ED ROSS HARDY BARN SHINES
By JIM WELLS
Two of his horses acted up in the gate in separate races, and his other two picked up the slack to take advantage of those mistakes and make it an ERH night at Canterbury Park on Sunday.
Ed Ross Hardy left his stamp on the two big races on the card, the $32,675 North Central Quarter Horse Racing Assn. Futurity, and the $20,000 Bob Morehouse Memorial/Cash Caravan Stakes.
In the futurity, Oak Tree Boulevard got rambunctious in the gate, opening the way for Stolis Kool Chick to get a huge jump on the field and defeat Oklahoma Krash in 17.674.
“That horse is really, really fast,” said winning rider Ry Eikleberry, who had a choice of which one he wanted to ride for Hardy. “I didn’t know which one was faster but I picked this one because she’s a bit more professional.”
Then, in the Morehouse-Cash Caravan 400-yard dash, Stone Cold Roller took a right turn out of the gate, giving up precious ground, and First Class Smarty under Tad Leggett hit the wire first for Hardy in 19.996.
“He almost caught them anyway,” said Stone Cold Roller’s rider Stormy Smith. “If he breaks straight, he wins it. He got second.”
“Oak Tree screwed up in the gate and it cost him,” said Hardy.
“Smarty’s been off a long time, but he doesn’t make mistakes and that’s the difference there.”
SCHOEPF’S OLD BUDDIES CONGREGATE
Bruce Riecken was a youngster when he first met Kenny Schoepf, Canterbury’s only identifier until his death 2 ½ years ago.
“It was at Park Jefferson in 1972,” Riecken said before the sixth race Sunday night.
Bruce’s dad, Keith, used Kenny, Doug and Brad Schoepf to ride his horses at the South Dakota track. “I think he probably used Doug the most,” Bruce said. “But Kenny rode a lot, too.”
Clearly, the Rieckens have known the Schoepfs a long time, and Bruce was determined to win the race named as a memorial to Kenny.
The first year it was run, Riecken’s horse Rock N Fire finished second. Cubfanbudman finished third last year.
Saturday night, Nomorewineforeddie finally got Riecken to the winner’s circle in the $25,000 Kenny Schoepf Stakes.
Riecken intended to say something about his long-time association with Kenny Schoepf in the winner’s circle interview. “I wanted to talk about it but forgot,” he said.
There were other long-time friends of Kenny Schoepf’s present for the race, too.
Linda and Randy Christiansen were youngsters at her dad’s place in Jefferson, S.D., Bud’s Bar, when Kenny was a regular there in the early 1970s.
The Christiansens were in town on business and to take in the PGA tournament at Hazeltine. They stayed at the Canterbury Inn .
Leaving Canterbury Friday night, they spotted jockey agent Barb Noll’s van with her name and the horse supplements she distributes printed on the side.
Later they ran into another Park Jefferson “old-timer,” Canterbury outrider Russell Scott at the hotel bar and asked if that was indeed the same Barb Noll they knew from South Dakota.
Indeed it was, they were told.
One thing led to another and the old acquaintances hooked up before Saturday’s race.
All of them were familiar with Kenny’s voice and demands from the end of the bar he occupied when he wasn’t on the dance floor thirty-five years ago at Bud’s Bar.
“My friends need a drink,” Linda said to Barb.
“Whenever Kenny needed a drink, his friends did, too,” Barb said
“And there was no way you were going to pay for it. He wouldn’t allow it.”
Noll recalled how Schoepf introduced her to the game of pool.
Noll lived a few doors down from Bud’s Bar in those days. Schoepf frequently used her living room couch when driving home was a bit dangerous after an evening at Bud’s.
“He’d show up in the early morning hours on Sundays,” Noll recalled. “I’d make breakfast and, since nobody else was up yet, he’d take me to play pool.”
There were other memories shared as well on Saturday. It was a somber evening in some respects but rewarding just the same, particularly for Riecken after winning the race..
“It was special, very special,” he said.
GOP LEGISLATURE NIGHT AT CANTERBURY
Senator David Senjem and representative Kurt Zellers will host a fundraiser at Canterbury from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday in the Wild Horse Saloon.
Many of their colleagues are expected, providing horsemen with an opportunity to illuminate them on the industry and its needs, the bid for casino gaming in particular.
The HBPA will take reservations at its backside office, in person or by phone.
A $50 minimum contribution per couple is suggested.
A GOOD LOOKING HORSE
The maiden winner of Sunday’s fifth race, a 5 ½ furlong sprint for 2-year-olds, produced quite a stir after a big, bold move that labeled him a horse to watch.
According to owner Barry Butzow, the race was a learning experience for A Student, but it was a lesson well learned.
The son of Afleet Alex from La Sorbonne was left at the gate and was running seventh at the 16th pole but fired as if shot out of a rocket to win the race.
It was a big move.
“Very big,” said jockey Scott Stevens, who has been on the horse’s back in the morning. “That’s a very nice horse. Those horses in front of him weren’t stopping and he still passed them.”
The accolades rained down on the $120,000 purchase.
“This horse could compete anyplace, including Churchill Downs,” said paddock analyst Kevin Gorg.
“He can go a mile and a half for sure,” said winning rider Derek Bell.
“This is the best horse I’ve been on in quite a while.”
Bell included a horse he galloped last year.
“He’s better than Win Willey, at least right now,” he said.