By JIM WELLS
It’s the Grand Canyon state for Rusty Shaw and Patricia Trimble when the Canterbury Park meet ends on Sunday.
The two jockeys have never ridden at Turf Paradise, but are eager to test the Phoenix track for a couple of reasons. They like the idea that the meet runs October through April. That will coincide nicely with a return to Shakopee next May. It will also allow Trimble to put her four-year-old daughter, Taylor Page, in school for the entire school year.
Oh, yes, there is one other thing.
Shaw and Trimble plan to marry in Phoenix and they won’t need a reminder on the date.
“It’s on 11-11-11,” Shaw said.
Trimble and Shaw have known each other for 10 years, but have been an item only the past year or so. It’s all working out just right they way they see it.
Shaw and Trimble met a decade ago at the Ocala 2-year-old in training sale. They were both employed breaking babies.
A friendship developed. Eventually, Rusty introduced Patricia to a friend of his and the two of them hit it off and had a child, Taylor, together. When that relationship ended, Shaw was the right man in the right place at the right time.
Rusty admits he wasn’t always the most eligible man around but he’s cleaned up his act and that’s been the difference. “I’m much better now,” Shaw said with the hint of smile.
Shaw and Trimble had never raced at the same track together before they arrived at Canterbury this summer, and now they’ll arrive as a team at Turf Paradise, too.
The opportunity came about unexpectedly. Trainer Valorie Lund agreed to use them both at her home base in Phoenix and the setup fits their plans perfectly.
“It was hard to pass up,” Trimble said. “I especially like the long meet. I can put my daughter in school and not worry about pulling her out halfway through the school year to go someplace else.”
Shaw is a native of Chicago, Ill. Trimble is from Vancouver, B.C. Her parents and a number of her friends will be in Phoenix for the wedding.
“It should be really nice,” she said.
ROBERTSON, ULWELLINGS WIN TITLES
Mac Robertson wrapped up another training title, his seventh straight at Canterbury Park to highlight a season in which he was elected to the track’s Hall of Fame.
Derek Bell rode Gypsy Melody, the winner of the second race, for Robertson. Nik Goodwin rode Variable for Robertson as the winner of the fifth race. That provided Robertson with a five-win lead over Bernell Rhone in the training standings.
Goodwin rode three winners on the card to give him eight for the weekend. He won five races on Friday night’s card.
Goodwin’s other winners were Our Miss Brookside, trained by Gary Scherer for Al and Bill Ulwelling, who won the owners’ race for the second year, and Desert Prize in the card closer.
TIDBITS ON THE NEXT TO LAST DAY
Sheila Williams, the former media relations director at Canterbury, was at the track on Saturday to watch a friend’s horse race.
The horse is Dear Fay. The friend is Bo Vujovich, who wasn’t able to attend.
So Williams represented her friend in the paddock before the race, approaching trainer Vic Hanson.
“Hi, I’m Sheila Williams, Bo’s friend,” she said. “Shouldn’t this horse be wearing blinkers?”
“Anything else?” Hanson responded.
*Steve Anderson, who announces races at Fonner Park in Grand Island, Neb., and at Lincoln, is at the mic this weekend for Paul Allen, who departed the Twin Cities on Saturday for San Diego where the Minnesota Vikings play the Chargers on Sunday. Allen is the voice of the Vikings for KFAN radio.