It happened to Paul when he was knocked from his horse by a bolt of lightning. The best selling book of all time has numerous other examples of divine intervention, but heretofore none have been documented at Canterbury Park until Thursday night.
In fact, three examples were brought forth recently, putting the track itself in line for possible selection as a shrine.
We speak of Thursday’s third race. The results of race two were posted and mistakenly identified as race three. The winner of race two was the No. 8 horse, and as handicappers began assessing the mistake on the television screen other revealing information came to light.
“I’ve called 26,000 races and never before seen that happen,” said PA announcer Paul Allen. “The tv screen gives you the winner of the next race. The rider of the 8 horse in race three was Ry Eilkleberry. His wife (pressbox assistant Jilique) was sitting right behind us. It was a no-brainer. Free money.”
“It’s an epiphany,” said PA.
“It’s an epiphany,” said pressbox guardianJeff Maday.
So… what happened? The No. 8 horse in race three, a 3-year-old gelding trained by Miguel Angel Silva, not only got up for first but paid $35.80. His name? Gadzooks (pictured above).
Alas, the signs were all present, available for all to see, but no one bet the winner.
Not even paddock analyst Angela Hermann.
“I picked the horse second,” she said. “Did I have him in the pick four? Nooooooo.”
As another disciple from the ancient past once said: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t…”
SECOND MIRACLE OF THE WEEK
As he does every day, Scott Stevens turned his two dogs out in the field next to the stable gate to run after Saturday morning’s torrential rains. Molly, a 1 ½-year-old Boston Terrier, and Angus, a 9-year-old Bulldog, were enjoying the water, especially Molly.
“She loved it,” said Stevens.
Molly is well behaved, but the moment Stevens saw the jack rabbit race past, he knew where she was headed. The rabbit darted across Canterbury Road with Molly in avid pursuit.
Stevens was on the phone with his agent Chad Anderson at the time. When he saw the rabbit he said to Anderson, “if Molly goes after that rabbit she’s a goner.”
Stevens had spotted an oncoming car at the same time.
An instant later the car struck Molly. The driver later told Stevens that he was going 50 to 60 mph. “She must have rolled 50 yards,” Scott said.
Stevens was convinced Molly was dead but retrieved her from the road and carried her 200 yards to the stable area.
Molly wound up at a veterinary clinic in Prior Lake where she was operated on for a broken pelvis. The clinic had to call in a surgeon who performed the operation on Tuesday.
In the meantime, however, vets were calling her the “miracle dog.”
She had a broken pelvis. “In three places,” said Stevens, who knew just how she felt. He, too, had gone through the ordeal of pelvis surgery after a riding accident.
A plate and six screws were inserted into Molly’s pelvis. “It’s a miracle she’s alive,” said Stevens.
Molly will need to take it easy for several months, but she is , indeed, the “miracle dog.”
This miracle put her owner back a tidy sum – three grand.
A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
HBPA president Tom Metzen was having coffee early Saturday morning before heading to a National HBPA meeting here when the phone rang.
Tom Metzen and his wife, Karen, are Minnesotans but they own a home in Phoenix in an area where several owners are Arizona residents during the winter months primarily. A neighbor in the area watches out for the snowbirds’ homes during the summer months when they return to their other homes.
The neighbor, Ruby, was doing just that when she called the Metzens. “You have water coming out of your garage which is filled with water,” she said.
A home 1,600 miles away inundated with water and nothing a person can do about it!
Karen looked at her husband and noticed his complexion waning, turning white.
“My heart started beating rapidly,” he said.
“You need to get down here immediately to take care of this problem, Mike,” Ruby added.
“You’ve got the wrong number,” Metzen told her.
The call was intended for a different neighbor.
GROOMS FINISHED, NOW THE TRAINERS
Nineteen participants completed the 201 course in the Groom Elite program and nine of them were certified as Elite 201 grooms after completing the five-week 101 class as well.
Two participants finished the program for the second time and were certified as Jr. Elite. Seven participants are taking the assistant trainer/trainer course that ends on Friday.
THE ORACLE SEES IT CLEARLY
The Oracle, Canterbury’s handicapper supreme, demonstrated the correct way to handicap a card on Thursday, picking six consecutive winners on races four through nine.
He got his streak under way with Mr. Cacht, a 3/5 favorite in race four under Derek Bell, who rode six consecutive winners at Canterbury on June 14, 2002.
Bell made it two in a row with Somerset Swinger in the very next race and was greeted by a fan on his way down the steps from the winner’s circle. “You’re my hero,” the woman said as Bell handed her his goggles.
Next was Gail’s Jewel and Alex Canchari at 8-5, and then City Kid and Scott Stevens and then Cachemassa Creek and leading rider Dean Butler. Wrapping it up was Sue’s Stormy with Eddie Martin, Jr. up.
Six consecutive wins was a first for the Oracle. He just missed seven when Okra Wind Free and Martin caught his pick, Rock Hard Legacy and Alex Canchari, in the final strides.
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.