Simran, Speeding Kid Win Stakes


Simran was already back in the barn and enjoying a fresh stall, perhaps even lying down by that point, when her owners finished dinner Friday evening.

The special  on Friday was crab legs and shrimp, and  Gaitri and Roopishwar Rampadarat had made their way up the escalator to the clubhouse after the second race, the $45,000 Minnesota Made Distaff Sprint. They were eagerly ready for a meal after a long afternoon.

Their 3-year-old filly had flashed her winning style for the third consecutive time, whipping five rivals for a second consecutive stakes victory.

She won the $50,000 Frances Genter Stakes on the Fourth of July after a resounding win in allowance company just five day earlier, and on Friday night she was simply the best once again, finishing 3 ¼ lengths in front of Ta Kela Warming, to whom she was a slight second favorite. Miss Jane was third by a neck to the runnerup.

Simran stalked the leaders, Ta Kela Warning, Ryan and Madison and Miss Jane in the early stages and began her challenge in the upper stretch, taking command in the stretch drive, finishing in 1:12.24.

Simran always greets her owners when they pay her a visit and there was no reason to think she would not again when they checked on her after dinner Friday night.

“She always comes out to see us,” said Roopishwar. “A very easy horse to be around. A lot of the time, she’s lying down in her stall.”

And very easy to ride according to her jockey. “She’s a very kind and gentle horse,” said winning rider Leslie Mawing. “But when you ask her, she responds. I think I can place her just about anywhere and she’ll be fine..”

Mawing, who also won a second $45,000 stakes Friday night, has been the Rampadarats’ rider of choice for some time.  “He rode Bassant for us, too,” Gaitri recalled. And, before that, Mawing’s brother Anthony rode for them.

Bassant, who earned $129,000, competed during a specific frame of reference for his owners.  “He won the Blair’s Cove Stakes (2003),” Gaitri said. “And he ran against Wally’s Choice (Canterbury’s champion three-year-old in 2004).”

Bassant’s name was dusted off because of Simran’s win on Friday. Asked if the filly was the best they’ve had, the Rampadarats instantly included his name.

They began racing in 1992 and at one time kept a stable of 17 horses. “That was a full time job,” Roopishwar said. “But I was a young man then.”

They also included Florida on their racing itinerary at one time as well, but then returned exclusively to Minnesota. Their once-loaded stable is down to two horses in 2018, Simran and her 2-year-old full sister, Ishwarie.

The young sister might have some of Simran’s racing talent, but the fillies are unalike in other ways. The two-year-old has an aggressive side and is more animated than her older sister. She is also blind in her left eye.

Simran’s success, according to her rider and owners, is the consequence of the teamwork they had structured this season. Everything from the exercise rider, Enrique Chuquiray, to Mawing, his agent, Troy Banum, and the the horse’s owners.

“We have a good team,” Gaitri said.

Then, the Rampadarats left their dinner table and headed to the barn, where Simran awaited their arrival.


Speeding Kid’s name alone sounds like he’s prone to a traffic ticket, but he picked up only a winning ticket in this race, running easily to a two-length victory over Vow of Francis, with Fireman Oscar a neck out of second.

The 3/5 favorite, Speeding Kid cruised to the winner’ circle in 1:10.98 under Mawing. Not a bad night, eh, Leslie.

“Yeah, it was a good night. I’ll take it,” he responded.

The victory was the first for Speeding Kid under his new ownership, Lori and William Townsend, who purchased the horse from her father, Jim Zahler.

Townsend said the purchase has changed his life in several ways. He no longer fishes or plays sudoku; he watches morning workouts instead.

“Yeah, fishing is very relaxing, and this is just the opposite,” he said, making it clear he was not complaining.

Nor was Mawing, who spent several weeks sidelined by injury this summer, He regained a chunk of that lost revenue Friday night by winning both stakes races on the card.

It Wasn’t Too Soon For These Two Winners


A conversation ensued among some of the riders on Wednesday regarding how often a horse would run in times gone by.

One of them remarked at the frequency with which thoroughbreds ran in “the olden days” 75 to 100 years ago.

Every few days, a couple of times a week.

The dialogue began at the mention of two horses running in the stakes races on Wednesday’s card, the Frances Genter and the Victor S Myers, both worth $50,000.

Simran, who ran and won on June 29, was entered against five rivals in the Genter, including the even-money favorite Firstmate. Mr. Jagermeister last ran on June 23 at a mile and was entered against four (reluctant?) others in the Myers as the 1/9 favorite.

Cutting to the chase…..both horses won, Simran by a convincing 1 ¼ lengths, Jagermeister by an even more convincing 6 ¼ without so much as a look at the stick.

Interesting stories accompanied both.

Trainer Roopishwar Rampadarat said afterwards he was not in the least concerned about running Simran back so soon since Leslie Mawing didn’t have to use the horse in his previous outing. Mawing agreed, that he had plenty of horse in reserve at the wire.

For Mawing, the Genter win held other significance. Only 16 years of age at the time, he lost his father, Paul, 28 years ago. And for the past 24 years, Mawing has remembered him by winning a race on July 4, his dad’s birthday.

Wednesday, Mawing and mount  came out of the gate behind Vidira and Cabloosie Bay, and they stayed within striking distance of the leaders. They made their move coming out the turn and cruised past the wire 1 ¼ lengths in front of Vidira with another length on the favorite, Firstmate, finishing in 1:11.30.

The Myers quickly became a one-horse race, not unexpected, and the reason there were only four other horses in the race. Mr. Jagermeister is the best state-bred sprinter on the grounds. He cruised in this one and ran away from the field inside the 16th pole without so much as a slap from Goncalves. Jagermeister ran well back in the Mystic Lake Derby, competing for the first time on the turf and at a mile distance.

All trainer Valorie Lund wanted in this return race was her rider to get the horse a clear, clean trip and, without incident, she expected to win. Now, she will give consideration to Mr. Jagermeister’s next outing, keeping all options open, even the prospect of another go at a mile.


Times change. Monarchies rise and fall, fiefdoms give way over time to assembly lines and sometimes, if we’re lucky, income keeps pace with the price of a horse.

Take the North Star Derby, run as part of the first quarter horse racing at Canterbury Downs in 1986.

The Derby drew a 12-horse field that included a four-horse and a two-horse entry (under the guide lines of the time) for the 400-yard race on September 5, 1986.

The purse was $7,000.

Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon and the two races that opened the card, the Canterbury Park Distaff at 400 yards and the Bank of America Championship Challenge, at 440 yards.  The first race was worth $34,740 and the second, $49,410.

Corona Springs claimed the opening race under Cristian Esqueda for the Jason Olmstead barn. Corona had a ½ length on Gold Diggin Queen and Clark Chase and another head on Glen Ellyn and Nik Goodwin in a winning time of 19.76.

Young Ryder Olmstead, holding the winning belt buckle for his father, Jason, the winning trainer, proclaimed that he himself would be wearing it in the not distant future.

A bump at the start may have done in the favorite in the Championship Challenge, Ajs High at 4/5. Yett Kowboy Jim’s (4-1) steady run proved good enough to reach the wire ¾ length in front of Damn Strait, with another neck back to Bout Tree Fiddy.

The win had financial benefits on several levels for Dean Frey, since he is the owner, trainer and breeder of the horse.  “That’s pretty sweet,” he said. “I just love this horse to death. He gives 100 percent every time he runs.”

Winning rider Nakia Ramirez was joined in the winner’s circle by her five-year-old daughter Jewell, who may at some point join young Ryder Olmstead in the buckle wearing fraternity.

“It’s a beautiful buckle,” said Ramirez. “I was so fortunate to have Jewell here to see this race. I just might let her wear it.”