July 3rd Racing Preview

The five-day Independence Day racing week kicks off on Tuesday, July 3rd with a special 4PM Post Time. The day features some great racing including one quarter horse race (the Great Lakes Stakes) followed by 10 thoroughbred races (including the Blair’s Cove Stakes and the HBPA Mile Stakes).

Two Pick 4s carrying a $.50 minimum wager – one on races 2-5 and another on races 7 through 10 – are sure to grab the attention of punters across North America. The late pick 4 on races 7-10 is comprised four turf races. Both stakes races are included in the All-Turf Pick 4 as well as a $30,000 Allowance Turf Sprint and a field of 11 claimers going 7 and 1/2 furlongs over the lawn.

Pick 4s at Canterbury Park always feature the lowest takeout in North America at just 14%. Our Pick 3s also feature 14% takeout every racing day.

For those of you that may not be overly familiar with racing at Canterbury Park, Track Announcer Paul Allen gives you a short overview:

If you are specifically looking for analysis of our All-Turf Pick 4, Track Analyst Angela Hermann has you covered. Here, she provides some insight – as well as a ticket – that will help you navigate this wagering endeavor:

Other July 3rd Canterbury Park Racing Notes

  • All of Canterbury’s races are slated to be shown live on TVG.
  • Derby Wars is running a free contest that features Canterbury Park’s races.
  • The Daily Racing Form will be featuring Canterbury Park’s races on their website throughout the day.

Finally, for a more complete look at Canterbury Park’s statistics and trends, we turn to Canterbury Park’s resident statistician, The Oracle. A longtime Minnesota racing fan that has handicapped Canterbury’s races religiously for more than 20 years – The Oracle regularly writes about handicapping and statistical trends in Canterbury’s races for Canterbury Live.

The Track Bias

When temperatures soar into the nineties, the main track tends to favor early speed more strongly than normal. Horses that clear off on the early lead are extremely difficult to run down. Last week was no exception as 11 of 17 sprint races were won in wire to wire fashion, and 5 of 7 route winners secured the early lead by the first call. The same principle doesn’t hold on the turf, as all five winners last week rallied from off the pace. No huge prices in those front running winners, although one speedball did pay $11.00 for the win.

Expect more of the upcoming days of racing. Temperatures in the mid-nineties are forecast over the next several days.

Favorites

Favorites are continuing to perform very strongly this year, currently winning at a 48% rate for all thoroughbred races. In fact, a $2 win wager on all thoroughbred favorites to date would have cost $394 and returned $433, a profit of nearly $40 so far. It would certainly be a unique situation if the favorite could generate a flat bet profit over the course of the entire meet.

Here is a further breakdown of how favorites are doing in certain categories and sub-categories. This information can be valuable when constructing horizontal wagers. It can help isolate potential singles as well as target races with vulnerable favorites. Remember, the larger the sample size the more reliable the data will carry forward in a meaningful way.

 Category  Favorite Win %  Sample Size
All Races 48% 94/197
All Sprints 52% 65/126
Sprints – Alw/Stk 32% 9/28
Sprints – Clm 54% 29/54
Sprints – Msw 60% 12/20
Sprints – Mcl 63% 15/24
2-5 Furlongs 58% 7/12
5.5 Furlongs 53% 21/40
6 Furlongs 47% 31/66
6.5 Furlongs 75% 6/8
All Routes 45% 19/42
Routes – Alw/Stk 60% 3/5
Routes – Clm 43% 12/28
Routes – Msw 50% 2/4
Routes – Mcl 40% 2/5
1 Mile & 1 Mile 70 42% 15/36
1 Mile & 1/16 67% 4/6
All Turf 34% 10/29
Turf – Alw/Stk 36% 4/11
Turf – Clm 27% 4/15
Turf – Msw 50% 1/2
Turf – Mcl 100% 1/1
5 Furlongs 100% 1/1
7.5 Furlongs 27% 3/11
1 Mile 45% 5/11
1 Mile & 1/16 17% 1/6


Remembering Dark Star

On the morning before the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes, the racing community at Canterbury Park said goodbye and paid its respects to a man who would not only have been present but at his boisterous best if fate had not intervened.

There was after all the disappointing defection of a horse pointed toward the Triple Crown. That would have drawn a comment or two of outrageous nature from the fellow in question here.

There was the heat and early morning humidity enveloping the assembled group in the paddock. Even his best friend, Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Radio 1500, made reference to the distaste for such weather by the fellow in question.

One story followed after another about the fellow in question, George Chapple or, as the world knew him, Dark Star.

What was revealed about Dark Star, who died June 1 at age 66, was right out of a George Roy Hill production.

What became quite clear during the proceedings to honor Dark Star’s life was that if you thought you knew him, you really didn’t. If you thought you had seen it all, you really hadn’t.

The long-held contention that Dark was one-of-a-kind proved to be not nearly adequate as a description for the man.

As the stories unfolded from one friend after another, it became obvious that we clearly underestimated his talents for pulling off a scam.

More on that matter later.

Click Here to Watch Video From WCCO TV

Kevin Gorg and Paul Allen agreed, for different reasons, that Dark would have been all over Union Rags in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, the on Saturday.

“He always bet the favorite,” Allen said.

“That was his Derby horse. He would have wanted to prove he was right,” said Gorg.

On Saturday, the Dark Man got his winner.

Just as Dark’s friends and acquaintances got a glimpse of him theretofore not seen during the morning tribute to the man.

Eric Halstrom, the former Vice President of Racing at Canterbury Park and now the GM of the Fairgrounds in New Orleans, told the story that still had loose ends until he, Joe Friedberg and Reusse conferred.

In a nutshell:

During a recent visit to New Orleans, Dark and Halstrom were strolling the French Quarter when the Dark Man stepped into a furniture story. Dark disappeared somewhere in the store moments later. Meanwhile, a man collapsed on the floor near Halstrom.

Long story short:

Dark appears moments later claiming to be a fellow named Dr. Herman Brown. “Stand aside,” Dark said to the small gathering around the man, which included Halstrom. The Dark Man, meanwhile, begins his ministrations which included asking the man if he is diabetic.

Then the paramedics arrive, rescuing the Dark Man from what would have become a tough situation. He tells them that he has diagnosed the man in a diabetic shock. They go with it and it turns out he is right. The storeowners are impressed and inquire of Dark the Doctor what they might do to repay him.

The Dark Man chooses a $700 table he has been eyeing in their store, for a young niece he wants to surprise and asks that it be shipped.

Halstrom has no idea where the table was shipped, until Saturday when he’s speaking with Friedberg. “I know where it was shipped – to Reusse,” Friedberg said.

Not until Saturday was the full story told. The table was shipped to Reusse, and Dark later picked it up.

Friedberg added the story of how he represented Dark in an insurance case. The Dark Man claimed that a baseball card collection worth more than $300,000 had been stolen from the trunk of his car at the Minnesota State Fair.

Friedberg was still asking himself Saturday why a man would leave such a valuable item in the trunk of his car at the state fair. Nonetheless, legitimate questions be damned, Dark won his insurance claim and collected $285,000.

Perhaps he used some of that money, to put a steam room into the apartment he rented. Which raised a question of a different sort from Reusse.

“What man in his right mind,” Reusse wondered, spends $37,000 to install a steam room in a rented apartment?”

Dark Star, that’s who, a man who would have had the Belmont winner on Saturday.

MINNESOTA STALLION BREEDERS’ AND NORTH CENTRAL QUARTER HORSE DERBY

Amber Blair refuses to read a word of any kind about a horse she trains before a race. She will check it out afterward upon returning to the barn.

Whatever she reads about a 3-year-old gelding she trains named Painted Lies will pretty much match what happened on the race track Saturday afternoon.

The overwhelming favorite in the 400-yard race, Painted Lies streaked to the wire under Cody Smith just in front of fast closing Feature Dreamgirl and Explosive Guns, in a winning time of 20.339.

Blair’s only concern before hand?

“Bad luck,” he said. “I’m very superstitious.”

The winning owner Tom Maher of Pierre, S.D., was as excited about the agreement between Canterbury Park and Mystic Lake as he was his horse’s victory.

Maher has been coming to Shakopee since 1985 and was enthralled by the agreement.

“I’m delighted with it,” he said. “It is really something that the Sampsons made the deal, thinking of us horsemen first. I’m really impressed with 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.

Remembering Dark Star

On the morning before the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes, the racing community at Canterbury Park said goodbye and paid its respects to a man who would not only have been present but at his boisterous best if fate had not intervened.

There was after all the disappointing defection of a horse pointed toward the Triple Crown. That would have drawn a comment or two of outrageous nature from the fellow in question here.

There was the heat and early morning humidity enveloping the assembled group in the paddock. Even his best friend, Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Radio 1500, made reference to the distaste for such weather by the fellow in question.

One story followed after another about the fellow in question, George Chapple or, as the world knew him, Dark Star.

What was revealed about Dark Star, who died June 1 at age 66, was right out of a George Roy Hill production.

What became quite clear during the proceedings to honor Dark Star’s life was that if you thought you knew him, you really didn’t. If you thought you had seen it all, you really hadn’t.

The long-held contention that Dark was one-of-a-kind proved to be not nearly adequate as a description for the man.

As the stories unfolded from one friend after another, it became obvious that we clearly underestimated his talents for pulling off a scam.

More on that matter later.

Click Here to Watch Video From WCCO TV

Kevin Gorg and Paul Allen agreed, for different reasons, that Dark would have been all over Union Rags in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, the on Saturday.

“He always bet the favorite,” Allen said.

“That was his Derby horse. He would have wanted to prove he was right,” said Gorg.

On Saturday, the Dark Man got his winner.

Just as Dark’s friends and acquaintances got a glimpse of him theretofore not seen during the morning tribute to the man.

Eric Halstrom, the former Vice President of Racing at Canterbury Park and now the GM of the Fairgrounds in New Orleans, told the story that still had loose ends until he, Joe Friedberg and Reusse conferred.

In a nutshell:

During a recent visit to New Orleans, Dark and Halstrom were strolling the French Quarter when the Dark Man stepped into a furniture story. Dark disappeared somewhere in the store moments later. Meanwhile, a man collapsed on the floor near Halstrom.

Long story short:

Dark appears moments later claiming to be a fellow named Dr. Herman Brown. “Stand aside,” Dark said to the small gathering around the man, which included Halstrom. The Dark Man, meanwhile, begins his ministrations which included asking the man if he is diabetic.

Then the paramedics arrive, rescuing the Dark Man from what would have become a tough situation. He tells them that he has diagnosed the man in a diabetic shock. They go with it and it turns out he is right. The storeowners are impressed and inquire of Dark the Doctor what they might do to repay him.

The Dark Man chooses a $700 table he has been eyeing in their store, for a young niece he wants to surprise and asks that it be shipped.

Halstrom has no idea where the table was shipped, until Saturday when he’s speaking with Friedberg. “I know where it was shipped – to Reusse,” Friedberg said.

Not until Saturday was the full story told. The table was shipped to Reusse, and Dark later picked it up.

Friedberg added the story of how he represented Dark in an insurance case. The Dark Man claimed that a baseball card collection worth more than $300,000 had been stolen from the trunk of his car at the Minnesota State Fair.

Friedberg was still asking himself Saturday why a man would leave such a valuable item in the trunk of his car at the state fair. Nonetheless, legitimate questions be damned, Dark won his insurance claim and collected $285,000.

Perhaps he used some of that money, to put a steam room into the apartment he rented. Which raised a question of a different sort from Reusse.

“What man in his right mind,” Reusse wondered, spends $37,000 to install a steam room in a rented apartment?”

Dark Star, that’s who, a man who would have had the Belmont winner on Saturday.

MINNESOTA STALLION BREEDERS’ AND NORTH CENTRAL QUARTER HORSE DERBY

Amber Blair refuses to read a word of any kind about a horse she trains before a race. She will check it out afterward upon returning to the barn.

Whatever she reads about a 3-year-old gelding she trains named Painted Lies will pretty much match what happened on the race track Saturday afternoon.

The overwhelming favorite in the 400-yard race, Painted Lies streaked to the wire under Cody Smith just in front of fast closing Feature Dreamgirl and Explosive Guns, in a winning time of 20.339.

Blair’s only concern before hand?

“Bad luck,” he said. “I’m very superstitious.”

The winning owner Tom Maher of Pierre, S.D., was as excited about the agreement between Canterbury Park and Mystic Lake as he was his horse’s victory.

Maher has been coming to Shakopee since 1985 and was enthralled by the agreement.

“I’m delighted with it,” he said. “It is really something that the Sampsons made the deal, thinking of us horsemen first. I’m really impressed with 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.

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