2013 Festival Records & Repeats

4080_MnFestivalOfChampions_REVISED_7.9The Festival of Champions has always been, from Day One, one of the best days of the race meet in Shakopee. Crowds, enthusiasm and competitive races are the order of the occasion. The Festival annually is one of the grandest days of the summer, including Sunday’s rendition that drew a crowd of 15,023 and record-setting off-track wagering.

There were 10 races in all, eight of them Festival Stake events, that produced a total handle, from all sources, of $878,092, an increase of 3.9 percent over 2012 when one additional race was contested.

The total per race handle averaged $87,809, an increase of 14.3 percent. The total out-of-state handle was $480,154, a Festival of Champions record.

Mac Robertson won four stakes races, five races in all, en route to all but locking up another training title.

Dean Butler, current meet leading rider, won both juvenile stakes on the card. Alex Canchari, hot in pursuit of Butler, won three stakes to narrow Butler’s margin on the meet to just six. Justin Shepherd won a stake and an allowance event.

$55,000 WALLY’S CHOICE MINNESOTA CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIP

A perfectly executed ride, from gate to wire, by Alex Canchari took Coconino Slim to his second consecutive win in the race, in commanding fashion.

Canchari put the horse on an easy lead, widening it as the race unfolded, from two lengths to three lengths and then a commanding finish for a five-length win over Ghost Dane, 11 lengths over Tubby Time.

One more win for Robertson and Canchari and a second trip to the winner’s circle for Catherine DeCourcy after this race.

Coconino set the pace along the inside and simply drew off under pressure.

For her part, DeCourcy extended credit for the win to her trainer, who has locked up yet one more training title.

Robertson won four Festival stakes, five races in all, to run his all-time leading Festival total to 23.

This year’s training title is the ninth straight for Robertson.

$55,000 GLITTER STAR DISTAFF CLASSIC

This race offered lots of speculation, not only on the outcome, but on some of the voting for the best runners at the track in the coming days.

Badge of Glory had struck a claim on Horse of the Year but needed a win in this race to secure a hold.

It’s Tamareno had Ry Eikleberry in the saddle and a shot at the winner’s circle if a speed dual ensued.

Then, of course, there was Congrats and Roses, the defending champion in this race.

The speculation on anybody but the reigning winner was useless, since it was a one-horse race, from gate to wire. Alex Canchari, who has shown skill far beyond his years this summer, guided the defending champ through easy fractions, and Congrats and Roses added to her lead every step of the stretch run, finishing 7 and 3/4 lengths in from of Blues Edge, 15 in front of Badge of Glory.

Another win for trainer Mac Robertson and the second for Malkerson Stables who also took down the Bella Notte Distaff Sprint with Congrats and Roses half sister, Somerset Swinger.

“My wife was there for both (Festival winners) births,” said Bruce of his wife, Mary. “She raised them both.”

$75,000 NORTHERN LIGHTS FUTURITY

Would it be Appeal to the King or You Be Gator Bait. Sunday’s big crowd wasn’t sure from the 16th pole to the wire. Even then they weren’t sure.

It was simply too close to call.

The race was decided by the tip of Appeal to the King’s nose, giving trainer Bob Johnson his first Festival win. Owned by Wayne Simon and ridden by Butler, Appeal to the King was one of three horses sired by Appealing Skier to hit the winner’s circle Sunday.

It was the best race of the day, the first two horses’ heads bobbing up and down, first the tip of one’s nose in front, then the other, from the 16th pole to the wire.

Even when the photo appeared, a person had to look closely to see the difference. Appeal to the King was the winner by not more than ½ inch.

The winner is owned by Wayne Simon.

$75,000 NORTHERN LIGHTS DEBUTANTE

Henry Hanson has been watching races in Shakopee since the track opened in 1985. In fact, he’s been running horses at Canterbury since then.

Sunday, though, was the first time he has visited the winner’s circle as owner of the winning horse in a stake race, the first time after years of devotion to the sport.

Better yet the winner was sired by Hanson’s now deceased stallion Appealing Skier, whose son Heliskier, the 2012 Horse of the Year, won earlier on card.

She Can Ski, under Butler, simply added to the lead she had at the top of the stretch, finishing three lengths in front of Blumin Sweetheart and seven ahead of Bad River Belle.

“This has been lots of fun,” said Hanson, who lives in Adrian, giving a nod at the same time to Heliskier. ” He’s a very nice horse. Appealing Skier has had a lot of winners here this summer,” he added.

For Hanson, though, the winner still crowned, was something special.

$55,000 BELLA NOTTE DISTAFF SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP

Somerset Swinger settled in behind horses, running fourth at the half-mile pole, but moved up on the turn and was second, a head behind Polar Plunge at the stretch call.

Alex Canchari, riding the horse for the first time, picked up something quickly. “I noticed that if she got a little dirt in the face she became more aggressive,” he said.

So, Canchari positioned her to take a little dirt and the horse stayed alert and into the bridle to the top of the lane, where Canchari swung her wide, outside three others, and set her down for the drive.

Somerset Swinger and Polar Plunge went head to head down the lange with Somerset hitting the wire just a head in front. Third, another 2 and 3/4 lengths back, was Gypsy Melody.

Somerset Swinger provided Malkerson Stables with their first of two wins on the card.

$55,000 CROCROCK SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP

Ask his jockey, the worst thing about riding a horse such as Heliskier is messing up the opportunity.

The horse is expected to win each time out, and he did just that once more under Justin Shepherd, simply much the best in a field of six. He drew off from the field and finished under a hand ride, 4 and 3/4 lengths in front of Desert Alley, 10 and 3/4 in front of Jost Van Dyke.

It was just that easy for the 2012 Horse of the Year at Canterbury, another seemingly effortless run to the wire.

“Every race is special. Every win is special,” said owner Marlene Colvin.

The winning time was 1:09.62, enough for an easy win on Sunday.

So a rider’s biggest concern riding a horse of Heliskier’s caliber?

“Messing it up,” said Shepherd.

Shepherd was in the saddle for the second consecutive time, taking over for the injured Derek Bell, the only other rider the horse has had.

It was a race that Robertson could hardly lose. He saddled Desert Alley, Jost Van Dyke and Heliskier… four of the six competitors.

$30,000 MINNESOTA QUARTER HORSE DERBY

V OS Red Hot Cole is back in fine fettle, fully recovered from the banged-up foot that hampered him in recent weeks, and the evidence was right there in the first race on Festival Day.

Under Rusty Shaw, V OS Red Hot Cole had a little more than a half length on Tres My Tracks, finishing in 20.63. Tres My Tracks had a neck on First Down Marie.

“He banged up his foot in the gate,” said Rodney Von Ohlen, owner of V OS Red Hot Cole, “and has been healing up for the last two months. ”

Von Ohlen is no stranger to the winner’s circle at Canterbury. For instance:

V OS Red Hot Cole is out of Miss Eyewear, the same mare that foaled Von Ohlen’s First Class Smarty, winner of the Bob Morehouse twice, the Canterbury Park Derby and the Northlands Futurity among others.

As Shaw stepped on the scale in the winner’s circle, a bystander commented. “Hey, Rusty, riding in the All American Futurity (a $2.6 million race held at Ruidoso on Monday) this year.”

“Yeah, I wish,” he responded.

For the moment, however, Shaw, Von Ohlen and tainer Ed Ross Hardy had all they needed.

$30,000 MINNESOTA QUARTER HORSE FUTURITY

Much the best. Easy. One-sided.

Pick your descriptions. They all fit.

Sportwagon, under Ry Eikleberry, simply ran away from eight rivals to add another trophy to the burgeoning collection of Canterbury Park’s newest Hall of Fame entrants from the quarter horse ranks, Bob and Julie Petersen.

Thus, Sportwagon broke his maiden in his sixth attempt.

Horses owned by the Petersens finished one-two. Good Eye was a length back of her winning stablemate. Justa Bump was next, followed by Little Bit Brandy.

The victory brought to mind the winner’s dam for Bob Petersen. The Petersens also campaigned Inclinda, winner of the 2003 Cash Caravan Stakes.

It also brought to mind the second-place horse’s dam, Southern Fun. Good Eye, aptly named, since Southern Fun is completely blind.

She had raced six or seven times when glaucoma began taking her sight, and the Petersens brought her home from Los Alamitos.

2013 MINNESOTA FESTIVAL OF CHAMPIONS PHOTOS

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.

Goebels Honored

GoebelsThe humidity draped over Shakopee Saturday afternoon like a damp garment clinging to every available inch of a person’s torso, making it difficult to breathe, think clearly or drink more than two or three cups of hot coffee at a time.

How to describe such a day?

The term ‘oppressive’ comes to mind. Or how about a long-respected Minnesota term, ‘sticky.’ Or as mother always used to say, ‘it certainly is close.’

Without a nice southerly breeze, as pointed out by the press-box’s Jilique Eikleberry, it might best have been described as ‘gross.’

It was our introduction this summer to something known throughout time as the ‘dog days,’ a baffling term to anyone familiar with man’s best friends.

Nonetheless, mankind is determined to blame anything disgusting on the family pet.

For what it’s worth, Sunday’s weather is expected to be warmer and clammier.

The horses were having none of it as an excuse Saturday and went about their business as if it were any other day, with appropriate attention from their grooms and their water hoses.

Only Annie Peach, ridden by Ry Eikleberry and trained by Minnesota conditioner Percy Scherbenske, was the first winner on the card in a $30,000 sprint for maidens. Hall of Fame rider Scott Stevens brought in the next winner, for Phoenix trainer Mike Chambers, a mare called Sixtysixmargaux.

The true highlight of the day, however, was race three, the Alvin Goebel Memorial, dedicated to one of the founders of Minnesota racing.

Friends and acquaintances gathered in the President’s Lounge at Canterbury to honor Alvin (pictured above with wife Marlys), who died in January, 2012, having raised and raced horses for 70 years.

Many of those very people along with others familiar with the Goebels, were pulling for a horse named Speakers Action in race two, a mare once owned by Alvin and Marlys but now flying the colors of Tom and Karen Metzen and David Van Winkle.

It was perhaps appropriate that the third race, honoring Mr. Goebel, was won by Blumin Sweetheart, a 2-year-old filly trained by Canterbury Park’s newest member of the 500 wins club for trainers, Mac Robertson.

Announcer Richard Grunder, filling in for Paul Allen who was attending to his duties as the voice of the Minnesota Vikings, gave an account of his first encounter with the Goebels. “It was 1970,” he said. “I was a senior in high school and was at Assiniboia Downs.”

Indeed, Grunder was the track announcer for the Minnesota Derby, held at Assiniboia in those days, from 1975 to 1982.

The two horses from the Goebels’ stable he remembers best were In Moderation and Careless Navigator. Needless to say, there were countless others.

Grunder recalls watching In Moderation during workouts. “She was a freaky fast filly,” he said. “One of the fastest Minnesota-bred fillies I ever saw.”

There were those folks, of course, not deterred in the least by the ‘close’ conditions Saturday. “I don’t mind it a bit,” said trainer Bernell Rhone, who spends his winters in Florida.

There was the voice of reason, too, the reminder to all Minnesotans of something they sometimes forget this time of year.

“I’d much rather ride in this weather,” said jockey Rusty Shaw, “than in the cold.”

Amen.

ROBERTSON ADDS ANOTHER MILESTONE

Justin Shepherd brought in Bing’s Magic in Friday night’s card finale, providing trainer Mac Robertson with the 500th Canterbury win of his career. Shepherd was on Blumin Sweetheart in the third on Saturday to make it 501 for Canterbury’s perennial training champion.

Robertson thus joins Bernell Rhone, Doug Oliver and Mike Biehler as a winner of 500 or more Canterbury races.

“That’s a lot of wins,” Robertson said after Saturday’s win No. 501. “I don’t like to think about it.”

2012 MYSTIC LAKE DERBY RUNNER-UP WHERE THE TURF MEETS THE SURF

2012 Mystic Lake Derby runner-up, Delegation, is entered in the $1,000,000 Pacific Classic on Sunday at Del Mar. At 8-1 on the morning line, he’s the co-fourth choice in a field featuring 2012 Pacific Classic winner Dullahan and the current leading choice to be named the 2013 Horse of the Year Game on Dude. Certainly a tall task, Delegation exits an impressive performance in the Dominion Day Stakes last time out at Woodbine where he set the pace and drew clear to win by 9-plus lengths while earning a 110 Beyer Speed Figure.

Delegation has quickly become one of the most accomplished horses to run at Canterbury in recent memory. He has two graded stakes victories since running second in the Mystic Lake Derby as well as a third place finish in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. A win in the Pacific Classic would push him over $1 million in career earnings, a feat recently accomplished by Win Willy, the 2009 Rebel Stakes winner.

Win Willy broke his maiden at Canterbury as a two-year-old in 2008 and went on to earn more than $1 million including a victory in the 2011 Oaklawn Handicap.

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.

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.

Some Kinda Comeback

Roger%20Buening%207-11-13George Foreman did it, so did Brett Favre and Dara Torres, why not Roger Buening?

We’re talking athletic comebacks and performances after the hair has turned gray or the calendar has turned past 40.

Foreman won a world heavyweight title at 45, Favre fell a game short of the Super Bowl at 40 and Torres was the oldest ever at 41 to make the U.S. Olympic swimming team.

Roger Buening, 48, thought ‘why not’ after landing at Canterbury Park for the first time this year.

“I galloped a couple of horses and the bug bit me,” he said. “I knew it would happen if I came back to the racetrack.”

Buening had not ridden since 2000 following a racetrack accident. He wound up in Florida and was still there when a conversation with Canterbury rider Rusty Shaw lured him north this spring.

Buening arrived in Shakopee eager to gallop horses and work the starting gate. The gallop job fell through soon after his arrival but he knew it was only a matter of time anyway. “I knew he would ride again before he got here,” said Shaw, who has known Buening for years. “He’s won a lot of quarter horse races, and I finished second to him a lot of times.”

Buening had won five races and was on the favorite in a sixth race when his horse went down and he suffered a fractured hip socket racing in Canada 12 years ago. He hadn’t raced since. He hadn’t been at the racetrack since, but the injury had little to do with the respite.

“It wasn’t as bad as it sounds,” he said, “but it gets cold up north. I went to Florida and it was so nice there during the winters that I never left.”

He had a steady job at a farm with a salary and all was well.

“The money was so good that I stayed with it for 12 years,” he said. Then the crash began. “The horse business turned upside down there, the guy sold one of his farms and I got a call from Rusty saying I could gallop here and work the gates.”

The gallop job didn’t work out. “The guy didn’t want to pay me,” said Buening, “but after I had galloped a couple I just knew I was going to ride again anyway.”

There was one not so small concern, however. Buening weighed 155 pounds.

“I had some weight to take off,” he said.

“Oh, yeah, he was pretty big when he first got here,” said Shaw.

Buening shed 30 pounds in the three weeks he worked on the starting gate.

He hasn’t taken long to find the groove again. Getting good mounts has been another matter.

“Everything is pretty much the same. The horse business doesn’t change much, although there’s quite a bit more money now,” he said. “It’s tough picking up good horses, though. Everybody knows the riders who’ve been here and it’s hard to get into a barn. It will come around, though.”

That’s one advantage of age, the knowledge and history one often acquires along the way, the ability to withstand the dry spells.

A native of Missouri, Buening began riding at 16 in Oklahoma. “I rode at Blue Ribbon Downs, all over Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, California, Oklahoma.”

Buening’s wife, Andrea, has thrown her full support behind his decision to climb in the saddle again.

“She was surprised. But she supports me 100 percent,” he said.

Buening was reminded of people like Foreman, who has made a small fortune over the years fighting and endorsing products. Buening doesn’t have any illusions about making that kind of money, although a guy can certainly dream.

Maybe, just maybe… nah, nobody would ever buy a grill with an athlete’s name on 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.

Feel Good Story Caps Weekend

TCF  Captain  Call  Minnesota  Stallion  Breeders  Futurity 06-23-13 R-08  CBY InsideFeel good stories abound at any racetrack. Stories about horses winning with limited vision, maybe a single working eye. Stories about horses rebounding from near-death experiences with winning efforts, horses with names dedicated to a dying patron or trainer coming through in his memory.

But how about this one: A husband-wife training team partnering up with a husband-wife riding tandem to win two races.

That’s right – and it happened on Sunday’s card.

Patricia Trimble and Rusty Shaw were married at Turf Paradise in Phoenix two years ago. Sunday they rode winning horses for Harvey Berg, who trains horses in his wife Susan’s name.

Shaw rode the first winner on the card, a 3-year-old named Dalbo. Trimble brought in Amazingly Karen in the fifth race.

The Bergs also started Ridgeofstone, ridden by Trimble in race six. She ran fourth in that race.

“That’s three-fourths of our entire barn right there,” said Susan Berg. “The fourth is Caring Karen and she’ll run on Thursday’s card.”

Rusty had been named on Ridgeofstone to start. “Patricia was whining about how she wanted to ride the horse,” he joshed. “So I went to Harvey and he didn’t care which one of us rode the horse, so I told my agent to take me off and put Patricia on.”

The Bergs are from Milltown, Wis., and have been racing since they were married 55 years ago. They had horses at Canterbury when the track opened in 1985, left when Canterbury closed in the early 90s and have been back for several years. Racing extends throughout the family. Their daughter, Kari Watson, is an outrider at Remington Park.

There is nothing like racing they insist, for people who like it. Even the traveling has been OK with them. “You know people wherever you go,” Susan said.

Shaw and Trimble showed up at the Bergs’ barn on Sunday morning prepared to gallop, but the track was closed because of its wet condition. Instead, they pitched in and mucked stalls. The Bergs have a small operation and handle the barn on their own.

“I’m happy for them,” said Shaw. “They’re very nice people. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Harvey mad. He just doesn’t get mad about anything.”

There was one problem, however. The Bergs don’t have employees to share with when Shaw and Trimble deliver the doughnuts this week.

It is traditional for a winning jockey to bring the barn a dozen doughnuts for each win. “I don’t think the two of them can eat 24 doughnuts,” Rusty said. “We’ll have to bring them a box at a time.”

MINNESOTA STALLION BREEDERS’ FUTURITY

A jockey walked into the paddock before the eighth race on Sunday and announced: “This is the Bob Johnson Futurity.”

No it wasn’t, even with six starters in the nine-horse race.

“His mistake today was only six starters, instead of nine,” a wise-cracker offered.

It was the Brent Clay-John Lawless stakes as it turned out, with TCF Captain Call (pictured at top), Stormy Smith up, claiming the winner’s circle in 18.245.

Lawless and his wife made the three-hour drive north from Eldora, Iowa, for the race, a bit of drive that was cushioned by a purse worth $39,000.

“It seems like 10 minutes now,” said Lawless, who raced at Canterbury up until about three years ago and was attracted back by the increased purses.

“This is a great facility and now with the purses it’s even better,” he said.

His chief concern Sunday was TCF’s frame of mind. “He’s moody,” Lawless said “Nothing serious but he does get moody.”

Enough so that if affects his effort.

There was none of that on Sunday as TCF surged to a half length win over Tucan Sam. Third was Just Beach and fourth, Johnson’s It’s A Royal Flush.

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.

Two of a Kind

They dressed for the wedding in the jockeys’ room, and then piled in the back of a pickup truck for the trip to the Turf Paradise garden where the ceremony was held.

The men were duded up in western hats and jackets, the perfect ensemble for the place and setting. The bride stayed more traditional with a white dress, although she did wear her western boots.

Twenty minutes later, Patricia Trimble and Rusty Shaw were man and wife, although the ceremony was delayed.

Trimble, it seems, had a late mount that day, and it does take the bride a bit longer to prepare – under any circumstances. “Patricia was about an hour late,” Shaw said. “But there was no way we were going to start without her.”

The date is a simple matter to recall. The wedding took place on 11-11-11.

Trimble raced at Canterbury Park last summer for the first time. She had been to Shakopee once before with a mount in the 2010 Claiming Crown. “But my horse was scratched,” she said. When Shaw made plans for Shakopee along with trainer Valorie Lund last summer, Trimble decided to try Minnesota too.

She and Shaw had met maybe 10 years prior in Florida at a two-year-old sale. Shaw introduced her to a friend of his who became her partner for several years. When that relationship ended, Shaw and Trimble began theirs.

Now the union has taken on an entirely new dimension. Shaw lost the entire summer in the saddle after an incident on May 2 with a two-year-old left him with a broken arm, a dislocated shoulder and torn rotator cuff muscle. “It’s still real sore. I’m going to have surgery in a week or two,” he said Friday.

In the meantime, it made no sense for Trimble to pay agent fees when her husband was not working. Shaw took over as his wife’s agent and will continue in that capacity for the remainder of the meet.

“I plan to go back to riding but it will be another three to four months,” he said.

Trimble took advantage of the moment. “I just wish he’d get me some livelier mounts,” she said.

So, how is the new job?

“I totally don’t like it,” Shaw said. “But it does help the family situation. And it does get me talking to people a bit more. I was never an outspoken guy, but I’m learning.”

Meanwhile, Patricia carries the family load, and is having what she calls a “decent meet.” She started Friday’s card with 11 wins, nine seconds and nine thirds from 88 mounts for total earnings of $122,631

Trimble is a Vancouver, British Columbia native and began riding in 1998 at Woodbine. She got her first winner at Hastings and then rode at Fort Erie, Mountaineer, Great Lakes and Tampa Bay Downs..

She and Shaw plan to return to Turf Paradise for at least another meet since they have a home in Phoenix.

With the Mystic Lake agreement dramatically improving the financial picture for the state horse industry, Trimble and Shaw expect to return to Shakopee for the foreseeable future.

Shaw is enthralled with the agreement. “It’s awesome,” he said. “I think it’s going to help this track a lot. It will be booming in a couple of years. I can’t wait to come back here and ride next year.”

His partner has similar plans, of course.

“I’ll come back for sure,” Trimble said. “I just wish the meet were longer, but I love Minnesota.”

Last 11-11-11 was a day to love, too, although it took place about 1,600 miles from Canterbury Park. It was the first marriage for the bride and the groom. Trimble designated her sister, Tara, her best friend from Vancouver, trainer Terry Clyde, and her riding colleague, Lori Keith, as her maids of honor.

Shaw was accompanied by his brother, Aaron, rider Jake Barton and Brian Brock, a groom for Lund. The wedding went off a bit late but just as planned. Dinner and dancing followed at the track.

“The whole thing was fantastic,” Keith recalled. The champagne flowed and before the night was over everybody was on the dance floor.”

Well, they better have been.

“Yeah, that whole thing was a bit tough on the pocket book,” Shaw 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.

Photo Credit: Coady Photography