STEVENS AWAITS TEST RESULT
BY JIM WELLS
Canterbury jockey Scott Stevens underwent an MRI on his left shoulder Thursday afternoon to determine if surgery is required.Both of Stevens’ shoulders were injured when a horse flipped over on him during a gate exercise recently. The scapula on the right side was broken and a piece of bone was broken off the left shoulder.The left shoulder is of the most concern at this point. Stevens hoped to get a prognosis by Friday morning if not sooner but was told late Thursday that he will have to wait until Tuesday.
“They are worried about the extent of the damage to ligaments on the left side that were torn,” he said. “They are concerned that the shoulder will pop in and out.
”Stevens was told that the recovery period is four to six weeks if surgery isn’t necessary.
“That at least gives me a little bit of hope,” he said.The Canterbury Hall of Fame rider has had his share of injuries and then some in the last few years. Last July 2 he was injured so badly in a spill at Canterbury that a helicopter was used to airlift him to a hospital. It wasn’t certain at first that he would survive, yet only weeks later he was making appearances at the track during race cards. Still, many horsemen wondered if he would ride again.
The answer was “yes.” He was back riding at Turf Paradise in Phoenix on Nov. 12 and finished fourth in the riding standings that meet with 77 winners. His winning percentage, better than 22 percent, was the highest of his career for a meet. Now is faced with the possibility of another protracted recovery, although he was still hoping Thursday afternoon to avoid surgery.
GOODWIN’S RETURN ON TRACK
When Nik Goodwin’s horse took a spill during the third race on June 5, the native Minnesotan suffered a broken rib and collarbone.
Thursday, Goodwin said he is on track to resume riding July 14. “They said it would be six to eight weeks,”he said, “so that would be just about right.”
Goowin said he is still not certain what happened. “I don’t know if the horse crossed his front legs or what. But he was OK afterward.”
A WHALE OF A FISH TALE
Members of the Canterbury Maritime Expedition, more commonly known as the annual trip to Lake Winnibigosh, returned from their weekend foray into well explored waters with a yarn or two, several edible portions of Minnesota’s favorite fish and some tales destined to join the folk lore of such excursions.
News on the subject first reached the Sage of Canterbury on Thursday morning when one Richard Grunder _ an agent who represents jockeys _ presented a picture logged on his cell phone of a 25-inch walleye pulled from the waters of Lake Winny, as it’s commonly known.
“The only people who haven’t seen this picture yet,” said the jockey agent, “are you and Oprah. It was the catch of the trip, although Josh over there (the assistant racing secretary with the surname Van Oort) purports to have had a fish in the boat that measured 25 1/2 inches.
”The jockey agent at this point added a qualifier to Mr. Van Oort’s claim: “His fish was in the boat and a measuring stick quickly applied an instant before it rejoined the depths from whence it came. The rival there insists it measured 25 1/2 inches. I will let the details of the matter stand on their own.
”Many times this type of discussion is accompanied by portrayals of,say, Sugar Ray Leonard or Manny Pacquiao, but Thursday morning’s engagement was conducted in the most civil fashion.
Other members of the expedition included Canterbury’s secretary of racing, the estimable Doug Schoepf; Bernell Rhone, a trainer of horses, and Tom Metzen, the president of a fraternal order of horsemen.
“We have been taking this trip for the last 13 years,” said the jockey agent, “and this is the first time I recall that someone has pulled an underhanded canard such as this. It is behavior you might expect only from a politican. In addition, any corroboration on the matter comes from the trainer of horses, who had a complete six-pack behind him at that point.”
“Indeed,” replied the assistant secretary, “and who would understand the techniques of a politician better than an agent who represents jockeys.
”There was one point upon which the opposing sides agreed:The head of the horsemen’s fraternal order landed the most fish.
“I don’t think there is any doubt that the South St. Paul flash had the largest number of walleye in his cooler,” the jockey agent said. “He pulled in a large number of fish between naps. “Why, he even managed to snare a fish or two during a couple of those naps. It was their tug on the line that roused him from his slumber.”
“I would agree with that assessment,” said the assistant racing secretary. “Although the number of naps did exceed the number of fish in his possession.”
And so it went throughout the latter stages of the morning. The jockey agent would make a claim, only to have it refuted by the assistant secretary of racing.
The assistant secretary got in the final word, delivering it much as a prosecuting attorney might during his summation.
“Let us consider the timing of the jockey agent’s complaint,” the assistant secretary said. “It was not made until the fish in my possession had been released and could no longer be again measured. That is much like a jockey claiming a foul was committed in the ninth race seconds before the 10th race leaves the gate. I ask you, who will the public believe, the jockey agent or a man who is a licensed official.
”At that point, the Sage of Canterbury corrected his position in the chair he occupied, sat erectly, cleared his throat and nodded as if to say he had heard every word, inflection and nuance of the discussion.
TRAINER AND GROOM OF THE WEEK
Stanley Mankin farmed much of his life about 25 miles south of Grand Island, Neb., but there was something else he longed to do.
He wanted to train race horses full time.He got that wish two years ago when he retired.
“I wanted to do this my entire life,” Mankin said.Mankin actually started training horses in 1992, but it wasn’t until he gave up farming that he was able to devote himself exclusively.He has a four-horse stable at Canterbury. He’s hopeful that two of them are runners and you’ll find some folks who think he’s right.
A week ago, Scott Stevens, injured earlier in the day, watched one of Mankin’s horses blow away the field in a maiden race. “I lost that one (because of his injury). He’s a darn good horse,” said Stevens.
The horse was Corporate Charley, a first time starter.
“I think he is a pretty good horse,” said Mankin, who doesn’t want to set the bar too high just the same.
Mankin intended to run CC at Hot Springs last winter but “we had a lot of setbacks with him.”
Mankin got his first win of the meet with Corporate Charley and is this week’s HBPA Trainer of the Week.
Mankin,68, also has a horse named Wild Jacob that he hopes will pay his way in the barn.
The groom of the week is Casey Kappus,29, who rubs horses in the Gary Scherer barn. She was born and raised in a horse racing family in Texas.