Canterbury Park, Shakopee, Minn logo

Wacky Races

By Noah Joseph

In horse racing, anything can happen, but sometimes the outcome is not what the fans or the track want. Over the years, some very wacky and bizarre races have occurred at the Shakopee track.

One race actually occurred just last weekend. Last Saturday’s third race, like all of Saturday’s races, was run on a very sloppy track due to heavy rains earlier in the day. As the field headed into the far turn, the number 3 horse and eventual winner, Twoko Bay, came inward, prompting a steward’s inquiry. Most times, when a horse shifts ground that close to the field, a disqualification is issued, but this was not the case. The horse had shifted ground due to a flock of geese being on the wet racing surface. An unwritten rule is that wildlife interference cannot change the outcome of a race, and so Twoko Bay was declared the winner.

About this time last year, an incident at Canterbury even made national attention. On Father’s Day the horses broke from the gate for the fifth race, which already had two late scratches and a horse that got loose prior to the race. To say those were the only incidents would be a massive understatement. As the horses broke from the gate for the two turn race over the Canterbury turf, the 1 horse, Tiz A Princess, unseated her jockey, Patrick Canchari, and proceeded to jump over the inside rail. Patrick was not injured in the spill, but the other riders didn’t know that Tiz A Princess was still running. As the field approached the far turn, Tiz A Princess had run all the way to where the horses were racing, and jumped the rail back on to the turf, hampering much of the field. The race was declared a no contest and all wagers were refunded.

This however was not the first race to ever to have the result be a no contest. On Mystic Lake Derby day 2015, the race right before the derby was also declared a no contest. A simple maiden sprint turned into a wild chase. As the field broke from the gate, the 1 horse, appropriately named Dialdownthecrazy, unseated her jockey Nik Goodwin coming out of the gate. Dialdownthecrazy did not dial down, as she proceeded to turn around in between the gap of the gate and the rail and started running in the opposite direction of the rest of the field. As the steward’s went to alert the riders, the loose horse ran right between the rest of the field. While no horse or rider were hurt, the field was compromised enough for the race to be declared a no contest and all wagers were refunded.

Horse racing: Where anything can happen from the extraordinary to the unordinary.