By Mari Ballinger
Canchari is a popular name around Canterbury Park. That’s because brothers, Alex and Patrick, as well as their dad, Luis Canchari, all rode or are currently riding here.
Alex Canchari had his professional riding debut on December 26, 2011 at Hawthorne Racecourse just days before his eighteenth birthday. But, life at the track started way before his teenage years. His grandpa trained horses and Luis rode from 1984 to 1991, when he started to own and train horses. Luis immigrated to the United States in the early 1980’s, coming from a family that frequented Hipodromo de Monterrico in Lima. With this much time spent at the race track, it’s hard for any of the Cancharis to imagine life without it.
Alex’s first career victory came on January 13, 2012 at Oaklawn Park on opening day. He was aboard mare Run Mama Beare Run and paid $14.20 to win. Later that day, he won again. This time he was aboard gelding Simply Gone and paid $76.80 to win. In the fall of 2012, the hard work paid off and Alex earned the title of leading rider at Hawthorne Race Course.
Since then, Alex has only improved. His first Stakes win was April 7, 2013 at Oaklawn Park in $60,000 Arkansas Breeders’ aboard gelding Devil and a Half.
2019 has been a big year for Alex. He started out hot with a win at Oaklawn Park in the $100,000 American Beauty Stakes aboard Amy’s Challenge. A month later, he won the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes with filly Raintree Starlet. And the next month, Alex and Amy’s Challenge did it again, winning the $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes.
This year, the 25-year old welcomed son Leon to the world. Who knows, maybe the Canchari name will live on at Canterbury Park even longer.
Alex traveled back to Canterbury this past Sunday, riding Schnitzel and Runaway Wind, both horses are trained by Mac Robertson. ‘The Shakopee Kid’ will race again this week, and many are excited for his return to Minnesota.
“If you like money, you like Alex Canchari,” said Kevin Gorg, owner of the Power Play Tip Sheet.