Nev In Saturday; Wrap Up Morning Date Set

First things first – Mr. Ark came back okay but it is clear that he just is not what we would have hoped he could be.  We’ll give him a try over the turf and, unless he really impresses, we will be looking to safely retire him.

I Never Give Up will be in on Saturday.  She’ll be in the final race of the day, a Maiden Special Weight going 5 furlongs over the grass with Denny Velazquez aboard.  I believe we have completed another rotation through the groups so we’re back to group 1 in the paddock.  We’ll keep you posted as to a location to sit for the day.

Finally, after a one year hiatus, the wrap up coffee, juice and donuts is back!  We will be getting together in the Cabanas between 9 – 11 on Saturday, September 8.  We will wrap up the meet with one last get together, relieve our late season winning streak (ever the optimist!) and talk about the future.  If nothing else, it will give us a last opportunity to enjoy each other’s company before we scatter for another winter.

Please RSVP by September 1 for the event to me at  We’re not constrained by space but we do need a head count for the food and beverage folks.



Mr. Ark: Race Preview

It’s time for Mr. Ark to start pulling his share of the weight in the stable Thursday night.  Nevvy has surely been doing her share (and she came out of her race nicely) but Arky just hasn’t gotten it together since the claim though he’s been training pretty well so hopefully he’ll star to run like it!

He goes here in $4000 claiming races for horses that haven’t won a race since September 15 or have started at this Canterbury meet and not finished third or better.  The race is over the main track going a mile with Francisco Arrieta on board.  We’ll break from post 3 and Group 4 will be in the paddock. The group spaces are sold so we’re on our own

Here is the breakdown.

Benny’s Glory (Randy Rarick/Velazquez) – Final race at Tampa Bay wasn’t bad at all but the pair of Canterbury races have been less than terrific.

Houdini Hill (Fields/Eikleberry) – Had a good run over the track three back in a sprint where he finished third.  Qualifies for the race by last winning 13 days prior to the cut off day but has only been close that once since.


Vino Limbo Tango (Becker/Goodwin) – Has spent most of his time at Canterbury – and elsewhere – navigating turf courses or wet dirt courses.  Stretches out to his preferred distance after coming back after nearly 9 months off.  May want to lead the way here.

Express River (Bravo/Gugielmino) – Showed some speed early in the dirt portion of the Battle of the Surfaces but faded.  May help push the pace along for a bit.

Winter Wally (McKinley/Bedford) – Hasn’t shown much yet after 6 months away but was much closer earlier last out.  Stretches out from a sprint to a mile which may be problematic.

Dually Affirmed (Gordon/Samuels) – Another out of the Dual Surface race, surged to the lead and flattened out but the best of his races here this year.  That effort could be enough to win here.

Speed is Life (Rengstorf/Mawing) – Winner of the 2014 Vic Myers and Minnesota Derby as well as the 2016 Minnesota Classic, the horse has not been the same this season but may have enough back class to get it done against this group.

Tempietto (Silva/Hamilton) – was competitive at Tampa until his last race and has a rough go of it since coming north as well. Looks like one that liked to stalk the pace when he was on a solid roll.

Ark had been pretty consistent versus open company in Texas at the lower levels and it was our hope when we claimed him that he would do the same here.  SO far he hasn’t lived up to that promise so it is certainly easy to understand why we are 10-1 in the morning line.

However…(you HAVE to have a however, right?  There always has to be hope in this game!)

He has shown some speed in his starts and, looking back to his win, he was on the lead but much slower than he has been going.  I’m not sure with some of the speed that is in here that he can get to the front and keep the pace slower, but perhaps he can relax a bit and sit behind the pace like he did in wins at Retama and Lone Star and make a move late.  He’ll have to stay close because, as we saw last weekend, it was very hard to close into the speed over this racetrack but these aren’t exactly stakes horses and the pace shouldn’t be more than he can handle.

We’ll see how the race develops and root our boy home.  It won’t be easy, but it’s not an impossible task either.

Good Luck!

Ark in Thursday Night

Mr. Ark is entered in the 6th race Thursday night.  He drew post position 3 with Francisco Arrieta aboard.  The race is a mile over the dirt course.

The conditions of the race are: $4,000 claiming for horses that have not won since September 15 OR horses that have started here but not finished third or better.

It will be Group 4s turn in the paddock marking perhaps the first time that four of more paddock groups have made 2 passes through the paddock in a season.  That said, we don’t have a visit to the winners’ circle yet, so that would be a nice benchmark to hit as well!

We’ll look into space in Silks and let you all know when we get the preview up early next week.

Nev 2nd

Well, the winner made all the sense in the world but Nev ran a strong second.  Denny had her in a good spot all the way around but we couldn’t outkick the favorite.  That was no surprise but I’m proud of the girl.  She ran well and we picked up $5600 for her trouble.

Denny said she kept trying to lug in (bear in toward the rail) but she kept running straight which is what you want.  It was an awfully quick race as well.  All in all, it is hard to be upset with her effort!

Having not nailed down the maiden breaker, we will be dropping into maiden claiming ranks next out. Unless we get unlucky with the draw, we should be able to pick up the win and start facing winners.

Ark’s race should go next weekend, so keep an eye on this space, the Twitter feed (@Cby_Racing_Club) ands our Facebook page.

Expert Selections for Tonight

Here are what some of the local experts are saying about our race this evening.  You can get these picks for every racing day here –

Johnny Love, Star Tribune

ASTRAL FAVOR has been runner-up in both her starts this summer, but deserving M/L favorite with this group. COFFEE CAKE has a strong morning work schedule coming in for her first start. Strong turf pedigree for this first timer. I NEVER GIVE UP looms the late closing threat, but lack of group speed could leave her with too much work to do.

Canterbury Program

Heffington is a second-time starter going first time around on grass. The rail draw put her behind runners early in her debut but she managed to keep up a good part of the way before tiring late in the stretch. This filly’s dam was all turf and in fact won her first start going one turn on the grass, so it’s very possible that she takes to it like a duck to water and takes them all the way on the front end.

Astral Favor has already proven that she likes doing what she’ll be asked to do today—sprint on Canterbury grass. Both of her runner-up efforts look nearly identical on paper and she lost to a pair of fillies who came back to win their next outings. Merrick will put blinkers on her and Loveberry keeps the faith in the quest for her maiden win, but she should take an awful lot of money at the windows and there are some other speedy-looking runners in here who’ll be much better bets on the win side of things.

I Never Give Up has only sprinted on dirt up until tonight. With the way she’s performed on the local oval thus far, she makes sense to be an off-the-pace contender going five furlongs tonight. She’s run behind some repeat winners and she’s been getting better at passing horses in the process, so expect to see her on the scene late in this event.

Kevin Gorg’s Power Play

5 I NEVER GIVE UP> Shorter trip enhances her late surge.

8 ASTRAL FAVOR> Blinkers on after a pair of 2nd placings.

9 COFFEE CAKE> Well bred filly debuts with nice works.

1 RENEGADE RUNNER> Speed of speed – must be caught

I Never Give Up: Race Preview

Group 3 will take center stage tomorrow evening in the paddock for the fifth race when I Never Give Up looks to break her maiden – and ours!

The race is a 5 furlong maiden special weight over the turf course with Denny Velazquez aboard breaking from post 5 (if you like 5s, you have feel good – 5th race, post 5 going 5 furlongs).  It looks like we will have a lovely night for racing so I expect the race to stay on the turf.  The estimate post time is 8:23 and it looks like we’ll have a spot in Silks for the evening.

Here is the field of nine:

Renegade Runner (Lund/Hernandez) – May be the only one in here with any early speed and the rail should be helpful in that regard.  Has had a hard time staying competitive near the end of races but hard to tell what could happen if she gets loose early and starts feeling brave.

Heffington (Kline/Harr) – She was 4th in her career debut while running evenly.  Jockey Kelsi Harr has made the most of her limited opportunities this season – the first of her career – winning 2 of her 4 starts and finishing 2nd in another.  Moves to the turf and she looks like she’s bred for it.

It’s Noon Somewhere (Anderson/Butler) – Finished just ahead of Heffington in her last.  She returns to the turf where she has run better.  She gets the services of crafty veteran Dean Butler.  Back short and on the grass, if she can improve off of her career debut she may be able to do some damage here.

Hot Harley (Stoneking/Mawing) – Steady diet of works for the Minnesotan including a bullet work on July 12.


Patriotic Bei Bei (McKinley/Arrieta) – Another Minnesota first timer.  Steady works with a pair of bullets indicates that she should be fit.

Oh Bette (Richard/Sanchez) – Prairie Meadows shipper up to try the turf, not an unfamiliar site as their season winds down and some come north to give the turf a try.  You can draw a line through her last as the 3YO filly took on older males with a predictable result.

Astral Favor (Merrick/Loveberry) – Impressive pair of Canterbury races this season at this distance on this surface.  She finished 2nd twice, both to fillies that went on to win their next start.  She should be stalking the pace.

Coffee Cake (Robertson/Eikleberry) – Third Minnesotan first timer.  Well bred for the turf from a top owner (Joel Zamzow) out of a top barn (Mac Robertson) with the leading rider (Ry Eikleberry)  Long string of steady works, filly should be fit and Robertson is 23% with first timers.  She could be one dangerous first timer.

Like Nevada said in the video, Nevvy is having a bit of a reset which is why we are starting her back at 5 furlongs.  She should be very competitive in this race and her race 2 back could certainly win this.  I don’t know what our strategy will be heading into the race as she really hasn’t shown a strongly preferred running style.  Most likely we’ll let Denny see how she breaks and use his best judgement from there.

Hopefully that lands us in the winners’ circle.

Side note: Ark did not get a race this weekend, but we will be entering for next weekend so stay tuned.