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All that was absent was buttered popcorn, a large Pepsi, maybe some Milk Duds and a plush recliner seat.

Cinema, theater, the movies, the show… call it what you like, it doesn’t get any better, not in the opinion of some of Canterbury’s leading lights.

Saturday’s third race was not only one of the best of the meet but one for the books, providing a lead change on the turn and two more involving the same horses during the stretch drive. It was the type of race that makes racing fans of mere fans.

“We can raise the admission price with a race like that,” said pressbox boss Jeff Maday. “There won’t be any movies this summer better than this.”

Disregard a couple of facts regarding animal behavior, and we might be talking Academy Award nominee. Or some such. Here is the review:

Ry Eikleberry moved Mystorynmstikntoit to the lead past front-running El Mono Verde and Geovanni  Franco on the turn, looking for all the world like a winner as they turned into the stretch.

Not by a longshot, which neither of these odds-on choices was, not Mystorynmstikntoit at 5/2 or El Mono Verde at 7/5

Franco’s mount re-fired at midstretch to regain the lead, but Eikleberry’s mount was not finished, digging in to retake the lead and the win.

“That horse can be a weird SOB,” said Eikleberry. “He should have won by 10.”

Franco, who rode the winner in its previous two starts at Turf Paradise, wasn’t surprised. “I know that horse,” he said. “He gets the lead and starts looking around. I thought he might do that. It was my only chance.”

Sure enough, that’s what happened. Franco’s mount reclaimed the lead but then…

“He started looking around,” Franco said.

The lesson here is quite simple.

The job’s not done until… the finish line.

It wasn’t exactly Easy Goer and Sunday Silence, but not many are.



Canterbury’s jockey colony couldn’t have found a better representative for the Leg Up Fund, which benefits injured riders at the Shakopee track.

Jenna Joubert was among several riders greeting patrons as the came in the main door to the grandstand with a sales pitch only a sales woman might deliver.  The riders were selling $20 raffle tickets to win a motor bike or simply taking donations, whichever a patron chose. Joubert didn’t let them say ‘no’ easily.

“She’s like a little bulldog,” a colleague remarked. “She’s a good talker.”

With good reason.. When Joubert’s not working or riding horses, she sells Arbonne beauty products.

“Do you know about our Leg Up fund?” she asked patron after patron. “I think they think we’re selling something,” Joubert added. “We should have another sign up telling them what the fund is all about.”

Some patrons stopped to listen. Others walked past in a rush, but Joubert was frequently in hot pursuit, talking, informing, selling.

“Here’s how you can help us out,” she said. “Here’s what you can do for our riders.”


Bug girl Maria Thornton had trouble getting a horse to ride on Saturday.  Make that keeping them. What are the odds of this hat trick?

Her horse in the first race, Corona Bye and Bye? Scratched. Her third race mount, Franks On Fire? Scatched

She had one more chance to ride, on an also eligible named Grayrock in the sixth race.