By Noah Joseph
As racing returned from its brief respite during Twin Cities Summer Jam, the horses, horsepeople and fans were greeted by high temperatures and extreme heat. So how do you beat the heat? Well, you have to stay cool. Speaking of cool, here are some horses with some chilling names that left their foes in a deep freeze and will help you stay cool during the hot summer months.
Very few Minnesota breds captured such enthusiasm as Polar Plunge. The daughter of
Successful Appeal began her career by winning her first three races, including a six length win in the 2011 Frances Genter Stakes at Canterbury Park. She was one of the most consistent runners in Canterbury history as well, finishing in the money 13 times in races at Canterbury, including stakes races against Minnesota breds and open company. Her wins in addition to her aforementioned Frances Genter Stakes included the 2012 Minnesota Distaff Sprint Championship and the 2013 Lady Slipper Stakes. Polar Plunge’s success meant happy times for trainer Gary Scherer and owner Cam Casby. Sadly, Cam passed away after the 2014 season, and her horses were sold in a dispersal sale. Polar Plunge was purchased by Al and Bill Ulwelling, who kept her in training with Gary Scherer. She scored one more stakes win by taking the Lady Slipper in 2015, the second time she won that race. Polar Plunge was retired after the 2015 season.
Winters in Minnesota can be tough. Winter Trick was aptly named as toughness was his calling card. He raced 70 times in his career, with 55 of those starts occurring at Canterbury Park. He first raced in 2003 for owner and trainer Ted Latour, before being claimed from him. Winter Trick bounced around a couple of different barns before being claimed by Troy Bethke for owner Joyce Blenkush in 2007. Bethke and Blenkush raced Winter Trick until 2010 when he retired. Although he was a hard-knocking claimer for the majority of his career, Winter Trick did have his bright moments, including being the runner-up by a neck in the 2003 Minnesota Classic Championship Stakes as a longshot; runner-up in the 2004 Blair’s Cove Stakes as a long shot; and finishing third in the Minnesota Turf Championship twice in his career, the first occurrence in 2004, the second in 2008. Winter Trick won 11 times during his career and finished in the top three 26 times, earning more than $157,000. Not bad for a Minnesota bred gelding.
In addition to the snow and the cold, Minnesota is also known for ice. This is normally seen as a
negative, but sometimes it can be a positive. In this case, we’re talking about Ice For The Lady. A daughter of Flatter, Ice For The Lady was bred in Kentucky but did much of her racing at Tampa Bay Downs in Florida. She was owned by W. Kenan Rand Jr and trained by Gerald Bennett. Ice For The Lady was a solid runner in Florida, having won there three times and was second in the Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, but it was her lone trip to Canterbury that was to be her shining moment. Ice For The Lady came to Shakopee in 2014 to run in the Northbound Pride Oaks at a mile on the grass. However, weather forced the race to the dirt. Despite the surface change, the fans made Ice For The Lady the 5-2 second choice in the field of eight. Ice For The Lady tracked the leaders for much of the race and was ready to run, but she had nowhere to go. When the field turned for home, jockey Seth Martinez guided Ice For The Lady to the far outside and came charging by the field to win by a length and a half over the favored Stellaris. This would be the final win in Ice For The Lady’s career, though she did race two more times back home in Florida. She finished her career with four wins from ten starts and earnings of over $100,000.
So while it may be hot outside, don’t forget these horses that made racing at Canterbury super cool.