By Noah Joseph
Throughout Canterbury’s history there have been many horses that have had success here, yet generally fly under the radar when it comes to major recognition from the local fans. These horses deserve the same amount of appreciation as the other good to great horses that have raced at Canterbury Park. One such horse that deserves this attention is Wild Jacob.
out of a mare named Let’s Coast. Wild Jacob did not race at Canterbury until 2011, but prior to his Minnesota debut, he had put together a solid three-year-old season in which he finished no worse than third while racing in Arkansas and Iowa, including a win in the Prairie Mile Stakes at Prairie Meadows. Wild Jacob came to run at Canterbury in the Dean Kutz Stakes, which was held just a couple days after racing returned to Canterbury following the government shutdown. Wild Jacob was made the 2-1 favorite by the fans in Shakopee in the race, and he did not disappoint his backers. He was up on or near the lead for much of the one-mile grass contest and won by 2 ½ lengths under Ry Eikleberry.
A few weeks later, Eikleberry was back aboard Wild Jacob for the John Bullit Stakes, once again on the lawn. However, this race was going to be a bit more of a challenge, as his score in the Dean Kutz was against his fellow three-year-olds. Now he was facing older and more experienced horses. But Wild Jacob was up to the challenge on this day. He tracked the leaders from 3rd place for much of the race, then swung three wide into the stretch and cleared off to win by a length in the final strides. These two triumphs helped Wild Jacob win the award for Champion Three-Year-Old Colt at Canterbury that season
As a four-year-old, Wild Jacob returned to Minnesota looking to continue his success at Canterbury. Prior to his return, he was second in a stakes race at Fonner Park in Nebraska. He made his 2012 Canterbury debut in the Brooks Fields Stakes on Father’s Day. Rain forced the race to be moved to a sloppy track, and Wild Jacob managed to handle it with a solid third place finish behind the winner Stachys. One month later, Wild Jacob attempted to win the John Bullit Stakes for the second year in a row and turn the table on Stachys. He tracked the leaders for much of the race, then in the stretch, he gamely came up along the rail and past his foes to win by two lengths. Scott Stevens was aboard Wild Jacob for this victory, as well as his previous third in the Brooks Fields. That would be the final victory of Wild Jacob’s career, but at age five, he was still a hard knocking runner who finished third in three straight stakes at Canterbury, including an attempt to win the John Bullit Stakes for a third time. Wild Jacob raced at Canterbury only once more after that in 2015. It was a somber occasion, as his owner and trainer, Stanley Mankin, had passed away just a few weeks prior. But no one could deny that Stanley was proud of Wild Jacob and what he accomplished.
Wild Jacob raced 25 times in his career, with 10 of those starts coming at Canterbury. He won six races with four of them being stakes wins, three of them occurring here in Minnesota, and earned more than $244,000. When it comes to horses who thrived at Canterbury Park during their careers, Wild Jacob was one of the best.