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Minnesota Festival of Champions

The 26th Minnesota Festival of Champions takes place tomorrow at Canterbury Park. The special event debuted in 1992 to pay tribute to the Minnesota horse breeding industry, and acts as the unofficial celebration of the Canterbury Park live racing season. “Festival day is like the Championship game of the season,” said trainer Bernell Rhone, winner […]

Bell Still the Leading Festival Rider

By Jim Wells Nobody has ridden more Festival of Champions winners than Derek Bell, the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame rider who has been to the winner’s circle 24 times on this annual day of tribute to Minnesota horses. That total is six more than Dean Butler and 13 in front of Scott Stevens. Bell […]

Magic Six

By Noah Joseph One of the surprises of this 2019 season is the return of Canterbury Hall of Famer and champion jockey Derek Bell. A long-time Canterbury favorite, Bell has returned to Canterbury for the first time since 2014, and to overall riding since 2016. From his debut at Canterbury in 1997, Bell has won […]


Festival Day. It means different things to different people, has enduring memories for some, forgettable ones for others. Correctly put, it is the Minnesota Festival of Champions, a day on which Minnesota owners and breeders trot out their best to determine how they stand up to others bred here, in the land of 10,000 Lakes. […]

Bell Out Rest of 2013 Meet

Injuries sustained during a morning workout last week will sideline Canterbury Park Hall of Fame jockey Derek Bell for the remainder of the meet. Bell suffered a broken kneecap and wrist while returning a horse to the barn last Sunday morning. Bell was unavailable for comment but his agent, Chad Anderson, said Friday that X-rays have […]

Heliskier Back on His Game

Horse racing has more than its share of stories that tug at the heartstrings, bring tears to your eyes and leave otherwise stout human beings weak in the knees. It doesn’t take million dollar colts and fillies or regally-bred champions, either. When you’ve invested much of what you have – even in an expensive claimer – […]

Birthdays All Around

Handicapping requires various degrees of insight and not much at all in certain situations. Take a couple of races on Thursday night, for example. Race No. 4 was a gimme. Scrap the PPs, ditch the workouts and eliminate everything else you knew about the race. Derek Bell, celebrating his birthday, was on the No. 10 […]

Mystic Lake Derby Day Nears

Go ahead and pick up the champagne, dig out the attire you wore last year for the race, careful to assure everything is the same, not a single accoutrement out-of-place, cross your fingers and don’t say anything that might be construed as a jinx. “My dad’s superstitious,” said Lori Keith. “It will have to be […]

2013 Derby Day Nears

Occasionally she’ll think about the race and the biggest win of her career, the stuff of warm feelings and pleasant thoughts, except for that interminable wait. “It was intense, wasn’t it though,” says Lori Keith. The subject at hand, of course, is the inaugural Mystic Lake Derby first held in 2012 and Keith’s controversial win […]

It’s a Family Tradition

Despite an unceremonious unseating in the pasture at age 12, Mark Anderson was probably destined to wind up in some end of the horse business at some time in his life. Family history would seem to dictate as much. His brother, Chad, Mark’s senior by four years, was a jockey. Their father, Wayne, rode horses […]