Shakopee First Responders Train for Emergency at Canterbury Park

Reacting to an incident at Canterbury Park is a bit different than going to a home.

“There are a lot more cogs in our system,” said Sean Corrigan, Security and Emergency Medical Services Director at Canterbury Park.

Emergency training at Canterbury Park.
Emergency training at Canterbury Park.

Police and fire personnel from the city of Shakopee, as well as Allina ambulance, were at Canterbury Park on Monday, April 23 for a joint training exercise with track officials. The idea was to help familiarize first responders with the facility and potentially head off any issues should a real emergency occur during the live racing season, Corrigan said.

“It minimizes any mistakes in the real world when we have a legitimate incident,” he said.

Having police, fire and ambulance together for training at Canterbury Park is “relatively rare,” Corrigan said. It was beneficial to have the groups practice with Canterbury’s own response team so “everybody knows what to do and how to pull it off,” he said.

The crews went through three scenarios:

  • An individual jockey down on the track
  • Multiple riders down on the track
  • A patron going into cardiac arrest
Emergency training at Canterbury Park.
Emergency training at Canterbury Park.

With Canterbury Park being such a large facility, and having new people in place both at the track and in local agencies, the training was a good opportunity to refine procedures, figure out how to delegate resources and prepare in case of a real emergency, Corrigan said.

Canterbury Park typically teams with local officials once a year for a training session, but regularly runs its own exercises with on-site personnel, Corrigan said.

Main Track Training Begins

Main TrackNow that the snow has finally melted, the track crew has been feverishly pepping the main oval for use on Friday. The training track opened Wednesday mid-morning and traffic has been steady.

Roughly 140 horses are on site now with major loads expected to arrive this weekend. Hawthorne wraps up their spring meet Sunday and then the Chicago contingent, including the leading owner in the country Midwest Thoroughbreds, will begin to arrive.

Jockey agent Richard Grunder will handle business for Ry Eikleberry, fresh off a Sunland Park riding title, and Giovanni Franco, currently the leading pilot at Turf Paradise.

Demand for stall space is high. Some trainers were put on hold and none got the total number they asked for. It would be great to have 2,600 stalls at Canterbury but the fact is there are slightly less than 1,600 and they need to be filled with useful horses that fit the program here and are ready to run. It takes at least 10 to 12 weeks to get a horse ready to race so those that have been wandering around a pasture since September are light years from being ready. Demand for space is a good problem to have but it also means that some things need to change from an owner’s perspective.

Road to Kentucky Contest

Just two weekly contests remain in the 2013 Road to Kentucky Contest and both involve Churchill Downs.

The Derby Trial is Saturday. Not really a Derby prep but a good reason to hold a free contest. Twilight racing at Churchill with a 5pm first post. Entry cards will be available throughout the day however.

The final contest is of course the Derby Day card and that begins next Saturday at 9:30am.

Even though no fillies are expected to run for the roses, a glance at the Road to Kentucky Overall Leader Board shows distaff dominance. The top four players are female. I don’t have the stats but I would say women are outnumbered by a wide margin. Jessica Rau has a nearly 2,000 point lead over Linda Hernandez who is just in front of Nancy Sobkowiak and Heidi Snow. While Rau is not home and cooled out, she is in the driver’s seat for the trip to the National Handicapping Championship next January.

Advance wagering on the Derby and undercard begins the morning of Friday, May 3.

If you have a Derby horse already feel free to share it with the readers via a comment.