Racebook Action Galore

Santa Anita delayed its autumn race meet due to fires in the nearby hills but commences Friday at 2:30 p.m. with a 10-race program that includes the G3 Chillingsworth Stakes and the G2 Eddie D.

On Saturday, Santa Anita rolls out five graded stakes, all with Breeders’ Cup implications: G2 Chandelier, G1 Rodeo Drive, G1 American Pharoah, G2 John Henry Turf and the G1 Awesome Again.  The $300,000 Awesome Again attracted only five runners but the quality is high and it is the second leg of the late pick five wager. Both Maximum Security and Improbable are entered by Bob Baffert. Of local interest is Sleepy Eyes Todd whose second and third career wins came at Canterbury Park in the summer of 2019.

The 4-year-old colt is trained by Miguel Angel Silva and is owned by Thumbs Up Racing. His most recent effort was a gate to wire win in the G2 $600,000 Charles Town Classic, providing the first graded stakes win for the horse and the trainer who has maintained a stable at Canterbury for several seasons.

Top CBY Quarter Horse Connections Compete At Prairie Meadows Friday and Saturday

Trainers Jason Olmstead and Ed Ross Hardy, fixtures in Shakopee, are well represented at Prairie Meadows on their premiere evenings of quarter horse racing Friday and Saturday. Olmstead saddles the morning line favorite in both the G3 $218k Valley Junction Futurity , Signs of a Blue Moon, and the Iowa bred $137k Jim Bader Futurity, Cr Appollitical Joe.

Pyc Jess Bite Mydust

Olmstead also placed Minnesota bred Pyc Jess Bite Mydust in the 440 yard Two Rivers Stakes, a Grade 3 with a $35,000 purse on Friday.

Hardy has the favorite, B Booujee, in Friday’s second, the Valley Junction Juvenile consolation. He will also face Olmstead Saturday in the Jim Bader with Df Fabulous Flare.

Owner and breeder Dan Kjorsvik never ducks a challenge, with quarter horses or thoroughbreds. His Q, Holy Storm will run in Friday’s opener, the Grade 3 Covered Bridges at 870 yards. Bred by Kjorsvik in Minnesota, Holy Storm improved when trying the hook, winning a pair at Remington this spring and another at Prairie. A troubled trip last time earns him a shot Friday where he faces a horse familiar to Canterbury fans, Faster Than Hasta for Bob Johnson. He too found a new calling at 870 with two impressive wins at the distance this year in Iowa.

Robertson Runners Surface at Arlington

Mac Robertson

If you are reading this Thursday morning, note that several Mac Robertson runners can now be found at Arlington Park running under his father Hugh’s name including three on Thursday. All the action can be bet in the Canterbury Park Racebook where there is plenty of spacing for the racing.

Dickey Bob Wins $32,700 Cash Caravan Stakes

Sweet Carol Line sizzles in Minnesota Futurity trials; Vo Fantastic Aira fastest in Minnesota Derby heats

Dickey Bob won the $32,700 Cash Caravan Stakes for the second time at Canterbury Park defeating his full-brother Pyc Jess Bite Mydust by a head in a final time of 19.965 seconds for 400 yards. The quarter horse brothers, both owned and bred by Lunderborg LLC, have completed the Cash Caravan exacta the past three years with Dickey Bob winning in 2018 and Pyc Jess Bite Mydust last year. Luis Valenzuela rode the 5-year-old winner and Nik Goodwin rode the 6-year-old runner up for leading trainer Jason Olmstead.

Trial races were run for the $67,250 Minnesota Quarter Horse Derby and the $70,350 Minnesota Quarter Horse Futurity. Vo Fantastic Aira was the fastest qualifier for the Minnesota Derby covering 400 yards in 20.085 seconds under jockey Ry Eikleberry for trainer Ed Ross Hardy.

Kelsi Harr rode Sweet Carol Line, the fastest qualifier for the Minnesota Futurity. The 2-year-

Sweet Carol Line

old filly is a half-sister to Dickey Bob and Pyc Jess Bite Mydust. She is trained by Olmstead and owned by Lunderborg LLC. Final time for the 350 yards was 18.009 seconds.

Finals for the Derby and Futurity will be run Sept.9 as part of the 27th Minnesota Festival of Champions, a day restricted to thoroughbreds and quarter horses bred in the state.

Hardy, Olmstead Look To Continue Dominance In Festival Races, But First……..

Tomorrow is a new twist for the traditional Minnesota Festival of Champions quarter horse races, the Minnesota QH Derby and Minnesota QH Futurity.  Trial races. In the past the Derby and Futurity entrants gained access to the races based on earnings. But now payments and sustaining payments made by hopeful owners begat trial races to determine which equines fill the 10 gates in each race.  There will be two trials on Tuesday for each of the Sept. 9 races that will offer $55,000+ purses. The trial purses are a meager $6,500 but success Tuesday leads to a much larger opportunity for the 10 fastest from the trials.

Jason Olmstead has won the Minnesota Derby the past three years and Ed Ross Hardy has won the race a record nine times but has been in a drought since the 2014 win. Olmstead has but one Derby trial runner. It is a good one named Beep Beep Zoom Zoom who won the Futurity last year. She’s winless in 2020 but faces breeds for the first time this summer. Hardy’s pair of Wicked 6 and Vo Fantastic Aria should both make qualifying runs tomorrow as well.

The Minnesota Futurity is another race that Hardy has won several times.  Eleven to be exact. No one other than Hardy or Olmstead have won the 350 yard dash since 2015. Hardy looks like he has a runner in Western Reserve. The filly debuted with a victory in a Gopher State Futurity trial, had trouble in the final but returned to wax a fair allowance field in Iowa. She is owned by Hall of Famers Bob and Julie Petersen. Her dam Western Fun provides Festival cred. She was owned by the Petersens and trained to a Minnesota Derby victory by Hardy in 2012.

All that action plus the Cash Caravan Stakes and a rematch of the full brothers Dickey Bob and Pyc Jess Bite Mydust takes place Tuesday beginning at 4:35 p.m.

Goodwin Seeks First Northlands Futurity Victory

Jockey Nik Goodwin has accomplished much during his quarter horse racing career at Canterbury Park. The native of Bemidji, Minn. is the all-time leader in wins, 140, and in purse earnings, $1.59 million, in the history of Canterbury Park and Downs. Goodwin was late to the party this year, not arriving until the end of July. He rode the entire 12-race quarter horse card on July 28 and won four times, including the first three races, hitting the board in three more and quickly reminding racing fans that might have forgotten that he indeed is the quarter horse king of Shakopee.

“It was nice to get back to riding and to win right away,” Goodwin said that evening. “It was a nice return back to Canterbury and my home state.”

Goodwin has won many stakes on both thoroughbreds and quarter horses but one missing from his resume is the Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, tonight’s sixth race. He will ride A Fabulos Painting, the second fastest qualifier for the meet’s richest quarter horse race trained by the track’s top conditioner Jason Olmstead who has six of the 10 horses in the final. Olmstead fancies A Fabulos Painting and said that if the 2-year-old, who may finally be putting things together, remains composed “he can outrun them all.” Olmstead knows a little about winning this Futurity. He has done so four of the past five years.

A Fabulos Painting got his first win that night with Goodwin up. He had missed the board in three prior starts. One of the speedy gelding’s owners, track announcer Paul Allen, is thrilled. “I love it. To have the winningest rider in the history of the track and the only one in four starts to get this horse to win is fantastic.”

Goodwin likes his chances and will try to deliver for the connections and notch his belt with a first Northlands Futurity victory. “He broke well last time,” Goodwin said. “He drew a good post for this race. He can win.”

Jess One Lane Fastest Qualifier for Northlands Futurity

Three trials were conducted Tuesday for the $86,900 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity with the 10 fastest 2-year-olds qualifying for the Aug. 11 final. Jess One Lane recorded the quickest time, 17.987 for 350 yards, by winning the second trial. The colt was ridden by Ismael Suarez Ricardo for trainer Vic Hanson. Suarez Ricardo won five races on the night.

Trainer Jason Olmstead saddled six of the 10 Northlands qualifiers with A Fabulos Painting the best, winning the first heat in 18.033 seconds, the second fastest overall, as Nik Goodwin rode. Goodwin also won the first two races, both trials for the $48,775 Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby, and both trained by Olmstead. Goodwin had not ridden since June 15 at Tampa Bay Downs. Goodwin won four times overall.

Vf Politics N Chicks

Vf Politics N Chicks was the fastest Olmstead qualifier from the two Derby trials with a final time for 400 yards of 19.817 seconds. Canterbury’s leading trainer also qualified three others.

Olmstead had a banner night, he entered 23 horses with runners in nine of the evening’s 12 races and won five. In addition to winning races 1, 2 and 3 the five-time Canterbury champion quarter horse trainer also won races 5 and 8.

Jockey Marcus Swiontek was injured when he was dislodged from Aj Helene shortly after leaving the starting gate in race 3. Early reports are a broken fibula and broken bone in his foot.

Canterbury Derby trials results

Northlands Futurity Trials results

A Night Full of Quarter Horse Racing Tuesday

Two trials will be conducted Tuesday for the Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby with the 10 fastest horses qualifying for the Aug. 11 final. The final will be the 33rd running of the QH Derby dating back to the inaugural in 1986. That race was won by 3-year-old Throb for owner Pine Tree Racing Stable.

Ed Ross Hardy has won the QH Derby eight times. His first came in 1998 with Oro O Toole. Hardy has two chances to qualify for the final.

Trainer Jerry Livingston won back to back in 1999 and 2000. The 1999 rendition had a lasting impact on Minnesota quarter horse racing as the winner Easanon, owned by Sylvia Casby, became a productive broodmare responsible for several stakes winners for Casby and her daughter Cam.  Easanon offspring CS Flashlight, CS Night Light, CS Strobelight and CS Limelight won the Minnesota Quarter Horse Futurity in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007 respectively.

One name absent from the Canterbury QH Derby’s winning trainer list is Jason Olmstead, the top trainer here the past five seasons. He has been knocking on the door in the final however.

……………………..Jason Olmstead

Last year his entry was second by a head, in 2018 third and 2017 second. Before training, Olmstead was a jockey and rode in the Canterbury Park Derby multiple times. Victory was elusive then as well. In 2008, Olmstead lost by a nostril while riding for wife Amber Blair.

Olmstead will saddle four in the Derby trials and 23 over Tuesday’s 12-race program including 12 in the Northlands Futurity trials. Little Bit of Hero in race 1 finished second in the Gopher State Derby July 7 and Tipsy Girl B in tonight’s 2nd, favored in the Gopher State, finished fourth after a poor break. Both are favored in their heats.

Racing begins at 4:30pm.

Olmstead Loaded For Closing Night at Prairie Meadows

Saturday marks the final day of the season racing for quarter horses at Prairie Meadows and the first day of the Turf Paradise meeting, which runs predominantly thoroughbreds. Both will offer Canterbury familiarity for those that played the Shakopee meet this spring and summer.

Prairie Meadows begins at 4 p.m. Saturday and will run 11 races including eight stakes. Canterbury’s five-time leading quarter horse trainer Jason Olmstead ,with 28 victories, leads the Iowa meet by 10 wins over Alex Wessels with racing tonight and Saturday.

Olmstead, who finished second in the standings the past five seasons, is seeking his first Prairie Meadows title.

“I’ve always been chasing Stacy [Charette-Hill] and just never could get in front,” Olmstead said.

He signaled the strength of his stable by winning three races on their opening day, Aug. 17.

Jason Olmstead

Southard Queen, Five Bar Bodee who previously won Canterbury’s richest QH race the $156,200 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, and Eagle Deluxe, victorious in the Keokuk Stakes that day, all won.

“Even when his horses aren’t winning, they’re competitive,” Prairie Meadows racing analyst John Hernandez said. “Case in point: Sunday October 6, Olmstead had seven starters, with six seconds and one third.”

Olmstead has started more horses and earned more purses than any trainer at the meet. On Saturday, Olmstead will saddle 15 horses, one in the opener and 14 over six stakes races.

“They’re all sitting on go,” the trainer said.

Olmstead teamed up in Altoona with jockey Justin Shepherd, better known for his thoroughbred prowess – he has 1,098 career thoroughbred wins and multiple graded stake victories. Together they have won 15 times. Berkley Packer also has ridden several trials and stakes for Olmstead, winning 10 races.

“[Shepherd] was doing well and winning races before I really had anyone running,” Olmstead said. “He’s having fun with it, riding good horses. He can ride with any of them.”

Owned by Tom Maher, Apollitical Mogul, was the fastest qualifier for Saturday’s $129,794 Altoona Derby.

Apollitical Mogul

“She’s running as solid as you can ask a horse to run,” Olmstead said. The filly has finished on the board, winning six times, in nine of 10 starts in 2019.

He has three runners in this 400 yard race. Packer qualified aboard both Apollitical Mogul and Minnesota-bred Jess Doin Time, and chose to ride the former Saturday.

“Apollitical Mogul has looked strong winning three straight here, one over a muddy track, and weather could be a factor this weekend,” Hernandez said.

Jess Doin Time, had trouble in her qualifying effort. “She stumbled, but got lined out and still managed to qualify,” Olmstead said.  Shepherd has the call on the Minnesota Quarter Horse Derby winner.

The Grade 3 Valley Junction Futurity closes out the night and Olmstead should have something to say about the results as he qualified four to the richest race.

“All of his horses in the $219,894 Valley Junction Futurity have run well here this season,” said Hernandez, who has been selecting winners at a high rate.  “Five Bar Bodee might have won his trial, but there was a short delay after all the runners were loaded and Southern Sunshine beat him out of the gate.” Southern Sunshine, trained by Charette-Hill, ran the fastest time of the 10 qualified. Her go-to pilot Jorge Torres is aboard.

“Bodee is doing well,” Olmstead said of the 2-year-old gelding that has won three of six starts with two seconds and $108,218 in purse earnings. “He might get outrun Saturday but he’ll leave there and give it all he has.”

Turf Paradise Has Much To Offer

Turf Paradise, in Phoenix, kicks off its 64th season with an eight-race program beginning at 2:55 p.m. Many Shakopee regulars winter there including perennial Turf Paradise leading trainer

Robertino Diodoro

Robertino Diodoro. He has earned the title the past six seasons and is odd-on to add another.

David Van Winkle, Jose Silva Jr., Shawn Davis, Valorie Lund, and Matt Williams will also be well represented. Jockeys include last season’s leading rider Francisco Arrieta, Chad Lindsay, Denny Velazquez, and Patrick Canchari. Canterbury Hall of Fame rider Scott Stevens calls Turf Paradise home as well. He has won the riding title in Phoenix three of the past five meets and eight times total.

The meet will run 138 days through May 3 of 2020, with a Saturday through Wednesday schedule. Offering both dirt and turf racing, Turf Paradise makes for a good early week addition to the simulcast schedule.

“We’ve got a lot of horses here,” racing secretary Robbie Junk said. “We will have a very competitive meet.” Junk expects to attract nearly 200 trainers and 1,600 horses to the stable area.

Wagering on all the action is available in the Canterbury Park Racebook.

Sunday’s Gopher State Futurity Offers $72,300 Purse

Sunday’s feature race is the $72,300 Gopher State Futurity. The 10 fastest 2-year-olds from trials held July 28 race 350 yards in the third of 11 races on a card that also includes The 1889 Futurity with a $15,000 purse and the $25,000 Skip Zimmerman Memorial.

The two fastest qualifiers to the Gopher State, Royal Cash Flash (3-1) and Left Town (9/2), drew posts one and two respectively.  Jockey Nik Goodwin qualified both A Valiant Diamond and Nanyehi. On Sunday he will ride Nanyehi, breaking from post 10.  Froylan Ramirez gets the call on A Valiant Diamond. Both are trained by Pat Swan.

Leading trainer Jason Olmstead will saddle both Tipsy Girl B and A Tres of Sign. Olmstead’s go-to rider Cristian Esqueda rides A Tres Sign from post nine.

“I like where I drew,” Olmstead said. “I’ve got two good fillies.”

The Quarter Horses Put On A Show


Quite the show, a spectacle worthy of an Olde English village carnival, replete with jesters, magicians, troubadours and, of course, horse racing.

If not exactly analogous, then the afternoon of quarter horse racing Sunday is as close as it comes, each race with its own singular story, highlight or incident to make it unique.

Combined, the afternoon’s  ten races offered something for just about everyone:

*A dead heat for the win in the first stakes race of seven on the card.

*An All American Futurity winner in the winner’s circle.

*A rider who arrived 30 minutes before his first race, because of a cancelled flight, and six hours after the arrival of his newest son, won three races, including the $156,000 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, the richest race of the day.

*A card of spine tingling finishes. The first three got if off and running with consecutive photo finishes.

`           *Eric Esqueda, looking for the first win of his career after debuting last week, finished second in the first two races by a combined, oh…a head.

There was even a touch of humor here for those in need of a mental break:

Canterbury tour agent Mark Irving, having commented how much he liked the trophy being awarded to the winning owner of the third race, was told it could be his for twenty bucks.

“Okay,” he said, “but give me the twenty dollars first.”

A patron arriving early during the card was approached by a gentleman complaining that he had just lost $100.

“Hey, did you read the front page of the newspaper today,” the patron responded. “I just found out that I’ve lost thousands in the last few years buying phony organic grain.”

And so it went on an afternoon when the quarter horses reigned.

First, an update on Cristian Esqueda, whose wife delivered a baby boy, joining a brother named Cristian, Jr.. He was born about 6 a.m. at home in Indiana, shortly before Cristian, Sr., Cody Smith and trainer Jason Olmstead were stranded in Amarillo, Texas after their flight was cancelled, following races in Ruidoso, N.M.  Able to hop a puddle jumper to Dallas, they found seats for two on a flight, one short of what they required. Olmstead stayed behind and was not present to see his barn have a prosperous afternoon.

RACE THREE: American Hat, trained by Stacy Charette-Hill, owned by Billy Peterson, who won the 1995 All American Futurity aboard Winalotofcash, and Bout Tree Fiddy, trained and owned by Patrick Swan and ridden by Nik Goodwin, dead heated for first in the $26,554 Canterbury Park Distance Challenge at 870 yards.

“I wasn’t sure,” said Torres. “I didn’t know.”

“When they took so long to decide, I figured it was a dead heat,” added Goodwin.

Peterson and his wife, Heather, call Morgan, Utah, home and seemed enamored of the Shakopee racetrack on their first visit. “A great place, very nice,” said Billy, who considers Winalotofcash the best horse he rode during a nine-year career, if you count the two years he spent riding on the bush circuit at age 14.

“I won 14 races on that horse,” he added.

RACE FOUR:  Esqueda was in the winner’s circle again for Olmstead and a horse named Tipsy Girl B, owned by Tom Maher and Paul Luedemann, finishing a length in front of Hr Storm On In.





RACE FIVE: The race was delayed 50 minutes after Lottago Lilly flipped in the gate, got a foot entrapped between the gate bars, and was scratched. Lavie Enrose was also scratched prior to the race.

Finally….Goodwin took his second winner of the day, a 16-1 choice named A Valiant Diamond, trained by Swan and owned by C.A. Cofer, to the wire a length in front of CR Hez The Man and Esqueda.


RACE SIX: Torres and Charette-Hill were back in the winner’s circle after this one with Curls Happy Wagon, chilling the challenge of The Polar Vortex by a length in the $34,221 ARC Canterbury Park Distaff Challenge.

The winning time was 19.77 over 400 yards. Weetonas Lafawn finished third.

In the winner’s circle after the race, Charette-Hill was presented with the Minnesota Quarter Horse Racing Association’s Trainer of the Month award.

RACE SEVEN: PYC Jess Bite Mydust, owned by Bruce Lunderborg, trained by Olmstead and ridden by the new father, Esqueda, became the first Minnesota-bred quarter horse to earn over $200,000, finishing a head in front of Hawkeye in a time of 21.94, in the $54,511 Canterbury Park Championship Challenge.

The winner got a bad start but easily made up for it once his feet were under him. “Can you imagine what he might have done if he came out of gate better, without hopping” said Lunderborg of his homebred. “He would have won by at least a full length. He’s just plain fast.”


RACE EIGHT: Jess Wagon P, at 19-1, gave Charette-Hill another winner in the $78,050 Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby, the fifth of her training career, outheading Apolitical Mogul in a time of 20.04.

The winner is owned by Charette-Hill and her husband, Randy Hill and was ridden by Froylan Ramirez, who has second call in the stable.

“We gave George (Jorge Torres, who has first call,) his choice and he took the other horse (HR Back N the Day),” Charette-Hill explained. That proved to be the wrong choice for Torres, whose horse finished ninth, in front of one horse.

RACE NINE:  This race, the $156,200 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, matched the dead heat for excitement…and then some. There were five horses across the track at the finish line in the most thrilling finish of an afternoon that offered several thrilling finishes.

These are the margins for the first five horses: head, nose, nose, nose, head.

The winner was a colt named Five Bar Bodee, ridden, again, by the new father, trained by Olmstead and owned by Jack Peters, Tom Lepic and Olmstead.

Peters and Lepic bought the horse at the Heritage Sale for $22,000 or $22,500. They couldn’t remember which. They earned $65,604 on Sunday alone.

On the final day of the sale and without a purchase, they were approached by a friend from Arkansas who told them they needed to take a look at his horse.

That was all it took. “They was nothing not to like about him,” said Peters.

Even more so on Sunday.

Jason Olmstead Wins Another Training Title

By Rebecca Roush

With 21 wins this season, trainer Jason Olmsted certainly knows his way to the winner’s circle. This will be his fourth straight champion quarter horse training title at Canterbury Park.

The Olmstead barn is currently filled with 45 horses, but with the quarter horse portion of the meet concluding soon the 39-year-old trainer will soon be down to only five remaining here for the Minnesota Festival of Champions on September 2, as the other trainees will head to Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa to race before he sends them “home” to their owners.

When he arrives at his farm in Pryor, Oklahoma in October, Olmstead says there will likely be nearly 40 two-year-olds waiting for him to break, many acquired through sales.

Olmstead has won more than 200 career races and the horses have earned more than $4.29 million for their connections.

He trained 2-year-old Lynnder 16 to victory in the $864,500 Grade 2 Remington Park Oklahoma Bred Futurity and now that filly is at Ruidoso Downs awaiting the trials for the $3 million All American Futurity later this month.

Olmstead comes from a family of horsemen. His grandfather was a trainer and Olmstead grew up helping him with horses until he was able to become a jockey. Olmstead rode professionally for 15 years before moving on to training with his wife, Amber. He ended his riding career with 69 wins from 1,084 starts and earned more than $530,000 for his connections.

Having had a career as a jockey was a “big help” for Olmstead and he says it led him to where he is now. He had the chance to observe many barns while riding and says he picked up different tricks along the way. “I was able to learn from some of the best trainers out there,” he added.

The multi graded stakes winning trainer says that the biggest lesson he has learned is that “you continuously evolve.” He added that “every horse is so different and what works for one might not work for another.”

Olmstead has had many successful meets at Canterbury Park and this year is no exception. On July 8, he won the $146,400 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity with Minnesota bred Jess Doin Time, the third time the trainer has won Canterbury’s richest Q race.

First of 15, a 3-year-old filly trained by Olmstead, is tied with Jess Doin Time with three wins, the most of any quarter horse at the meet.

“Training is a 24/7 gig,” Olmstead said. “It takes an army to get a horse to where it needs to be,” he added.