2018 Leading Owners: Novogratz and Garvey

Joe Novogratz of Chanhassen, racing as Novogratz Racing Stables, tied for leading owner honors with Charles Garvey at the conclusion of the 2018 Canterbury Park race meet. Both are associated with the two top trainers in Shakopee. Novogratz’s horses reside in the Mac Robertson stable while Garvey has used Robertino Diodoro for nearly a decade. Each owner made 15 trips to the winner’s circle last season.

From a young age, Garvey had a passion for the sport of horse racing.  At just 13-years-old he was already making trips to Northlands Park, a local racetrack in his home town of Edmonton, Alberta. Garvey says he was the “first guy in line” at the track for the 1974 racing season.

Eleven years later, he purchased his first racehorse, named Highland Leader, and began his ownership career at Northlands. Garvey’s intention after high school and during those early days at Northlands Park, was to get a college education, but he instead got involved in the oil industry. He ended up with his own business, which he later sold, but formed another with drill pipe factories in Canada and Houston.

Garvey and Diodoro were later introduced by Canadian trainer Dale Saunders and teamed up in 2011 at Turf Paradise. Garvey was the leading owner three straight seasons there and also won the 2019 owner title.

Novogratz became involved in horse racing more than a quarter century ago when he joined a partnership and immediately experienced success.

“We bought one horse and named it Joseph’s Dream. His first race he ran, he won,” Novogratz said. “From then on I was hooked.”

Novogratz was a standout linebacker for the Pitt Panthers and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings. He later founded IDI Distributors Inc., a company that he still leads.

Novogratz Racing Stables also took top honors at Canterbury in 2016 and 2017.  Amy’s Challenge, owned by Novogratz, is expected to race Saturday at Churchill Downs in the $500,000 Humana Distaff, a Grade 1 seven furlong sprint.

22nd Annual Dog Days Handicapping Contest & more….

The 22nd annual Dog Days of Summer Handicapping Tournament takes place this Saturday and Sunday. The event dates back to the 90s before handicapping contests were as popular as they have become today.  Dog Days is perhaps the first, but most certainly the longest running, live bankroll contest in the country.

In the early years, cash was the main prize. One year the winner received entry to the old World Series of Handicapping at Penn National, at the time one of the most prestigious contests going.  The National Horseplayers Championship , sponsored by the NTRA, came along soon after that and since then the coveted NHC seats have been the prize to the top two Dog Days players. A couple of years ago, a $10,000 entry to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge was added to the winning prize.

Here are the details:

$650 Entry of which:

$150 is Entry Fee

$100 to prize pool

$400 for Live Bankroll betting

First prize: $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) entry AND National Horseplayers Championship (NHC*) entry plus 15% of prize pool.

Second prize: NHC* entry plus 35% of prize pool.
*To be eligible to win an NHC berth, entrants must be NHC Tour members. NHC membership is $50

Third: 25% of prize pool

Fourth: 17.5% of prize pool

Fifth: 7.5% of prize pool

The contest rules allow entrants to wager, using the $400 bankroll, on any track and pool offered throughout the day on Saturday. On Sunday, the same rules apply but the contest ends around 5:30 or 6pm. Each entrant must wager at least $200 each day.

The entrants with the largest bankrolls at the conclusion win the prizes.

Here are the complete rules.

On Friday, handicappers also have a chance to win one of two NHC entries via the Ultimate NHC Qualifier.  Entry fee is $500 of which 4400 is live bankroll.  In use is the Ultimate Format where entrants wager at least half of the bankroll in each of six mandatory Canterbury races. All the details can be found here.

Odds and Ends

With just four days of racing remaining, the battle for top thoroughbred trainer could not be any more intense. Mac Robertson, who leads by one with 49, erased a six-win deficit over four days of racing and passed Robertino Diodoro. Both are firing with quality horses the next two days.

The owner title is up for grabs as well. Novogratz Racing Stables, who employs Robertson, has 14 wins. Silva Racing and trainer Miguel Silva has 13. Diodoro trains for Charles Garvey who has 12 wins. One more back are the Butzows.

Orlando Mojica would need to really tear it up to catch Ry Eikleberry in the jockey standings. Ry is 10 in front and would have to go ice cold not to hang on.

Nominations to the four stakes on closing weekend, Sept. 14 and 15, can be found here.

Pigskins & Ponies
Can you pick football winners as well as you do horses? Get in on our Pigskin & Ponies Pick 6!

In this free to enter contest, you can win cash prizes each Sunday from Sept. 9 to Dec. 30.
• First place – $100
• Second place – $75
• Third place – $25

To win, you have to handicap six select races and choose which of two horses will have the better finish. Then, choose the winning team from six select NFL games.

The player making the most overall correct selections will be the winner!

Get your selections in by noon on Sundays to get your dose of football and horse racing action with our Pigskin & Ponies Pick 6!

Novogratz Racing Stables Back At Canterbury for 2017

by Katie Merritt

Joe Novogratz of Chanhassen, racing as Novogratz Racing Stables, was the leading thoroughbred owner at the 2016 Canterbury Park race meet with 18 wins. Novogratz became involved in horse racing a quarter of a century ago when he joined a partnership and immediately experienced success.

“We bought one horse and named it Joseph’s Dream. His first race he ran, he won,” Novogratz said. “From then on I was hooked.”

Novogratz’s horses have raced at various tracks around the country including Oaklawn, Keeneland, Churchill, and Delaware. His trainer at Canterbury is Hall of Famer Mac Robertson.

“My favorite memory was when we had a horse run on Derby Day in a stakes race at Churchill. I thought he won, but he got second,” he said. “I’ve learned that you can have the best horse and the best everything, but there are a lot of factors that can determine if you have a perfect race.”

When Novogratz isn’t spending his time at the racetrack, he enjoys boating, fishing, and hunting. He and his wife, Amy, love to travel. Novogratz also stays committed to his business, IDI Distributors Inc. of Minnesota.

Last season was Novogratz’ first as leading owner at Canterbury. Expect to see the Novogratz silks in the winner’s circle often again this summer.