BY JIM WELLS
Residential streets throughout the Twin Cities were lined with the automobiles of people attending high school graduation parties Friday night.
Those festivities undoubtedly cut into attendance (3,925) a bit, but Canterbury Park hosted some graduation parties of its own.
The evening got under way with Recording Contract, a 3-year-old filly, graduating from the maiden ranks in a mile event for fillies and mares.
Cam Casby of Shakopee owns the winning filly, and Gary Scherer trains her. Recording Contract provided their barn with a much needed shot in the arm.
“We’ve had some horses who ran in tough company at the Fairgrounds go south on us here,” Scherer said. “We needed this.”
Recording Contract, a daughter of Rossini from Post it, was the first of three winners on the card for Juan Rivera.
In the card’s only race on the grass, Canterbury Park Hall of Fame rider Scott Stevens rode Sirrah to the winner’s circle in the (about a) mile event. The 3-year-old Broken Bow filly graduated from the maiden ranks in her fourth try at her fourth race track. She failed to break her maiden in previous attempts at the Fair Grounds, Hawthorne Race Course and Prairie Meadows Racetrack.
Two other graduates Friday night:
*Laura’s Jinsky closed quickly and was the first of two winners on the card for defending riding champion Derek Bell in the eighth race, a maiden special weight event at six furlongs.
*The card closer was a 300-yard quarter horse race for maiden claimers won by Holland By, a 4-year-old gelding trained by Amber Blair and ridden by Jason Olmstead.
A four-year-old gelding named Pivot Pad made his fifth appearance at Canterbury in the third race and won for the fourth time.
Pivot Pad is owned by James Brown and Joe Keenan of Bloomington and trained by Hall of Fame conditioner David Van Winkle, who hoped to do even more for Brown and Wendy Moen who ran Forest Echoes in the seventh race. “That would be nice to get another win there,” said Van Winkle.
Forest Echoes was an impressive winner in that race as a matter of fact, finishing in 1:10 and 4-5ths for the six-furlong event, providing Rivera with his third win on the card.
The meet’s leading owner, Jer-Mar Stable, and trainer, Mac Robertson, struck in the fifth race with Mister Merz turning in an impressive mile and 70-yard win under Dean Butler.
Duke Deluxe, ridden by Bell and trained by Red Rarick, caught Lyka Card Shark in the final strikes with a closing rush for his fifth win at Canterbury. In 11 starts in Shakopee, he has finished first or second eight times.
OVERHEARD IN THE PADDOCK, RECEIVING BARN OR FIRST FLOOR MEN’S ROOM
Some of the best quotes of recent days:
*Quarter horse trainer Jerry Livingston was part of a group that lobbied at the legislature this spring for casino gaming at Canterbury Park.
Livingston was standing with a group of horsemen and jockeys when Governor Tim Pawlenty emerged from his office one day to address reporters. Moments later, some Native American men left the same room, and that caught Livingston’s attention.
“The last time there were that many Indians in one place was at the Little Bighorn,” Livingston remarked.
*During a recent conversation on the main level of the grandstand, it was pointed out that HBPA president Tom Metzen hadn’t weighed in with his opinion on the matter under discussion.
“There will be no more quotes from me,” said Metzen, “and you can quote me on that.”