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Less Than a Month…

Tote BoardWith just less than a month until the 2013 racing season begins, there is much happening at Canterbury Park. The construction stage of the new infield toteboard is on schedule for completion in early May. Then the technically inclined folks get involved to make it work. Evidently the 150 feet of digital capability and video monitor twice the size of the one being replaced require a bit more work than simply plugging them in and hitting the power button.

Also in the mix is a 12 x 25 foot video board in the paddock area, a new addition that should be quite impactful. The main lobby is undergoing a remodel as well and that should be complete soon.

Canterbury will also present a new look for viewers both in house and around the country as the graphics for our broadcast are getting a facelift.

Horse owners are buzzing about the larger purses and the prospects for their equine athletes. Hope runs high in April without a doubt.

The Minnesota Thoroughbred Association (MTA) is hosting ownership seminars this spring and summer, the first one is offered Saturday, May 4. This is a free event and a good chance to learn more about the sport. Details are available here.

Partnerships are a good way to get into the ownership side of racing. A partnership, much like splitting a large pick six wager, allows you to share the risk and still enjoy the upside. The Canterbury Racing Club attracted a very large club membership in its fifth year and will continue to focus on education and enjoyment of ownership while explaining in detail the costs that go with it. There are many others that offer partnerships at various levels. The MTA can be a resource for finding them. Before joining any partnership or group, be sure to find out all the details and costs up front.

A fairly new group is Lucky Horseshoe Racing. They operate in a manner similar to Canterbury Racing Club, offering a one-time payment of $250 + a $50 administration fee for the season.

What you need to know going in is that there are no certainties in racing. There are dates in books and races that fit your horse but getting there is never easy… and winning is a luxury. This summer Canterbury will run about 700 races. There will be 700 winners. There will be 1,600 horses stabled here. Fewer than half the horses racing at Canterbury will win. You can want to win and you can hope to win but you cannot count on winning. Which means that owning a horse should be an enjoyable experience shared with friends and family. Not a means to paying the mortgage.

I glanced at Lucky Horseshoe Racing’s website and that seems to be their focus. Have fun as a group. Find a trainer that can communicate and a horse that can be competitive and learn about the game. Enjoy a day or night at the races and a morning visiting the stable area. And hope…

Road to Kentucky Contest Continues

This Saturday’s featured track is Keeneland with the Lexington Stakes serving as the double point race. Post time and contest deadline is noon.

There is weekly prize money to be had and no reason not to take a shot at the 10-race affair.

It doesn’t look like any of the Lexington entrants are serious Derby horses but the winner gets 20 points and that puts them in the field if the connections so choose.

Illinois Derby onTap for Saturday

It is an embarrassment that the Illinois Derby was left off the Derby trail in an act that appears to be more spiteful than logical. So Hawthorne changed the date and the race now serves as a prep for the Preakness. It should be a good card in Chicago. Be sure to check to get Angela Hermann’s selections.