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Mojica Having Magical Summer

BY JIM WELLS Orlando Mojica seldom changes expressions, seemingly focused on the task at hand, frequently an upcoming race on a horse he will shortly ride out of the paddock. He changes little afterward either, on the way back to the jockeys’ lounge, win or lose, his mind already refocusing on what awaits, at the […]

BHR Flashing Effort wins MN Stallion Breeders’ Quarter Horse Futurity

Trainer Bob Johnson, who estimates he has run a horse in each of 31 renditions of the race dating back to 1986, won the Minnesota Stallion Breeders’ Quarter Horse Futurity for the seventh time on Sunday at Canterbury Park. The 350-yard dash for 2-year-olds, with a $30,305 purse, went to BHR Flashing Effort by a […]


by Jim Wells Sometimes you have to wait seemingly forever to get what you want, so we human beings have fashioned axioms to help provide the wherewithal to await such things. Who hasn’t heard that good things come to those who wait, or I prayed for patience and God made me stand in a long […]

2013 Festival Records & Repeats

The Festival of Champions has always been, from Day One, one of the best days of the race meet in Shakopee. Crowds, enthusiasm and competitive races are the order of the occasion. The Festival annually is one of the grandest days of the summer, including Sunday’s rendition that drew a crowd of 15,023 and record-setting off-track […]

Feel Good Story Caps Weekend

Feel good stories abound at any racetrack. Stories about horses winning with limited vision, maybe a single working eye. Stories about horses rebounding from near-death experiences with winning efforts, horses with names dedicated to a dying patron or trainer coming through in his memory. But how about this one: A husband-wife training team partnering up […]

Hastabealeader Wins Northern Plains

Just as trainer Bob Johnson was leaving the paddock shortly before the final race on Sunday’s card he was presented with a thought to consider. If everything went all right, would that be what it would take. “That’s all it should take,” he offered. You have to read between the lines here, but basically that’s […]

Clyde Henry Smith

Clyde Smith began rolling back the tape in his memory, five years, 10 years, 15, 40 years… could it have been that long ago. He was 10 years old in Snyder, Okla., driving his younger siblings to school in that three-on-the-column, 1961 Ford Falcon. Not unusual in those days, the early 1970s, not in Snyder. “I […]

Patriate Claims the Crown

Bob Johnson left no doubt about his thoughts on the Claiming Series Thursday night as he considered it in the paddock minutes before post time for the championship race. “I like this,” he said. “I like it a lot. I hope they have a lot more of them.” Rival trainer Mike Biehler could understand the […]

A Little Bit Like a Rodeo

Think back over the past few days about the sporting world and name your favorite athlete. Maybe it was iron man Michael Phelps, American darling Gabby Douglas or the million dollar man, Oscar Pistorius. Or, if racehorses are your thing, Lori Keith just won the biggest race ever run at Canterbury Park, the Mystic Lake Derby. […]

Heliskier Does it Again… Just as Impressively

There are numerous sorts of intoxicating, maybe even medicinal qualities attached to the phenomenon of winning. For Marlene Colvin, it might have meant a good night’s sleep Sunday night. For Cam Casby, it might have provided the perfect remedy for the summer cold she’s battling. Clearly, winning as he did polished the already shiny image […]