Welcome to MARYJEAN


MARYJEAN is a 5-year old mare sired by D’WILDCAT and foaled in Florida. Her dam is FAN FRIENDLY. She’s a sprinter and comes to us off a win in the 1st race at Hawthorne today, an $8,000 claiming race that went 5 1/2 furlongs.

MARYJEAN came to the races in November of 2011 as a $4500 purchase from the Ocala June sale of 2YOs. She won at first asking in a $30,000 Maiden Claiming race at Hollywood Park. She was dropped to $16,000 after getting dusted in a $40,000 Starter Allowance at Santa Anita. She won and was claimed for the first time. She was claimed again the very next race for $20,000, finishing 3rd, again at Santa Anita.

She consistently could hit the board but was having a hard time actually winning a race so her connections dropped her again to $16,000 at the Santa Rosa Fair where she finished 2nd but was claimed once again, moving into her 4th barn in nine months, all in California.

However from the date of that claim, August 2012, she has been in the barn of trainer Mike Dini and owned by the aptly named Mary Jean Bonfili. She was moved east to Chicago where she alternated between there and Florida. Her only win for the connections prior to today was in a $17500 claiming race at Hawthorne. She was mostly running in the claiming races in the mid $20,000 range as well as some turf allowances. Clay felt that given the opportunity to run at a more appropriate level she should be able to win some. We discussed her at length this morning and I told her that if liked the looks of her to go ahead and claim her.

We’ll know more when she gets back to the barn and cools down later today and tomorrow but, as you can tell if you saw the race or watched the replay, she pulled away from this group with ease. Clay says the one thing he noticed on her right off the bat were that her feet were like pie plates – nice and big. This generally lends you to believe that a horse like this could do well on the turf. So far she is 0-6 but those races have been in very stiff company or at inappropriate distances for her. Don’t be surprised if you see her on the Canterbury turf course this summer.

Her race record is now 6 wins in 26 starts with earnings of just over $72,000. Her complete race record, less today’s race, is below. If you’d like to see the replay of the race, click on this link and then choose April 11, race 1: http://www.hawthorneracecourse.com/live_racing/replays.php

Congratulations and good luck all!


CLAIM: Maryjean

Maryjean, a 5-year old mare by D’Wildcat out of the Tour d’Or mare Fan Friendly, was claimed today by the Club out of a winning effort in the 1st at Hawthorne. There will be a follow up with more details on the mare shortly but I wanted to make the announcement as soon as it was official.

VIP Card Update

There have been some requests to mail out MVP cards before the season starts and I’m going to take a quick second to address that here.

The MVP card is a player tracking card. While we use them to facilitate access to the track for Club members, their main purpose is to track the play of horse and card players in order to provide them with points for their play that can be redeemed for things like merchandise and food. If any of you have a card from Mystic Lake, Treasure Island or any casino anywhere, the principle is the same.

Because of this, ID has to be shown to pick up your card and they cannot be mailed out. The process only takes a couple of minutes and can be completed at the information booth in front of the card club before you enter the track so you won’t have to pay for your visit to pick up the card. Sorry for any inconvenience but because of gaming regulations and the need to verify the age of the people receiving cards you will need to pick up your new MVP card at the track.

Also, to reiterate from an earlier post, if you have an MVP card but have not received a new card this year, you will need to do so since the track has replaced the old computer system with a new one and the old cards will not work.

If At First…

As you know, we’ve started shopping for horses. The reality is that there are two ways we can obtain our horses: private purchase or through a claim. We’ve talked about claiming so I’ll touch on private purchase for a moment.

A private purchase is exactly that – someone is selling a horse privately and not through a claiming race. You tend to see this happen as meets wind down and stables are trying to pare their numbers before heading to the next locale. Many top stables will shed nice horses that don’t fit into their New York or California allowance plans but will work out very nicely at mid-level tracks like Canterbury.

This week we had both options open to us. Jeff was offered a private purchase on a maiden out of Oaklawn and Clay and I were looking at a mid-level claimer at Hawthorne. I’m not going to mention their names because we may still be interested and I don’t want to tip our hand at all. The maiden looked to be a good price based upon his record and could probably work through his conditions around $7500 here. The claimer, if healthy, looked like he could compete in the $16,000 to perhaps even $20,000 range – AND we would have gotten him for less, which I love.

In the span of about 12 hours, the Oaklawn horse was sold before we could take a look and our claiming target was scratched. I went from thinking that by the end of the day yesterday we would be all set to start our season to going back to the drawing board!

In this game there is always another race and with the weekend is coming up, we’ll just try, try again.

Shopping and New MVP Cards

Now that the Club is rounded out (202 members) and the paperwork to get the group licensed in Illinois is complete, it’s time to go shopping. Here are some bullet points on what we are generally looking for, though there are not hard and fast rules:

- The budget for 2 horses is right around $20,000. That could mean 2 $10,000 horses or other combinations. I like that level because there is the possibility to run for decent purse money while there are a few levels below just in case we need to drop down in class;

- A consistent finisher. This means, to me, a horse that we know if we run in the right spot we have a shot a winning since he’ll always give us an honest effort. A lot in the money finishes sprinkled with some wins is an indication that we have one that enjoys running and will give us a shot;

- Try an avoid a reclamation project. ASK EDDY was wonderful for us last year but we also got lucky. He was able to make up for his being on the bench for an extended period but usually when you get a project – especially with a group that has a short horizon – you run out of time before you can possibly earn your money back.

Claim Process

Prior to the race Clay and I will determine if there is a horse we want to go after. Clay will fill out the “claim slip” designating the horse that we want to buy, sign it and put it in a locked box in either the racing or bookkeeper’s office. When the race goes off the box is unlocked and the claim slip(s) are examined. If we have the only slip, properly filled out, we own the horse. If there is more than one slip on the same horse, each slip is given a number and similarly numbered balls are dropped in a bottle. The bottle is shaken, tilted and the first numbered ball falls out indicates the winner of the claim and the new owner of the horse.

The old owner of the horse wins any purse money while the new owner of the horse is responsible for the horse the moment the gate opens and the horse is considered a starter.

New MVP Cards

In case you are unaware, Canterbury Park has installed a new player tracking system which necessitates that everyone pick up a new MVP card – if you haven’t already done so over the last few weeks. You have all been entered into the system and just need to show your ID at one of the information desks to pick up your new card/first card. The new cards are necessary for you to receive your free admission throughout the season, so please remember to stop by and pick up your new card as the old cards are no longer active.

Next Step – A Horse (or Two!)

The final accounting isn’t quite completed yet but we know one thing: 2014 is another year of record membership for the Canterbury Racing Club. Thanks to all that joined to make that possible. The only question that remains is: did we make it to 200 members? We should know in the next few days and also have the final accounting of just how much money we have to spend, though it looks like it will be slightly more than last year or just over $50,000.

This weekend I will be completing the Club’s ownership license application for Illinois as well as the application to claim. Clay and I have already looked at a few and are keeping an eye on others so really anytime from next week could be the pick up of the first horse.

The plan is to try and claim a couple of horses around $10,000. This would allow us to run for more money over the summer, hopefully have a couple of horses that we can move up in class or, if necessary, have some downside if we need to drop in class to get a win.

When the final tally is added up, we’ll post the final Club totals and we’ll also keep you posted on claims.

We’re In Deep Stretch

The last couple of days of February are upon us and that brings with it the closing of the 2014 edition of the Canterbury Racing Club. If you were thinking about it and you’ve decided to pull the trigger – squeeze quickly!

Here is the sign up form/info and make sure you let us know it’s on the way!!

Payment can be made by credit card, cash, or check made to Canterbury Park. You’re always welcome to contact me directly (ted@grevelisracing.com) but the easiest way to sign up is to please contact Jeff Maday at 952.496.6408 or jmaday@canterburypark.com to make payment arrangements.

Canterbury Park
c/o Jeff Maday
1100 Canterbury Road
Shakopee, MN 55379

See you at The Park!

2014 Horse_ Ownership_Club_Membership_Agreement