Canterbury Fans Get Their Own Show

BY JIM WELLS

There was a race on the undercard of the Preakness Stakes Saturday that featured an astounding runner named Mitole, the swiftest 3-year-old sprinter in the country, a colt with a dazzling turn of speed.

Mitole put on a show for anyone watching, leaving an entire field of horses in his wake after switching gears in the stretch drive and pulling away so smoothly it looked effortless.

The patrons at Canterbury Park saw a similar race later in the afternoon, right there on the home track, when Mr. Jagermeister destroyed five rivals in the $50,000 10,000 Lakes Stakes, winning just as easily while looking equally impressive.

There is more to say about this comparison. Mr. Jagermeister, it so happens, lost by a similar margin in his last race to this very same Mitole.

Saturday, it was Mr. Jagermeister administering the whipping, drawing this thought from rival trainer Franciso Bravo, who saddled Smooth Chiraz and Hold For More:

“I knew  he’d be big trouble,” said Bravo. “He’s a monster.”

Mr. Jagermeister had 8 ½ lengths on Hot shot Kid at the wire and 11 ½ on Smooth Chiraz, with a final time of 1:10.81.

Indeed. Mr. Jagermeister, a three-year-old, delivered a thrashing to five rivals, racing against older horses for the first time. There is more to what seems to be a developing story with numerous elements to it.

Mr. Jagermeister still fools around on the track, takes his mind off business once he’s passed horses. “He thinks his job is done,” said winning rider Leandro Goncalves. “I have to keep after him.”

Despite those elements, Mr. Jagermeister is the real deal. Moments later, when the conversation had changed, Goncalves very expressively conveyed a deeper truth about the horse. “He’s a very nice colt, very, very talented,” he said.

The son of Atta Boy Roy from the Corinthian mare Frangelica is from a line of slow developers, so trainer Valorie Lund takes that element into consideration while laying out plans for her talented three-year-old.

“He’s still a baby, a big baby,” she said. “If he stays healthy, wait until next year.”

Well…local fans don’t want to wait that long, and it appears that won’t be a problem. Lund says she plans on keeping the horse in Shakopee this summer.

$50,000 LADY SLIPPER STAKES

A much more competitive race than it’s male counterpart, the Lady Slipper also had a surprise in store for bettors and the connections in the race.

Pinup Girl, sent off at 5-1, turned in the kind of effort trainer Sandra Sweere had envisioned but wasn’t positive she would get. After all, Pinup Girl can throw her weight around in certain instances.

Saturday afternoon, she confined that to the race track despite a makeup that might preclude such a demonstration at the distance. “She’s not a six-furlong horse,” said Sweere, “but she got a good ride from a good rider (Santiago Gonzalez).”

And was able to take advantage of the situation when odds-on favorite and defending champion Honey’s Sox Appeal didn’t fire in the stretch drive, after changing paths to get around Shipmate and Ta Kela.

The winner, running for the first time this year, finished two lengths in front of Ta Kela Warning and 6 ¾ ahead of Shipmate in a time of 1:12.3.

Despite a name that suggests otherwise, the winning filly can be a handful in the barn or outside of it. “She knocked me to the ground, knocked me out when I was taking her off the walker two years ago,” said Sweere, who had that on her mind after Saturday’s win.

“We have to go to the test barn with her,” she said. “Otherwise, she’ll rear up on the vets when they take a blood sample.”

That wasn’t a complaint by Sweere. She’ll take all the test barn trips she can get.

1990 PREAKNESS MEMORIES

On the morning before the 1990 Preakness Stakes, a rental car and its driver arrived at the hotel in which Minneapolis-Star Tribune columnist Pat Reusse was staying. He was there to cover the Twins against the Baltimore Orioles but while in town decided to take in the race as well. After all, a horse named Unbridled, the Kentucky Derby winner owned by Frances Genter of Bloomington, was running, giving Minnesota a stake in the action.

Reusse had agreed to an historical tour with the driver of the car, yours truly, then covering thoroughbred racing for the St Paul Pioneer Press. He had been given a vague heads-up of what he was about to visit.

He grew increasingly more interested when I pulled up to an old church and cemetery grounds. “What’s here,” he asked. “You are about to find out,” I replied.

The tombstones were ancient and the grounds included several above-ground crypts that resembled small airplane hangers.  The slate fronts on some of the moss-stained crypts were broken, allowing a glimpse inside with the aid of a cigarette lighter.

After examining a few burial sites in this manner, we arrived at the goal of the visit: the grave of poet Edgar Allen Poe, better known to modern day readers for his gothic tales of horror, the means by which he supported himself while writing legitimate literature. We would subsequently drive by the home where the poet lived as a young man. There was plenty of time for doing so, since our visit to the graveyard, an ancient, spooky place, was relatively short.

Time sometimes distorts and colors memory, but I am fairly certain of the following details:

Our visit at the final resting place of the immortal Edgar Allen was completed when I turned to see my companion heading toward the front gate.

I swear he was tip-toeing while uttering the following words, in a guttural tone: “Let’s get out of here, Wells.”

FOOTNOTE: Unbridled couldn’t contend with Summer Squall in the stretch drive and finished 2 ¼ lengths back in what was essentially a two-horse race that summer.

 

 

 

 

Sandra Sweere Tends To Growing Stable

By Katie Merritt

Trainer Sandra Sweere and her daughter Tember may not officially be from Minnesota, but they are quick to claim Prior Lake, just a few miles down the road from Canterbury, as home. “I grew up in Iowa, we’re from Iowa,” Sweere explained, “But I had brothers and sisters over this way, so we migrated in this direction.” Tember lives in Prior Lake year-round, staying through the winters to do her big-kid job, counseling, while mom heads to Fonner Park in Nebraska for a few months in the winter, racing and preparing for the Canterbury meet every summer.

Sweere doesn’t come from a racing background, but she has always been involved in the equine world in some capacity. “There used to be a vet clinic across the street, and I worked there, I did the anesthesia and I was a vet tech, and we did track stuff too. That’s actually how I got involved in the track,” Sweere explained. When the vet clinic closed down, she went and got a “real job”, as she called it. That real job was raising halter and pleasure paint horses, which she did for quite a few years. Then she bought a two-year-old Thoroughbred and took it to Canterbury.

While she trained her initial one horse barn, she ended up taking a job working for Troy Bethke. Tember joined her a couple years later, after finishing grad school. “I graduated in Phoenix in 2009, and in 2011, I couldn’t find a job in my field, so I came up and was a groom, working for Troy too.” Sandra worked for Troy for a few years, while training a couple of her own horses, and a horse or two for friends. “I just wanted to play with my own,” Sandra smiled, in reference to her once small stable.

In only a few years, Sandra’s barn has more than tripled in numbers. “Our big owner, he called me five years ago, and wanted me to train for him, and Tember said ‘Do it! Do it! Do it!'” Sweere also still trains a couple of her own, a handful for other friends, and a couple for Enrique, her assistant. “He brings up a couple from Ocala every year, and this year he got lucky – he had Vallestina, she won by 17, and she was gone two days later. Sold and gone to run at Del Mar,” Sweere said. “Enrique is a big help. He’s been with me the whole time. He used to gallop for Troy. Troy tells me, ‘you’re stealing my help!'” Sandra grinned. Enrique’s not the only one to come out of the Bethke barn. Tember’s handsome gray pony was once there as well, “He was one of Troy’s horses, and I knew she loved him when she worked there. I bought him for her birthday in 2011.”

It is easy to see why Sandra’s barn continues to grow, just by looking at the numbers. From 296 career starters, she has had 42 firsts, 40 seconds and 34 thirds – about 15% winners and 40% in the money. Though Tember has her “real” job as a counselor, you can still find her in mom’s barn on mornings and weekends, and helping at the races, “feeding the disease” as her mom calls it – or getting her racetrack fix. The mother/daughter teamwork and long-term employees like Enrique are clearly integral parts of the successful barn.

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.

Equine Eye Candy

Sometimes horses, like people, are just too good lookin’ for their own good. Or anybody else’s for that matter. Remember the junior high ne’er-do-well who had all the girls ga-ga?

Well, no one is about to put Supreme Ghost in the same company as a teen-age loser; he’s anything but. Yet he does attract attention wherever he goes and plenty of it. He’s an eye-catcher and has been since trainer Troy Bethke began breaking him as a yearling. He is eye-candy for horse lovers of any stripe, and they demonstrate it constantly with inquiries about his availability.

People asked Bethke the first time they saw this dappled gray movie star on the backside if he might be for sale.

“When I had the horse, I had lots and lots of offers,” he said. “He’s just a beautiful animal, gorgeous.”

When Bethke first put the Ghost under saddle there were those who hoped he might not make it as a racehorse so they could put him in their own barn for dressage or as a trail horse or a jumper.

Although she will never wish ill luck of any kind on this beauty, there is a part of Tember Graves that is very pleased Supreme Ghost is now in her barn instead of a racetrack stall, where she first got to know him as one of the horses she groomed for Bethke last summer.

The Ghost is now at the farm where Tember lives in Prior Lake and nothing much has changed in one regard.

“Some of the neighbors saw him and wanted to know if he might be for sale,” she said.

Imagine that, the horse hasn’t been gone from Canterbury Park a month and already horse lovers are lining up the instant they lay eyes on this handsome son of Supremo.

Graves is the daughter of Sandra Sweere – who worked for Bethke several meets before taking out her own training license – and although she cared equally for all of the horses she groomed, she did develop an affection for the Ghost.

“I fell in love with him,” Tember said. “And I probably did give him a few extra scratches when I cared for him.”

Now imagine the reaction when her mother presented Supreme Ghost to her as a 28th birthday present last September. “I got him the last week of the meet,” Graves said. “Yes, I was very surprised.”

There were a few conditions. Supreme Ghost would run during the current meet, his five-year-old season, and Sandra and Tember would share expenses.

Those plans changed because of the ill luck that seems to follow the Ghost like a curse and his connections’ unwillingness to push him through injuries that have mounted over time.

Here is a brief chronology of the Ghost’s ill-fated and abbreviated career:

Bred by Dennis Strohkirch and raced in partnership with Carin Offerman, Supreme Ghost arrived at Canterbury Park as a two-year-old. “He messed up his hock in the stall and we thought he was done racing,” Bethke recalled. “But he came out of it.”

The Ghost returned as a three-year-old but bowed a tendon. Once again he recovered with a protracted rest. Finally on Sept. 3 last autumn (winner’s circle picture above), in the seventh start of his career, Supreme Ghost broke his maiden. He was at last a winner, in what would be the last start of his career.

There were other bits of evidence that if this horse didn’t have bad luck he’d have no luck at all. He put his foot through a fence one time. Another time he got hung up on the walker somehow. Nothing major, but like we said, more evidence that maybe racing was not in this fellow’s life plan.

The Ghost was back at Canterbury Park this spring but mother and daughter decided that maybe enough was enough, that they weren’t going to push him. He had one win on the record last autumn. Even if he got another, at what expense would it come?

Tember decided to take him home, and Supreme Ghost left the racetrack just about a month ago. Tember worked and galloped him in the past, but now she is able to spend a lot of time with the Ghost one-on-one, enough time that jumping on him bareback is not an issue for her or for him any longer.

Tember is confident that Supreme Ghost will make a good jumper in time and has started working with him, getting him to step over poles, to move his feet differently than he did as a racehorse and prepare for the next step in this new career.

She is also of the belief that mom had an ulterior motive in the purchase of this wonderful birthday gift. Tember thinks that maybe, just maybe, mom recognized her daughter’s love for the Ghost and bought the horse as a way of getting her to stay put.

Tember got her undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her masters in counseling at Arizona State University. She was prepared to look in Arizona for work but decided to stay in Minnesota instead, because of, guess who!

She is now working in family therapy, living in Prior Lake and delighted beyond words to be spending her free hours with the Ghost.

By the way, if you doubt that this horse is truly a looker, click here to view a copy of the Carlson School of Management magazine from fall, 2011. That is Supreme Ghost, right there on the cover. Who knows, maybe the next super model.

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.

Equine Eye Candy

Sometimes horses, like people, are just too good lookin’ for their own good. Or anybody else’s for that matter. Remember the junior high ne’er-do-well who had all the girls ga-ga?

Well, no one is about to put Supreme Ghost in the same company as a teen-age loser; he’s anything but. Yet he does attract attention wherever he goes and plenty of it. He’s an eye-catcher and has been since trainer Troy Bethke began breaking him as a yearling. He is eye-candy for horse lovers of any stripe, and they demonstrate it constantly with inquiries about his availability.

People asked Bethke the first time they saw this dappled gray movie star on the backside if he might be for sale.

“When I had the horse, I had lots and lots of offers,” he said. “He’s just a beautiful animal, gorgeous.”

When Bethke first put the Ghost under saddle there were those who hoped he might not make it as a racehorse so they could put him in their own barn for dressage or as a trail horse or a jumper.

Although she will never wish ill luck of any kind on this beauty, there is a part of Tember Graves that is very pleased Supreme Ghost is now in her barn instead of a racetrack stall, where she first got to know him as one of the horses she groomed for Bethke last summer.

The Ghost is now at the farm where Tember lives in Prior Lake and nothing much has changed in one regard.

“Some of the neighbors saw him and wanted to know if he might be for sale,” she said.

Imagine that, the horse hasn’t been gone from Canterbury Park a month and already horse lovers are lining up the instant they lay eyes on this handsome son of Supremo.

Graves is the daughter of Sandra Sweere – who worked for Bethke several meets before taking out her own training license – and although she cared equally for all of the horses she groomed, she did develop an affection for the Ghost.

“I fell in love with him,” Tember said. “And I probably did give him a few extra scratches when I cared for him.”

Now imagine the reaction when her mother presented Supreme Ghost to her as a 28th birthday present last September. “I got him the last week of the meet,” Graves said. “Yes, I was very surprised.”

There were a few conditions. Supreme Ghost would run during the current meet, his five-year-old season, and Sandra and Tember would share expenses.

Those plans changed because of the ill luck that seems to follow the Ghost like a curse and his connections’ unwillingness to push him through injuries that have mounted over time.

Here is a brief chronology of the Ghost’s ill-fated and abbreviated career:

Bred by Dennis Strohkirch and raced in partnership with Carin Offerman, Supreme Ghost arrived at Canterbury Park as a two-year-old. “He messed up his hock in the stall and we thought he was done racing,” Bethke recalled. “But he came out of it.”

The Ghost returned as a three-year-old but bowed a tendon. Once again he recovered with a protracted rest. Finally on Sept. 3 last autumn (winner’s circle picture above), in the seventh start of his career, Supreme Ghost broke his maiden. He was at last a winner, in what would be the last start of his career.

There were other bits of evidence that if this horse didn’t have bad luck he’d have no luck at all. He put his foot through a fence one time. Another time he got hung up on the walker somehow. Nothing major, but like we said, more evidence that maybe racing was not in this fellow’s life plan.

The Ghost was back at Canterbury Park this spring but mother and daughter decided that maybe enough was enough, that they weren’t going to push him. He had one win on the record last autumn. Even if he got another, at what expense would it come?

Tember decided to take him home, and Supreme Ghost left the racetrack just about a month ago. Tember worked and galloped him in the past, but now she is able to spend a lot of time with the Ghost one-on-one, enough time that jumping on him bareback is not an issue for her or for him any longer.

Tember is confident that Supreme Ghost will make a good jumper in time and has started working with him, getting him to step over poles, to move his feet differently than he did as a racehorse and prepare for the next step in this new career.

She is also of the belief that mom had an ulterior motive in the purchase of this wonderful birthday gift. Tember thinks that maybe, just maybe, mom recognized her daughter’s love for the Ghost and bought the horse as a way of getting her to stay put.

Tember got her undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her masters in counseling at Arizona State University. She was prepared to look in Arizona for work but decided to stay in Minnesota instead, because of, guess who!

She is now working in family therapy, living in Prior Lake and delighted beyond words to be spending her free hours with the Ghost.

By the way, if you doubt that this horse is truly a looker, click here to view a copy of the Carlson School of Management magazine from fall, 2011. That is Supreme Ghost, right there on the cover. Who knows, maybe the next super model.

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.

Peruvian Quadruple Crown Champ

Ask Adolfo Morales where he’s from and he has to think for a moment. You can almost hear the tumblers in his mind falling into place, clicking one by one, trying to find the right response from among several. Do you mean originally, most recently, this year or last?

The question, you see, is much too black and white. Morales, after all, is from many places, depending on the year, sometimes the month, although the answer has been much simpler in recent years, ever since he settled down, so to speak.

His paternal grandfather, Arturo, was Chilean but moved to Peru as a young man. Adolfo’s father and he as well were born in Lima, so they are by blood Chilean, but by birth Peruvian.

Pay attention, here’s where it becomes complicated. Arturo and Jose were riders who wound up as trainers. Adolfo, not surprisingly, although not in response to his father’s first wish for him, wound up galloping and then riding racehorses, first in Lima, then in Florida, then in New York, then back to Florida , then back to Peru, back to Florida and then to Minnesota and finally Phoenix. There was a six-month stint in Saudia Arabia, too.

The cities are correct, the exact sequence may not be. Even Adolfo has to think diligently to recall the years and the places he’s been since first landing in the United States at age 17 and sometimes they run together on him.

Now 41, that’s a lot of years to arrange in correct chronological order.

For what it’s worth, for approximately the last six or seven years, Adolfo has called Phoenix home from September to May and Shakopee for the remainder of the year. Morales was in Florida when he ran into none other than Luis Canchari, who suggested he give Minnesota a try. Phoenix, with its eight-month meeting, of course, is the perfect place for a rider with a family.

Adolfo and his wife, Paola, their 17-year-old son Alonso and 11-year-old daughter Ximena have a home in Peoria, about 20 minutes from Turf Paradise in Phoenix. Everything is much easier now that he has settled on the current rotation.

Alonso is working on turf crew this summer and doing some galloping as well. “He wants to buy a car, so I told him he has to work,” Adolfo said.

Adolfo and his wife met, where else, at the racetrack in Lima, where she was Monterrico’s answer to Canterbury’s Angela Hermann.

Morales rode his first winner, Susie’s Swinger, at Calder Race Course.

Of more significance is this tidbit: He is the only jockey to have won all four legs of Peru’s Quadruple Crown, in 1992, on a horse named Stash.

In 1973, a horse named Santorin won the Quadruple. Adolfo’s father was on him for the final three legs of the championship. How’s that for a little piece of Peruvian racing history all from one family

Morales is headed from Canterbury to Assiniboia Downs Thursday morning to ride Schillerthekiller in a 30 grand stakes race there. The two paired up to win a stakes at the same track a few weeks ago.

Trainer Clay Brinson and Morales made the hike to Canada as a team that time. “I’m driving by myself this time,” Morales said, adding, with a thin grin, “you wouldn’t want to come along, would you?”

Morales has been a regular at Canterbury the last six years. He left for Canada with eight wins, four seconds and three thirds from 33 mounts. “Best percentage among the riders,” he pointed out.

The win he added on Thursday’s card came in the second race aboard Broken Aero. In the winner’s circle, all prepared to take part in the upcoming photo, was Ximena.

“Do you know the winning rider?” she was asked. “Oh, yes, I just met him – on the street somewhere,” she responded.

Not likely, even for a globe-trotter like her daddy.

SIBLING RIVALRY

How’s this for a family reunion!

In a $60,000 photo finish, Midnight Sunlight, trained by Vic Hanson with Stormy Smith up, nosed out Mr Shakem Diva in the Northlands Futurity, capping a thrilling race decided by not much more than a nostril.

Most interestingly, though, was this added dimension to the race. The winning owner, Brenda Reiswig of Bismarck, N.D., is a sister to David Wisdom, the owner of Mr Shakem Diva, trained by Ed Ross Hardy and ridden by Clyde Smith.

“It’s all in fun,” Reiswig said, adding that next up for the winner is a Futurity at Remington Park

FOURTH OF JULY ON SATURDAY

All events planned for the postponed July 4 card will be conducted as part of Saturday’s card. The $75,000 Northbound Pride Stakes and the Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby will be run.

It’s a big day for weiners as well.

The wiener dog finals will be conducted. There will be a hot dog eating contest and free hot dogs for the patrons.

FIRST TIME WINNER

Trainer Sandra Sweere got her first win as a trainer in Thursday’s second race. She saddled Broken Aero, owned by Ruth Casanova.

Sweere worked in Troy Bethke’s barn for some four years before getting her training license two years ago. Her starts have been few and far between for a couple of reasons. Thursday’s was just her fourth.

She owned three of the horses she saddled in the last two years. One of them was knocked out of racing after running into a dumpster in the stable area. A second broke a shoulder and the third pulled a ligament.

“I guess I can train horses,” Sweere said. “I just can’t own them.

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