What could have been more appropriate for the first running of the Cash Caravan Stakes in four years, this time for $22,050. In the winner’s circle afterwards was the trainer who last handled Cash Caravan. Handing him the winning trophy was a man who was there when Cash Caravan – Canterbury Park’s first Hall of Fame horse – was born.
The winning horse for the renewal of the race was a 3-year-old colt named Streak N Hot, trained and owned by Dale Haglund.
Handing him the trophy was Hall of Fame owner/breeder Paul Knapper, who recalled when Cash Caravan was born, in the 1980s on the farm of the late Hall of Fame breeder Bob Morehouse, Knapper’s former father- in- law.
As Haglund awaited the return of his winning horse and rider Doug Frink late Sunday afternoon, he recalled Cash Caravan, a big horse, close to 17 hands. Haglund had Cash after the big guy suffered a career-changing injury; he was spooked in a thunderstorm and got his leg hung up in a manger.
He was never the same on the racetrack again. Haglund tried running him one more time after the incident but the horse had to be pulled up.
“Oh, he was a big one all right,” Haglund recalled. “And he was mean. He was a champion and really tough on the horses in the pasture.”
Knapper recalled the horse as a yearling. “He was such a big colt,” he said. “He just towered over all the other horses.”
Streak N Hot had a bit of Cash Caravan in him on Sunday, overcoming a move that cost him perhaps a length.
The three-year-old son of Hotdoggin from Streak N Sierra appeared ready to head into the stands for a hot dog himself shortly out of the gate, ducking out and giving up ground in the process.
“I took one hand off him for an instant, just to cock the stick,” said Frink, “and he ducked out on me. Just like that.”
Frink got him back in line quickly and Streak N Hot, the Minnesota Futurity winner last year, dug in with authority to finish a neck in front of Six It Up, trained by Amber Blair and ridden by Mark Luark. Third place went to CS Arc Light, trained by Vic Hanson and owned by Cam and Sylvia Casby.
Despite the problems, Streak N Hot looked like he had plenty left in the tank after adjusting for his mistake and running down the field.
“He could have gone a lot farther,” said Frink.
Haglund had just shipped in Sunday for the race, hauling the winner from his home in Brooten, MN. “That’s a 135-mile trip,” he said.
Streak N Hot had a long trip himself, a few minutes earlier, longer, at least, than any of his rivals.
The win was great but there was a small inconvenience for Frink a few minutes later. Held up briefly after the race for the obligatory picture, Frank got out of the jockeys room later than usual for the final race of the day.
About to light up for a quick smoke, Frink looked up and saw the horses arriving in the walking ring for the final race. He put the cigarette aside.
Proving once again, there is a price to everything, even winning.
This blog was written by Canterbury Staff Writer Jim Wells. Wells was a longtime sportswriter at the Pioneer Press and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.
Photo Credit: Coady Photography