund insists that the filly did not show everything. “We didn’t use her.”  Rumpleminx was wide around the turn while pressing the pace and then eased away to win by three lengths with Goncalves sitting tight. Her subsequent workout, under cover of darkness July 17, was also better than appears on paper.

“I’m very excited,” Lund said. “This is a wide open race.” The field has scratched down to six with both Asmussen fillies, including the favorite, out. The 8 to 1 morning line assigned to Rumpleminx likely will not prove true once the betting begins.

Post time for the Juvenile is 8:48 p.m with the Lassie 25 minutes later.

Odds and Ends from the Weekend plus more to come….

Hold for More was victorious in this weekend’s running of the $50,000 10,000 Lakes Stake.

He rated for the early parts of the race behind the three pacesetters, Cupid’s Delight, Bourbon County and Smooth Chiraz, before swinging four wide at the top of the stretch to overtake them all and win by a convincing 2 ½ lengths under jockey Orlando Mojica. The money earned by Hold for More catapulted him into second position behind reigning leader Crocrock for the title of All-Time Leading Money Earner at Canterbury Park. Hold for More is currently $16,502 behind Crocrock. Though Mojica is currently ranked third in the jockey standings by wins, he is second by money earned with $163,672, behind leading rider Alex Canchari’s $218,965. Hold for More paid $11.80 to win.

The $50,000 Lady Slipper was won by wagering favorite Honey’s Sox Appeal. The 4-year-old filly is trained by Mac Robertson and ridden by leading rider Alex Canchari. Mac Robertson has now won the race four times. Thunder and Honey, the older half-sister to Honey’s Sox Appeal, was third in the Lady Slipper. They are both out of the broodmare A J’s Honey.

There were three impressive Minnesota-bred three-year-old winners over the weekend, and all will likely be pointed toward the Minnesota Derby. Hot Shot Kid, owned by Warren Bush, trained by Mac Robertson and ridden by Alex Canchari, won the second race on Friday night by ¾ of a length as the heavy wagering favorite. This allowance victory comes just after a Maiden Special Weight win at Oaklawn Park. Mines Made Up won the 6th race, a Maiden Special Weight, on Friday night by an easy 6 ½ lengths, much the best in the 10-horse field. The 3-year-old bay gelding is owned by Lothenbach Stable, trained by Joel Berndt and ridden by Denny Velazquez. Grand Marais, also ridden by Denny Velazquez, easily won the last race of the card on Saturday, also a Maiden Special Weight, by a widening 6 ¾ lengths. The 3-year-old chestnut colt is owned and trained by Gary Scherer. The Derby, which will be run on July 29, is already looking like it could shape up to be a very exciting and competitive race.

Jockey Nik Goodwin is another win closer to the 1,000 win milestone, after winning the 5th race on Paschal for trainer Dan McFarlane on Saturday afternoon. He now has 997 wins and rides in the 2nd, 4th and 6th races on this Friday night’s card.

There will be four days of live racing for the first time this meet over Memorial Day Weekend. Post time for the first race on Friday will be 6:30 PM, Saturday at 12:45 PM, Sunday at 12:45 PM and Monday (Memorial Day) at 12:45 PM. Monday will not only feature live horse racing at Canterbury Park, but also the Annual Running of the Bulldogs. There will be 48 bulldogs running in five races that will take place in between the live horse races.

Quarter Horse racing at Canterbury Park begins on Saturday, May 27 with the 400-yard Gopher State Derby Trials for three-year-olds.


by Katie Merritt

Katie Merritt is a senior at the University of Kentucky and currently an intern in the Canterbury Park Press Box. Before returning to school she galloped at several tracks around the country, but spent the majority of her time working for Carl Nafzger and Ian Wilkes.


Kitty Wine Wins Lady Canterbury
Kitty Wine Wins Lady Canterbury



The purse is $100,000, the racing is close the entire way. You separate from the field and set your horse’s nose toward the wire, only to discover there is another horse at your shoulder, eyeball to eyeball, stride for stride, over the final 150 yards of the stretch drive.

You are certain you’ve won until the jockey on the opposing horse contradicts the thought. It will take a calipers to determine a winner.

Racing doesn’t come any better.

Ask anyone who watched the Mystic Lake Mile on Saturday. Maybe even trainer Gary Scherer, who found himself running toward the winner’s circle. “And I don’t run,” he said. Later, he thrust his arms skyward when the results of the photo finish were announced and jumped in the air. “And I don’t jump,” he said.

A winner in a $100,000 race abrogates the word can’t from a person’s vocabulary. You still are unable to do many things you couldn’t do previously…but you’re willing to try, at least, to believe in anything. “I think I lost two pounds running,” Scherer said.

The chart of the race declares Scherer’s horse, Pumpkin Rumble, winner by a nose over Az Ridge, the defending champion in the race, the Mystic Lake Mile. That’s only because there isn’t another term to denote even smaller margins.

The start was the third of the year for the winner and first time he has finished on the board, enhancing his career earnings by $60,000 for a total of $181,806.

The horse’s owners, Al and Bill Ulwelling, were not present, reportedly at their lake cabin, but Scherer’s exclamatory response was all the representation necessary, enough enthusiasm to fulfill a requirement of this sort.

There were four horses favored in front of Pumpkin Rumble, sent off at 9-1. Az Ridge was favored at 2-1. Red Zeus, a 16-1 choice, finished third. The win gave rider Corey Lanerie a sweep of the two stakes on the card. The Mystic Lake Mile was preceded by the $100,000 Lady Canterbury, also at a mile on the turf.

Lanerie guided 7/5 favorite Kitty Wine to a 1 ¼ length victory over third choice Notte d’Oro in that one. A sweep of the two stakes made Lanerie’s trip from Churchill Downs a worthwhile journey. “Absolutely,” he said.

Kitty Wine ran just off the pace from the gate to the turn for home, where she rallied to take the lead at the stretch call and sustain it to the wire.

Lanerie had not expected Parc Monceau to be at the front, but his strategy remained the same nonetheless. He intended to run just off the lead and did just that.


Pumpkin Rumble and Corey Lanerie Win Mystic Lake Mile
Pumpkin Rumble and Corey Lanerie Win Mystic Lake Mile



Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg, who signed copies of his book at Canterbury Park on Saturday,  went to New York in June of 1987 with a chance to saddle a Triple Crown winner.

Alysheba had won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, and Van Berg was certain he was superior to anyone in the Belmont field. “He could gallop faster than those other horses could run,” Van Berg recalled.

Which is precisely what he told jockey Chris McCarron in the paddock that day.

The question most asked of Van Berg in the years since, and a reasonable one it seems, was whether Alysheba could have won the race had he been allowed to run with Lasix, which he did in the two earlier Classic races.

New York did not allow Lasix at the time and many analysts figured that was a factor in Alysheba’s fourth place finish. Van Berg was asked Saturday if Alysheba would have won the  Belmont had he been allowed the anti-bleeding drug.

“He would have won if he had had a jockey that day,” Van Berg said.

Van Berg was convinced Alysheba could have simply outrun the field, but McCarron put a hold on him and let Bet Twice, the eventual winner and second place horse in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, go to the front. Alysheba, rated most of the way, not only did not respond with his usual vigor when given his head but got caught in a traffic jam at the top of the stretch. Bet Twice went on to win by 14 lengths.

“Somehow he (Chris) got it in his head to hold the horse and he choked him and choked him,” Van Berg added. “Then he got turned sideways…”

The consequence was clear.

“We could have had a Triple Crown winner,” Van Berg added.


Gary Scherer

Gary Scherer


By Kristin Bechthold

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Gary Scherer has been involved in the horse racing industry his entire life. His father, Merrill Scherer, started training horses in 1959. Four of his six brothers are also directly involved in the racing industry. Though that makes room for a consequential competition, Scherer assures that there is no rivalry between him and his brothers.

Currently, Scherer trains 35 horses here at Canterbury. In addition to racing in Shakopee, he also races at Arlington Park near Chicago, Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, KY, and Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans.

Though he has been training horses in Minnesota for seventeen years, he calls New Orleans home. “I like New Orleans, but it’s safer here in Minnesota,” he said. “I like to visit and see my family and friends, but it’s nice to be somewhere different.”

Scherer’s said his greatest accomplishment was last year when one of his fillies, Windchill Factor, won three $100,000 stakes races in a row and was 2-Year-Old of the Year in Louisiana. “Otherwise, my greatest accomplishment is that I’ve lasted this long and I’m still here,” he said with a laugh.

The thrill of victory is Scherer’s favorite part of training. Besides being born and raised in the business, it’s also his motivation to keep training. “You may run and keep losing, but then one horse will shine and step up and then you’re ready to be back in the game again,” he said. “It’s a good feeling.”



Though Scherer worked outside of the racing business as a manager for an air freight delivery service in Louisiana, he returned after thirteen years of being away. “If I wasn’t training now, I would be homeless,” he said with a laugh. “I wouldn’t know what else to do.”

Besides horse racing, Scherer’s other focus is on sports like basketball, baseball, and football. He is a fan of Minnesota sports teams, but the New Orleans Saints is his favorite. Though he used to play an array of sports when he was younger in addition to hunting and fishing, he now focuses on playing golf, particularly in Minnesota.

In terms of the future, Scherer doesn’t have a plan to stop training horses and hopes to keep doing it for as long as he can. “I want to keep searching for bigger horses and going to bigger races,” he said.


Polar Plunge



People who knew her quickly sized up the situation Saturday afternoon. “Oh, Cam’s watching from above, as nervous as always.”

What irony!  In other words, she was now doing what she didn’t allow herself to do while still here.

The person in question passed away last winter and was known for her inability to watch her horses race until the replay.  So Cam Casby, the breeder/owner of Polar Plunge, was doing what she couldn’t do while still alive according to her friends _ watching the $60,000 Lady Slipper Stakes.

Naturally there was drama involved, a thrilling photo finish, a stewards’ inquiry involving the winner, Polar Plunge, and, of course, the wait.

The decision rendered Polar Plunge and jockey Denny Velazquez blameless for coming in and causing Justin Shepherd to take up on Gypsy Melody.  The No. 8 horse, Stellabrini, broke from the outside post and veered in, causing the entire field inside her to squeeze the horse inside each of them, all the way to the rail.

Nonetheless, Velazquez, trainer Gary Scherer and owner Bill Ulwelling awaited the decision. “If they take this horse down, I’m going to be so blankety-blank, blankety-blanking mad,” said Velazaquez.

The official order of finish, when the decision was rendered upheld the original order: 6/5 choice Polar Plunge, 8/1 Somerset Swinger, 8/5 Sky and Sea.

Bill and Al Ulwelling purchased the horse in the dispersal sale of  Casby’s horses last winter and kept her with trainer Gary Scherer. “Cam wanted to breed her so we talked about that, too,” Bill said. “We decided to run her one more year and then go that route.

Thus, in a scenario that only takes place at the movies… or, of course, the racetrack, a woman who never watched her horses run while occupying a table on the second floor of the grandstand, was willing to watch Polar Plunge win in thrilling dramatic fashion from her table up above.


Andrew Offerman, looking none the less for the wear, tried to size up opening weekend from his perspective as racing operations manager. The glitches, minor and beyond, that accompany the opening of any activity, performance, operation or season are expected to a certain extent but nerve-wracking nonetheless.

Sparks fly, lights flicker, power surges…they all occur and more, and managers, mid-level and beyond, begin asking questions in the quest for answers, sometimes creating more problems in the process but eager to get to the bottom of things, even if there isn’t one.

Be that as it may, the problems for Friday night’s opening were minor, the most obvious one a short in the load-speaker system during the first race that was quickly resolved.

Just the same, Offerman, conscientious as he is, was feeling the effects accompanying the start of the race meeting, his adrenalin stores low if not depleted approaching the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.

“So, how has it been?” he was asked.

”Well,” he said, “it’s  kind of like trying to take a toaster through a car-wash.”

Wind Chill Factor

Wind Chill Factor by Coady Photography

It’s not often that mention of wind chill factor would bring a smile to any Minnesotan’s face but Saturday at Delta Downs it took on a much more important meaning for fans of racing in this state. Wind Chill Factor, a 2-year-old filly bred in Louisiana by the late Camelia Casby, dominated in the $150,000 Louisiana Jewel restricted to state breds at one mile on the main track. CHART

Wind Chill Factor began her racing career at Canterbury this summer, winning her debut by more than three lengths. She followed that up with a third at Keeneland. Bettors liked her enough in the Louisiana Jewel to bet her down to 6 to 5. You will find a link to the race video HERE. Wind Chill Factor is #5.

Wind Chill Factor, now owned by Al and Bill Ulwelling and her trainer Gary Scherer, is out of Cam’s stakes winning race mare Shakopee. The same mare that produced Breezy Point, Polar Plunge, Warm Heart (currently racing in New York) and a MN-bred yearling named Mdewakanton.

The next step for this filly will be determined by the connections and to be sure there is plenty of Louisiana bred money to be made with a quality filly but the temptation has to be there to entertain the possibility of the Fair Grounds Oaks in the spring and a chance at the main stage in Kentucky in May.

Wind Chill Factor likely would have been a Minnesota bred but the breeding was planned and decisions made before the Mystic Lake deal when the Minnesota Breeders Fund was laid to waste. Cam loved Minnesota racing and supported it. But she also was a shrewd business woman and Louisiana opportunities at that time out distanced those available to breeders in Minnesota. But Cam’s dedication to racing in her home state was evidenced by Wind Chill Factor’s maiden win in Shakopee.

Cam’s passing in October was a huge loss. Not only because she left behind so many friends who cherished time spent with her, but because she did support racing in Minnesota and she strived for quality. Wind Chill Factor is a real racehorse.  Cam would be proud. So should we all.



Dorsett in Del Mar Derby

Dorsett - Mystic Lake Derby - 08-03-13 - R08 - CBY - Action FinishDorsett, winner of the 2013 Mystic Lake Derby, is 6-1 in the second division of the Grade II Del Mar Derby to be held today at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in California. Trained by Michael Stidham and owned by Terry Hamilton, Dorsett, 6-1 on the morning line, will be ridden by perennial top California rider Rafael Bejarano.

The $300,000 Grade II Derby closed with 23 entries and management split the race into two divisions worth $250,000 each. Dorsett will have his work cut out for him as he goes up against two rivals that have already defeated him this summer at Arlington. Infinite Magic, morning line favorite and winner of the American Derby, defeated Dorsett in that race back on July 13.

General Election is the other Chicago shipper. He defeated Dorsett back in May in the Arlington Classic. Neither Infinite Magic nor General Election has run since the American Derby.

Saddled with the outside post, Dorsett has his work cut out for him. However, drawing the services of a rider of Bejarano’s quality can only be viewed as a positive sign. Heading into racing today, Bejarano’s 43 wins on the meet is 17 clear of the next leading rider.

Dorsett continues a rather impressive parade of horses to ship out of Canterbury and into major races throughout the country this summer. Designer Legs, who broke her maiden at Canterbury for Gary Scherer on June 28, went on to win the Grade II Adirondack Stakes on August 11. Owned by Valene Farms, Designer Legs was placed first following a disqualification in the Adirondack.

Designer Legs runs in today’s Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga Race Course for trainer Dallas Stewart. Shaun Bridgmohan has the call.

Earlier this week, General Jack, winner of the 2013 Shakopee Juvenile was posted as the morning line favorite in the Grade II With Anticipation at Saratoga but was scratched.

General Jack in With Anticipation

General Jack - Shakopee Juvenile Stakes - 08-03-13 - R07 - CBY - Inside FinishGeneral Jack, winner of the inaugural Shakopee Juvenile Stakes – a part of of the 2013 Mystic Lake Derby card – is favored on the morning line in Thursday’s Grade II With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York. Trained by Michael Maker, General Jack will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik – unquestionably the top female jockey in North America.

General Jack shipped into Canterbury following a tough-luck second place finish in a Maiden Special Weight at Belmont on July 12 as the prohibitive favorite. The public took notice of his horrific trip in Elmont, NY and sent him to the post at 3/5 in the $100,000 Shakopee Juvenile. Under a patient ride by Victor Lebron, he left no doubt about his superiority drawing away to win by a widening three lengths.

Installed as the 5/2 favorite by NYRA morning line maker Eric Donovan, General Jack will be hooking up with a duo that he already ran against in his maiden race in 3rd place finisher Bashart (4-1 third choice) and winner Tiger Bourbon (3-1 second choice). It is evident that Donovan feels strongly about the group that finished 1-2-3 in that July 12 Maiden Special Weight at Belmont as they are the top three choices here. That trio was 7-lengths clear of the rest of the field back on July 12.

The 81 Beyer Speed Figure run by General Jack in the Shakopee Juvenile is 7 points superior to any other runner in the With Anticipation. Out of the multiple graded stakes winner J’Ray who did her best work at 9 furlongs and by Giant’s Causeway, General Jack’s pedigree suggests that he should thrive in the 8.5 furlong With Anticipation.

One tip for the live racing fans, take a good look at this race and note how General Jack performs. Chairman Crooks, the runner-up in the Shakopee Juvenile, comes back to the races in an allowance race on Friday night and is likely to be prohibitively favored. General Jack’s performance could give you a good indication as to Chairman Crook’s chances.


General Jack will attempt to become the second horse with Canterbury connections to win a graded race at Saratoga during the 2013 meet. Designer Legs, who broke her maiden at Canterbury for Gary Scherer on June 28, went on to win the Grade II Adirondack Stakes on August 11. Owned by Valene Farms, Designer Legs was placed first following a disqualification in the Adirondack.

Designer Legs is working toward the Grade I Spinaway Stakes which will be held this Sunday at Saratoga Race Course. Entries for the Spinaway will be taken tomorrow.

Canterbury horses have shipped around the country with success in the past; however, two graded stakes victories at one of – if not the – best race meets in North America would be unprecedented.


Canterbury connections haven’t been restricted to the east coast this summer. Delegation, runner-up in the 2012 Mystic Lake Derby, ran sixth in last Saturday’s Grade I Pacific Classic at Del Mar beaten only a length for second behind runaway winner and current top handicap horse in North America Game On Dude.

Additionally, the two-year-old daughter of Canterbury Hall of Famer Glitter Star, debuted at Del Mar on August 18 running a solid third.

UPDATE (8/29 – 10:15AM): General Jack was scratched from the race this morning. No word yet as to the reason.

Ulwellings Mount Final Charge

UlwellingsCanterbury Park’s leading owners, referred to as Champion Owners in the official lexicon of the racetrack, were Al and Bill Ulwelling in 2010 and in 2011.

There was an interloper last year by the name of Ruben Martinez, but with time running down in the 2013 meet, the Ulwellings are fully a part of the race, firmly in second place, trailing Midwest Thoroughbreds powerhouse by three wins. In third place, eight behind the Ulwellings, is the Miguel Angel Silva barn, despite the loss this year of the powerful Martinez stable. Curtis Sampson moved into a tie for third on Sunday with his 15th winner of the meet.

The Ulwellings increased their investment substantially this season in response to purse increases. The results are demonstrable. “We beefed up this year,” said Bill. “We had 62 starts last year. “Our goal this year was 125.”

With four starters on Sunday’s card, the Ulwelling barn has now sent out 118 starters for the meet and will exceed their goal in the final days.

“We intend to keep firing,” said Bill. “It’s tough. I tell you that Midwest is firing bullets. We win two and they come back and win two. We win one and they win one. They got one yesterday and we didn’t.”

Bill had hope for something out of Sunday’s card as a catapult in the final 11 days of racing. “If we could get two today it would still be an interesting race,”he said. “It’s hard to beat them, running 20 horses for $4,000.”

This much is certain said Ulwelling, who once tested the odds by claiming horses from this adversary. “Everything we ever claimed from them never hit the board for us. They taught us a lesson,” said Bill.

The Ulwellings do have this for consolation:

Midwest Thoroughbreds horses had earnings of $343,180 heading into Sunday’s card. The Ulwelling horses had collected $422,270.


The stakes winners get the headlines. The attention declines from there in the sport of racing, downward to the point that a horse at the bottom of racing’s pecking order is routinely ignored, his or her name rarely if ever spoken, unless in contempt.

It can be a long climb into some sort of positive recognition. Many horses never get even a nod in that arena. A horse in Sunday’s second race got a small one.

Smart Masterpiece proved to be a smart bet for anyone who liked him, and the Canchari connection came through for those who did.

Trained by Luis Canchari and ridden by his son, Patrick, Smart Balance took a stunningly close win from Sal ‘Z Romeo in a true photo finish.

Thus, Smart Masterpiece divested himself of maiden status in his 19th start, picking up $10,000, twice the sum of his previous total earnings and just more than 10 percent of his original purchase price.

The original owner of Smart Masterpiece had a positive hunch about the 4-year-old gelding when a yearling and laid down $95,000 at a Keeneland sale for the son of Smart Strike from Showpiece and the grandson of Mr. Prospector and Holy Bull. Whatever promise that buyer saw translated into a mere $17,578 in earnings and maiden status before Sunday’s race.

The horse wound up in the Canchari barn in an undisclosed acquisition and ran his first race for them on June 14.

Here’s a look at the horse’s PPs over the course of his drop from $12,500 to $6,250 company with Canchari: 6th, 5th, 4th, 4th, 2nd, 1st.

That’s called progress, just enough to earn recognition among racing’s daily occurrences, in the small agate type of the sport.

And for those who believed…

Recognition in the form of $19.80 for a $2 ticket.

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.

Fillies Race for Hope

Second%20Street%20City%20-%20Hoist%20Her%20Flag%20Stakes%20-%2008-17-13%20-%20R07%20-%20CBY%20-%20Inside%20FinishPink hats, dresses, flowers, horses. Even little girls in pink wings. The starting gate was festooned in pink, and the scroll designating the type of race on the tote board television screen was the same color. It was Fillies Race for Hope day at Canterbury Park, an annual event to raise awareness and money for the support of families fighting breast cancer.

A contest was conducted for the best-dressed horse in pink and the best pink hat.

On the racing front, the card included the $30,900 Hope Bonus Challenge for quarter horses, and two stakes for thoroughbreds, the $50,000 Hoist Her Flag and $50,000 Minnesota HBPA Distaff.

On a day of outright pinkness, anyone who took a tip from Captain Mark Ott wound up in the pink as well.

Although the money was largely on Stacy Charette-Hill’s horse, Corono Mit Go, in the Hope Bonus Challenge, Ott broke with what has been tradition all summer whenever Ms. Charette-Hill saddles a horse.

“There’s going to be an upset in this one,” he said. “Take it to the bank.”

Betting against Charette-Hill this summer has been akin to lunacy. Not this time, and the Ottman called it.

Had there been a pink-dress contest, one of Canterbury Park’s own, paddock analyst Angela Hermann, would have fared well if not stolen the award outright in a brilliant lace creation that appeared fuchsia in color but was labeled Shocking R (rose?). A $650 item that Ms Hermann testified under oath was purchased on sale.


This race was named in honor of the track’s only two-time horse of the year, and included a rodeo before post time.

That incident resulted in the scratching of Hot Body, which reduced the field to six starters.

It turned into a one-horse race for first, and a one-horse race for second.

The winner was Second Street City, pictured above, with Denny Velazquez winning his first career stake race in a rout. Second Street finished 7 ¼ lengths in front of Missjeanlouise, who was 7 ½ lengths better than Tessie Flip. The winning time was 1:10.08.

Velazquez was completing his post-race interview as he headed to the jockey lounge, his attention focused on the person beside him inquiring about the race.

When he looked up, valet Nate Quinonez was waiting with a bucket of water to greet the first-time stake winner. “Oh, hell, no,” Velazquez yelped as he tried to outrun the dousing to no avail. There was more to come when he reached the jockey lounge.

Second Street City was not involved in the rodeo exhibition that preceded the race.

The jockeys had just mounted their horses in the paddock and began their walk around the ring. Cruzette, with Justin Shepherd up, froze, causing a traffic backup. Next in line, Scott Stevens dismounted. His horse, Tiz Roses, made an attempt to hit the infield but was quickly apprehended. But one slot back, Hot Body, with Anne Von Rosen up, bolted to the side and crashed through the fence surrounding the paddock walking ring. She was scratched from the race, examined later by track veterinarian Lynn Hovda and given a clean bill of health.


A field of seven lined up for this 1 1/16 mile event on the turf, but it belonged entirely to Starry Eyed Kate under a gutsy ride from Alex Canchari after they took charge on the turn and refused to give up the rail or the lead.

Quinichette and Dean Butler tried but faded to fifth. Grandma’s Rules tried too with a spirited stretch charge, but the winner outlasted that one by a neck.

The stake win was the fourth at Canterbury Park for the young rider this summer. He also won the Manitoba Derby and a stake at Oaklawn Park. It was also a positive way to serve out the remainder of a four-day suspension that began on Friday but was not enforced for stake race commitments.

The winner is trained by Mac Robertson and owned by Hugh Robertson and Barry Butzow.

Butzow extolled the manner in which Canchari took aspects of the race into account as they unfolded.

“The pace was slow (51.24 and 1:15.52) so he decided to just sit there on the rail,” said Butzow. “He’s a good little rider.”

On the rail?

“Yeah, I was skimming it,” said Canchari.


Glory on the racetrack is a fleeting commodity, there one instant and gone the next.

Nobody knows it better than trainer Kasey Willis of Colman, Okla., who has lost a few matchups this summer in Shakopee to trainer Stacy Charette-Hill.

“It’s nice to get one back,” he said after the $30,900 Fillies and Mares Race for Hope Bonus Challenge at 400 yards.

How about finishing one-two, as Glory Rider and Dreamwideopen did for Willis on Saturday.

Willis and Charette-Hill compete at many of the same racetracks, so they’ve beaten and lost to one another on numerous occasions.

Willis wasn’t quite sure what to expect from his two starters. It might have ended up the other way around.

Dreamwideopen has the same dam, This Dreams Flying, as does another horse familiar to Canterbury folks, the Amber Blair-trained Hes Relentless, the fastest qualifier for the $2.6 million All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs this weekend.

But on Saturday it was Glory Rider under Agustin Silva who covered the 400 yards in 20.32, a head in front of his stablemate, who had a neck on the third-place horse, Corona Mit Go, trained by Charette-Hill.

“She stumbled a bit (out of the gate),” said Silva, “but she righted herself and went on with it.”

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.