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Peter Seals Plays The Claiming Game

By Rebecca Roush

At just 8-years-old, Peter Seals was already skipping school and heading to Canterbury Downs with his horse-owning father, where he would often place bets for his catholic school nuns. Seals later followed in his father’s footsteps when he decided to purchase his first horse in partnership with trainer Jamie Ness.

In 2008, Seals formed another partnership with three of his friends from the St. Paul Curling Club. They named it Eight Ender Stables after the term for a perfect score in a single end of team curling. For the first year, the partnership raced at Canterbury Park, but after hiring trainer Tammy Domenosky they began racing their horses at tracks in the Chicago area as well.

Since then, Seals and partners have owned and raced one or two horses at Canterbury Park each season. This year however, they face a different story. Seals’ only horse to race at Canterbury this meet, Moonlight Train, was claimed for $20,000 on June 8.  “We knew that this was bound to happen, but we are continually looking for horses to purchase and run here,” he said.

It is having a horse claimed that Seals says can often be the most challenging aspect of ownership. “You have to put the horses in a position to win and that often means putting them in spots where they can be claimed,” he said. While having a horse claimed can certainly be discouraging, Seals says it is “important to trust your trainer and hand over the control.”

Seals and Eight Ender Stables are currently working with trainer Valorie Lund and claimed a horse last week, So Sorry Ruston, for $10,000. “[Lund] is a great trainer to work with here.” He adds that “typically trainers know what they are doing with the horses better than any owner can. It is important to trust that they want what is best for the horses.”

Seals enjoys coming to the track with his friends and family, including his wife, Heather and son Thom (10). “I enjoy sharing this amazing experience with others,” he said. “It is something that I am truly passionate about.

“We may be small-time horse owners, but we have a big passion for the sport and for the animals,” Seals said about himself and his Eight Ender Stables partners.