Horse trainer Mike Bolinger has been coming to Canterbury Park since 2004, but he had been around horses well before that.
Bolinger’s parents trained quarter horses in Iowa when he was a child and they would run the horses on the smaller tracks.
“My dad actually broke horses that were thoroughbreds for a dentist that lived in a town next to us,” Bolinger said.
In 1989, Bolinger and his family started racing horses at Prairie Meadows, near Des Moines, Iowa. The family then owned their own thoroughbreds in 1990.
“The first one we bought had two wins out of his first three races and then we went back out and bought three more and each one of them won before the season was over,” Bolinger said.
Bolinger currently has two thoroughbreds at Canterbury that he has raised, both out of a mare he previously purchased named Demaloot Demashoot.
“Shattered Dreams broke his maiden here last year,” Bolinger said. “As a breeder, that was the biggest race I won where I was the owner, trainer and breeder of the horse.”
Being a breeder, trainer and owner allows for Bolinger to get to know his own horses and call all the shots.
“It’s fun, especially when you get to pick your own path and what you do with your horse,” he said.
Bolinger enjoys coming back to Canterbury Park.
“It’s a real friendly place. I like the backside; it’s a nice set up.”
Those that know Bolinger have nothing but good things to say of him. “He’s the kind of person that will help anyone that needs it,” jockey Doug Frink said. Maybe he inherited that trait from his father, whom Bolinger continues to work with, the one who instilled his love for horses.
“If I need help, he is more than willing to jump in the car and drive four and a half hours to come and help me,” Bolinger said.
by Natalie Hoepner