Fair Grounds : the start of the Road to Kentucky Contest


Saturday’s entries for Fair Ground‘s 12-race program have been drawn. Those 12 races comprise the first contest in the annual $30,000 Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest series at Canterbury.  First post Saturday (and contest entry deadline) is 12:30 p.m.  Each week there is $1,350 in prize money to be given away to the top five point earners. First prize is $500.

Simply select one horse in each race and earn points based on the mutuel payouts of your selections. You’ll find the contest entry cards at the third level MVP Center. The week’s featured race, the Lecomte Stakes, is a double-points race.

Following the 3-year-olds as they progress toward the Kentucky Derby is one of the pleasures of this sport and a chance to win money in a free-to-enter contest makes it even better.   Earlier this week The Oracle offered strategy suggestions.

First out winner Runhappy is entered in the Lecomte.  He broke his maiden at first asking at Turfway in December. Generally a maiden win at Turfway in the winter does not generate much interest but Runhappy ran an unusual and extremely green race abut still drew off to victory, earning a big Beyer Speed Figure that is seemingly competitive in Saturday’s Derby prep.  Have a look at his race here. Runhappy is #4.



Michigan’s Kyle Pallin wins his first ever Pro Open main @ Canterbury Racetrack’s PIRTEK Snocross National

Kyle Pallin actio (1)

by  Pat Schutte

PR Director, ISOC Racing


Two first-time pro class winners highlighted this past Saturday’s  main event action at round six of AMSOIL Championship Snocross, powered by Ram’s PIRTEK Snocross National, presented by Jimmy John’s.

Capturing the top spot in front of a packed house at Canterbury in the premier Pro Open class was Kyle Pallin (Mystic/Loctite/Polaris).

One of the best starters in the business, Pallin parlayed the Stud Boy Holeshot into the early race lead – much as he’s done in numerous main events the past two seasons. But this time Pallin had it in his head that tonight’s Pro Open main event would be his race, his to win – and he did just that, leading the event from start to finish in scoring his first-ever Pro Open class victory.

“Oh my gosh – I could not be more pumped,” beamed Pallin from the podium, flanked by his father, Steve, and Mystic/Loctite/Polaris team owner Levi LaVallee. “I got the holeshot and got out in front and just kept telling myself ‘This is my night and nobody’s going to take this lead from me.’ So the holeshot was huge and this was a great win for the Mystic/Loctite/Polaris team!”

Rocketing out of the start alongside Pallin was Friday’s Pro Open class winner Ross Martin (Judnick Motorsports/Polaris). Martin would show a ski to Pallin a couple times on the first lap, while also playing a bit of a cat and mouse game with line selection. But by lap two Pallin had opened up a 1.2 second lead on Martin, and would continue to build on that throughout the course of the contest.

Joining Pallin and Martin up front early on was Friday podium finisher Tim Tremblay (AMSOIL/Scheuring/Ski-Doo). The three would separate from the rest of the pack, clicking off fast lap after fast lap – all at pretty much identical times.

Stuck back in the pack after a self-described “terrible” start was Pro Open defending champ and overall point leader Tucker Hibbert (Monster Energy/Arctic Cat/Ram). Again the No. 1 qualifier, Hibbert was looking for his 100th pro win. But running in 7th place as the race neared its midway point, it certainly looked on paper like Hibbert would not have enough time to catch Pallin.

But damned if he didn’t try.

Moving up to 5th place by the end of lap eight, Hibbert was 9.5 seconds back of Pallin. By lap nine he’d made it up to 4th, getting past Hentges Racing/Polaris’ Kody Kamm. But that effort alone would take two laps, and it wouldn’t be until lap 12 where Hibbert would catch up to Tremblay – and make a pass for the podium.

“I rode really bad for the first five or six laps,” admitted Hibbert. “I gave it everything I had, but Kyle and Ross rode really well tonight.”

With Pallin’s pending victory never really much in doubt, Hibbert would catch – and pass – Martin on the white flag lap, but just flat ran out of time in his pursuit of Pallin. Rounding out the top five tonight were Tremblay in 4th and Kamm in 5th.

Canterbury Saturday Pro Open Results


1 – Kyle Pallin, Ironwood, MI, Polaris

2 – Tucker Hibbert, Pelican Rapids, MN, Arctic Cat

3 – Ross Martin, Burlington, WI, Polaris

4 – Tim Tremblay, Ste Jeanne D’Arc, Quebec, Ski-Doo

5 – Kody Kamm, Kenosha, WI, Polaris

6 – Adam Renheim, Sweden, Ski-Doo

7 – Corin Todd, Otego, NY, Polaris

8 – Justin Broberg, Mukwonago, WI, Polaris

9 – Jon Stenberg, Sweden, Ski-Doo

10 – Logan Christian, Fertile, MN, Arctic Cat



Overall Pro Open Points (6 of 16 rounds)

1 – Tucker Hibbert, 253

2 – Kyle Pallin, 213

3 – Tim Tremblay, 209

4 – Kody Kamm, 186

5 – Logan Christian, 156


Qs, Snocross, Moncrief (not Sidney) and more

Send Me This Wagon

2015 Quarter Horse Stakes Schedule

Canterbury Park officials released the 2015 Quarter Horse stakes race schedule this week, highlighted by the 28th running of the Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity July 5. Total purse money for the 13 stakes races is estimated to surpass $500,000, making it the richest Quarter Horse stakes season in the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack’s history. The Northlands purse is expected to be a record $150,000.

“Quarter Horse racing at Canterbury Park should reach new heights in 2015,” Vice President of Racing Operations Eric Halstrom said. “I expect record purses in the Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity and the Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby as well as strong overnight racing throughout the meet.”

Canterbury Park’s 2015 racing season runs May 15 through Sept. 12.

June 7, 2015      Gopher State Derby     Eligible 3YO 400 Yards $20,000 Added
June 13, 2015    Skip Zimmerman Memorial   3YO & Up 350 Yards $20,000 Added
June 28, 2015    Bob Morehouse Stakes   3YO & Up / MN-Owned 400 Yards $25,000 Added
July 4, 2015        Great Lakes Bonus Challenge   3YO & Up 400 Yards $27,500 Added
July 5, 2015        Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity    2YO 350 Yards $100,000 Guaranteed
July 5, 2015        Canterbury Quarter Horse Derby   3YO 400 Yards $50,000 Guaranteed
July 12, 2015       Minnesota Stallion Breeders’ Futurity   Eligible 2YO 350 Yards $20,000 Added
July 18, 2015       Dash in a Flash    3YO & Up 110 Yards $20,000 Added
August 2, 2015   Canterbury Distaff Bonus Challenge    3YO & Up / F & M 400 Yards $27,500 Added
August 9, 2015   NCQHRA Futurity     Eligible 2YO 350 Yards $20,000 Added
August 20, 2015 Cash Caravan Stakes     3YO & Up / MN-Bred 440 Yards $30,000 Added
Sept. 6, 2015       Minnesota Derby      3YO / MN-Bred 400 Yards $40,000 Added
Sept. 6, 2015      Minnesota Futurity     2YO / MN-Bred 350 Yards $40,000 Added

Canterbury Park Names George Moncrief As Track Superintendent

The racing department announced the hiring of George Moncrief as track superintendent for the 2015 race meet which begins May 15. Moncrief, who for a decade has worked at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., will oversee track maintenance at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack.

“I am looking forward to this opportunity and am anxious to get to Canterbury this spring,” Moncrief said. He is scheduled to begin at Canterbury April 15, prior to the stable area opening for training.  Until then he will continue his assistant track superintendent position at Oaklawn, which begins its meet Friday and races until Arkansas Derby Day, April 11.

“I have heard a lot of good things from Oaklawn trainers that also operate stables at Canterbury. I know that I will inherit an excellent track maintenance crew and will be working with a racing administration that stresses safety, as their admirable record indicates,” Moncrief said.

Moncrief replaces Javier Bajaras who resigned in September to take a similar position at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.


Canterbury Park set to host the world’s top professional snowmobile racers

The world’s top professional snowmobile racers converge on Shakopee this weekend for the annual running of the Pirtek Snocross National, presented by Jimmy John’s, rounds five and six of 2014-’15 AMSOIL Championship Snocross, powered by Ram.

Professional snocross racing’s Daytona 500, Canterbury Park – a longtime fixture on the AMSOIL Championship Snocross circuit – consistently draws the series’ largest crowds with its unique indoor/outdoor setting and edge-of-your-seat pro snowmobile race track design. Core fans can choose to brave the elements with outside stadium seating, or lounge about indoors while taking in the racing action in the rest of the palatial 300,000 square foot accommodations.

“Canterbury is just an amazing setting for AMSOIL Championship Snocross,” said ISOC President and Race Director Carl Schubitzke. “Fans from the Cites absolutely pack the place, from inside to the grandstand seating section. The event is, hands down, our biggest of the year in terms of attendance.”

This past year professional snocross racing history was made at Canterbury when Minnesota’s own Tucker Hibbert (Pelican Rapids) broke Canadian Blair Morgan’s all-time snocross win record of 84. Hibbert went 1st/1st on the Friday/Saturday at Canterbury event to put his name on top of the list of professional snocross racers.

For 2015 Hibbert returns to defend his titles, and will be met by some eager competition in fellow Minnesotans Logan Christian (Fertile) and Cody Thomsen (Nisswa), both aboard the Minnesotan-made Arctic Cat snowmobiles. Wisconsin locals Kody Kamm (Kenosha) and Justin Broberg (Mukwonago) – aboard Minnesota-based Polaris sleds – will also look to keep Hibbert in check in this national race with global implications.

Duluth Sunday Pro Open winner Tuckr Hibbert

“We are pleased to again host the AMSOIL Championship Snocross at Canterbury Park,” company president Randy Sampson said. “Fans of snocross look forward to the action each year and appreciate the comforts and accessibility offered at Canterbury. For those new to the sport, our facility provides an excellent race day experience.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased online.

Canterbury College 2015

If you are a handicapping novice or know someone who is, Canterbury College might be time well spent this winter.  This progressive, five-class course is for beginners that would like to learn to read Daily Racing Form past performances and make wagers. It’s an excellent introduction to the racing industry as well.  Again, this is for newcomers….   registration for Canterbury College, which begins Sunday, February 8, can be done HERE.


And Away They Go…..

by @MizPostParade

The first steps on the Road to Kentucky began on Saturday with the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct for the much-anticipated 3-year old colts with 10 points being awarded to the winner. Points will accumulate towards the total needed to get into the gate at the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2015. As expected, most rankings throughout the thoroughbred industry have Carpe Diem and Texas Red in the top two spots, and that might have been a fair debate until Dortmund exploded on the scene……. Read the entire story

coming next week….. a Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest preview from The Oracle.