BY JIM WELLS
The ice cream cone was the biggest and best you’d ever had. The horses were enormous, the crowd electric and everybody was impressed with your grandparents.
Years later, as you consider that day, it is clear where your interest in horse racing originated, where the seed was planted. Granted, it took a great deal of nurturing in the time since, but you never wavered. Horse racing was for you, just as it is for most of your family. You are part of that magic that others know only as Almar Farms. You are a grandson of Al and Marlys Goebel, and that’s where it started.
Bo Bryant is the grandson and the new kid on the block in Canterbury Park’s tip sheet lineup this summer. “The first race I remember was in 1995,” he said. “In Moderation broke that track record for 3 ½ furlongs that day as a two-year-old. I was five. Everybody seemed to know my grandparents.”
Now 21, Bryant got the bug that afternoon. He loved the races, the horses, the excitement, the ice cream cone, whole ball of wax.
“I came out to the races with my grandparents every time they went after that,” he said. “It was about a 40-minute drive out, 40 minutes back. I asked them everything I could think of about racing during those trips.”
As he matured, the questions multiplied and trips to the track weren’t enough to accommodate the wide range of subjects he wanted to discuss.
So, he’d call his grandfather on the phone and they’d talk.
“I probably learned 90 percent of what I know from my grandfather,” Bryant said. “I learned the rest from my grandmother.”
Bryant sells his tip sheet _ Bo Noz _ on Thursdays and Fridays, the days that Hall of Fame tout Jake Mauer takes off.
The young apprentice frequently talks the trade with Mauer.
“I’ll come up with an idea and throw it at him,” Bryant said. “Five seconds or less and he’ll have an answer, tell me what he thinks about it.”
Perhaps the best advice given Bryant by the old master is not much different than a veteran ballplayer might give a rookie.
“He told me to consider the whole season, not just a day here or there,” Bryant said. “That helps me not get too upset when I have a bad day or too excited when I have a real good one.”
Bryant’s parents, Mike and Kara, have only minimal interest in the sport. “My mom wasn’t into it,” he said. “My dad comes out a couple of times a year.”
Bryant’s brother, Bart, two years younger, was along that day in 1995, too, but has not taken quite the same interest in the game. Nonetheless, Bo will give him a call whenever he needs a specific kind of information.
“Bart knows bloodlines and can go three or four back on a horse,” Bo said. “He has a phenomenal memory. I’ll call him when I need that perspective on a horse.”
Bo still has long conversations with his grandfather about the sport. “I wouldn’t call them arguments. They’re more like debates,” he said. “I still learn a lot about the breeding and ownership end of the business from him.”
Bo’s best day this meet?
“I was 7-for-10 once and 6-for-10.”
“I was 1-for-10, but I had seven seconds.”
It is the 1-for-10 days that Bryant is learning to keep in perspective. “You have to remember that sometimes the difference between winning and losing is a head bob or maybe a neck or a length. It helps to keep that in mind.”
Perhaps the most important lesson Bryant learned from his grandparents, members of Canterbury Park’s Hall of Fame as breeders, has to do with deportment.
“They’re very low key,” he said. “They never gloat. We all know everything they’ve done.”
AND THE BEAT GOES ON
Brittany Arterburn was the subject of extended discussion on Thursday after arriving at Canterbury Park, riding one race on the turf for her parents, winning that race, and then heading home.
She has done that repeatedly this meet and is 6-for-10 on the grass. She changed the script for Friday night’s card.
Arterburn had one mount on the card, her parents’ horse, Doc Hubbard, in the second race. Once again, she won, and then headed home.
The race was on the dirt.