Closing Up 2020

What. A. Year.

This was definitely something we did not have on our radar back in January when we were starting to get rolling. We had to defer claiming at Oaklawn and put Nevada and Karl in the unenviable position of needing to get a horses right away so we could get some starts in during a pandemic shortened meet.

We didn’t know we could have nay fans until just days before the first race and then state guidance carried us all over the place over the next few months. We tried to get everyone through the best that we could and probably mis-stepped once or twice as well.

Nevada came up with the ingenious solution of partnering with us on two horses, giving us the opportunity to run twice as much for the same investment. Ironically, Furzy was supposed to be the real runner and Lilfeatheredindian the throw in. Boy did we get THAT one backwards!

Karl picked his way through the early entries to grab us Satellite and reeled off two wins before being claimed for $1000 more than we claimed him for. That’s success by anyone’s measure (ICYMI – Satellite won at Remington last week).

The Club ran in its first stakes race which was a hoot and having a $94 winner isn’t something the Club does often Not listening to Ted and placing a wager would have got you most of your fee back – and then some depending upon how much you bet!

We found Furzy a forever home where she is doing great learning to be a jumper. As mentioned, Satellite was claimed and we sold Lilfeatheredindian for $1000. Not having Turf Paradise running really depressed the market for a turf horse that was going to need to be maintained for the winter, but best wishes to her and the new connections.

Here was our running line for the year (money total includes Nevada’s half of Lil):

8 Starts: 3 wins, 0 seconds and 1 third Total Earnings: $29,182

Not a bad year considering all the obstacles and all the credit goes to Nevada and Veronica and Karl and Clemente, their teams in the barn and our jocks (Ry, Alonso and Betty Jo). Under difficult circumstances they all made it work.

At the beginning of October we will receive the last training and vet bills. By the middle of the month we should have all expenses accounted for and we can move to the final reconciliation and accounting and see where we ended up overall. While we weren’t profitable this season we were tantalizingly close. Hopefully we will have an idea of what the 2021 Club will look like at that time as well.

Our thanks go to all of you Clubbers that make this work and make it such an enjoyable experience for everyone. We really appreciate your participation and you patience – especially during this year of uncertainty.

No Race for Lil; Decisions to be Made

Unfortunately there was not a race for Lil the last couple of days of the meet. We could have tried her against the boys in a $10,000 turf sprint or over the dirt against the girls. We toyed with that last one, but it was not a conditioned race meaning that older horses that have won numerous times would be involved in the contest. As a 3-year old, unproven against winners as well as not as good on dirt as she is on turf, meant that she was not going to have much of a chance and we’d be running just for running’s sake. That’s not really fair to the group and certainly isn’t fair to her.

The choices that remain are we can either go to Kentucky and ship into Ohio (She won’t be competitive at Keeneland) or try and get her sold. It is likely that we’ll take the selling route with her, but Nevada and I will discuss this weekend and see what kind of options we have.

What really hurts is the cancellation of racing at Turf Paradise. She’d be a nice filly down there and be able to compete really well all winter. That could end up depressing the possible price on her.

We will hopefully have some news next week on what we’ll do with her as well as start to wrap up the financials and do a wrap up of a unique season. Off the top of my head, I think if we could have picked up one more win we would have ended the 2020 Club in the black.

Lilly 6th

Lilly finished 6th in the $12,500 optional claiming, five furlong turf race last night.

She broke well and Betty Jo Williams was able to keep her off the early pace and settle behind a wall of early speed.  She angled out through the turn for home and had a straight shot for her to come home if she was good enough, but, unfortunately, she was not against this group.

Lilly fought all the way through and she battled to the wire.  The final margin of defeat was only 2 3/4 lengths.  Both were impressive.  I liked the way horse and rider tried hard to beat the 9 but missed by a nose.  The difference between fifth and sixth is about $700.  While that amount makes no difference to the jock, it’s nice that she was trying hard to the end to get it for us.

Nevada will make sure that she came out of the race okay and we’ll look to the last two days of the meet and see if we can get her in one more time.  We’ll be back in the claiming ranks again, hoping for a $7500-$10,000 non-winners of two races lifetime.  If she runs back to today, I think we could stand a chance at picking up one more win photo before the season ends!

Race Preview: Lilfeatheredindian

Lil is going tomorrow evening in a 5F, $12,500 optional claiming race over the turf.  We’re in race 7 with Betty Jo Williams aboard.

We are in for the claiming price of $12,500 even though she is eligible for the allowance condition. We can’t hold on to the horse, the season is ending so why not offer her up? She’s healthy and has heart and that could be attractive to someone.  Or not.  We’ll know more about that around 8 PM!

I will have the last Satellite win picture with me as well as a few more copies of the earlier win photos for folks that did not receive them but wanted them.  I will be just outside the fence outside of number 5 before the race because we do not have paddock access.

Here is the field:

Diva de Kela (Biehler/Arrieta) – While the local product hasn’t won outside of statebred company, she’s come awfully close.  She’ll sit off it and come running late. Moving to the turf for only the second time, the first she finished 9th last year in a state bred allowance.

Lucky Loretta (Berndt/Eikleberry) – Came back off a year layoff to score at $10,000 and just missed by a head last out at this level.  Another that appears to want to come and get them late. Like the rail filly, she is making her second start on the turf, her first was a 7th place finish at Same Houston in 2018 at a much higher level.

Forty Nine Model (Flores/Hernandez) – Three year old has been moving around a little and makes her Canterbury turf debut.  Has flashed early speed and moves back to this level where she ran after being claimed for $20,000, albeit over the dirt.

Tailorbeswift (Richard/Quinonez) – We lost Alfonso to this filly who debuted very sharply in a turf sprint MSW a couple of weeks ago.  Coincidently her Beyer was the same as ours in our maiden breaker (66).  She was on the lead and fought for it throughout the race, winning by one.


Therighttobeararms (Silva/Chirinos) – A winner last out in a $10,000 claiming/$5000 starter last out at 5F leading every step of the way.

Winnager (Robertson/Mawing) – Interesting filly scratched out of our last race, the $10,000 claimer, to enter this race – tougher and no tag.  Mac would not have made this switch if he didn’t feel that she was better than $10,000. Her win was a front running one and could be really tough.

All Native (Litfin/Valenzuela) – Nevada’s other horse (also jilted by Quinonez) should be pressing the pace early.  Ran a similar race to us last out, leading until late and holding on for third, though at a higher level.

Rental Pool (Robertson/Lindsay) – MN bred cutting back out of the Minnesota Oaks where she finished third.  She beat a state bred allowance field over the turf this year but faltered late against open company. She tried to make a run late in the Oaks but was frontrunning at a mile on the turf.

The race should be an interesting one.  There is definitely some speed as well as some real closers.  Several nice horses, especially on the inside, aren’t really turf horses so that should be interesting. The weather looks to be lovely so I can’t envision the race coming off the turf.  Could that lead to a scratch or two? It could – especially if another race is found to enter next Tuesday for some of the “dirt” horses.  However it would not surprise me to have the race stay intact.

Can/will we be on the lead or try and sit off?  Betty will determine that as the race unfolds.  Lil tends to break pretty well and we’re dead in the middle of the field, so hopefully she’ll have some options.  Enough of the speed goes, it wouldn’t be the worst trip in the world to be able to sit behind them and try and make a run.

It’s a pretty tough field, for sure, but – as you’ll see Nevada mention below – she tries hard and we know she’ll give it her all.  And if there is one thing I have seen with Betty riding the last few years – she’ll have the filly in a position to make some noise – the rest will be up to Lilly.

Admission Procedure for Tuesday

With the increased restrictions imposed a few weeks back, we are limited, like we were last race, in the number of folks that we can get in on race day.

If your name falls between, and including, Edwards and Marko, you should have received an email with instructions on how to obtain admission to the track on Tuesday for the race.

There are other ways to come, as we’ve mentioned in previous posts.  You can reserve a table on 3 ($15), space on the apron ($10) or in the simulcast center (free).  You can go the Canterbury website to reserve your spot.

Simulcast area:

Other spots:

The race has come up pretty salty so it’ll be a challenge – but then again so wasn’t her maiden win!

Preview coming up on Monday.

Lilfeatheredindian Up Next Tuesday

Lilly is back next Tuesday evening in the seventh race.  It’s a 5 furlong sprint over the grass: a $12,500 optional claiming race.  It’s not exactly the race we wanted but it is the race that was there.  As we all have learned by now, there is no perfect race so you take your shot when you can! We hope that we can get one more in before the end of the meet should we still have her after the race.

We did enter her for the tag because we can’t keep her at the end of the year, so no snese protecting her this late in the season.  Besides, it keeps the 1X condition should anyone decide to take her.  The likelihood of a claim probably isn’t there, but she’s young, has shown promise and is healthy as can be, so she isn’t unattractive either.

She will break from post 5 and Betty Jo Williams will be aboard.

Later in the week we will have admission procedures.  As you know they have bounced around a bit so we will make sure that we have the latest nailed down and post that here.

I will also have all the winner’s circle photos with me for the folks that want them – including Ender’s win at Remington from last year.

Lilly 3rd

She broke a little awkwardly and hustled up to take the lead down the backstretch.  She cut the fractions of 21.55 and 44.46 before being overtaken late by a streaking Heighten.  It was quick up front, we were on it and, given that, someone was bound to pick up the pieces late.

It was a bit disappointing to get nosed out for second, as well, the difference being about $2000 in purse money – the difference between paying the bills and falling just short.

Still, though, it’s hard to complain with 3 wins on the year and having Satellite claimed for $1000 more than what we paid for him after a pair of wins and Lil winning a maiden special weight.

Assuming she came out of the race just fine, we’ll be back in a few weeks to take them on again.

We will not be claiming another horse this season.  Turf Paradise has cancelled their season and with more uncertainty out there it doesn’t make sense, with only a month left in the meet, to pick up a horse that won’t get claimed from us because folks are concerned about where to run next.

So we will ride out the season with Lil and see what we can get done!

I will be ordering more of the earlier two photos as well – only a handful each.  I don’t want to get more than we will give away.  I do have some photos left of Ender at Remington last year, if anyone wants one of those.  Just let me know!

Expert Selections

Here are some expert selections for our race tonight:

By HANDICAP Marcus Hersh

2 Lilfeatheredindian
6 Party Lights
1 Winnager

By HERMIS Rob Perocier

1 Winnager
6 Party Lights
5 Sweet Sassafrassy

Race Preview: Lilfeatheredindian

Lil heads postward Wednesday night in race 3, a $10,000 claiming race for horses that have never won 2 races lifetime or Minn breds that haven’t won 3 races.  It’s five furlongs over the turf and regular rider Alonso Quinonez is aboard.

As usual for Covid racing there is no paddock for us for the race.  I will be by our number outside the paddock before the race and I’ll have the winners’ circle photos from Satellite’s swan song for us.

Here is the race:

Winnager (Robertson/Hernandez) – Won so impressively in first Canterbury start last year but faltered badly in her debut after nearly a year off in an allowance.  Drops from there to here hoping to perk up. There must have been a reason for a year absence for a non-MN bred.


Facing North (Biehler/Arrieta) – Sharp back to back wins, both over the dirt – once against Minnesotans and once versus open.  Moves to the turf here and up in class a rung.  Should be speedy early.

Triple Malt (Stuart/Eikleberry) – Lone turf try at the Fairgrounds last year was competitive until the late stages in a maiden $30,000 claiming and then broke the maiden next out at Charles Town.  Had over a year break before coming back at Ellis and then moving to Canterbury.  Should be sitting off a little early and hope to make a run, cutting back from a mile.

Sweet Sassafrassy (Kereluk/Garcia) – Another first turfer.  Broke maiden at $3500 at Los Alamitos and was beaten 11 1/2 last out at $5000.  Maybe turf will be the answer?

Party Lights (Litfin/Valenzuela) – The “other” Litfin horse (or is that us?!?).  Lone turf try wasn’t great but was also against considerably tougher.  Definitely quick up front and cutting back a little bit should help as well.

Heighten (Hanson/Harr) – Another first turfer.  Was third in last against Facing North.  There will be some pace to run at and she’s not one for the lead.

As you can tell, there are quite a few first turfers in the race.  From experience, we know not to toss any first turfers out or they can score at 46-1!

We’ll look at this one as “surface neutral” to start.

We broke like a shot in our win and broke well in the stake before having issues through the first turn.  There is a considerable amount of speed in here, which you would expect for turf sprinters.  Facing North should be near the lead, Party Lights is quick and, taking their last races out of consideration, Winnager and Sweet Sassyfrassy both are capable of speed.

Can we be the speed of the speed or will we have to sit behind and try and make a run? Alonso is going to have to determine that for himself with the break.  We certainly have a good post to go either way.

We have the fastest half mile of the group in our win with the notable exception of Winnager. We know that she dug in hard and kicked on strongly in the lane in her win, so it is entirely possible that she can battle on, or close, to the lead and still come out on top.  She’s had a nice refresher and has been training really well.  The only thing that will make me nervous is, after the first couple of furlongs, we’re more than 6-8 out of it.  Then we could be in trouble.  The other question mark is, obviously, how are some of these going to handle the turf?