Jockey races are often of more interest to the people who keep statistics and record the data on such things at racetracks. Riders, for their part, are more interested in staying healthy and collecting a healthy paycheck.
But not entirely…
The competitive side of any rider is apt to show when a title is on the line, even if he prefers not to discuss the topic.
Many observers and press-box experts had pretty much turned the 2013 title over to Dean Butler, coming as he did into Thursday’s card with an 11-win lead over Ry Eikleberry and a 12-win margin on Alex Canchari who won five of the eight races on Thursday’s card, for the third time in his career but the first at Canterbury.
Eikleberry will spend the next seven calendar days on suspension, so that pretty much takes him out of the picture. Canchari returned from ‘days’ last Sunday and was considered a longshot to overtake Butler.
Ah… not so fast.
Canchari grew up in the shadow of Canterbury Park, a resident of Shakopee whose father moved here from Peru as a rider in the 1980s. Canchari the younger once worked at Canterbury selling tacos and soft drinks.
Twelve wins is a lot to make up with eleven days left in the meet analysts thought before Thursday’s card, but then…
Canchari’s five wins Thursday cut Butler’s lead to seven, still a tall over with 10 days to go.
“But he’s not out of it,” said Canchari’s father, Luis. “That would be so nice, a Minnesota rider winning the title for the first time in track history.”
Stay tuned, the action resumes Friday.
PICTURES WERE HIS THING
Canterbury horse owners, patrons and the regular readers of the track’s blog site have become familiar in the last two years with the high quality of the photography – the crisp colors and revealing portraits of life at the racetrack.
Those high standards began the day that Shawn Coady arrived at Canterbury Park having recently completed the meet at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, where photography began for him as a youngster. A family business was started there in 1962 by his grandfather, Jack, a one-time Phoenix newspaperman who later moved his camera to the racetrack and began shooting pictures that have become iconic representations of racing in the Arizona desert.
The Coady family lost a vital member of their business on Monday when Jeff, father to Shawn, Kurtis, Kevin and Christopher and husband to Nelda, died at age 62 at his home in Luling, Texas, after a lengthy struggle with cancer.
The photo business started by Jack Coady at Turf Paradise in Phoenix expanded to more than 20 racetracks in the nation and involved every male member of the family including Jack, jr., brother to Jeff, who will continue operating Coady Photography with his nephews.
For more on the Coady family and their photography business, read this post which features their story. It was originally posted in July 2012.
Hard to beat the payoff on the winner of Thursday’s fourth race, a mile, 70 yard affair with 12 starters.
“Get ready for some enormous payoffs on this one,” said announcer Kevin Gorg, filling in for Paul Allen who was attending to his duties as Vikings announcer.
Gorg wasn’t kidding.
Martin Escobar brought in Sunny Silver, trained and owned by Jose Ibarra at 53-1, good for a $108 return on a $2 bet. Sunny Silver paid $108, $43.40 and $14.60 across the board.
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.