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News & Notes June 27

by JIM WELLS

The days are long and the nights are short but there is a lesson to be learned from a demanding schedule.

“You learn that naps are important,” Jenna Joubert said.

Joubert, a native of New Prague, is undergoing the equivalent of jockey boot camp, learning the requirements for breaking into the fiercely competitive world of race-riding. Talent, hard work, a willing attitude and the ability to sell yourself certainly help, but frequently are not enough. Connections, a good agent and a little bit of luck are equally important.

Joubert, 23, has set out to do her part in the last few months after launching her career at Canterbury Park last summer.Many of her days begin as early as 5 a.m. and don’t end until midnight, as she jockeys from Indiana Downs to River Downs, a 95-mile drive, riding on cards at both sites and oftentimes making the round-trip in a single day. Joubert’s valet throws her saddles in a bag after finishing at the first site and off she goes.

There also have been some three-hour commutes from her apartment in Shelbyville, Ind., to Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio. She needed a helping hand on those occasions. Her agent then, John Herbstriet, would drive, so she could sleep.

Sleeping is a luxury these days, but Joubert is willing to do whatever it takes. Race-riding captured Joubert’s attention as a youngster when she accompanied her parents to Canterbury and rooted on horses that belonged to an uncle. She worked as a groom and galloped horses for Noel Hickey, a friend of the family, at his Irish Acres farm in Ocala, Fla. She earned money while earning a degree in economics at the University of Oklahoma by galloping horses at Remington Park.

Then, last summer she rode her first race at Canterbury Park and left Labor Day weekend with four wins, one short of beginning her apprenticeship. She got the bug at Hoosier Park and will keep it until she reaches 40 wins _ she needs 12 more – or until next December. The year limit for keeping the bug was extended because she underwent surgery to remove pins from a broken ankle and missed a month of riding at the start of the year.

Joubert wound up in Shelbyville because it provided an opportunity to ride more horses, to ride at two tracks. “That’s pretty much the reason,” she said.

Her education is ongoing. She probably will stay put when the current meets end.”Right now I’m thinking of Hoosier Park in the fall,” she said. “It’s good to touch base with the Indiana people some more.”

Does the future include another try at Canterbury Park? “If I could catch on with a big stable up there, I might do it again,” she said.

Joubert hasn’t been home for a visit since last December and it probably will be the end of 2008 before she is able to break free for another visit.She’s hoping to leave the bug behind her when she does.

CLAIMING CROWN NUMBERS SOLID

There have been 280 nominations to the Claiming Crown, scheduled for Aug. 2 at Canterbury Park. That is one short of equaling the all-time mark for nominations at Canterbury Park. The number is almost certain to be the largest ever for the local running of the race once supplements are made.The previous high, including supplements, occurred in 2005 with 281 nominations. Regular nominations for this year’s race closed on June 13.

The Claiming Crown has been held seven other times at Canterbury. It was held at Philadelphia Park in 2002 and at Ellis Park last year. There are a number of trainers and owners who have won previous Claiming Crown races and have horses nominated in 2008. Included among the owners are Rick Englander, an Eclipse Award winner, who has owned four winners; also, Maggie Moss, an Eclipse Award finalist last year, who is second nationally in races won this year, in addition to Ken Ramsey, who has nominated 11 horses and owned two winners last year. Among the trainers of nominees are Steve Asmussen, who is on track to win a record 600-plus races this season and has won three Claiming Crown races, as well as Scott Lake, currently second in wins nationally. He has a record eight Claiming Crown victories. Tom Amoss also conditions a number of nominees. He is 10th nationally in races won. Canterbury-based Jamie Ness, who set a record for races won at the Tampa Bay Downs meeting last meet and is 11th nationally in races won, also has nominees to the race.

TIME TO CRAM

Classes in the Groom Elite program wind up on Monday with tests scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A graduation dinner is planned in the Ascot Lounge at 6 p.m. Wednesday for class participants and their families.

Of the 31 applicants to the program, 24 actually showed up for the first day of classes and 18 completed the program. The participants who completed the program that began on June 4 will be given a written test and a barn test next week covering horse behavior, nutrition, bandaging and tacking up.Reid McLellen taught the first two classes, in which students were initially introduced to horse behavior and grooming; the second class provided information on height, weight, body score and conformation. The third class in the series was given by Tracy Turner and covered the racehorse foot, anatomy, physiology and shoeing.

Trainer Jamie Ness provided training in tacking, tongue tie and mounting a horse, and John King followed with a class on front and rear leg examinations.

Dr. Ann Nicholson and Krishona Martinson provided information on the horse’s digestive system, on grain and forage, health checks and colic.

Trainer Valorie Lund gave instruction on bandaging, and Richard Bowman provided instruction on the horse’s mouth, dentistry, the teeth and tongue. Dr. Kristy Klatt gave instruction on shed row safety, pre-race exams and the test barn.

Mr La Bubba Tries To Step Up

The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal, June 27, 2008 – Mr La Bubba, a $10,000 claim at Remington Park, could be positioned for his first stakes win after setting the fastest-qualifying time to the Canterbury Derby at the Minnesota track on Sunday afternoon.

Owned by Wilmes, Newton and Grisham, Mr La Bubba (Feature Mr Jess-Bubba Suz by Holland Ease) raced to his first win for his new connections in his third start for them when he won his Canterbury Derby trial by a length in :20.205 for the 400 yards. It was his fourth win from 12 starts.

Leo Butell’s Classy Dashin (Dashin Is Easy-LK Classy Perk by Dash For Perks) raced to the second-fastest qualifying time by finishing second to Mr La Bubba in their trial with a :20.362 time. The Amber Blair-trained gelding won last year’s Northlands Futurity (G3) and was third in the Kansas Futurity (G2).

Al and Claire Lundgren’s Wheely Quick (The Harder They Fall-Disco Missy Wheels by Disco Jerry (TB)) has found success in the Minnesota-bred ranks. She won the Minnesota Stallion Breeders Futurity and was a close second in the Minnesota Stallion Breeders Derby.

AQHA news and information is a service of AQHA publications. For more information on The American Quarter Horse Journal, The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal or America’s Horse, visit www.aqha.com/magazines.

NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK

June 27, 2008
News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled by NTRA Communications.

TOP HORSEMEN GEARING UP FOR CLAIMING CROWN AT CANTERBURY PARK

With the 10th annual Claiming Crown less than six weeks away, several of horse racing’s top trainers and owners are already pointing their charges for an assault on the $600,000 in purse monies available on August 2 at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn.

Claiming Crown nominations have been received for horses representing 18 different states and Canada. Among the trainers planning to ship horses to the suburban Minneapolis racetrack in 2008 is Steve Asmussen, who is on pace to win a record 600 races this year. The trainer of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin, Asmussen has three career Claiming Crown wins to his credit. The clear cut leading trainer with eight lifetime Claiming Crown wins is Scott Lake, who will make his annual pilgrimage to Canterbury in the hopes of padding his total. Mike Maker burst onto the Claiming Crown scene with three wins last year at Ellis Park and he will be well represented as he ventures northward to Minnesota in 2008.

Several prominent owners also have their sights set on this year’s Claiming Crown. Ken Ramsey who, along with his wife Sarah, won the 2004 Eclipse Award as Champion Owner, has 11 nominees for 2008 after winning two Claiming Crown events last year. Rick Englander, the Eclipse Award-winning owner in both 2001 and 2002, is also expected to be a strong factor this year as he looks to add to his career total of four Claiming Crown victories. Maggi Moss, a finalist for Champion Owner in 2007 and currently the second leading owner in the nation by wins, will also have her colors represented at Canterbury on August 2.

Four previous Claiming Crown winners — Bargainwiththedevil, Adore You, One Eyed Joker and Inhonorofjohnnie — are among the 279 horses nominated to this year’s renewal, and each would make history with a win. In the nine-year history of Claiming Crown, no horse has won more than once.

Perhaps the single most intriguing nominee is the Ralph Martinez-trained Raving Rocket. Since being claimed for $4,000 by Martinez on March 16, 2007, for owner Louis O’Brien, the six-year-old son of Lil’s Lad has won 12 of 13, including his last 11 in a row, all in sprints. During the 11-race streak, Raving Rocket has registered victories at seven different tracks: Churchill Downs, Turfway Park, Beulah Park, Hoosier Downs, Ellis Park, Fonner Park and Indiana Downs. Raving Rocket is expected to start in either the $50,000 Express or the $75,000 Rapid Transit. Both races are at six furlongs.

“This year’s Claiming Crown is shaping up as one of the best in the event’s history,” said Nat Wess, Claiming Crown Coordinator. “We continue to receive strong nationwide interest from horsemen, and staging last year’s event at Ellis Park appears to have paid a dividend in attracting more Kentucky-based horses up to Canterbury Park this year. We’ve always been confident that once someone experiences Claiming Crown, he or she will want to come back for more.”

Claiming Crown features seven races, with purses ranging from $50,000 to $150,000, and is open to horses that have started at least once in 2007-08 for claiming prices ranging from $7,500 to $35,000. The day’s featured event is the Jewel, a mile and one-eighth event on the main track with a purse of $150,000. Also on the program are two mile-and-one-sixteenth races on the turf, three six-furlong dashes on the dirt and a mile and one-sixteenth main track contest.

Game Type Tables Waiting
2-100 SL Holdem42
3-6 Kill Holdem31
8-16 Kill Holdem31
4-8 Kill Holdem11
20-40 Holdem11
50-100 Holdem15
10-20 MIX14
2-100 SL OMAHA13
0-0 MASSAGE06
5-100 SL OMAHA02