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Horse racing in Minnesota

Hernandez to Ride at Canterbury; Keeneland opens; R2K Continues Saturday; Stevens on the movie Jockey; and more…….

Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest

The free contest continues this Saturday featuring all the races, including the Santa Anita Derby, from Santa Anita as well as additional bonus races: Blue Grass from Keeneland and Wood Memorial from Aqueduct. Cash prizes awarded weekly! Find details here.  Think your score might be best? Bet on it in the Bet on Yourself in R2K contest and win cash prize. R2K entry deadline is 2pm.

Play Keeneland in the Racebook

The Keeneland Spring Meet takes place April 8-29, with no racing on Mondays or Tuesdays or Easter Sunday. Racing begins at noon this Friday and includes the $600,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), $400,000 Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3) and the $400,000 Lafayette. Saturday features five graded stakes including the G1 Blue Grass, a major Derby prep, where Zandon, owned by Jeff Drown of St. Cloud, will attempt to earn points to qualify for the Run for the Roses. Find the entire Racebook hours of operation and simo calendar here.

Jockey movie drawing Saturday in the Racebook

Enter the free Road to Kentucky contest this Saturday and you’re eligible to win a Blu-Ray of the new movie Jockey. See Clifton Collins Jr.’s Sundance Best Actor-winning performance in Jockey, the story of an aging jockey hoping to win one last title for his longtime trainer, who has acquired what appears to be a championship horse. But the years – and injuries – have taken a toll on his body, throwing into question his ability to continue his lifelong passion. The arrival of a young rookie rider, claiming to be his son, further complicates the path to fulfilling his dream. From Sony Pictures Classics, Jockey is available on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD now.

Scott Stevens

The movie Jockey was filmed on location at Turf Paradise in Phoenix. Scott Stevens, a Canterbury Park Hall of Fame rider, served as technical director and appears in several scenes. “We had fun doing it. They were a great bunch of guys. It’s a good story. It’s very realistic to me,” Stevens said. One scene, Stevens laments, did not make the final cut. “There was a bug boy [in the movie] who cut me off. I decked him in the jocks’ room,” he said, “but it got cut.”

The film was written and directed by Clint Bentley whose father was a jockey and trainer who rode with Stevens at Canterbury in the late 80s. “It was a small budget film. All of it was hand-held. There was no fancy equipment. There are some very beautiful shots. It is really well done,” Stevens said. The film was sold to Sony which Stevens said he was told was like having a $5,000 claimer and winning the All-American.

Stevens, now an agent, bringing Harry Hernandez to Canterbury

Harry Hernandez

He’s the third leading jockey by wins in the nation and leading rider at Turf Paradise. His name is Harry Hernandez and he intends to ride in Shakopee this summer, with Scott Stevens as his agent. Stevens, who last rode in February of 2021, became a jockey agent in Arizona soon after his retirement. “There’s a lot of stress and it takes a lot of time,” he said of an occupation that many race fans know little of. “When I rode, I would ride my races, study my races and that was it. I haven’t missed watching a race this meet.” He watches them all at home on TVG where he can take notes uninterrupted.

Stevens is excited to return to Shakopee this summer. His name is prominent in the Canterbury record book. Stevens rode more races at Canterbury, 6,570, than any other jockey. He is second in all-time wins with 999 and fourth in all-time earnings.

How did Stevens end up with Hernandez? Paula Bacon, a former jockey and current agent, called Stevens last October, a month before the Turf Paradise meet began, and asked if he wanted to take Hernandez’ business. “He was at Finger Lakes and she told me to watch him ride,” Stevens said. He was absolutely interested but Hernandez really wanted to finish the Finger Lakes’ meet which overlapped Turf Paradise.

Stevens had Hernandez fly to Phoenix to ride opening day, Nov. 5, where he would have three calls. “He rode three, won two,” Stevens said. “The first mount paid $45 to win. Rode a maiden and finished second then he won a stake.” Hernandez returned to New York and did not return to Turf Paradise until Nov. 26. “He missed a month of the meet. He was 25 [wins] behind Lindey Wade and now he is 38 in front [of Karlo Lopez].  He’s the third leading rider in the nation by wins. He’s winning at 27 percent.”

Stevens grew up as the son of a trainer. “That’s where I got my work ethic. I know how important it is for a jockey to show up on time to the barn. If you’re late to the barn it screws up the whole morning for the trainer,” he said.

Hernandez understands that.  “Harry is a good kid. People like him. He is very level-headed,” Stevens said of his rider who recently won 15 races in four race days.

“This kid can ride,” Stevens said.

Hernandez, 25, is from Puerto Rico. His best friends are Irad and Jose Ortiz. “He talks to them every day,” Stevens said.

Stevens will also represent Luis Negron, fifth in the rider standings at Canterbury last summer.

Kentucky Derby Reserved and Live Racing Season Passes

May 7 – Derby Day! Reserved seating is on sale now. Admission on Derby is free with a Bronze, Gold or Silver MVP card. Live racing season passes are also on sale now. More here.
New this year is a Derby Fashion Extravaganza. Find info here.

You Want In Super Satellites

Win an entry to the You Want In Satellite Contest on May 14, 2022

Every Thursday – Saturday through May 7.

$10 Entry Fee for each contest day. Players may enter three times per week.

One player for every 10 entries from each super satellite session will win a $100 entry into the You Want In Satellite Contest on May 14, 2022 which awards entry to the $120,000 Big Ten BCBC Contest.

Find all the details here.

If you have not visited the Racebook in two weeks, you will notice new and improved wagering machines when you do.

Canterbury has transitioned to AmTote equipment. The new machines are intuitive but if you do have questions simply stop by the Clubhouse MVP / Information Center for answers.

Your MVP Rewards card will function in the same manner. Just swipe it prior to wagering and your MVP Rewards points will accumulate.

If you have mutuel tickets from your last visit before the changeover, they will not cash in the new wagering machines but can be exchanged for cash on the main mutuel line on Clubhouse level during operating hours.

If you are accustomed to wagering from your mobile device or tablet via BetCanterbury, we have a new and improved interface coming soon to make your experience even better. Visit the MVP desk for information.