GOODWIN CHASING A MILESTONE

VODKA AT MOONLIGHT - Minnesota Quarter Horse Futurity - 08-21-16 - R01 - CBY - Return Shot 3

BY JIM WELLS

A mere nine days remain of the 2016 race meet. Quarter horse trainers have packed up their trailers and moved on, some of them south to Prairie Meadows where you can find the 2016 champion Jason Olmstead among others.

Yet this summer’s quarter horse riding champion is still in Shakopee, still riding thoroughbreds as he’s done throughout the meet, still chasing a milestone 1,000th win.

Nik Goodwin has had a productive summer all around, winning 19 quarter horse races for his third riding title in Shakopee and is now within six wins of tying Ry Eikleberry for the all-time record.

Six wins to reach that goal. Ten to reach 1,000 wins on thoroughbreds. Now only the latter is attainable yet this meet, not insurmountable but a tough assignment just the same.

“You never know,” he said. “I won ‘t rule it out. Maybe I can get lucky and win a couple here and there. Maybe I can get it done.”

Goodwin credits the opportunity to ride for good barns, a variety of barns, for providing the path to another riding title. “I got a good start and rode all summer for good outfits,” he said.

Olmstead, who won a second consecutive title, was one of the outfits. He and Goodwin have known one another for some time.

“I used to ride against him,” Jason said. “We’ve been friends for a long time.” Goodwin’s success, as Olmstead sees it, is the result of hard work and dependability. “When he says he’s going to do something, he does it,” Olmstead said. “He’s as reliable as they come.”

And once in the saddle, he’s willing to listen as well.

“Some riders don’t hear a thing you tell them,” Olmstead added. “Nik listens and you saw what happened in the Futurity on Festival Day because he did.”

Olmstead had the favorite in the race, PYC Jess Bite My Dust, and Goodwin’s mount, Vodka at Midnight. He instructed Goodwin to keep his horse alert, to stay into her because, as Goodwin put it, “she gets a little lackadaisical.” Olmstead was merely instructing Goodwin that if the favorite made a mistake he could win the race. Goodwin kept his horse’s head straight, didn’t let her waiver and the result was a trip to the winner’s circle in a $50,000 race.

“I told him when I legged him up what I thought of the horse and how to ride. I just gave a few pointers and it paid off. He listened,” Olmstead added.

When you talk to trainers about Goodwin, they are in near unanimous agreement about his abilities on two-year-olds, often a bit frisky if not fractious, in the paddock and particularly in the gate.

There is a natural explanation for that ability in Goodwin’s mind. He spends most of the winter months breaking babies and riding during the sales in Florida, where he and his wife have a home. He has developed a knack for understanding young horses, their tendencies and idiosyncrasies.

Goodwin is a native Minnesotan and intends to spend some time at his parents farm in Bemidji before heading south to Florida, a routine he has followed for several years.

Goodwin was around his grandfather’s horses as a youngster, learning to ride at an early age, and later around his father’s race horses. They have always been a part of his life and as an adult have figured prominently in his livelihood.

As many Minnesotans do, Goodwin, his wife Betty Jo and their toddler, Weston, headed out to the State Fair the other day. Mom and dad are familiar with the sights, of course. Weston got an introduction to the lights, sounds, smells and general ambiance of the great Minnesota get-together, something likely to stay lodged in his sub-conscious until he feels compelled some day to introduce his offspring to the annual festival.

Now, the Goodwins will head north for another Minnesota experience, the turn from summer to autumn, before making their way back to Florida in late October or early November.

Although Goodwin is not averse to riding a few races during the winter months, he has to be assured of live mounts to make the ninety-minute drive from Ocala, where he’s stationed, to Tampa.

So, what’s the best way to describe this itinerant profession?

Perhaps quarter horse trainer Jerry Livingston sized it up best with his analysis of the rider.

“Nik? He’s very dependable and if you can get that, you got it made,” Livingston said. “He’s good and always has been. I guess he enjoys his job.”

Q and A with jockey Nik Goodwin

Nik Goodwin 6-12-16 CBY

By Megan Johnson

Nik Goodwin, a versatile jockey, continues to succeed and is just shy of 1,000 career thoroughbred wins. Nik won the quarter horse riding title here this season and is seven wins away from being the all-time winningest ‘Q’ rider in Canterbury history. He started riding professionally 25 years ago. Nik grew up on the backside of the racetrack and continues to see himself involved in the industry for his entire life.

Q: When did you start riding?
A: I started riding and won my first race in 1991. Before I started riding at Canterbury, I was cleaning stalls on the backside and exercising horses when I was 16-years-old.

Q: How did you get started in racing?
A: I grew up around the horse industry at a young age. My dad’s family was really into horse racing.

Q: What other racetracks have you ridden at?
A: I used to ride up in Winnipeg but I’ve also raced at Santa Anita Park in California, and at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park in Maryland. I’ve also ridden at a lot of other east coast tracks.

Q: Where do you call home?
A: My wife and I have a home down in Florida but I consider Minnesota my home. I’m originally from Bemidji and I have a lot of family that still lives in the state so it’s nice to come here.

Q: What do you do during the winter months when you’re not in Minnesota riding?
A: I usually take some time off and don’t race as much, but in the past I’ve gone south and worked with yearlings to get them ready to be trained. I also breeze a lot of horses around the time of the sales to help them get ready.

Q: Why do you continue to race?
A: I’ve been riding for 25 years and it doesn’t feel like a job and I like that aspect of it. I like what I do. I enjoy the whole aspect of the racetrack.

Q: What are your hobbies outside of racing?
A: I spend my free time fishing, hunting and spending time with my three sons and wife.

Q: What’s one of your favorite memories riding?
A: One memory that stands out would have to be when I won my very first race while riding my father’s horse in Winnipeg. Another race that was very special was when I won while riding a horse my grandfather owned and my father trained. It was three generations for that win, it was pretty cool.

Q: Do you have a favorite genre of music?
A: It’s changed over the years but I’ve always like country.

Q: Where is one destination spot you would like to travel to?
A: My wife and I really want to go to Hawaii for a vacation. One day we will get there.

Q: What are your future goals for your riding career?
A: I want to my 1,000th career win for thoroughbred races because I’m only 11 away. I’m also only about six races away from tying the all-time quarter horse win record for jockeys at Canterbury. Those are two goals in the near future that I would like to accomplish.

ON A DARK, STORMY AFTERNOON, THE HORSES RAN (special summer days still ahead)

CATCH THIS TRAIN - 07-23-16 - R01 - CBY - Inside Finish

BY JIM WELLS

It was a dark and stormy day and a fellow felt conspicuous by his presence on any level of the grandstand Saturday.

As the saying goes, you could have thrown a horseshoe in any direction and not inflicted harm. At mid morning, the skies opened in Shakopee and delivered what was described variously as torrential rains, nearly biblical, and had horsemen wondering if they would be required to travel from barn to racetrack aboard an ark.

Two of each species?

Hey, there are 1,500 stalls back here!

“We had two inches of rain this morning,” reported Jeff Maday, the press box centurion.

And more after that.

Oscar Quiroz, assistant to Shawn Coady in the track photo studio, put it this way as he prepared to exit the office and head to the track before the first race, tucking in his pant legs as he spoke: “I’ll just stuff these pantalones inside my boots because I can guarantee that you that someplace out there it is at least ankle deep.”

The valets were well prepared, all of them wearing high rubber boots, designed perfectly for autumn and the duck hunting season and, in this instance, for wet, muddy days at the racetrack.

The first two races, both quarter horse sprints won by Nik Goodwin, produced an exchange of banter by the riders, quarter horse jocks on one side of the argument, thoroughbred riders on the other. “It’s really slick and greasy out there,” said one rider. “Hey, I love my job,” intoned Rusty Shaw, covered from head to foot in mud.

The prevailing theme was that quarter horse riders are tough, able to withstand gales and snowstorms and all manner of nature’s surprises as opposed to thoroughbred jocks who are a bit soft. How that storyline applies to riders who ride both breeds is left to the question. Nonetheless, all agreed because of the uncertain footing that it was absolutely foolhardy to let your mind stray for even a nano instant.

Goodwin’s two wins increased his leading total for the quarter horse meet to 13 and moved him into third-place all time, one in front of Hall of Fame rider Tad  Leggett, one behind Scot Schindler and 12 behind Ry Eikleberry. He is mere dollars behind Eikleberry for the all-time lead in money earnings.

With 37 racing days now logged, the meet is past the half-way point, with 32 days remaining. , including some of the biggest days of the summer.

On the thoroughbred calendar, the Minnesota Derby, Oaks and MTA Sales Graduate Futurity are scheduled July 30. The $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, the richest race of the meet, is scheduled on August 27, as are the HBPA Distaff and the Brooks Fields Stakes. The stakes schedule concludes with the MTA Stallion Auction Stakes on Sept. 5 and the Shakopee Juvenile Stakes on Sept 17.

The always popular Minnesota Festival of Champions  will be held on Sunday, Aug. 21. The quarter horse schedule still includes the Cash Caravan Stakes on July 31, the NCQHRA Futurity on Aug. 7 and the Minnesota Derby and Futurity as part of the Festival of Champions

The Indian Relay Races, one of the most popular features in the summer racing program, is scheduled on Aug. 25-27, concluding with the Mystic Lake Derby.

There was a 20-minute rain delay between the second and third races and there were sporadic appearances of dark, ominous clouds that passed by without incident or missed the track area entirely. An occasional sprinkle throughout the afternoon did nothing to disturb the races thereafter.

The smallish crowd that braved the elements hung on throughout the card, brushing aside the damp conditions while betting correctly that the races would be run.

Two of Canterbury's Best Continue to Win

HUCKLEBERRY MOJITO_Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby_07-07-12_CBY_Finish Under Rail

Sunday there will be five quarter horse trial races for the big-money NCQHRA Futurity on Aug. 7. All of the meet’s top trainers will be represented in those trials as 46 two-year-olds compete for 10 spots in the rich 350 yard final.

Quarter horse trainer Ed Ross Hardy surpassed the $3 million mark in lifetime earnings at Canterbury recently.  Hardy horses have earned more than twice as much as the closest competitor Bob Johnson, who has earnings of $1.27 million. The Canterbury Park Hall of Fame trainer, who won the training title 11 times, is also the leader in all-time wins with 309. Jerry Livingston is approaching the 150 mark and is second in track history.

Jockey Nik Goodwin, who also rides thoroughbreds, is one of Canterbury’s best quarter horse riders. He swept a pair of Q races Saturday and is leading the current meet with 13 victories. With today’s two wins he surpassed Hall of Famer Tad Leggett and is now third in all-time wins with 95. Goodwin is just one victory from Scot Schindler, and 12 from all-time leader Ry Eikleberry.

Goodwin tied for leading jockey with Jennifer Schmidt in 2007 and won the title outright in 2012. His mounts have earned more than $145,000 this season and nearly $1 million lifetime at Canterbury, second only to Eikleberry.

“That’s pretty cool,” said Goodwin who consistently rides winners and makes money for his connections.

Hardy has three horses entered Sunday and Goodwin has three mounts in the five trials.

Chris Rosier makes a rare quarter horse appearance when he rides Ada Lida in Sunday’s second race for trainer Jason Olmstead.

Rosier last rode a quarter horse “about four year ago I think. It was in Oklahoma.”

Ada Lida is 10 to 1 on the morning line and enters the race off a ninth-place finish May 21 at Remington Park. She worked a bullet July 14 over this surface.

“I’ll ride anything,” Rosier said. “I’ve been getting on a few for Jason.  I worked her the other day.”

Racing begins Sunday at 12:15 p.m.

Heliskier Back on His Game

Heliskier%20-%20%2008-18-13%20-%20R06%20-%20CBY%20-%20Inside%20FinishHorse racing has more than its share of stories that tug at the heartstrings, bring tears to your eyes and leave otherwise stout human beings weak in the knees. It doesn’t take million dollar colts and fillies or regally-bred champions, either. When you’ve invested much of what you have – even in an expensive claimer – the stories can be just as heartrending as those attached to the big-money horses.

Horse racing is more about the little guy and his horses, anyway, since they are the backbone of the sport and outnumber the elite by a considerable number. They are the middle class of the game.

So it was that on a splendid Sunday afternoon that the turnout at Canterbury Park, at least those with their fingers on the pulse of local racing, found plenty to celebrate.

They didn’t have to wait long, either. The good stuff started in race one.

Want something to bring out the compassion?

Try this: with the meet swiftly winding down and all but over for the quarter horses, a trainer with a hard-luck story that gives the genre new meaning sent out the winner in a $16,000 stake. Sammi Santanna, ridden by Rusty Shaw and trained by Randy Weidner picked up first place money. It is a certainty the money will be well spent. Weidner’s stable was wiped out in Oklahoma this spring by a tornado. The native of Rosemount has fought his way back during the Canterbury meet from that devastating incident.

How about a truly feel-good story, one about a cherished horse fallen on hard times that fights back and looks like his former self?

Look no further than Sunday’s sixth race and the 2012 Horse of the Year, Heliskier.

Unbeaten with a 7-0 record through last May, Heliskier was vanned off the track in his second start of the summer after stumbling badly at the start and finishing last and ran second his last time out. Now, about to make his first start since July 20, Heliskier had a new rider, Justin Shepherd, for the first time in his career. Regular rider Derek Bell was injured, not severely, during a workout earlier in the day and did not ride Sunday.

Not to worry, Shepherd took the star of the Colvin stable straight to the winner’s circle, winning with daylight to spare.

“I knew he was back on Friday,” said owner Marlene Colvin. “(Trainer) Mac (Robertson) gave me two thumbs up.”

Was Shepherd concerned?

“I told Marlene that he was too much horse for me to mess up,” he responded.

“He had it his way today.”

Prefer a tale for your tender father-son side?

Well, jockey Nik Goodwin, who had a productive weekend on the racetrack, was bound for his home in Ocala, Fla., immediately after the races. He wanted to be there on Monday morning when his five-year-old son, Lane, leaves for his first day of kindergarten.

Would Goodwin remain stoical in the face of such an occasion? Jockey room custodian Jerry Simmons tried to prepare him just in case. “I’m not an emotional person,” Simmons said. “And I thought I’d be just fine walking my daughter down the isle,” he said. “But it all took me by surprise and…”

For a final happy story of the day, the tale of jockeys Rusty Shaw and Patricia Trimble, husband and wife, was a perfect finish.

Shaw, of course, rode the winner for Weidner in race one, his only mount of the day. Patricia rode Ridgestone, her only mount on the card and the winner of race five, for Harvey and Susan Berg.

As Shaw waited outside the winner’s circle to congratulate his wife, a bystander shouted: “Hey, that’s the way to go about it. Ride one, win one,” he said. “Ride less, win more.”

The philosophic concept sounded just fine to Trimble. “I’d rather ride one and win one than ride seven and not win,” she said.

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.

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.

Another Goodwin Takes the Reins

Chamisa Goodwin 6-16-13Chamisa Goodwin comes by her love of horses and raceriding quite naturally, as part of an ongoing family affair with the equine world and the racetrack. She, her brother, Nik, and sister, Neah, can be found at Canterbury Park almost any day of the week, raceriding or galloping. All three spend their weeks on the backs of thoroughbreds and, in Nik’s case, quarter horses, too. Horses have been part of their lives since childhood. They grew up near Bemidji riding horses their father owned, so the next logical step, to any adventure loving youngster, had to be raceriding.

Chamisa’s inspiration came from watching Nik raceride. When she rode her first winner on a Minnesota racetrack Thursday night, he was one of the first in the jockeys lounge to greet her and offer a congratulatory fistbump.

Horses and the Goodwins seem to go hand in hand.

The family, except for Chamisa’s mother, Theresa, who was babysitting one of the grandkids, was at Canterbury on Thursday when Chamisa recorded her first Minnesota win.

It was certainly appropriate. She began her riding career late in the 2006 meet in Shakopee but injuries in the months and seasons that followed have prevented her from riding at home as regularly as she might have preferred.

After initiating her career in 2006, she left Shakopee for Penn National that September and then moved on to Philadelphia Park, where she broke a fibula and was sidelined for two to three months. She was riding in May at Philadelphia Park once again but was injured badly in a spill that left her with a broken back, collarbone and lacerated liver.

She has not ridden at Philadelphia Park since the accident, and it’s a safe bet listening to her talk that it is not part of any immediate or future plans.

Chamisa likely has a clearer picture than most riders of the impact injuries have on a body’s movement, knowledge she obtained while completing a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology at the University of Maryland. She spent hours learning about the physiological and mechanical aspects as well as psychological mechanics of the body.

And to think that while in high school, she had something much different in mind for herself, a vision formed in part from movies. “I wanted to be an FBI agent,” she said. “Eventually I figured out that it wasn’t for me.”

Chamisa’s mother and her father, Duane, are both art teachers. Theresa gives pottery classes. Duane teaches at the Leech Lake Tribal College. A statue made by Duane stands in St. Paul’s Mounds Park, a lifesized sculpture of a Native American woman with a sacred bowl, a smudge bowl used for burning sage, in her hands – the giver of life.

Chamisa, too, has an artistic bent. She does traditional Ojibway beadwork on pouches, bags and – her favorite – baby moccasins.

When it came time to make moccasins for Chamisa’s daughter, Aiyana, now eight, the job went to grandmother, however. Later, Duane made a pair for his granddaughter, too.

Chamisa has more free time to do her artistic handiwork during the winter months when she lives in Hot Springs, Ark., galloping horses while Aiyana goes to school. “I do ride a few horses down there near the end of the meet,” she said.

Aiyana seems interested, too, in carrying on the family tradition. “She wants to become a jockey,” Chamisa said. Like mother, like daughter…in more ways than one.

The name “Chamisa” comes from the western desert plant. “Aiyana” means blossom.

Artistic expression from the natural world.

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.

Dissecting the “Blog Bounce”

Recognizethestreet - 06-27-13 - R03 - CBY - FinishThere is a phenomenon in the pressbox known as the blog bounce, a mysterious, eerie force that accompanies articles written about specific riders, trainers or the like.

In many cases, a horse or rider, recently boosted by a bounce from the blog in the form of a complete article, profile or even a mere mention, will respond with a win against even imposing odds.

Sometimes the bounce will break a losing streak or even start a winning streak. It is absolutely impossible to explain how it works. It simply does. It would be like asking why people live on earth but have not been found elsewhere. We don’t know why that is, but it is.

Explanations have been offered but they always fall short.

An anomaly in the bounce has been noticed recently. Bounces have been experienced by riders while an article is being written or, such as the case was Thursday night, a day after the interview and a full day before seeing print.

Chamisa Goodwin grinned when told about the phenomenon Thursday night only moments after winning cleanly on the 4-year-old filly name Recognizethestreet, owned by Curtis Sampson and trained by Tony Rengstorf in the third race.

Big deal you say?

Consider this: Ms Goodwin is a Minnesota native, from Bemidji, and the win was her first at Canterbury Park. She began riding here in 2006 and has ridden in Maryland and Arkansas among other states.

Her first Minnesota win was special for other reasons. Her brother, Nik, also a rider at Canterbury, watched the race from the jockey lounge. Their father, Duane, was present for the race and so, too, was their sister, Neah, who gallops mornings. Nik’s son, Lane, was also on hand to see his aunt Chamisa get her first Minnesota win.

Chamisa arrived in the jockeys lounge and received congratulations from other riders. Nik Goodwin appeared and gave his sister a fist bump. Chamisa watched a replay of the race, perhaps storing it in the memory bank for future consideration.

And all of this, a full 24 hours before her blog story is scheduled to appear.

Clearly, the bounce mechanism works… but it needs adjustment.

INTERNET ABSURDITIES

There is internet propaganda, internet falsehood, internet misinformation and internet absurdity.

An article that circulated Thursday fits the latter category, a story about a horse that ran at Belmont Park the previous day, finished first after dislodging her rider and yet received no mention from the track announcer.

Yes, folks, stories do appear by individuals who know absolutely nothing about the subjects they discuss. The aforementioned instance is one of those.

In fact, the article included this statement:

“You ‘d think the big story of the race would be Downtown Hottie overcoming adversity and the lack of a jockey to win at Belmont, but no, nary a mention of her by the race announcer. That’s a totally bogus move, man.”

How can a person respond, other than to say something such as:

“The ball was fumbled by Adrian Peterson and then picked up by the field judge, who carried it unmolested into the end zone. You would have thought that the announcer might have given the fellow some much deserved credit. But nary a word…”

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.

Buck Night is Back

Mister_BernsteinBuck hot dogs, soft drinks, admission and programs returned Thursday night and so, too, did good weather and the fans.

For that matter, so did a horse named Supreme Ghost.

The first buck night of the meet by almost any measuring stick was a rousing success.

Let’s start with the turnout.

A crowd of 7,196 was on hand.

Now the weather.

“Nicest day we’ve had so far,” said identifier Mark Bader.

“Gorgeous night. Just great for watching races,” said Minneapolis Star-Tribune handicapper Johnny Love.

Love doesn’t restrict his analysis of racing to merely a horse’s form. He likes to analyze the crowd as well. “Different people on every level (of the grandstand),” he said. “Different levels of knowledge, too.”

A certain area is frequently occupied by the grumblers, the players who find fault with the jockey, trainer or horse every time their selection comes up short. Then there are the neophytes, the infrequent visitors to Canterbury Park who make their selections based on colors, riders’ looks or the alphabet.

Other factions are divided, too, on their opinions of the handicappers. One side hangs on every word of their favorite handicapper. The other faction calls every word of the same handicapper’s analysis into question.

And so it goes.

Supreme Ghost apparently has some of Brett Favre or Roberto Duran in him. He retired a year ago, but was back in the lineup for Thursday’s sixth race. Trained now by Sandra Sweere, Supreme Ghost has won once and finished second once from eight career starts after finishing in front of one horse Thursday.

No race on the card stood up to the fifth (pictured above), one of those runs to the wire that quickened the pulse of everyone watching. It was obvious over the final 100 yards that a head bob would decide this race, and Mister Bernstein, with Derek Bell up, did just that, dropping his noggin in front of Incognito Bandito and Brandon Meier.

Defending quarter horse riding champion Nik Goodwin moved within one win of the lead by riding the first winner on Thursday’s card, V OS Red Hot Cole in the opener at 350 yards.

The star of the evening was Eddie Martin, Jr., who rode three winners to throw the thoroughbred race into a three-way tie for a short while, but Lori Keith bounced back in front of Martin and Ry Eikleberry with the winner of the ninth race, Ceeya Tuesday.

Keith got the mount on that winner after Justin Shepherd was sidelined following a spill in the fourth race, as was visiting rider Tim Thornton, who might have broken a bone in his shoulder. Shepherd reportedly was checked for an injured wrist.

Such are the vagaries of racing. Keith picks up a winning mount. Thornton pays a visit to Canterbury from Chicago, rides one horse and pays dearly.

FATHER’S DAY CARD LOADED

Sunday’s Father’s Day card came up impressively strong with 126 horses entered in 12 races including big fields in the co-featured Brooks Fields Stakes and the Skip Zimmerman Memorial Stakes for Quarter Horses. Additionally, as an added bonus, Heliskier makes his debut against open runners! He has been installed as the 3/2 morning line favorite in Race 7, a field of 11. It is likely to be his toughest test to date.

Quite a special treat for the race fans that will be in attendance. Don’t miss it!

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.

Jockey Race Tight Early

Lori Keith 5-28-12Lori Keith bounded out of the tunnel leading to the paddock Sunday afternoon and right past the No. 1 spot for her horse, Oughterson. “Hey, Lori, over here,” someone called. “I was distracted. He distracted me,” Keith said, pointing to a nearby interloper while gathering her wits.

Keith is as focused as she’s ever been this spring, concentrating on the task at hand like never before. That is all part of being in the thick of the fray for the riding title and the forces of competition.

Keith was in the lead at that point of the card with 10 wins, one in front of Ry Eikleberry and two in front of Eddie Martin, Jr.

“I can’t shake Ry or Eddie,” Keith said later. “They are right on my heels. I win one and they win one.”

By day’s end, Keith and Eikleberry were tied with 10 wins each and Martin was on their flanks with nine.

The situation has created some good-natured banter between Keith and Eikleberry, who traded jabs on their way to the paddock before the sixth race.

A group of three to five-year-old girls awaited Keith at the top of the tunnel steps. “Oh, my little Lucky Charms,” Keith said happily.

“They need to go away right now, right now,” Eikleberry joshed.

Keith in the view of many observers is riding at her highest level ever this spring. She has first call in the barn of the track’s leading trainer Mike Biehler, riding six of his eight winners. “He’s been training a long time and knows what he’s doing,” said Keith. “I just ride them.”

Yet, the thrill of winning creates its own form of competition. “You start to get greedy,” she said. “You win a race and you want to win another.”

She has had to this spring to keep pace.

“I’ll win a race and Ry or Eddie will win the next.”

Martin got the first win of the leading three riders Sunday in race No. 3, surviving a stewards’ inquiry aboard the maiden runner Bing’s Magic from the Mac Robertson barn.

Eikleberry got his win for the day in race No. 5 with Sputey’s Cabin, a 10-1 choice, that gave the Tim Padilla barn a win for the second consecutive day. The allowance sprint offered a purse of $34,800 (including $17,800 from the Mystic Lake Purse Enhancement Fund) that brought a smile to Padilla’s face.

“That’s just great,” he said. “That will pay some bills for the summer.”

The purses have nearly doubled from those offered before the business agreement between Canterbury Park and the Mdewakanton Community at Mystic lake that was struck last summer. That might be the leading factor in a large, competitive jockey colony this season.

Eikleberry comes prepared for a battle every day.

“I’d rather be way in front,” he said. “but this makes it fun, too. You know that if you don’t win one every day you’re going to fall behind.”

The meet is only 10 days old and anything can happen, particularly during a meet that could continue as the most competitive in years, as it is right now.

Keith and Eikleberry lead the way with 10 wins each, followed by Martin with nine, Nik Goodwin with seven, Alex Canchari and Dean Butler with six and Scott Stevens and Derek Bell with five.

“It’s very competitive right now,” Eikleberry added. “There are five or six riders right now capable of winning it.”

Times have changed?

“Yes,” said Eikleberry. “It’s not the good ol’ boys club any more.”

Certainly not with Keith in the mix.

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.