By Rebecca Roush
The sport of horse racing has been a longtime passion for owner Randy Howg.
When he was just 10-years-old, he was giving his brothers and sisters horse names and having them race against each other. The full-time farmer is from Enchanta, Alberta, where he currently tends to his irrigation crop in the summer months. He grew up helping his uncle care for race horses and went to the track with him every chance he had, learning about horse ownership. It was then that he knew he wanted to follow in his uncle’s footsteps.
After getting married to his wife Virginia and starting a family, Howg decided to purchase his first horse with trainer Robertino Diodoro. The duo have been buying and running horses together ever since. “I can’t say enough about Robertino,” said Howg. “We’ve been through everything together,” he added.
“Randy became my first serious horse owner over 23 years ago,” Diodoro said. “There aren’t many partnerships like ours, where the trainer and owner are best friends,” he added. Diodoro went on to describe Randy as being a captain of the team. “He’s a great leader.”
One of Howg’s favorite parts of horse racing is the camaraderie that is exchanged between those involved. “You meet a lot of people in this industry,” he said. Howg enjoys meeting new people and having the chance to reunite with them again at different tracks. “There are quite a few owners from Alberta who I see when we are in Phoenix,” he said. He adds that it feels like the tracks are all “one big community.”
Howg’s stable has increased in size over the years. One of his biggest success stories is that of his horse named Inside Straight, who won the 2017 Oaklawn Handicap, a Grade 2 race.
“There is nothing like winning, but this race was special,” he recalls. “When the horse came around the first turn I thought he was going to get second, but then when I saw him break through and turn for home I knew he was going to win,” he added.
Howg says that it was in that moment that he began to brace himself for the excitement and could “barely breathe.”
Even though Howg does not live near Canterbury Park, he still tries to make it to the track as much as he can.
“Minnesota is such a beautiful state and I love taking trips down here,” he commented. “I really enjoy the atmosphere at Canterbury Park. The enthusiasm that comes from the fans is very unique and I love the fact that I can bring my grandchildren here with me to have a fun time,” Howg added.
When Howg is not busy balancing his time between family, racing, and farming he and his wife often travel to Phoenix for the winter, where his horses race at Turf Paradise.
“I just can’t get enough,” he said. “Just when I think I can’t be any busier, I’m looking at another horse to buy.”