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Hastabealeader Wins Northern Plains

Just as trainer Bob Johnson was leaving the paddock shortly before the final race on Sunday’s card he was presented with a thought to consider.

If everything went all right, would that be what it would take.

“That’s all it should take,” he offered.

You have to read between the lines here, but basically that’s quarter horse talk for “we’ll win the darn thing.”

Everything went just fine, thank you, so you already know the result. Now, the only thing necessary is to supply a name, a time, a margin etc…

Oh, yes, and a description of the race itself. The subject of conversation was the $22,069.75 Northern Plains Stallion Futurity, which drew a field of 11.

The winner was the 6-5 favorite Hastabealeader, trained of course by Johnson, ridden by Clyde Smith and owned by Gloria J. Myers of Ipswich, S.D.

The winner had ½ length on Mr Shakem Diva, trained by Ed Ross Hardy and ridden by Nik Goodwin and the chief concern to the Johnson team.

“He [Hastabealeader] is an honest colt, a nice colt. He’s consistent, and he’s good in the gate. The No. 3 horse [Mr. Shakem Diva] is fast. He’ll be tough. I’ve ridden both of them and I like my colt,” Smith said earlier in the afternoon.

He liked him even better later in the day after all the pieces fell into place to assure a perfect trip for the winner and a convincing win.

The trip was not so perfect for Rebaday, who unseated Wilfredo Aroyo shortly out of the gate and left the rider on the track, shaken but not seriously injured.

The winner was 2-1-2 from five career starts and had previously lagged in the gate after delays in the start of the race. “He’d get ticked off and get a late break and have to run them down,” Smith explained.

There was none of that on Sunday.

The starters lined up without incident and the winner got away with a perfect start. The start was so clean that Smith figured then and there his chances were excellent.

“Nobody was acting up and we didn’t have to back out,” Smith added. “He got away clean and I knew then he was probably a winner.” He was indeed, in 18.240.

Johnson had three other starters in the race and one of them, Mr. Imgunasteelurgirl, got a check, for fourth.

Johnson agreed that the incident-free start to the race made a difference for his winning colt.

“That helped a lot,” he said. “He just broke straight and clean so all he had to do was outrun the others.”

In other words, everything went all right.

This blog was written by Canterbury Staff Writer Jim Wells. Wells was a longtime sportswriter at the Pioneer Press and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.

Photo Credit: Coady Photography