Nice Weather On An Extreme Day

BY JIM WELLS

There is the short, quick race at a distance you expect to see in the summer Olympics, another that tests your eye/brain coordination by watching a race being conducted on different racing surfaces simultaneously, and yet another at a mere two furlongs.

The afternoon includes events you might otherwise expect to see only on a National Geographic special.

The exotic combination is called Extreme Race Day.

Extreme races, at 110 yards, a quarter of a mile, and on the dirt and grass simultaneously. Exotic animals _  camels, ostriches and zebras _  ridden by men and women who typically ride horses.

All of it conducted under sunny skies, with a 10 mph southeasterly breeze and 49 percent humidity, the first afternoon a major event has taken place this season under such ideal conditions.

   $18,000 DASH IN A FLASH

The footnotes were exceptionally brief, but what can you expect from a race that begins and ends in the blink of an eye.

Track announcer Paul Allen sized it up thusly: Seven seconds of sheer bliss.

Even less than that:   6.978, if you must.

This race was over in the time it takes to bend over and pick up a program you just dropped, the time it takes to complete a single sneeze or to eat five hot dogs if your name is Joey Chesnut.

Quick, quicker quickest.

And the horse with the eponymous name _ Ms Haulin Chic _ did exactly that in the only stakes race on the menu Saturday. She hauled it as if she were a dragster BIR, reaching the wire with a head to spare on Bout Tree Fiddy and another ¾ length in front of Bye Byefreighttrain.

That made this swift 4-year-old filly the winner of the Dash In A Flash Stakes, a 110-yard race whose purse was increased by a $9,000 addition from the Mystic Lake purse enhancement fund to $15,000. Quarter horse purses that size attract a crowd and this one drew a lineup of 10, reduced to nine after a gate scratch named Perfect Lota, who turned around in her stall, roughing up jockey Jorge Torres in the process.

Torres was maneuvering an arm in the socket as he made his way to the jockeys lounge, rubbing the biceps at the same time. “Everything okay?,” he was asked.

“Yeah, yeah, just part of the game,” he responded.

Part of a game, that in this case at any rate, took fewer than seven seconds.

The winning horse is trained by R. Allen Hybsha for owner Haulin Assets Racing. Hybsha trained the winner of last year’s Dash also, Lota James owned by Whiting Ranch.

Hybsha sized up Saturday’s win in succinct fashion, saying of the winner:

“She’s fast, very fast. She set the track record for 220 at Remington Park this spring.”

At 110 yards, fast counts…a lot.

CAMELBURY DERBY

The conversation before this race took various forms. In one corner, Michelle Dupras, visiting from Tucson, informed anyone interested that it hurt when a camel spits and it hits you.

She learned that bit of information from informed camel people at another point in her life.

Jockey Patrick Canchari had a bit of advice for one of the camel riders before hand: “Wear goggles,” he said. “That way when he turns and looks at you he won’t see the fear in your eyes.”

Camels also are odiferous, tall and difficult to manage at times.

None of that was of much concern to Brandon Kewatt, a racing office intern and student at Mankato State. Kewatt is majoring in sports marketing but Saturday he was king of the sultans, riding the winning camel in a four-camel derby.

The winner? Keepin Up with a Camel KarDashian, the No. 4 hump.

“I liked it,” Kewatt said after his first camel ride. “That was fun.”

Opposing rider Maddie Primo had this to say in reponse:

“You killed it out there. You did.”

BATTLE OF THE SURFACES

No sense in looking at what doesn’t concern you, that over which you have no control. So, Jareth Loveberry kept his mind on business in this race, being run on the dirt and the turf.

“You just ride your race. The other one has nothing to do with you,” he said.

Yet, after he was assured of the wire, Loveberry did allow himself a glance at what was transpiring on the grass. “I looked over there,” he said, “and I also took a look at the big TV.”

He knew his horse was the winner in both cases, just not by how much.

It was substantial.

Riding Promising Shoes for Tammy Horsnby, Loveberry was a convincing winner in both cases. He beat the second best dirt horse, Buxton, by 2 ¾ lengths. Promising Shoes had a huge margin over Artie’s Rumor, the first grass runner to finish…20 lengths. The winning time was 1:39.28.

  DON’T LAY AN EGG DASH

Jake Samuels learned that some days all you have to do is stay in the saddle (figuratively) and you are a winner.

He was the one rider in the four-ostrich race to keep his seat and that made him a winner.

He was aboard Rob GronkOstrichski, the No. 1 ostrich, described thusly:

“Made of pure muscle, this party animal brings his flashy personality to the race track…

With the three other riders rolling in the dust, Samuels claimed his win with relish.

“I’m not winning on the horses so any win feels good,” he said.

Yet, this experience was quite unlike those he experiences on a thoroughbred. His bird gave him a strange look in the gate.

“He turned completely around and looked me right in the eye,” Samuels said. “I thought he was going to bite me.”

     ZOOMING ZEBRAS

They didn’t zoom. They didn’t really run. One of the zebras in this four-zebra field wandered over to the rail as if he expected a treat. Another wandered about the track for a short spell as if he were under a spell. All in all, they just didn’t seem all that interested.

Justin Zieber, somehow, found the finish line, wandering across first, and that after deciding to sit down in the gate.

His rider, Nakia Ramirez, has been through this before. She rode a zebra in a similar exhibition at Remington Park last spring. Any difference?

“Yes,” she said, “the one at Remington actually ran.”

Kassie Guglielmino now riding at Canterbury Park

By: Rebecca Roush

Kassie Guglielmino, originally from Northport, Washington, is one of several female riders at Canterbury Park this season. This is Guglielmino’s first year in Shakopee, but she has been riding races professionally since 2012. She has had more than 1,400 career starts and 224 wins, earning $1.06 million in purses for her connections. Guglielmino has also won multiple stakes races throughout her career.

The 23-year-old rider knew she wanted to race since a young age. After growing up on a cattle ranch in northern Washington, Guglielmino had gained plenty of experience with riding horses. With limited connections she relied on her father and his friends to guide her into the world of horseracing.

Living just 10 miles south of the Canadian border, she began racing at small ‘backyard tracks’ near home before moving on to larger tracks throughout Canada. Guglielmino made her professional racing debut when she was 17 at Sunflower Downs in Princeton, British Columbia where she finished fifth on a horse named Absolute Magnitude.

The element that Guglielmino says sets Canterbury apart from the other tracks where she has raced is the fan involvement and the atmosphere. “The whole town seems to love the racetrack, which is different from a lot of places,” said Guglielmino. “It’s really fun to be in a place where everyone is really into the races.”

Kassie Guglielmino 5-12-18 CBYfavorite part about riding in a race is taking in the excitement from the fans and experiencing the highly energetic atmosphere. “On race day the thing I look forward to, aside from winning, is the response that we receive from the crowds. There is nothing else like it.”

When she is not busy racing, Guglielmino often goes hiking and checks out local attractions with husband and fellow jockey, Jake Samuels. “We both like to get out and experience new things wherever we are,” she said. She also enjoys trail riding when she can.

One of Guglielmino’s future racing goals includes breaking 500 wins and depending on the length of her career she would “love to retire with 1,000 wins.”

It is clear that Guglielmino has passion for what she does. “She is a real horse girl,” trainer Francisco Bravo said of the jockey. “She really knows her stuff and the horses seem to like her,” he added. Last Friday Guglielmino notched her first Canterbury win, going gate to wire on Awesome Emmit, a horse trained by Bravo.

“I can’t imagine stepping away from racing and doing anything else right now,” she said. “I absolutely love it.”

Jake Samuels Found Winner’s Circle Quickly at Canterbury Park

By: Rebecca Roush

Jake Samuels is new to racing at Canterbury Park this year. Originally from Wellpinit, Washington, Samuels made his professional racing debut at Sun Downs in Kennewick, Washington in 2011. Since then, he has had more than 1,900 career starts with over 300 wins and nearly $1.5 million in earnings.

Samuels began his journey after working a summer ranch job in 2009. This was where his cousin talked him into buying his first horse, which ended up being the first he had ever ridden. After learning how to train and care for the horse, Samuels became more comfortable with the idea of racing one day.

Samuels won his first race on opening weekend racing for Francisco Bravo.

A favorite racing memory that Samuels has is when he ‘dead-heated’ with his wife and fellow jockey, Kassie Guglielmino, at Portland Meadows in Portland, Oregon. “It was a fun experience when we had our win picture taken together,” said Samuels.

Samuels continues to race not only because of the fans, but because of the feeling it gives him when he wins a race as well. He described the feeling of winning his first race here as a ‘reboot.’ “Kassie and I are new to racing in Minnesota and we both want to do well. The victories are what we strive for.”

One future goal that Samuels has for his racing career is “being able to enter a big quarter horse race.” He would also like to make it to the Kentucky Derby one day. “Every rider’s dream is to race in the Kentucky Derby and that is definitely one of mine,” he added.

After racing at many tracks in the Pacific Northwest and in Canada, Samuels is impressed by the crowds at Canterbury Park. “The fans are unlike any other and the management really cares about the riders and the horses,” he said when asked what sets Canterbury Park apart from other tracks.

Outside of racing, Samuels enjoys spending time hiking in the mountains and hunting with his family back home.