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.

QUARTER HORSES, BUCKLES AND HATS

PYC Jess Bite Mydust
PYC Jess Bite Mydust

By Jim Wells

 

With the number of big, silver belt buckles and Resistol hats on display Sunday, it might resemble Las Vegas during National Finals Rodeo week to a number of folks, yet not much else will suggest that the proceedings under way belong at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Jim Olson, a former president and current board member of the Minnesota Quarter Horse Racing Assn., chuckled a bit while considering some of the imagery.

“Oh, yes, there could be a whole lot of cowboys out there,” he said.

The richest if not the biggest day of quarter horse racing in Minnesota is scheduled, highlighted by the $100,000 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, a designation that riles the track’s leading quarter horse trainer, Jason Olmstead, a bit. “It’s worth a heck of a lot more than that,” he said.

And he’s right.

The pot, with all of the fees considered, is worth $165,600, the most lucrative in Minnesota quarter horse racing history.  With a total of $327,850  on the line for six quarter horse races, it is the richest quarter horse card ever assembled.

Olmstead will saddle five horses in the 350-yard futurity, half the field. Do such numbers elicit confidence? “It’s not my five I’m concerned about,” he said. “It’s the other five.”

Yet, Olmstead will saddle the presumptive favorite, Pyc Jess Bite Mydust, the top qualifier and also a Minnesota-bred, from Lunderborg Llc. “That’s kind of neat,” he said. “You don’t see something like this very often.”

Olmstead did allow that qualifying five horses for the biggest race of the season is something worthy of note. “It’s not an easy thing to do and it’s very nice to qualify five to a race like this,” he said. “At the same time, it’s more pressure. ”

And he knows quite well that in quarter horse racing a mistake of any kind can make the difference between winning and losing, between hitting the board and finishing an also-ran. Nonetheless, he does have a resume in this particular race that includes a win with Eagles Span last year when the purse was worth $141,100.

Olmstead will saddle a total of 13 horses on the card, three in the $68,250 Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby at 400 yards, a field that includes Eagles Span. The likely favorite in this one is Jess Paint Your Lips, the top qualifier, from the barn of Stacy Charette-Hill.

Jerry Livingston, who saddled a 46-1 winner named Nightlinger Blurr on Friday night’s card, has been training regularly in Minnesota since 1987 and doesn’t recall a card quite like this one at any point since, certainly not in terms of purse money.

He, too, allowed that there might be a large number of Resistols on the grounds for Sunday’s card. During that part of the discussion a story was exchanged regarding a trip to the NFR several years ago

It seems that a patron of the rodeo and participant in the accompanying country western dancing activities became embroiled in an intense argument with his female traveling companion. The two of them parted ways a mere day or two into the festivities, not to see one another again until their departure day at the airport.

In a peace-making attempt the offending fellow reached over the shoulder of his former companion, seated with her back to him at the gate, and placed a stunning gold buckle (with her initials) on her lap.

The woman instantly tossed the buckle as if it were a Frisbee and it went clanging across the terminal floor as she bounded from her seat and headed for a nearby coffee stand. As the fellow bent over to retrieve the buckle he looked up and spotted four cowboys seated across the way with wide grins on their faces.

“I guess she’s still mad,” he said, making the best of an uncomfortable situation.

The MQHRA will use today’s card to present the annual awards reserved for its champion horses from the previous year.

Olson is certain that most of the winners undoubtedly have all of the buckles they can use in one lifetime but will have their choice of a number of other items recognizing the champion horses in various divisions.

On The Radar

Cash Caravan
Cash Caravan

 

·         Entries close Thursday at midnight for the Aug. 29 $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby.  Look for an update here Friday late morning when the nominee list is released.

 

·         The $30,000 added Cash Caravan Stakes will be run Thursday evening as race 2. Defending champion Dirt Road Queen, the 5 to 2 morning line favorite, returns for trainer Bill Harris and owners Bob and Julie Petersen. Ry Eikleberry has the mount.

Irish Brew, winner of the Bob Morehouse Stakes in June, is 3 to 1. Her trainer Jerry Livingston won this race in 1995 with Waterford Steel and in 2008 with Sociabull.

Cash Caravan, the quarter horse honored with this race, is a Canterbury Park Hall of Fame member who won several times in Shakopee in the 1980s. In all, Cash Caravan won 13 of 38 races at such places as Pit Run Park, Suffolk Meadows, Blue Ribbon Downs, and Ross Meadows.

 

·         Canterbury’s premier handicapping tournaments take place Sept. 11 with the Ultimate NHC Qualifier and Sept. 12-13 with the 19th annual Dog Days of Summer Handicapping Tournament. The Ultimate will  award the top two players with entries to the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas in January 2016. Dog Days also has two NHC berths plus a $10,000 entry to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Keeneland Oct. 30-31.

There are still super satellites running for each of these contests that provide entry to the Aug. 30 Ultimate Satellite and the Sept. 5 Dog Days Satellite.

  • Track analyst Angela Hermann was profiled in a Sun News piece last week. You can read it HERE .

On The Radar

Cash Caravan
Cash Caravan

 

·         Entries close Thursday at midnight for the Aug. 29 $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby.  Look for an update here Friday late morning when the nominee list is released.

 

·         The $30,000 added Cash Caravan Stakes will be run Thursday evening as race 2. Defending champion Dirt Road Queen, the 5 to 2 morning line favorite, returns for trainer Bill Harris and owners Bob and Julie Petersen. Ry Eikleberry has the mount.

Irish Brew, winner of the Bob Morehouse Stakes in June, is 3 to 1. Her trainer Jerry Livingston won this race in 1995 with Waterford Steel and in 2008 with Sociabull.

Cash Caravan, the quarter horse honored with this race, is a Canterbury Park Hall of Fame member who won several times in Shakopee in the 1980s. In all, Cash Caravan won 13 of 38 races at such places as Pit Run Park, Suffolk Meadows, Blue Ribbon Downs, and Ross Meadows.

 

·         Canterbury’s premier handicapping tournaments take place Sept. 11 with the Ultimate NHC Qualifier and Sept. 12-13 with the 19th annual Dog Days of Summer Handicapping Tournament. The Ultimate will  award the top two players with entries to the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas in January 2016. Dog Days also has two NHC berths plus a $10,000 entry to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Keeneland Oct. 30-31.

There are still super satellites running for each of these contests that provide entry to the Aug. 30 Ultimate Satellite and the Sept. 5 Dog Days Satellite.

  • Track analyst Angela Hermann was profiled in a Sun News piece last week. You can read it HERE .

HALLOWEEN COMES EARLY AT CANTERBURY PARK

zombies

Patrons knew there was something different awaiting them on their way through the main gate Friday night, situated as they were on one side by a 50-foot high inflated zombie figure.

For those who hadn’t paid attention or are not frequenters of racing, the giant zombie surely raised a question or two. Many others were fully aware that it was Zombie Night at the races.

Zombies patrolled the grandstand, in the flesh portrayers of the living dead. Some of the youngest children on hand were absolutely delighted. Others were absolutely terrified.

Canterbury offered a contest for the best examples of Zombiedom and those who revel in such things went to great lengths to participate.

The final event of this particular promotion took place when several jockeys agreed to attach flags to their waistbands and then run through a maze of zombies in front of the grandstand without having their flags removed.

Not a single jockey lost his flag.

The real festivities of the evening, of course, surrounded the 10-race card that featured nothing particularly unusual aside from the continually growing evidence that leading rider Dean Butler will be tough to catch, regardless of how you define the cliché, and that even trainers who might rather be home before midnight sometimes discover something good about staying up late.

We’ll deal with the first statement first. Butler, on his first mount of the evening, put on a textbook ride aboard Costaud, a 4-year-old gelding trained by Dallas Keen, for a clear win at about a mile and 1/16 on the turf.

Nothing particularly attention-absorbing about a $14,500 claiming race, although Butler’s ride was worth noting, taking Costaud as he did to an easy win against six rivals.

Noteworthy was the manner in which Butler put Costaud on the lead and controlled the pace the entire race, saving enough horse at the same time to run  another half mile and still win. Butler studies the races he rides thoroughly in the Form and often rides the winner because he understands the tendencies of the horse he is on and those he competes against.

Thus, he rode his 51st winner of the meet, 11 more than the second place rider, Leandro Goncalves, who cut it to 10 again by riding the winner of the ninth, Bourbon Holiday. Nonetheless, Butler had $1 million in winnings by the midway point of the 70-day meet. “He could theoretically hit $2 million which no rider has ever done here,” said trainer Bernell Rhone. Butler’s winnings exceeded $1.1 million on Friday, the 40th day of the meet. He seems certain to surpass the all-time record that he set in 2014 of $1,386,030.

Trainer Jerry Livingston typically saddles a horse in one if not both of the quarter horse races that start a card and heads home a short time later during the evening programs to avoid shortchanging himself on a night’s sleep.

That was not the case on Friday night. Livingston saddled a horse named Everet Hitch in the first race and had to stay put until the seventh race when he saddled one of the three thoroughbreds he trains, Valet.

Valet, with Marcus Swiontek up, cut a wide swath coming out of the turn but straightened out and won handily, clearly the best horse in the race.

“Would you be willing to stay up late for a result like this as a matter of  course?” Livingston was asked afterward. “Well, that sounds like something we could possibly talk about,” he responded.

Paul, Angela & Ryan Zombie Night 7-24-15 001 - Copy

HALLOWEEN COMES EARLY AT CANTERBURY PARK

zombies

Patrons knew there was something different awaiting them on their way through the main gate Friday night, situated as they were on one side by a 50-foot high inflated zombie figure.

For those who hadn’t paid attention or are not frequenters of racing, the giant zombie surely raised a question or two. Many others were fully aware that it was Zombie Night at the races.

Zombies patrolled the grandstand, in the flesh portrayers of the living dead. Some of the youngest children on hand were absolutely delighted. Others were absolutely terrified.

Canterbury offered a contest for the best examples of Zombiedom and those who revel in such things went to great lengths to participate.

The final event of this particular promotion took place when several jockeys agreed to attach flags to their waistbands and then run through a maze of zombies in front of the grandstand without having their flags removed.

Not a single jockey lost his flag.

The real festivities of the evening, of course, surrounded the 10-race card that featured nothing particularly unusual aside from the continually growing evidence that leading rider Dean Butler will be tough to catch, regardless of how you define the cliché, and that even trainers who might rather be home before midnight sometimes discover something good about staying up late.

We’ll deal with the first statement first. Butler, on his first mount of the evening, put on a textbook ride aboard Costaud, a 4-year-old gelding trained by Dallas Keen, for a clear win at about a mile and 1/16 on the turf.

Nothing particularly attention-absorbing about a $14,500 claiming race, although Butler’s ride was worth noting, taking Costaud as he did to an easy win against six rivals.

Noteworthy was the manner in which Butler put Costaud on the lead and controlled the pace the entire race, saving enough horse at the same time to run  another half mile and still win. Butler studies the races he rides thoroughly in the Form and often rides the winner because he understands the tendencies of the horse he is on and those he competes against.

Thus, he rode his 51st winner of the meet, 11 more than the second place rider, Leandro Goncalves, who cut it to 10 again by riding the winner of the ninth, Bourbon Holiday. Nonetheless, Butler had $1 million in winnings by the midway point of the 70-day meet. “He could theoretically hit $2 million which no rider has ever done here,” said trainer Bernell Rhone. Butler’s winnings exceeded $1.1 million on Friday, the 40th day of the meet. He seems certain to surpass the all-time record that he set in 2014 of $1,386,030.

Trainer Jerry Livingston typically saddles a horse in one if not both of the quarter horse races that start a card and heads home a short time later during the evening programs to avoid shortchanging himself on a night’s sleep.

That was not the case on Friday night. Livingston saddled a horse named Everet Hitch in the first race and had to stay put until the seventh race when he saddled one of the three thoroughbreds he trains, Valet.

Valet, with Marcus Swiontek up, cut a wide swath coming out of the turn but straightened out and won handily, clearly the best horse in the race.

“Would you be willing to stay up late for a result like this as a matter of  course?” Livingston was asked afterward. “Well, that sounds like something we could possibly talk about,” he responded.

Paul, Angela & Ryan Zombie Night 7-24-15 001 - Copy

EIKLEBERRY CLAIMS A SMALL PIECE OF CANTERBURY HISTORY

Runnin Red Barron - Ry Eikleberry All Time Leading Quarter Horse Rider at Canterbury Park - 06-04-15 - R02 - CBY 002

BY JIM WELLS

 

Ry Eikleberry had not been on a quarter horse that he could recall, and yet Jerry Livingston wanted him to ride for his barn.

It was 2006 and Livingston, without a rider, pursued the young jockey through his parents.

“I was pretty much like a lot of people who don’t know,” Eikleberry recalled, “and thought that quarter horses were kind of strange.”

Nonetheless, Eikleberry decided to give it a try and showed up to work a Livingston horse one morning. “How far do you want me to work him?” he asked. “Two-twenty,” Livingston replied.

Trouble was “I was looking at the “thoroughbred” poles and worked the horse 440,” Eikleberry recalled with a laugh.

It didn’t seem to matter. The next day Eikleberry mounted the horse, Sociable, and won his first quarter horse race. “History was being made right there,” Livingston said.

Eikleberry extended the history lesson Thursday night, winning the first two races on the card to become Canterbury Park’s all-time leading quarter horse rider with 97 wins, one more than Scott Schindler and three in front of Tad Leggett.

He was aboard a 3-year-old filly named Beautifulish, owned by Bob and Julie Petersen, in the first race and Runnin Red Barron, owned by John Lawless, in the second.

“I like riding Ry because he tries so hard and he never gives up,” said Bob Petersen.

Eikleberry was aboard a Petersen horse named Seis it Fast on one occasion. “He didn’t get a good start and the announcer said that he was a beaten favorite,” Petersen said. “But Ry kept after him and won the race.”

 

 

Several years ago, Eikleberry was aboard a horse named Oak Tree Boulevard, a horse with an attitude. The Petersens had to put a helmet on the horse whenever they moved him by van from place to place.

Bob recalled a race when Oak Tree broke from the one hole and was run into the fence by the horse in the two hole. Didn’t matter. “Ry still got that horse home to win,” Petersen said.

Eikleberry won five races on Sociable that first year. In fact he won all of the races for the barn and Livingston lost the training title on the final day of the meet to Ed Ross Hardy.

All of that seems now like ancient history to Eikleberry, who won  the first of three consecutive quarter horse titles in in 2008 and his first thoroughbred title last season.

Thursday, after dismounting Runnin Red Barron Eikleberry was greeted by a number of well wishers. One of them was Bob Petersen. “Way to go. Congratulations,” he said.

And, of course, Livingston, smiling from ear to ear, as he extended his well wishes.

“It all started with you,” Eikleberry said to him. “You started it.”

 

 

 

 

 

EIKLEBERRY CLAIMS A SMALL PIECE OF CANTERBURY HISTORY

Runnin Red Barron - Ry Eikleberry All Time Leading Quarter Horse Rider at Canterbury Park - 06-04-15 - R02 - CBY 002

BY JIM WELLS

 

Ry Eikleberry had not been on a quarter horse that he could recall, and yet Jerry Livingston wanted him to ride for his barn.

It was 2006 and Livingston, without a rider, pursued the young jockey through his parents.

“I was pretty much like a lot of people who don’t know,” Eikleberry recalled, “and thought that quarter horses were kind of strange.”

Nonetheless, Eikleberry decided to give it a try and showed up to work a Livingston horse one morning. “How far do you want me to work him?” he asked. “Two-twenty,” Livingston replied.

Trouble was “I was looking at the “thoroughbred” poles and worked the horse 440,” Eikleberry recalled with a laugh.

It didn’t seem to matter. The next day Eikleberry mounted the horse, Sociable, and won his first quarter horse race. “History was being made right there,” Livingston said.

Eikleberry extended the history lesson Thursday night, winning the first two races on the card to become Canterbury Park’s all-time leading quarter horse rider with 97 wins, one more than Scott Schindler and three in front of Tad Leggett.

He was aboard a 3-year-old filly named Beautifulish, owned by Bob and Julie Petersen, in the first race and Runnin Red Barron, owned by John Lawless, in the second.

“I like riding Ry because he tries so hard and he never gives up,” said Bob Petersen.

Eikleberry was aboard a Petersen horse named Seis it Fast on one occasion. “He didn’t get a good start and the announcer said that he was a beaten favorite,” Petersen said. “But Ry kept after him and won the race.”

 

 

Several years ago, Eikleberry was aboard a horse named Oak Tree Boulevard, a horse with an attitude. The Petersens had to put a helmet on the horse whenever they moved him by van from place to place.

Bob recalled a race when Oak Tree broke from the one hole and was run into the fence by the horse in the two hole. Didn’t matter. “Ry still got that horse home to win,” Petersen said.

Eikleberry won five races on Sociable that first year. In fact he won all of the races for the barn and Livingston lost the training title on the final day of the meet to Ed Ross Hardy.

All of that seems now like ancient history to Eikleberry, who won  the first of three consecutive quarter horse titles in in 2008 and his first thoroughbred title last season.

Thursday, after dismounting Runnin Red Barron Eikleberry was greeted by a number of well wishers. One of them was Bob Petersen. “Way to go. Congratulations,” he said.

And, of course, Livingston, smiling from ear to ear, as he extended his well wishes.

“It all started with you,” Eikleberry said to him. “You started it.”

 

 

 

 

 

Cold Weather in July

She%20Can%20Ski%20-%20Luther%20Bloomington%20Hyuandi%20Dash%20-%2007-26-13%20-%20R03%20-%20CBY%20-%20Winner%27s%20CircleThe temperature dropped as much as 25 degrees in the last couple of days, a welcome change to horses, particularly those that engage in morning workouts and race for a living.

They appreciate the crisp, morning air and will exhibit their enthusiasm on the way to the track, prancing on their toes, pulling on the bit and otherwise becoming a handful for their riders.

In what ways do weather changes like this affect horses and the way handicappers should look at a race?

Probably not much, although some horses are indeed affected by changes in temperature and weather patterns.

Don’t look anytime soon, however, for the Daily Racing Form to begin including symbols indicating highs and lows in barometric pressure as part of a horse’s past performances.

An analysis of the different ways humans behave in hot versus cool weather might provide all the instruction necessary.

Trainer Bernell Rhone is of the opinion that 55 degrees is the ideal temperature for horses. “They eat better, they feel better and they seem to have more energy,” he said.

Does a drop in temperatures such as Shakopee has experienced this week change how a person should look at horses when handicapping a race?

“I don’t think so,” said Rhone. “All the horses are affected by it.”

The betting public doesn’t have the information necessary to gauge an exception to that statement. “Cool, dry air is beneficial to horses with a tendency to bleed,” said Rhone, “but there is no way for the public to know which horses those are.”

Trainer Francisco Bravo says temperatures can have a big effect on horses that are being shipped. “The main thing is to keep them hydrated,” he said, “particularly when it’s warm.”

Rhone agrees, adding that it is more likely for a horse to get sick being transported from cool weather to hot than the other way around.

Bravo insists that the treatment of a horse is probably more important than the temperature. “They’re just like kids,” he said. “Everyone is a little different. They need discipline but not abuse. They need guidance.”

More than anything horses need even-handed treatment and care. “They learn by repeated behavior,” said Bravo. “You have to be consistent and systematic with them. You can’t discipline a horse in the barn for something he did wrong on the track.”

It is perhaps possible to infer certain things about a horse you already like during weather more favorable to animals and humans alike.

For instance, if you like a horse for a given reason it is quite logical to assume he is more likely to live up to the expectations assigned him under favorable conditions.

Despite no solid evidence that the temperature itself should figure prominently in making decisions about a race, people do so all the time anyway.

“Some people figure that the tides, coming in or going out, affect a horse,” said Bravo. “I wouldn’t know anything about that.”

Trainer Jerry Livingston is insistent that one aspect of weather does affect a horse.

“Barometric pressure makes a difference,” he said. “It can affect the way a horse acts, if he’s lethargic or high,” he said. “You can see it.”

People themselves are affected. There is some evidence that barometric pressure can affect joints and muscles.

Supportive science or not, anecdotal evidence is often instructive and useful.

What seems certain is this:

“The horses love this weather,” said trainer Valorie Lund. “And so do I.”

As does Hall of Fame rider Scott Stevens.

“The locals probably don’t care for it, but those of us from Phoenix (including Lund) love it,” he said.

So, there you have it. Horses appreciate cool weather. Human beings, those from the Valley of the Sun in particular, appreciate cool weather.

But don’t count on finding any sleepers because of it.

Oh yeah, almost forgot… there was a hunch play to be had on Friday night’s card and it did involve the weather. Henry Hanson’s two-year-old She Can Ski took down the 3rd (pictured above) for Minnesota-bred maidens. Maybe there is something to handicapping for cold weather in July after all.

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.

Kansas Tornado Wedding & Other Notes

Trainer Jerry Livingston has been known to stir things up on occasion, but he was a mere witness to this dust-up. Livingston watched the Preakness Stakes at his home in Anthony, Kan., jumped in the shower and then headed down the road to his sister Carla Pence’s place in Harper, a few miles away.

His nephew was getting married at 6 p.m. so Livingston gauged his time accordingly. He knew he could watch the race at Pimlico, clean up and be on time, and that’s exactly what happened. He took a look at the weather channel before he left and spotted some wild weather nearby, but that’s not enough to stop a wedding in Kansas. Those folks aren’t bothered by much of anything.

Livingston arrived on time and the wedding was about to get under way when he looked up at the sky. He’s seen bad weather before but this particular picture he isn’t apt to forget. If he does, all he has to do is call up the video on the internet.

“The wedding is about to take place and you couldn’t believe the backdrop,” Livingston said Friday night.

“In the background was this golden wheat field with a tornado hanging right over the top of it. It kept getting bigger and bigger, wider and wider. It hit a farm a few miles away and took out about 15 turbines on a wind farm.”

Against this majestic backdrop, a golden wheat farm on the plains of Kansas, beneath the awesome picture of a growing, dark tornado, Caleb Pence, 22, married Candra, 21,the woman he met at a rodeo.

One of the relatives took a video of the proceedings and it can be found below. The bride and groom are featured prominently, of course, and right near the end of the tape, in a western hat and pink shirt, is Canterbury’s champion quarter horse trainer from 1995-97.

The national weather service measured the tornado as an F3. Livingston, meanwhile, arrived back at Canterbury Park late Monday, and was still shaking his head in wonder Friday night.

“It was really something. I’ve seen tornadoes before, but this one was something else,” he said.

WILL DOWNER BE AN UPPER

The Canterbury Racing Club added another runner to its stable for the 2012 race meet on Friday’s card, claiming Downerbythemeadow, a 5-year-old mare by Rock Climb from Joyous Wind.

Downer’s career stats heading into Friday’s race were 6-1-3 from 29 career starts for earnings of $38,897. He was bred by SEJ Stables Inc of Minnesota, also the owner until Friday’s claim.

Downer finished third in the six-furlong event under Denny Velazquez. She will be trained for the 146-member club by Clay Brinson.

That investment, a $3,500 claim, came to a shade under $24 a head.

TRAVIS HITS IT BIG ON BIRTHDAY

A chance contest entry on the KFAN webpage turned into a free evening of entertainment for Travis Totino, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday.

He, Jessica Franson, Jake Skovbroten, Troy Totino, Kirsten Totino and Lisa Alexander won packages that included free admission, programs, $5 food coupons and 10 percent savings on purchases. Travis, Jessica and Skovbroten also watched the third race in the announcer’s booth with Paul Allen.

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: Associated Press