The first year of the Canterbury Racing Club, in 2009, the horse won its first race… then its second.
“Well, this is super easy,” said Ron Jacobson, who has been a member of the Racing Club all but one year. “We all thought we had a Claiming Crown winner in our midst.”
The Canterbury Racing Club has opened up registration for 2019. For only $250, people can own part of a horse (or horses) that runs at Canterbury Park over the summer. Registration closes Feb. 28. One member this year hails from Alaska.
What to Expect
Jacobson, whose wife Cheri is also a club member, remembers that first year fondly.
“We were a bunch of yahoos and didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “And we win. The next thing I know, I’m in the Winner’s Circle. That’s a half hour of my life I don’t remember what happened.”
The Jacobsons got interested in the Racing Club after attending Canterbury College, a free five-week handicapping course offered each year. What struck Jacobson most was how much goes into getting a horse ready to race: the grooms, trainers, equipment, food, vet bills…
“It was really neat to see everything that goes into it,” he said.
Excitement of the Sport
You know those staff meetings where everyone has to go around the room and say something interesting about themselves?
“It’s always fun to say, ‘I own a race horse,'” Jacobson said.
But beyond the cool factor of owning a horse, the excitement of watching it race is even better, he said, adding that he and Cheri will sometimes visit tracks where the club’s horse runs after the Canterbury Park meet comes to a close in September. (The horse is sold at the end of the calendar year.)
“We watched our horse run at Churchill Downs,” Jacobson said. “It’s cool to see the horse’s name, the name of the club, on the board and in the program.”
Jacobson said he isn’t a big bettor, but having been through Canterbury College and the Racing Club, he also has a better perspective on how to wager.
“I look at races differently now, having been behind the scenes,” he said. “There’s the excitement of the sport itself, then you’re presented with information to solve a puzzle.”
Canterbury Racing Club
For only $250, people can get the horse ownership experience at a fraction of the cost of owning a race horse on your own.
Racing Club members receive admission to Canterbury Park for the season and, if available, a special location to watch when club horses run. Plus, members get access to the paddock and — with luck — access to the Winner’s Circle.
Members also have an opportunity to visit the backstretch during scheduled tours and see where the horses live and train.
“We’re in it for $250. It’s not nothing, but it’s not a huge amount of money,” Jacobson said. “You’re going to learn a lot about the horses and the people and enjoying everything that goes into it. It’s a lot of fun for a minimal investment.”
Racing Club Trainers
A second trainer has been added to the Racing Club this year, Karl Broberg, whose career earnings total over $44.5 million.
“He’s going to be a great addition to the Canterbury Racing Club,” said Jeff Maday, media relations manager at Canterbury Park. “Under his guidance, we’re excited at the prospect of finding the Winner’s Circle this year.”
Broberg’s winning percentage in 2018 was 37, with more than $8 million in earnings and an average of $4,398 per start.
Nevada Litfin, who piloted the Canterbury Racing Club’s training in 2018, will return as again in 2019.