A Night of Records at Canterbury Park

Congregation

Canterbury Park’s Thursday night race card produced a record payout of $161 for a $2 win wager and a handle record for a non-Claiming Crown racing program when more than $1.26 million was wagered on the 10 races.

Congregation won the fourth race at odds of 79.5 to 1 resulting in the $161 payout. The previous record of $153 was set by Burning Fuhry on July 5, 2014. Congregation is trained by Vic Hanson and was ridden by Jenna Joubert. The 3-year-old filly is owned by Jennifer, Jon and Marlys Goebel.

Handle totaled $1,260,309 with $1,050,943 of that amount bet off track.  With the exception of dates when the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack hosted Claiming Crown, Thursday’s handle was a record for Canterbury Park for both total and off-track wagering, surpassing $1,178,761 bet on July 3, 2013 when $861,768 came from off-site sources.

Attendance Thursday was 7,657.

 

A Night of Records at Canterbury Park

Congregation

Canterbury Park’s Thursday night race card produced a record payout of $161 for a $2 win wager and a handle record for a non-Claiming Crown racing program when more than $1.26 million was wagered on the 10 races.

Congregation won the fourth race at odds of 79.5 to 1 resulting in the $161 payout. The previous record of $153 was set by Burning Fuhry on July 5, 2014. Congregation is trained by Vic Hanson and was ridden by Jenna Joubert. The 3-year-old filly is owned by Jennifer, Jon and Marlys Goebel.

Handle totaled $1,260,309 with $1,050,943 of that amount bet off track.  With the exception of dates when the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack hosted Claiming Crown, Thursday’s handle was a record for Canterbury Park for both total and off-track wagering, surpassing $1,178,761 bet on July 3, 2013 when $861,768 came from off-site sources.

Attendance Thursday was 7,657.

 

INCLUDED WITH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION

Mystorynmstikntoit

BY JIM WELLS

 

All that was absent was buttered popcorn, a large Pepsi, maybe some Milk Duds and a plush recliner seat.

Cinema, theater, the movies, the show… call it what you like, it doesn’t get any better, not in the opinion of some of Canterbury’s leading lights.

Saturday’s third race was not only one of the best of the meet but one for the books, providing a lead change on the turn and two more involving the same horses during the stretch drive. It was the type of race that makes racing fans of mere fans.

“We can raise the admission price with a race like that,” said pressbox boss Jeff Maday. “There won’t be any movies this summer better than this.”

Disregard a couple of facts regarding animal behavior, and we might be talking Academy Award nominee. Or some such. Here is the review:

Ry Eikleberry moved Mystorynmstikntoit to the lead past front-running El Mono Verde and Geovanni  Franco on the turn, looking for all the world like a winner as they turned into the stretch.

Not by a longshot, which neither of these odds-on choices was, not Mystorynmstikntoit at 5/2 or El Mono Verde at 7/5

Franco’s mount re-fired at midstretch to regain the lead, but Eikleberry’s mount was not finished, digging in to retake the lead and the win.

“That horse can be a weird SOB,” said Eikleberry. “He should have won by 10.”

Franco, who rode the winner in its previous two starts at Turf Paradise, wasn’t surprised. “I know that horse,” he said. “He gets the lead and starts looking around. I thought he might do that. It was my only chance.”

Sure enough, that’s what happened. Franco’s mount reclaimed the lead but then…

“He started looking around,” Franco said.

The lesson here is quite simple.

The job’s not done until… the finish line.

It wasn’t exactly Easy Goer and Sunday Silence, but not many are.

 

GETTING A LEG UP ON JOCKEY INJURIES

Canterbury’s jockey colony couldn’t have found a better representative for the Leg Up Fund, which benefits injured riders at the Shakopee track.

Jenna Joubert was among several riders greeting patrons as the came in the main door to the grandstand with a sales pitch only a sales woman might deliver.  The riders were selling $20 raffle tickets to win a motor bike or simply taking donations, whichever a patron chose. Joubert didn’t let them say ‘no’ easily.

“She’s like a little bulldog,” a colleague remarked. “She’s a good talker.”

With good reason.. When Joubert’s not working or riding horses, she sells Arbonne beauty products.

“Do you know about our Leg Up fund?” she asked patron after patron. “I think they think we’re selling something,” Joubert added. “We should have another sign up telling them what the fund is all about.”

Some patrons stopped to listen. Others walked past in a rush, but Joubert was frequently in hot pursuit, talking, informing, selling.

“Here’s how you can help us out,” she said. “Here’s what you can do for our riders.”

AN UNENVIABLE HAT TRACK

Bug girl Maria Thornton had trouble getting a horse to ride on Saturday.  Make that keeping them. What are the odds of this hat trick?

Her horse in the first race, Corona Bye and Bye? Scratched. Her third race mount, Franks On Fire? Scatched

She had one more chance to ride, on an also eligible named Grayrock in the sixth race.

Scratched.

INCLUDED WITH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION

Mystorynmstikntoit

BY JIM WELLS

 

All that was absent was buttered popcorn, a large Pepsi, maybe some Milk Duds and a plush recliner seat.

Cinema, theater, the movies, the show… call it what you like, it doesn’t get any better, not in the opinion of some of Canterbury’s leading lights.

Saturday’s third race was not only one of the best of the meet but one for the books, providing a lead change on the turn and two more involving the same horses during the stretch drive. It was the type of race that makes racing fans of mere fans.

“We can raise the admission price with a race like that,” said pressbox boss Jeff Maday. “There won’t be any movies this summer better than this.”

Disregard a couple of facts regarding animal behavior, and we might be talking Academy Award nominee. Or some such. Here is the review:

Ry Eikleberry moved Mystorynmstikntoit to the lead past front-running El Mono Verde and Geovanni  Franco on the turn, looking for all the world like a winner as they turned into the stretch.

Not by a longshot, which neither of these odds-on choices was, not Mystorynmstikntoit at 5/2 or El Mono Verde at 7/5

Franco’s mount re-fired at midstretch to regain the lead, but Eikleberry’s mount was not finished, digging in to retake the lead and the win.

“That horse can be a weird SOB,” said Eikleberry. “He should have won by 10.”

Franco, who rode the winner in its previous two starts at Turf Paradise, wasn’t surprised. “I know that horse,” he said. “He gets the lead and starts looking around. I thought he might do that. It was my only chance.”

Sure enough, that’s what happened. Franco’s mount reclaimed the lead but then…

“He started looking around,” Franco said.

The lesson here is quite simple.

The job’s not done until… the finish line.

It wasn’t exactly Easy Goer and Sunday Silence, but not many are.

 

GETTING A LEG UP ON JOCKEY INJURIES

Canterbury’s jockey colony couldn’t have found a better representative for the Leg Up Fund, which benefits injured riders at the Shakopee track.

Jenna Joubert was among several riders greeting patrons as the came in the main door to the grandstand with a sales pitch only a sales woman might deliver.  The riders were selling $20 raffle tickets to win a motor bike or simply taking donations, whichever a patron chose. Joubert didn’t let them say ‘no’ easily.

“She’s like a little bulldog,” a colleague remarked. “She’s a good talker.”

With good reason.. When Joubert’s not working or riding horses, she sells Arbonne beauty products.

“Do you know about our Leg Up fund?” she asked patron after patron. “I think they think we’re selling something,” Joubert added. “We should have another sign up telling them what the fund is all about.”

Some patrons stopped to listen. Others walked past in a rush, but Joubert was frequently in hot pursuit, talking, informing, selling.

“Here’s how you can help us out,” she said. “Here’s what you can do for our riders.”

AN UNENVIABLE HAT TRACK

Bug girl Maria Thornton had trouble getting a horse to ride on Saturday.  Make that keeping them. What are the odds of this hat trick?

Her horse in the first race, Corona Bye and Bye? Scratched. Her third race mount, Franks On Fire? Scatched

She had one more chance to ride, on an also eligible named Grayrock in the sixth race.

Scratched.

Jockeys Still Making Moves

jockey room

In mid-April it was reported here that Ry Eikleberry, last year’s leading rider, would not return to Shakopee to defend that title.  He did leave wiggle room though:   “Things can always change…….,”  Ry said.

Apparently they have, as he is now expected to arrive here early in the week according to agent Chad Anderson, who had a sudden opening when jockey Alex Canchari notified him that he would no longer be coming to Canterbury and instead remaining at Prairie Meadows to ride.  Here, not here, here, not here. More on both matters in a future post.

Hitting the lottery might be easier than predicting where a jockey will end up. Consult the overnight on Tuesday after opening night’s entries are taken.

The Horse Whisperer noticed the arrival of jockey Jenna Joubert, who is expected to ride this meet. Joubert notched her first career win at Canterbury in 2007 but has not ridden regularly at Canterbury since. The New Prague native has 251 wins and more than $4.8 million in purse earnings.

The feature race on May 15, the first of 70 race days, is the $60,000 10,000 Lakes Stakes. Bourbon County, owned by Rake Farms, is expected to enter. The following day will be the Lady Slipper Stakes with another Rake Farms runner, Sky and Sea, likely to be challenged by Polar Plunge.

Jockeys Still Making Moves

jockey room

In mid-April it was reported here that Ry Eikleberry, last year’s leading rider, would not return to Shakopee to defend that title.  He did leave wiggle room though:   “Things can always change…….,”  Ry said.

Apparently they have, as he is now expected to arrive here early in the week according to agent Chad Anderson, who had a sudden opening when jockey Alex Canchari notified him that he would no longer be coming to Canterbury and instead remaining at Prairie Meadows to ride.  Here, not here, here, not here. More on both matters in a future post.

Hitting the lottery might be easier than predicting where a jockey will end up. Consult the overnight on Tuesday after opening night’s entries are taken.

The Horse Whisperer noticed the arrival of jockey Jenna Joubert, who is expected to ride this meet. Joubert notched her first career win at Canterbury in 2007 but has not ridden regularly at Canterbury since. The New Prague native has 251 wins and more than $4.8 million in purse earnings.

The feature race on May 15, the first of 70 race days, is the $60,000 10,000 Lakes Stakes. Bourbon County, owned by Rake Farms, is expected to enter. The following day will be the Lady Slipper Stakes with another Rake Farms runner, Sky and Sea, likely to be challenged by Polar Plunge.

Mystic Lake Derby Day Nears

MysticDerby_LogoGo ahead and pick up the champagne, dig out the attire you wore last year for the race, careful to assure everything is the same, not a single accoutrement out-of-place, cross your fingers and don’t say anything that might be construed as a jinx.

“My dad’s superstitious,” said Lori Keith. “It will have to be the same shirt, everything.”

The topic at hand is the second running of the Mystic Lake Derby on Saturday and the preparations of Mr and Mrs. Keith – William and Philomena (or Bill and Phil as they’re known) – for Saturday’s race.

For the uniformed, Lori Keith, a native of England and a regular rider at Canterbury Park, won the first running of the biggest race in Canterbury Park history last year aboard Hammers Terror, owned by Terry Hamilton and trained by Michael Stidham.

Bill asked his daughter in a recent conversation whether she would ride in the race again this year. When she informed him that the chances appeared good, he began making plans. “He wanted to know if he should get the champagne,” Lori said.

Keith’s parents, who own a restaurant in the South of France, watched the inaugural running down the street from the restaurant, at an acquaintance’s home. Good viewing, just a matter of connecting the laptop to the telly, as they say, and they saw their daughter win the biggest race of her career.

They plan on looking in again on Saturday.

Keith will ride a horse named Dorsett, owned once again by Hamilton and trained once again by Stidham. And, get this, she is breaking from the No. 2 hole in an eight-horse field, just as last year.

A year ago, Keith took the morning line second choice to the winner’s circle after surviving a stewards’ inquiry for interference in the stretch. This time she is on the 5/2 morning line favorite.

“I think he has a great shot,” she said. “On paper he looks very good, but I think it will be a very competitive race.”

Dorsett, a son of Artie Schiller from Dontgetnmyway, has two wins, a second and a third from eight career starts with earnings of $74,670. He is part of a field of eight that will engage at one mile on the turf.

$200,000 Mystic Lake Derby Field & Morning Line
PP Horse Trainer Jockey ML
1    Impassable Canyon Michael Maker Victor Lebron 5-1
2 Dorsett Michael Stidham Lori Keith 5/2
3 Finding Candy Michael Biehler Denny Velazquez 12-1
4 Coastal Breeze Wayne Catalano Channing Hill 4-1
5 Kale’s Kourage Kelly Von Hemel Ry Eikleberry 10-1
6 Evan’s Calling Neil Pessin Eddie Martin Jr. 8-1
7 Red Zeus Dan McFarlane Alex Canchari 6-1
8 Officer Alex Lynn Whiting Leandro Goncalves 9/2

Last year the purse was for a guaranteed $150,000 and produced a total of $162,000 and change after adding in the entry fees. This year the race offers a guaranteed $200,000. The lion’s share of that funding, $150,000, is provided by the Mystic Lake purse enhancement fund.

The inside post was drawn by Impassable Canyon, a colt by Tapit from Anna Forever, owned by F. Thomas Conway and trained by Mike Maker.

Finding Candy will line up in the No. 3 hole. He is a colt by Candy Ride, owned locally by Al and Bill Ulwelling and trained by Mike Biehler.

The No. 4 hole will go to Coastal Breeze, a colt by Empire Maker that is owned by Barry Golden and trained by Wayne Catalano. The No. 5 hole belongs to Kale’s Kourage who has earned $85,511 lifetime and has won three of his seven career starts. He is owned by Pam Von Hemel and trained by Kelly Von Hemel.

Lining up in the No. 6 spot will be Evan’s Calling, with one win in 11 career starts. The No. 7 belongs to Red Zeus, who has earned $112, 426, running primarily at Turf Paradise in Phoenix with two starts locally, including a win at six furlongs his last out. He is owned by Peggy Hopwood and trained by Dan McFarlane.

Officer Alex drew the outside post. He has earned $163,000 running on the circuit between Churchill Downs and Oaklawn Park. He is trained by Lynn Whiting, who saddled Lil E. Tee, the winner of the 1992 Kentucky Derby.

So, there you have it, the lineup for the richest race in Canterbury Park history, a whopping $200,000 guaranteed and an opportunity for Lori Keith to top last year’s take.

“Oh, I can’t believe it,” she said. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”

Is superstition a genetic trait?

SHAKOPEE JUVENILE AND NORTHBOUND PRIDE OAKS

Both races offer $100,000-guaranteed purses.

The Oaks at a mile on the turf has been run in some form, fashion or name since 1985 and was won in 2012 by Soonerette, ridden by riding champion Tanner Riggs for Donnie Von Hemel.

$100,000 Northbound Pride Oaks & Morning Line Odds
PP Horse Trainer Jockey ML
1    Eden Prairie Neil Pessin Channing Hill 3-1
2 Kipling’s Joy Michael Stidham Dean Butler 9/2
3 Stoupinator Mac Robertson Alex Canchari 5-1
4 I’m Already Sexy Wayne Catalano Scott Stevens 4-1
5 Seeking Treasure Larry Dunbar Ry Eikleberry 10-1
6 Raising Dakota Tevis McCauley Luis Garcia 8-1
7 Kissmeimdanish Valorie Lund Derek Bell 8-1
8 American Sugar Kenneth McPeek Victor Lebron 6-1

Saturday’s edition has a field of eight, including the Ken McPeek-trained American Sugar, who is trying the grass for the first time and is 5-0-3 from 13 starts with earnings of more than $200,000. Robert Lothenbach’s Eden Prairie is 2-0-1 from six grass starts and earnings of $70,000-plus. Michael Stidham’s Kipling’s Joy is 2-0-3 from nine career starts, both wins on the grass, with earnings of $62,200.

I’m Already Sexy arrived from Arlington Park and has won twice from three turf starts, is three-for-six overall, and earned $81,141. Wayne Catalano trains. Locally-owned Stoupinator, trained by Mac Robertson, has hit the board three times in three turf starts and is 2-1-2 overall from six career starts with earnings of $76,000. Here’s a look at the field:

The Juvenile, for colts/geldings and fillies, is being run for the first time, at 7 and 1/2 furlongs on the turf and has attracted a field of nine boys.

$100,000 Shakopee Juvenile Field & Morning Line Odds
PP Horse Trainer Jockey ML
1    A P Is Loose Michael Biehler Lori Keith 6-1
2 Aft Michael Lauer Leandro Goncalves 8-1
3 Rumbauer David Van Winkle Ry Eikleberry 6-1
4 My Corinthian Dane Kobiskie Luis Garcia 7/2
5 Fling Orrin Cogburn Eddie Martin Jr. 12-1
6 Clarisimo Sandra Sweere Nik Goodwin 10-1
7 General Jack Michael Maker Victor Lebron 3-1
8 Chairman Crooks Tony Rengstorf Dean Butler 6-1
9 Pure Surprize Vic Hanson Jenna Joubert 10-1

Among those is a 2-year-old colt named General Jack, a Kentucky-bred son of Giant’s Causeway who is looking to break his maiden on Saturday after running second among maiden special weights for $70,000 at Belmont Park.

He had a bullet work in late June and is trained by Mike Maker who has made a habit of winning big races at Canterbury.

Aft, trained by Michael Lauer, broke his maiden last time out in Indiana. Lauer tried to run Aft on the lead his first out and finished second. He ran him off the pace in his second start with improved results.

My Corinthian has hit the board three times in three career starts and was the first of the shippers to arrive, stabling here on Monday. He is trained by Dane Kobiskie. He is 1-1-1 from three career starts and is 1-1-0 from two outs on the grass.

Mike Biehler will saddle A P Is Loose, who ran third in his first start, at Canterbury on July 11. Clarisimo, trained by Sandra Sweere, is another local horse who broke his maiden here on June 16. Dave Van Winkle will saddle locally stabled Rumbauer, who broke his maiden under Ry Eikleberry on July 11 in his second start.

Vic Hanson will send out Pure Surprize, a local juvenile who broke his maiden at first asking on July 14. Fling, trained by Orrin Cogburn, did not hit the board in two previous starts.

Curtis Sampson’s Chairman Crooks, named for the late leader of the Mdewakanton Community, is trying the grass for the first time. He broke his maiden first time out, on June 13.

Wagering Opportunities Abound

The three races will be run as races 6, 7 and 8 on the card with the Oaks leading off, followed by the Juvenile and then the 2nd running of the Mystic Lake Derby. Post times are 4:10 CDT, 4:40 CDT and the Mystic Lake Derby will go off at 5:12 CDT. The three races anchor Saturday’s late pick 4 which continues to feature a 14% takeout, among the lowest in the country. Additionally, the three stakes comprise an all-turf Pick 3 also featuring the same low takeout rate of 14%.

Check back here often to learn more about the participants for Saturday’s big races over the coming days.

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.