The freight train was approaching, in fact keen observers knew it had been for years; it was only a matter of when it would arrive. That train is Mac Robertson and the station the historical trainer win total at Canterbury Park and Downs. A couple of weeks back Robertson overtook Canterbury Park Hall of Fame trainer Bernell Rhone, the man responsible for bringing the first horse onto the grounds of the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack in 1985; the trainer that has operated a stable here every year the track has been open.
Robertson, a Hall of Famer himself, has 858 wins at Canterbury, 65 coming this season. Rhone has 841. With two days and 28 races remaining, Robertson entered 37 horses. He leads trainer Robertino Diodoro, who entered 34, by three wins as he seeks his 13th title. Diodoro is the only trainer to hold that title other than Mac since 2005. Diodoro did it in 2014 and 2015 and tied Robertson last season.
Robertson’s horses have already earned a record $1,982,427 this season, nearly 14 percent of the total purses projected for the entire meet. He has 10 of the top 11 single-season earnings totals. His previous high-water earnings mark came in 2017 with $1,763,068.
Robertson has been dominant with Minnesota bred runners in 2019, in fact his charges have won 12 of the 16 state bred stakes. Hot Shot Kid won the 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota Turf, Blair’s Cove, and Wally’s Choice Minnesota Classic Championship. Four stakes wins for a horse in a single season, state bred or not, is rare enough here and on Friday Hot Shot Kid could win his fifth, as he is entered in the $50,000 Tom Metzen Stakes.
Ready to Runaway won the Frances Genter, Minnesota Oaks, and Glitter Star Distaff Classic. Mister Banjoman won the Victor Myers and Minnesota Derby. First Hunter, Happy Hour Cowboy, and Honey’s Sox Appeal each won a state bred stake race as well.
Mac Robertson shows no signs of slowing down. His horses are well placed for closing weekend, with live runners in three of the final four stakes.