Gracias Says Hasta la Vista

Gracias left no doubt as to who the best runner was in the Canterbury Filly & Mare Claiming Series running her competition off their feet during a dominant five and one half-length victory on Thursday night. Wilson Dieguez was aboard for winning trainer Miguel Silva and owner Ruben Martinez.

Gracias broke sharply and immediately assumed early command over the favorite Boneafide Cat. From there, Dieguez simply rationed her speed going the opening quarter mile in 22.21 and the half in 45.64 before finishing the five and one half furlongs in 1:05.00.

 

The win most likely locked up the Claiming Series leading trainer title for Miguel Silva. Through the Filly and Mare Championship, Silva has 47 points, 17 more than his next closest competitor.

Rasin a Delight finished second under Scott Stevens at 18-1, Mighty Tizzy ran third, Havasu finished fourth and the wagering favorite Boneafide Cat was last.

The $25,000 Final for Colts and Geldings will be contested on Thursday, August 9. The Championship will be run at a distance of 5 and 1/2 furlongs and is only open to those that ran in two of the three qualifying events for Colts and Geldings.

For more information on the Canterbury Claiming Series, and for complete standings, check out the Canterbury Park webpage.

The 2012 Canterbury Claiming Series is sponsored by Continental Diamond.

This blog was written by Canterbury Park’s Live Racing and Digital Media Coordinator Andrew Offerman. Offerman has served in this role since returning to Minnesota in 2010 after earning his Master’s Degree from the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program.

Bringing Things into Focus

Misconceptions and mistaken assumptions continue to cloud understanding of the agreement between Mystic Lake and Canterbury Park and increased purses.

Some horsemen had trouble understanding during a recent meeting that there are now two purse funds, and that the one funded by Canterbury is overpaid despite the recent infusion of money from the agreement.

“They didn’t understand that the purse money from Mystic is separate from the money generated by Canterbury and must be kept that way,” said HBPA president Tom Metzen.

Some horsemen continue to believe that the agreement includes the right of Mystic Lake to inspect Canterbury’s financial matters at its discretion, another mistaken conception.

“We have to give a full accounting of all the purse money provided by Mystic Lake,” said Metzen. “They have the right to inspect how we are using that money, where every penny goes. They have that right and they should have it.”

That right does not include anything beyond the purse money provided by Mystic Lake.

Metzen calls this agreement “one of a kind” and said he has had calls from other racing jurisdictions not only applauding the deal but wondering how they too might go about getting a similar arrangement.

“Some of the calls I’ve gotten were from people who simply couldn’t believe we came up with an agreement like this one and wonder how they can go about getting one of their own,” he said.

There is another element to the agreement that people misunderstand, one that track president Randy Sampson continues to emphasize

The entire agreement is designed to benefit the Minnesota horse industry directly. All proceeds from the pact are earmarked for purses and benefit horsemen, their owners and breeders.

Canterbury will benefit indirectly at some point, once the additional purse money translates into better horses, increased wagering and larger crowds.

“It’s really a win, win situation and Mystic Lake and Randy Sampson should be applauded for it,” Metzen added. “No other track in the country would have structured a deal like this one that entirely benefits the horse industry.”

THUMBS UP FROM ALL

Patrons might have wondered about the gathering in the winner’s circle after Thursday night’s fifth race (photo above).

Gracias had just lived up to her 8-5 backing under Wilson Dieguez, adding another win to the bountiful stable of one Ruben Martinez, the Burnsville resident with more horses than a Cecil B. DeMille film.

There they were, Paul Allen, Molly Jones, Angela Hermann, Jeff Maday and Andrew Offerman posing for a photo while giving the thumbs up signal, something seen in such numbers previously only in the Colisseum, say, about 40 A.D.

While one wag suggested that the signal meant the winning jockey should be allowed to keep his life, others reasoned that perhaps the press box group was enacting a parody of some sort.

It was left to track intellectuals to provide a reasonable explanation for the matter. They were charged with a study expected to provide an answer before the start of the 2013 meet.

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 Credit: Coady Photography

Bringing Things into Focus

Misconceptions and mistaken assumptions continue to cloud understanding of the agreement between Mystic Lake and Canterbury Park and increased purses.

Some horsemen had trouble understanding during a recent meeting that there are now two purse funds, and that the one funded by Canterbury is overpaid despite the recent infusion of money from the agreement.

“They didn’t understand that the purse money from Mystic is separate from the money generated by Canterbury and must be kept that way,” said HBPA president Tom Metzen.

Some horsemen continue to believe that the agreement includes the right of Mystic Lake to inspect Canterbury’s financial matters at its discretion, another mistaken conception.

“We have to give a full accounting of all the purse money provided by Mystic Lake,” said Metzen. “They have the right to inspect how we are using that money, where every penny goes. They have that right and they should have it.”

That right does not include anything beyond the purse money provided by Mystic Lake.

Metzen calls this agreement “one of a kind” and said he has had calls from other racing jurisdictions not only applauding the deal but wondering how they too might go about getting a similar arrangement.

“Some of the calls I’ve gotten were from people who simply couldn’t believe we came up with an agreement like this one and wonder how they can go about getting one of their own,” he said.

There is another element to the agreement that people misunderstand, one that track president Randy Sampson continues to emphasize

The entire agreement is designed to benefit the Minnesota horse industry directly. All proceeds from the pact are earmarked for purses and benefit horsemen, their owners and breeders.

Canterbury will benefit indirectly at some point, once the additional purse money translates into better horses, increased wagering and larger crowds.

“It’s really a win, win situation and Mystic Lake and Randy Sampson should be applauded for it,” Metzen added. “No other track in the country would have structured a deal like this one that entirely benefits the horse industry.”

THUMBS UP FROM ALL

Patrons might have wondered about the gathering in the winner’s circle after Thursday night’s fifth race (photo above).

Gracias had just lived up to her 8-5 backing under Wilson Dieguez, adding another win to the bountiful stable of one Ruben Martinez, the Burnsville resident with more horses than a Cecil B. DeMille film.

There they were, Paul Allen, Molly Jones, Angela Hermann, Jeff Maday and Andrew Offerman posing for a photo while giving the thumbs up signal, something seen in such numbers previously only in the Colisseum, say, about 40 A.D.

While one wag suggested that the signal meant the winning jockey should be allowed to keep his life, others reasoned that perhaps the press box group was enacting a parody of some sort.

It was left to track intellectuals to provide a reasonable explanation for the matter. They were charged with a study expected to provide an answer before the start of the 2013 meet.

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 Credit: Coady Photography

Gracias Takes Commanding Lead

Canterbury’s 2012 Claiming Series continued last night with the second of three qualifying races for fillies and mares (the final qualifying race is scheduled for July 12). Gracias appeared tough to beat once Boneafide Cat, the early point leader, scratched. On the track, she proved difficult indeed as she drew off to an easy victory.

Through the second race for fillies and mares, here’s a breakdown of the leading female point earners in the 2012 Claiming Series:

Gracias – 15 Points
Rasin a Delight – 12 Points
Boneafide Cat – 8 Points
Polite and Cozy – 7 Points
Havasu – 5 Points
Mighty Tizzy – 5 Points
Dakota Song – 4 Points
Dulce Gata – 4 Point s

The top 12 point earners will qualify for a $25,000 Championship Race which will be held for Fillies and Mares on August 2.

The claim box heated up slightly over one prospect, Mighty Tizzy, as a five-way shake took place. Bernell Rhone ended up winning the claim for new owner Anthony Hanson.

The colts and geldings get their second turn at a qualifying race next Thursday night.

For more information on the Canterbury Claiming Series and for full standings, please visit www.canterburypark.com.

The 2012 Canterbury Claiming Series is sponsored by Continental Diamond.

This blog was written by Canterbury Park’s Live Racing and Digital Media Coordinator Andrew Offerman. Offerman has served in this role since returning to Minnesota in 2010 after earning his Master’s Degree from the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program.