APPRECIATION RAMPANT ON FAN APPRECIATION DAY
By JIM WELLS
Fan appreciation day at Canterbury Park on Sunday meant different things to different people.
Patrons appreciated free admission and one, in particular, appreciated winning a flat-screen television.
But there were other displays of gratitude.
Take William Hobbs of Ewing, Neb. , for example. He was very appreciative of the ride Perry Compton gave his three-year-old filly Launch Light Girl, who won the $35,000 MTA Stallion Auction Stakes for fillies.
It was very gratifying to have a winner who was spared for next weekend by a veteran rider, who had enough horse left at the finish of the 6 ½ furlong sprint to run it again, finishing in 1:18 and 1/5.
Launch Light Girl, an Iowa-bred daughter of Bright Launch, will be at Prairie Meadows next Saturday for the $70,000-plus stake for 3-year-old fillies.
“Everyone who has one will be there,” said Hobbs.
Naturally, he was pleased that Compton kept the whip tucked away and saved some horse for next week when Launch Light Girl hopes to add to career earnings approaching $80,000.
Also appreciative on Sunday was Dan Kjorsvik, whose Lumpsinmyoatmeal whipped a field of six rivals in the $35,000 MTA Stallion Auction Stakes for colts.
Lumpsinmyoatmeal was a disappointment as a two-year-old when he didn’t run at all in the Northern Lights Futurity and finished sixth in the 10-horse field.
“He was having two-year-old problems,” said Kjorsvik.
So, Lumps, as he’s called, got some time off, from September to March, and the results have been encouraging.
He is 2-2-2 from seven starts this season with earnings this year approaching $40,000 and $60,000 overall.
ANOTHER GEORGE BANGO STORY
Dana Isaacson’s silks include an ace and a king of diamonds on the left shoulder, along with the initials GAB and a halo.
The logo seems mysterious without the details behind this touching, humorous tale.
Isaacson met trainer George Bango in the Canterbury poker room when it opened in 2000.
They were seated across the table from one another, playing seven-card stud.
Isaacson didn’t get in the hand for nearly half an hour. Bango had been playing for some time. Bango clearly thought he had the winning hand, an ace-high flush, as the game wound down. But _ on the very last card of the hand _ Isaacson completed a king-high full house and Bango erupted.
“We both called each other (expletives deleted)” Isaacson recalled. ”
When their tempers cooled, the two men wound up having a drink together. Isaacson had owned a horse in partnership in 1986 but had been out of the game since. He explained that he had a young granddaughter who was horse nuts. Bango was looking for clients.
A few days later, Isaacson got a call at his Bloomington dental office. “Bango had found a filly he wanted to claim for me,” Isaacson said, “but she was running that night and he needed the money fast.”
So, Isaacson made a trip to the bank and withdrew $25,000 in cash. Bango arrived at the dental office some time later, and left shortly with the money in a brown paper bag.
The rest is history. Isaacson and Bango lost the $25,000 claim in a shake, but two weeks later made another claim for $7,500.
The horse’s name was Superman Can and he wound up Bango and Isaacson’s career horse by winning the $50,000 Claiming Crown Iron Horse.
And about the ace and king of diamonds, Bango’s initials and the halo on Isaacson’s silks:
Isaacson decided on them after Bango died last September.
“Wherever he is,” Isaacson said, “he can see those silks and be pissed off.”
SUPERMAN CAN LIVING GOOD LIFE
When his career ended with earnings well over $100,000, Superman Can found a new home in Bemidji as a riding horse at the Buena Vista Ski resort.
“He bled in his last race,” Isaacson said. “A guy wanted to buy him but we figured he’d end up lame if he kept running so we gave him a good home.”
That also gave Isaacson and his two granddaughters an opportunity to ride the Claiming Crown winner.
“We still see him,” Isaacson said. “My folks live in Bemidji so we stop and see him with his Christmas carrot. “