The email came out of nowhere on Sunday. In the aftermath of another Kentucky Derby that did not quite end the way this writer planned or wagered, lands an email with the subject line screaming:
Make the correction already !!! It has been decades !!
It’s 12:19 pm central time. I’ve already read and replied to correspondence galore detailing success stories or tales of woe from local players wishing to share whatever it might be with a sympathetic ear. Then here comes this. None of the previous emails had sounded quite this distraught. Lunch can wait. I’d have to deal with this immediately.
A click to open revealed the following:
When will you people wake up and correct the error(s?) in your media guide ???
How difficult can it be to recognize that “Faiz” was sired by PRINCE TENDERFOOT !!!
This is factual reality.
It’s in the stud book if you need corroborating evidence.
You’re just making your whole organization look clueless.
Faiz won the first race ever run at what was then Canterbury Downs on June 26, 1985. That was 13,097 days ago. Yet this was the first I had heard of this error and I have worked at Canterbury since 1994. Three publicity directors preceded me in the Park era along with countless assistants. In the Downs days there were at least three holding this position. Could we all have the sire of Faiz recorded incorrectly?
I recall reading the media guide in ’95 when live racing returned to Canterbury. I had my first job on the ‘frontside’ of the race track and was enthralled. It was a magical place. This passage appeared:
It seemed fortuitous for sure but maybe the racing gods were smiling down on Shakopee that day. Canterbury Road. Heck, it is in the media guide, it must be true. It has appeared in the History section of every guide since.
Research was required. I pulled up the chart from the Faiz victory. Sure enough. Prince Tenderfoot. Not Canterbury Road.
Sheila Williams was the publicity woman in 1995. She got me to where I am today and was not prone to fabrication. This error had to have occurred before she joined the newly formed team that reopened racing in Minnesota.
In an old filing cabinet in the press box resides media guides and news clipping from years gone by. I dug deep and found the 1986 guide. And there it was:
How did this happen, this fantastical fabrication? Was it a 1986 prank? An honest error? We may never know. I was more concerned with the emailer who may have been tormented for what he referred to as ‘decades’. Why did he wait until May 2, 2021 to finally wake us and who had he petitioned before this?
I reached out with the explanation. No reply came. I hope for the best.
We are in an age where what is said yesterday can be ‘walked back’ today, or simply denied even though it was broadcast in high-def or in print for all to see, with the knowledge that it will all vanish in the next news cycle anyway. Thank you to the emailer for persisting. This is a small detail but it was incorrect. Canterbury history is important to many.
And with that, the 2021 Canterbury Park media guide is now online. There will undoubtedly be typos and errors. Please do not wait 35 years to let me know.