Turf Paradise begins a 132-day meet Saturday with a nine race program where 93 horses have been entered, no fewer than 20 last raced at Canterbury Park.
This will be the 62nd season at the Phoenix-area racetrack.
Trainer Robertino Diodoro, who has won the trainer title the past four seasons, has 11 horses entered Saturday, two on Sunday, and five on Monday which means he may have the title wrapped up when the three-day race week ends. Diodoro’s 125 wins in the 2013-2014 season is a record for Turf Paradise.
Many familiar Canterbury faces have again settled in at Turf Paradise. Jockeys include Patrick Canchari, Andrew Ramgeet, Leslie Mawing, Israel Hernandez, Justine Klaiber, Frankie Johnson and others. Canterbury Hall of Famer Scott Stevens, who appeared in Shakopee just once in 2017, is also back in Phoenix where he has won many races and seven riding titles. In addition to Diodoro, trainers include Valorie Lund, Ariel Gordon, Dan McFarlane, Jeff Metz, Miguel Silva, and Dave Van Winkle.
Saturday’s feature race, the 6 ½ furlong $30,000 Bienvenidos, is headlined by Shrewd Move, winner of the Paul Bunyan Stakes on Canterbury’s opening weekend. The 5-year-old is trained by McFarlane and will be ridden by Mawing.
Canterbury Racebook will offer wagering on Turf Paradise each day. Once the meet gets in full swing racing programs will be conducted five days per week, Sundays through Wednesdays.
Mr. Jagermeister Earned A Break
The Minnesota bred 2-year-old Mr. Jagermeister returned to Arizona with trainer Valorie Lund and has been turned out for the time being. “It was a tough decision,” Lund said from her Turf Paradise winter headquarters. “He’s a very sound colt. He came out of the race [on Canterbury’s closing day Sept. 16] in perfect shape. But he earned a rest. I’ll be on pins and needles until i get him back though.”
Mr. Jagermeister won twice at Canterbury this season including a romp in the Northern Lights Futurity. He met filly phenom Amy’s Challenge in the Shakopee Juvenile and battled all the way to the wire, losing by 3/4 of a length, in the fastest six furlongs of the meet.
Lund visited Mr. Jagermeister yesterday at a ranch near Carefree, AZ to deliver and bag of carrots and say hello.
“He has a lot of growing left to do. He will be a much improved 3-year-old. So he’s on vacation!” Lund reported.