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BY JIM WELLS There were trailers backed up to certain stables on the backside at Canterbury Park Saturday morning, some of them awaiting their equine passengers, others simply being loaded with a variety of tack needed by a particular trainer for the next destination. Throughout the last several days, a horseman could be found here […]


Tom Metzen was eulogized on Tuesday as a man of passion, a horseman in every sense of the word, and above all else a family man, an individual who poured his heart and soul into the industry he loved and assimilated children and grandchildren into the sport along with him. He had a crusty, hard-edged […]


BY JIM WELLS The morning of the Breeders’ Cup races in 1988, Tom Metzen was in the track kitchen at Churchill Downs preparing to take breakfast from the wheelchair he occupied that day, slightly thin of face but not of spirit despite the recent diagnosis he had only six months to live. The most knowledgeable […]

FROM OUTHOUSE TO THE PENTHOUSE (in a manner of speaking)

BY JIM WELLS   The Hard Luck Boys, The Can’t Get a Break Bunch or, maybe, Is This Really Happening Stable…any of those nicknames might have fit perfectly the last couple of years. “You got that right,” said Paul Strangis, a member of the ill-fated partnership without a name. This year, there are seven involved instead […]

Canterbury Park to Offer Lowest Takeout in U.S

Win, Place, Show 15 percent; Exotics 18 percent Canterbury Park racing officials today announced a sweeping reduction in pari-mutuel takeout that will result in the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack offering a wagering product priced lower, on average, than any track in the country. With win, place, show takeout set at 15 percent and all exotic wagers […]

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 […]

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 […]

Royal Birth Touches Canterbury

Superstitions abound around any racetrack, among the riders, the trainers and the public as well. So wrap your belief in signs, omens, precursors and presentiments around this tidbit: birthdays were being celebrated along with actual births at Canterbury Park on Thursday and some of the results were eye-opening. Lori Keith, Canterbury’s third leading rider at […]

Must Be Divine Intervention

It happened to Paul when he was knocked from his horse by a bolt of lightning. The best selling book of all time has numerous other examples of divine intervention, but heretofore none have been documented at Canterbury Park until Thursday night. In fact, three examples were brought forth recently, putting the track itself in line […]

There’s No Place Like (Almost) Home

He last trained in the Sonoran desert but Robertino Diodoro has the characteristics of a long-time Minnesotan. He knows all about cold and ice. He grew up in it. He knows all about the game of hockey. He grew up playing it and is a National Hockey League fan. He doesn’t like it but shoveling […]