By Mari Ballinger
It all started with a tweet from Canterbury Park, asking the public if anyone had interest in owning a horse with track announcer Paul Allen and football coach Mike Zimmer.
The Double A Gap Group is an exclusive partnership with first-time owners Dean Peterson, Steve and Chad Poser, Greg Ashfeld, Bruce Morgan, Kevin and Brent Lunke, Steve Monson, Nico Holtz, Jeff Seltun, and Greg Simbeck.
As one would assume, the team consists of Vikings fanatics so obviously a football related name was necessary. An ‘A Gap’ is the space between the offensive linemen on either side of the quarterback. And there you have it; Double A Gap Group was born.
Each owner has their own background story as to how they got started in the racing industry. Some were encouraged to give it a try by their friends while for others, trips to the racetrack were always a family tradition.
“When I was young my dad loved to bet on horses,” said owner Greg Ashfeld. “I remember we were at Canterbury about 10 years ago and we randomly bet on a couple horses and ended up winning $100 each. After he passed away, I had visions of owning a horse in honor of him but never thought it was possible. Well, that has changed now because of Double A Gap Group.”
The partnership between these men will go no later than December 31, 2019. Not only do the partners get to enjoy the thrill of owning a horse, they also have the opportunity to give back to their community. At the end, remaining funds will be distributed to the partners with 20 percent going to the Mike Zimmer Foundation and Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance. The Mike Zimmer Foundations betters the lives of children in need by helping them chase their dreams motivating them to do so and promote a healthy and active way of living as well as stress the importance of education, hard work, and teamwork.
On May 31, 2019, the Double A Gap Group claimed their first horse, Jeana Baby, at Canterbury Park for $7,500 in a claiming race where she placed first. Since the claim, Jeana Baby has run two more races, one being five and one half furlongs and the other about one mile and seventy yards on turf. Although her next race is to be determined, the owners are excited for the rest of the racing season and have high hopes for what the 6-year old has in store.
Although the partnership is over at the end of the year, the memories Double A Gap Group has made will live on.