By Mari Ballinger
How many years have you been at Canterbury Park?
“Too many,” jockey Patrick Canchari joked.
Canchari has been around Canterbury Park since he was a young boy. With a grandpa who owned horses and a father who owned, trained and rode horses, Canchari knew his calling was at the track. A childhood dream of becoming a jockey came true after Canchari graduated from Shakopee High School, a mere 4.6 miles from the Canterbury.
Canchari’s professional debut took place February 11, 2011 at Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois. He was aboard Mr. Canyon Run and finished third in a six furlong claiming race. That race set the tone for the exciting journey that lay ahead.
Despite the dangers of racing and fluctuating employment, Canchari can’t picture his life any other way. He grew up playing and watching sports, so this active lifestyle has proven to be no hurdle for the 28-year old. Even the 5 a.m. wake up call doesn’t faze him, “unless the afternoon doesn’t allow for a nap”. Quite the family man, Canchari said his best racing memories include winning races for his dad.
Canchari’s most recent win was here in Shakopee. Filly Pearle de Veene, in her career debut, drew away in the final sixteenth to finish first by 5 ¼ lengths in the July 3, 2019 maiden claiming race.
“It was a lot of work, but I’m happy with how things worked out,” said Canchari. “She was being goofy at the gate but the crew did a really nice job calming her down before the race. I owe that win all to the trainer Jerry Livingston. He has done so much for my family and me. I’m excited I got him the win he deserved.”
Home sweet home will always be Canterbury Park for Canchari. The dedicated fans and fun atmosphere make this place hard for him to forget.