It’s what every little boy dreams of: growing up to be exactly like their dad. For Mark Anderson, his dream was extra special because he got to follow in the footsteps of his brother, dad and grandpa. Originally from Grand Island, NE, Anderson grew up at the horse track and knew his calling was in the racing industry.
In 1996, Anderson and his older brother Chad, who was riding at the time at Canterbury, moved in with track announcer Paul Allen in Chaska . The younger Anderson’s professional riding debut was February 13, 1998 in a claiming race at Fonner Park. His riding career lasted a memorable 14 years with 776 wins, 818 seconds and 909 thirds. Anderson raced all over the country, including Portland Meadows, Emerald Downs, Canterbury Park, and Turf Paradise.
Talk about keeping a family tradition alive, Anderson did just that. His grandpa Irving Anderson won the Lassie Stakes at Portland Meadows when he was a jockey and his dad Wayne Anderson did the same thing. Mark ventured to Portland Meadows and on November 16, 2008 won the exact same race.
Some people are all for grand entrances while Anderson loves to make a grand exit. His favorite memory at Canterbury Park was winning his last race here June 18, 2011. He was aboard gelding Mad About Fuzz in a claiming race and drew off to victory.
Anderson hung up his tack after riding December 8, 2012 at Portland Meadows, although his work at the track didn’t stop there. Months later, he moved to Minnesota and started working at Canterbury Park as a clocker.
Now, Anderson works in the Canterbury racing office as an entry clerk during the week and clerk of scales on race day. In the winter he is a jockey agent at Turf Paradise. Mark can be seen in the Canterbury winner’s circle after each race with a smile on his face, which demonstrates his true love of racing.