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 the moment, was talking with her father very recently, as she does most days. Keep in mind, Ms. Keith is English and her parents, English as well, of course, own a restaurant in the South of France.
Naturally, phone conversations take place via long distance.
The subject of the recent royal birth came up the last time father and daughter talked. Ms. Keith was reminded by her father that she celebrated her 31st birthday on the very day George Alexander Louis, son to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, was born.
“He was born at St. Mary’s Hospital, the same place I was born,” said Ms. Keith.
Read what you may or must into that bit of information. It is interesting under any conditions, perhaps even fortuitous. At least the Ulwellings, Al and Bill, hoped as much after receiving the news about the royal connection to the woman riding their horse.
“You can’t make up stuff like that,” said Al.
“Maybe that means good luck. I hope so,” said Bill.
After all, Keith had mounts on Ulwelling horses in the sixth and seventh races. She finished out of the money on the Ulwellings’ Gilden Quest in race six. Then the belief in lucky charms proved reliable as Keith won the seventh aboard Sheisinittowinit, surviving a stewards’ inquiry in the process.
For her part, Keith had different notions entirely about the fact that the new English prince and she were born on the same date, at the same hospital.
“It’s pretty cool,” she said.
So, there you have it. A prince of England born at St. Mary’s Hospital in London at the same location and on the same date as the third-leading rider at Canterbury – I say Canterbury – Park in Shakopee.
It doesn’t end there. As Minnesota Twins fans and anyone able to read well know, the team’s catcher from St. Paul and his wife are the proud parents of fraternal twin girls.
Identical twin boys, Colton and Cooper, were born the same day to the grandson and significant other of Tom and Karen Metzen. So the Metzens are great grandparents and celebrated the occasion on Thursday evening with the winning horse, Awesome year, in race six. The trainer? David Van Winkle, who was celebrating his 50th birthday. It didn’t end there. The Van Winkle-trained Jantzesfancyfriend won the ninth race, too.
Rebecca Ramm, who handles the main phone line to Canterbury among other duties, including coffee making, was also celebrating. Her friend Shahara is the mother to the twin boys.
Maybe there is something to this omen thing, after all.
HBPA GOLF TOURNAMENT
Jack Walsh, the preeminent horse owner from Somerset, Wis., oversaw the HBPA Golf Tournament Monday for the third consecutive year and reported that 86 signed up for the tournament and 85 showed up.
“That’s unusual,” Walsh said.
The tournament was won, incidentally, by the team of Chad and Mark Anderson, Mike Chambers and Todd Rarick.
They finished at 14 under par.
“Chambers eagled the ninth hole, I think it was,” said Mark Anderson. “That sort of pumped up the team from there.”
Alex Canchari strolled into the jockeys room after winning the third race aboard Wilhelmina, blood running from one of his hands. What happened? he was asked.
“The band aid came off,” he said. Canchari, who once made tacos in the taco stand at the track, cut the hand while preparing a meal for his parents. “I was opening a can,” he said.
Race four was won by Larren Delorme on Premodixon, sent off at 13-1, a complete surprise to the rider.
“I figured I had a good shot,” said Delorme. “He was legitimate. More consistent (than 13-1).”
Race five went to Hakuchi, trained by Robertino Diodoro and ridden to a second straight win by Scott Stevens. “Only two mounts I’ve had for him,” said Stevens.
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.