Hanson Qs Ready To Run Tuesday

Tuesday’s 12-race program is strictly quarter horses. Ninety-four have been entered. The wagering menu is expansive and includes an all-stakes pick four in races 5 – 8. Trainer Vic Hanson is well represented in all four races. He has been at this game for quite a while, experienced the ups and downs, and is ready for the action. Hanson is the fifth leading trainer by wins in Canterbury history and sixth by purse money won.

Race 5 is the Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby. Hanson trains Hr Storm On In, the third fastest qualifier, a head and a nose behind the top two. The colt draws the rail, same as he did in the qualifying trial. “I was disappointed,” Hanson said of the one post position which has not yielded many winners this summer. “He’s been inside all summer long.” Yet he expects the horse, who has won three of eight local starts, to be competitive.

Race 6 is the $86,900 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity at 350 yards. Hanson will saddle the fastest qualifier and 5 to 2 morning line favorite Jess One Lane. This 2-year-old debuted in April at Remington Park but got knocked around and finished seventh of 10. He laid up until June where he was a convincing one-length trial winner. So convincing that the colt went favored in the MQHRA Futurity final. He broke sharply but made a costly cut to the inside and was beaten three-quarters of a length. “He drifted to the rail and that was that,” Hanson said. On Tuesday he will break from post nine.  “That’s new country for him.  Hopefully he likes it out there. He’s good. He came back good [from the trial].”

Pritty Too took a lot of wagering money in her Northlands trial but just did not fire. The sixth place finish relegated her to the consolation race, Tuesday’s 7th, the Northlands Juvenile with a $20,000 purse. The filly debuted with style in April at Remington, winning by two lengths in snappy fashion. Her next start there was not good and she required time off.  Anything close to that debut would have been competitive. It did not turn out that way.

“I thought she would win,” Hanson said.   “These young fillies sometimes need to get the mental part before the physical part takes hold again.” Pritty Too drew the outside post.

The 8th race is the 1889 Futurity, restricted to 2-year-olds bred in North or South Dakota. Easter Eve Bug is the Hanson entry in the 10-horse field. She ran a huge effort in her MQHRA Futurity trial after hopping at the start and getting bumped around. She managed a second and qualified. Hanson liked her chances there and thought she might even outrun Jess One Lane that night. She finished sixth with no pop.

“I expected her to run really well,” he said. “Maybe she burned up some of the gas with that late break. She ran past a lot of horses to finish second. Maybe that took extra gas out of the tank.” She has been off now since July 7, plenty of time to refill that tank.

Ismael Suarez Ricardo has the mount on all four Hanson runners in the stakes. Racing action begins at 4:35 p.m. Tickets are available online.

Vic Hanson

Vic Hanson

By Kristin Bechthold

Having grown up riding and showing horses, Victor Hanson has been in the horse industry his entire life. He began his career colt breaking and working as a rodeo trainer, then made his way into racing in 1987 when he was breaking racehorses. “One thing lead to another,” he said with a laugh. “They talked me into going into racing is what they did.”

Hanson currently trains 45 horses at Canterbury Park and also trains at Remington Park in Oklahoma. He and his wife, Theresa, own and operate a ranch in Purcell, Oklahoma and dedicate themselves to training and breeding both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds. Though he and his wife grew up in South Dakota, they’ve now owned their ranch in the south for seven years and consider it home.

If he wasn’t a trainer, Hanson isn’t sure what he would be doing, but he does know that it would something equine-related. “It’s always been horses,” he said. “Horses and cattle. I’ve tried doing a few other things, but they were short lived. Mostly just experiments.” Since he and his wife breed horses on their farm, Victor would perhaps make it a larger focus if he wasn’t training.



Though he doesn’t have many interests or hobbies outside of horses, Hanson spends most of his free time working on the ranch and being his own “ranch-hand.” However, he does enjoy relaxing, visiting with people, and golfing for fun. He also enjoys playing practical jokes. “A practical joke here and there is not beyond me at all,” he said with a laugh.

If one were to describe Victor Hanson in the briefest way possible, it would be hard-working and fun. He appreciates the meaning of both and even prefers to work hard. “It might be odd, but I’d like to go back to the 1930’s,” he said. “It was tougher for people then. Nowadays, people are used to having things handed to them.” He now prides himself in being able to “work hard and play hard.”

A Night of Records at Canterbury Park


Canterbury Park’s Thursday night race card produced a record payout of $161 for a $2 win wager and a handle record for a non-Claiming Crown racing program when more than $1.26 million was wagered on the 10 races.

Congregation won the fourth race at odds of 79.5 to 1 resulting in the $161 payout. The previous record of $153 was set by Burning Fuhry on July 5, 2014. Congregation is trained by Vic Hanson and was ridden by Jenna Joubert. The 3-year-old filly is owned by Jennifer, Jon and Marlys Goebel.

Handle totaled $1,260,309 with $1,050,943 of that amount bet off track.  With the exception of dates when the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack hosted Claiming Crown, Thursday’s handle was a record for Canterbury Park for both total and off-track wagering, surpassing $1,178,761 bet on July 3, 2013 when $861,768 came from off-site sources.

Attendance Thursday was 7,657.


A Night of Records at Canterbury Park


Canterbury Park’s Thursday night race card produced a record payout of $161 for a $2 win wager and a handle record for a non-Claiming Crown racing program when more than $1.26 million was wagered on the 10 races.

Congregation won the fourth race at odds of 79.5 to 1 resulting in the $161 payout. The previous record of $153 was set by Burning Fuhry on July 5, 2014. Congregation is trained by Vic Hanson and was ridden by Jenna Joubert. The 3-year-old filly is owned by Jennifer, Jon and Marlys Goebel.

Handle totaled $1,260,309 with $1,050,943 of that amount bet off track.  With the exception of dates when the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack hosted Claiming Crown, Thursday’s handle was a record for Canterbury Park for both total and off-track wagering, surpassing $1,178,761 bet on July 3, 2013 when $861,768 came from off-site sources.

Attendance Thursday was 7,657.


Sunday Racing Musings

FuturityOnce the obligations of winning such a race were attended to, once the handshakes, backslaps, hugs and nods of congratulation had been received, the interviews conducted and the rush of adrenaline subsided, there was time for family, close friends and the owners of the horse.

Yes, there are duties concomitant with riding the winning horses in significant races and for a second consecutive year they were assumed by Lori Keith.

In those heady moments of semi-solitude in the jockeys lounge after Saturday’s $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, Keith was on the phone with the owners of Dorsett, who had simply run away from seven rivals as if they were disgraced defensive backs trying to grab the churning legs of the horse’s Dallas Cowboys’ namesake during his prime.

Yes, Dorsett was named for Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett who, you might recall, set an NFL record of 99 yards for the longest run from scrimmage against the Minnesota Vikings on a Monday night in 1983.

In any event, Dorset’s owner and Dallas fan Terry Hamilton was on the phone with Ms Keith after the Derby, having watched the race at home in Canada. Keith was wrapped up in a stunning Star blanket, presented to her by Keith Anderson, vice chairman of the Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Mystic Lake, the sponsors of the race and the Mystic Lake Purse Enhancement program.

Mrs. Hamilton had spotted the blanket on the television screen and fallen in love with it immediately. “Here, my wife wants to talk to you,” said her husband.

Within a matter of moments the two women, Mrs. Hamilton and Ms. Keith conducted their exchange of gifts. Mrs. Hamilton got the blanket. Ms. Keith got the Mystic Lake Derby trophy.

“What, you gave away my trophy,” lamented Mr. Hamilton.

In typical Sioux tradition, Mrs. Hamilton had presented a gift of the trophy to Ms. Keith, who in turn, presented the blanket to Mrs. Hamilton.

Ms. Keith, of course, also talked with her parents, owners of a bistro in the South of France, who watched the race at 12:30 a.m., their time, down the street from the restaurant. Lori imagined her father shooing patrons out of the bistro. “They had to be out by 11,” she said.

“They were happy and proud,” Lori said Sunday. “They were so pleased that I had mentioned them.”

As she does quite often.

The Hamiltons couldn’t have been happier, either. After all, Keith had ridden a Hamilton horse, Hammers Terror, to victory in the first Derby, last year, although she had to withstand a stewards inquiry in that one.

That’s what made Sunday’s victory even more enjoyable. No inquiry. A nice clean trip.

“I beat myself up for weeks after (the 2012 Derby),” Lori said. “So, this one probably was a little more enjoyable.”

Dorsett was simply much the best on Saturday, sweeping past seven rivals as if they were weanlings in the pasture for a three-length win. Vikings defenders clutching at his ankles.

Everyone, rider, owners and trainer, Michael Stidham, were pleased with the win.

“The horse continues to get better, and the rider did a great job,” said Stidham after the race.

Will there be a second encore?

“Well, a lot can happen with a two-year-old,” said Ms. Keith

“Between now and the three-year-old season.” Of course, but if anyone is curious, the two-year-old Hamilton has in mind for next year’s race is Heart to Heart.

By the way, long-suffering fans, the Vikings won that game in spite of Dorsett, 31-27.

Oh, and Hamilton ordered a second trophy – for himself.


Luis Canchari and family were standing outside the winner’s circle Sunday afternoon, clearly still pleased with what their son, Alex, accomplished on Saturday.

Alex Canchari, the Minnesota Kid, in the biggest win of his brief career, won the $100,000 Northbound Pride Oaks aboard Stoupinator for trainer Mac Robertson and owner Joseph Novogratz, a head in front of Kipling’s Joy.

There was no time for celebration on Saturday night. “I had to be back at Mac’s barn at 5 a.m.” said Alex.

His family members were clearly delighted with his effort.

Alex’s mother gave him a kiss after the race. His dad was still beaming on Sunday.

“We are proud of him,” said Luis, who rode at Canterbury in the 1980s, having moved to Shakopee from Peru. “It would be nice to see a Minnesota kid win the riding title.”

Alex is doing what he can. He has 35 wins for the second, one behind Ry Eikleberry and six behind Dean Butler, the leaders.


The Reiswigs of Bismarck, N.D. have a fond spot for the two-year-old filly Seis The Royal Cash, a daughter of Royal Cash Dawn.

Mom and daughter were purchased as a package. “We bought the mare in foal,” explained Brenda Reiswig. “We lost the mother a year ago, so this one has had a hard time. She has a special place in our hearts.”

Even more special now.

Seis The Royal Cash was sent off at 16-1 in Sunday’s North Central Quarter Horse Futurity, a bit of a shock to Reiswig. “I thought ‘oh, oh,'” said Reiswig.

All was well nonetheless.

Seis the Royal Cash, with Ismael Suarez Ricardo up, stunned nine rivals, taking the inside path to victory in front of Sportwagon and Engine Number Nine.

Trainer Vic Hanson summed up the victory succinctly.

“We drew well,” he said.

Indeed. The inside has been a boon of late.

“It evened out for a while there,” said Hanson. “Now it’s a little more to the inside, again.”

Nonetheless, Seis The Royal Cash claimed the winner’s share of the $45,050 purse for her connections, paying $35.20, $16.20 and $5.80 across the board.

Hanson handles the Reiswig horses at Canterbury, 20-some in all.

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.

Local Shifts Tack Back to Home Track

Marcus Swiontek 8-1-13You are clicking through television channels, one after another in search of something of interest and there it is, the 2004 Kentucky Derby and a horse named Smarty Jones.

Your life is about to change but you don’t yet know it. It will change in ways you never imagined, one step at a time, leading you from Jordan, Minnesota, to Pierre, S.D., to Southern California, Phoenix, AZ., and back home to the racetrack 15 minutes down the road.

Meet Marcus Swiontek, a native Minnesotan who had never seen a horse race until he was 14 years old, didn’t know a thing about horses, had never touched one much less ridden one. Smarty Jones changed life for him right then and there, in front of the television set at home in Jordan nine years ago.

He began asking questions about the sport, delving into it, watching races whenever he could.

His parents were dumbstruck when he first presented the idea that he’d like to become a jockey.

“It wasn’t that they didn’t support me,” he said. “They just didn’t know anything about it.”

Neither Jim nor Wendy Swiontek was a horse person. Their concern was quite natural as parents, but gradually the reality of their son’s decision began to take hold.

He began taking riding lessons on Arabians in Jordan, began going to races at Canterbury Park.

“I didn’t know anything about Canterbury growing up,” he said. But he was learning, soaking up as much information as he could.

He sent out countless e-mails to names associated with Minnesota racing, trying to find whatever work he could – in barns or on farms.

“Most people weren’t interested,” he said. Vic Hanson was. “Come on out,” he said. “I need help.”

Marcus arrived in mid-January that year, in Pierre, S.D. Hanson put him to work, brushing, grooming, handling the tack. “He put me on one or two of the better behaved horses in the arena,” said Marcus.

Life was beginning to change – for the better, in Marcus’s view. He worked the barns at Canterbury and wherever else he could find work.

He headed to Los Alamitos and hooked up with Keith Craigmyle, galloping primarily, wearing the yellow mesh vest required of a novice exercise rider. “After about two months, the outrider told me to take it off,” Swiontek said. “Half of the people there didn’t know what it was anyway.”

He wound up at Turf Paradise in December, 2011, and got his riding license, rode a few winners and headed to Shakopee last summer when the Phoenix meet concluded. He won a couple of races locally and then headed back to Phoenix.

He had not been in Arizona before arriving there the first time to ride, and didn’t give the locale much thought.

“But it grows on you every time you go back,” he said.

Enough so that he intends to ride there again when the Canterbury meet winds up in September.

Carrying the apprentice allowance, Swiontek went to Winnipeg to ride when the meet at Turf Paradise concluded in May and was there until three weeks ago, when lack of opportunity and income forced him to move his tack with 25 wins still left on his bug.

“I wasn’t making it,” he said.

Thus, home to Jordan, to the home in which he grew up, just 15 minutes from Canterbury Park.

He was wearing a University of Minnesota t-shirt with Golden Gophers on it Thursday night as he talked about his decision to become a rider.

“I’m a (Minnesota) football and basketball fan,” he said. “Probably more basketball because they do better in that sport.”

Marcus played golf throughout high school and baseball, in the summer months, although he dabbled in basketball and football as well. He is 5-foot-9 and controls his weight easily. “When I had to lose four pounds originally I felt weak,” he said. “But I’m fine now. No problems at all.”

About that time, Nate Quinonez, the colors man, walked into the silks room and struck up a conversation about a recent golf outing with Marcus, and how each had fared.

Marcus feels right at home, because he is home and trying to scare up business at him home track.

At one time aerospace was his future. “I’ve always been interested in flying,” he explained. There are horses who can fly, a bystander interjected.

“I’ve been on a couple,” he said.

He would welcome more, as many as he can get.

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.

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?


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.

The Cash Caravan Returns

Sunday marks the return of a race that has not been held at Canterbury Park in four years: the Cash Caravan Stakes. The Cash Caravan is restricted to Minnesota-breds, three-year-olds and up, running at the classic distance of 440 yards.

Cash Caravan’s racing career spanned three years; the Welika Cash gelding earned over $80,000 in his 38 lifetime starts and his victories here included the first running of the Minnesota Stallion Breeders’ QH Futurity in 1986 and the 1987 Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby. Cash (pictured above) was bred by the late Hall of Fame quarter horse trainer Bob Morehouse, though the horse was retired years before he could have had the opportunity to run in the stakes race named in his breeder’s honor. Cash Caravan himself was the first horse to enter the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.

Sunday, August 12th: The Cash Caravan Stakes, $19,000, 440 yards

Leading Trainer: Asher Murray (3), Ed Ross Hardy (3)

Leading Jockey: Kym Espy (4)

Record Purse: $25,000, won by Stone Cold Roller in 2007

When the race was last contested in 2008, it was won by Sociabull, a four-year-old gelding trained by Jerry Livingston, ridden by Ry Eikleberry and owned by James Olson. Sociabull made his mark at Canterbury early in his career when he won the $20,000 Minnesota Quarter Horse Futurity as a two-year-old in August of 2006. Sociabull went on to race at Sunland Park, SunRay Park and Ruidoso Downs to wrap up his 27-8-4-1 career.

In 2007, Stone Cold Roller won the Cash Caravan with some familiar connections: owned by Robert and Julie Peterson, the three-year-old gelding was trained by Ed Ross Hardy and ridden by Nik Goodwin, a preview of what would become a particularly profitable trainer/jockey combination in the years to follow. Stone Cold Roller defeated post-time favorite and 2007 Bob Morehouse Memorial Stakes winner First Class Smarty. Sociabull finished fifth in the 2007 race; Stone Cold Roller would run third behind him the following year. Stone Cold Roller stamped his equine passport at over ten tracks in his five-year career, ending with a 37-8-9-4 record and earning over $100,000.

No horse’s record could compete with that of Cracklin Cash in this race, however. James Murray’s gelding won the race three consecutive years, from 2000 to 2002. In 2000 he also won the Minnesota Quarter Horse Derby, and as a two-year-old in 1999 he won both the Minnesota Quarter Horse Futurity and North Central Quarter Horse Racing Association Futurity.

The last time the Cash Caravan was run, some of the horses in this field hadn’t been born yet, including #3 Western Fun (4-1), a three-year-old Tres Seis filly from the Ed Hardy Barn, owned and bred by Robert and Julie Peterson and ridden by Nik Goodwin, who has hit the board in 41 of his 50 quarter horse starts this year. Western Fun is attempting 440 yards for the first time, but the distance shouldn’t be a problem given her mare’s thoroughbred bloodlines. The filly only has two wins in her 13 lifetime starts, neither of which was at Canterbury, but she runs almost exclusively in stakes and trials and has more back-class than many in this field. Her last two efforts earned her second place finishes, each against older horses.

#5 Streak N Hot (3-1) will go up against older horses for the first time; the Hotdoggin colt trained by Dale Hagland is 3 for 11 lifetime and is rarely out of the money at Canterbury. He has yet to match the spectacular form he displayed as a two-year-old, but for the first time this year will be entering a race in the absence of Painted Lies or Huckleberry Mojito, who have each outrun him twice in his four starts this year.

Morning line favorite #4 Six It Up (5-2) returns for yet another stakes appearance. The five-year-old Tres Seis mare has not won a race since June of 2011, but is also the only horse to have run against a national racing champion when she finished third behind Spit Curl Diva in last year’s Grade 3 Keokuk at Prairie Meadows. Whether she can avenge her recent losses to horses in this field remains to be seen, but never leave trainer Amber Blair out of consideration when handicapping quarter horse stakes.

Vic Hanson has trained several upset winners this year and has the perfect opportunity to take this race as well with #1 Cs Arc Light (7-2), a four-year-old colt out by the First Down Dash sire A Regal Choice. Cs Arc Light has come into perfect form late in the meet, having won his last two starts by closing late in the race. His latest victory was the Bob Morehouse Memorial Stakes, in which he defeated Western Fun and Six It Up. Cs Arc Light has not attempted this distance, but in recent races has shown that he finds his stride late in the race, and he may use the extra yards to only pull further away from his competition.

There may not be a horse in this field that has the same kind of cult following as Cash Caravan did in the height of his career, but this race could become a key performance for another talented MN-bred to join him one day in the Hall of Fame.

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

This blog was written by AQHA Q-Racing Ace Jen Perkins. Jen travels to tracks across the country to educate fans about handicapping and Quarter Horse racing, and shares her perspective on Canterbury Quarter Horse racing as well as insider information on America’s fastest athletes.

Cs Arc Light Takes Morehouse

There were lots of reasons that Cam Casby considered the $12,500-added Bob Morehouse Stakes a special race on Thursday night.

#1 was the fact that the winning horse is the last one she and her mother bred together.

#2 is the fact that her mother is in a Maplewood nursing home and unable to attend the races any longer and Cam wants to present her with a DVD of the race.

#3 it was the Bob Morehouse, a special name to anyone interested in quarter horses in the state of Minnesota.

#4 the winning horse underwent surgery last autumn after injuring both knees in a fall after leaving the gate.

#5 the win lifted the winner’s sire, Easanon, into the top 25 all time stakes producers among quarter horses.

Cam might want to re-arrange that order, maybe even add to it today, but in the rush of Thursday night excitement that pretty much covered the basics.

“It’s very special for a lot of reasons,” Casby said after CS Arc Light outran the favorites in a field of six to win as the 8-1 choice on the board with Ismael Suarez Ricardo in the irons, with a winning time of 20.440.

The Casbys thus added their first Bob Morehouse victory to an impressive list of wins.

On hand in the winner’s circle afterwards was large a delegation helping Casby celebrate and also representing the family of Bob Morehouse, a crowd that included his daughter Bobbi, and his sister, Anne Krawzyk.

Cs Arc Light went to both knees in a race last year and trainer Vic Hanson and Casby discovered some time later that he had chips in both knees. Surgery followed in the fall, and Thursday night the horse demonstrated that he is indeed back, winning for the third time in 15 career starts.

Hanson had some encouraging words for Casby shortly before the race.

Basically what he said was that CS Arc Light was as ready as a horse could be.

“I had a good feeling. I felt it right here,” Hanson said, tapping the chest area over his heart.

CS Arc Light proved him right, digging in to draw off in the final 75 yards of the 400-yard sprint, finishing ahead of Western Fun, Six It Up and Dutch Wagon.

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