End of the Hawthorne Meet

Well, today marked the conclusion of the Hawthorne race meet and we were not able to find another horse via the claim box. Clay is looking for horses that might be for sale by the trainers that remain at Hawthorne. He has also put a call in to a few people he knows around the country to see if they have something that would meet the needs of the Club.

He intends to ship his horses to Canterbury early this week. Once he settles in, we’ll go back to the barn to get some pictures and more information on Great Bam.

Stay tuned, more to come later in the week.

Giving a New Definition to “Twins Territory”

Well, we struck out yet again after losing another shake on another claim today at Hawthorne. Clay targeted Rare Action in the first race, she went off as the third wagering choice and won by six lengths, but we lost the shake to trainer Frank Randazzo (same trainer we lost the shake to the other day).

Rare Action is a five-year-old mare who has now hit the board in 26 of 38 starts. She has some speed and would have been a good fit at Canterbury.

This loss makes us 1 for 4 in shakes. The percentage of claims we have been successful at is now roughly equal to the Minnesota Twins winning percentage (.263) and team batting average (.258). Hence, the shot taken in the headline of the post (sorry Twins fans).

Clay is planning to take a look at a couple of horses again tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted of any updates. Hurry up and wait… it’s the name of the racing game.

Odds and Ends

I wanted to make sure everyone was clear on the free admission process. You simply scan your MVP card at the gate. Many of you already have cards so those will work for you. I think I have contacted everyone that did not have a card. If you have questions or if I missed someone, let me know.

Clay is looking at a couple of horses today and we will update the blog as news becomes available. He plans to ship to Shakopee on May 1.

The stable area is slowing coming to life. There are about 120 horses residing here now with many more en route. Numerous locals are getting a start in at Prairie Meadows before our meet begins.


Well… We’re Now 1 for 3

Trainer Clay Brinson made another attempt today to get the group a second horse but, once again, we fell victim to bad luck losing a two-way shake.

Clay contacted Jeff and myself this morning about the possibility of claiming Abuela Emma for $10,000 out of the day’s first race at Hawthorne. On paper, Abuela Emma looked like she could be competitive on both dirt and turf and at both short and long distances. Obviously, versatility is a huge plus in horse racing and the more races a horse is eligible for and compete in, the better chance you have of finding a level where she can compete.

Unfortunately, trainer Frank Randazzo and new owner Bob Dallas saw the same qualities in Abuela Emma and won the shake leaving us 1 for 3 in shakes. Abuela Emma went on to sat the fractions in a six furlong sprint before fading to fourth beaten by about five lengths.

Losing a shake isn’t surprising, but what is interesting is the fact that we have been involved in one each time we have tried to claim a horse. Usually, shakes aren’t quiet this frequent. At least it lets you know that you’re seeing qualities that other trainers are seeing.

We’re not done yet, we still have Friday, Saturday and Sunday to find a second horse before the meet begins. We’ll do our best to secure one more runner. Hang in there!

The Other Side of the Coin

Well, Clay contacted Jeff and I this morning and said he was interested in claiming Smokin Silver out of today’s fourth race at Hawthorne. After taking a look at the horse, Clay decided to place a claim on him. Unfortunately, two claims were made for Smokin Silver and this time, we lost the shake.

Smokin Silver went off as the prohibitive favorite at 2-5 and held on for a narrow victory. He looked like a horse that would be very competitive here going five and one-half or six furlongs. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Therefore, we’re 1 for 2 in the claiming game. We’ll continue to work with Clay to try to find another horse. Horse racing is a game of ups and downs. It didn’t work out today but we’ll keep trying to find another horse before the start of the season.

In Search of Another Horse

Here’s a quick update of what’s going on with Great Bam and our search for another horse.

Great Bam had blood drawn a few days ago to get a read on his overall well-being. Clay reported that Great Bam’s thyroid level was a little bit lower than normal. Other than that, he appears to have a clean bill of health. That’s definitely good news! Clay also said that he hopes to send Great Bam to the track over the weekend to start to jog him.

Our search for another horse has been relatively uneventful to this point. Jeff talked to former Racing Club Trainer Tammy Domenosky about any horses she may be willing to sell the group but she said that she didn’t have anything for sale that would make sense. Additionally, our trainer Clay Brinson has been keeping his eye out for another horse. Thus far, he’s taken a  look at a couple in the paddock that he was interested in claiming but wasn’t impressed with their overall physique.

Jeff and I talked to him earlier this afternoon. Currently, he is looking at a horse he might want to buy privately. He told us that he was planning on having another discussion with the trainer of that horse tomorrow morning and he’d give us an update on the horse and what the asking price might be. We’ll continue to work with the trainer in an attempt to secure another runner prior to the beginning of the meet!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! When something happens, we’ll be sure to post it here immediately.

Quick Introduction

Good afternoon racing club members, I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to introduce myself on the blog. Some of you have been e-mailing back and forth with me and some have made contact with me throughout the sign-up period. Others have asked for a little bit of information about who I am and what I do, so I thought I’d write a quick post.

I have worked at Canterbury Park on and off since 2006 and have followed Minnesota racing for more than 20 years. Horse racing is a game that I thoroughly enjoy and, if you can believe it, is actually the area of focus of my higher education.

I graduated from the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program with a Master’s Degree in Racetrack Management in 2010. Shortly thereafter, I returned to Canterbury Park as the Social Media and Live Racing Coordinator. During my education, I was fortunate enough to work with the New York Racing Association and was able to watch Summer Bird win both the Belmont Stakes and the Travers.

I’ve worked with Jeff throughout my time at Canterbury and helped him out with the Racing Club last year. I’m very excited to again be working with Jeff on this racing club as I believe it’s a pretty unique experience that isn’t replicated by many other racetracks. Owning a racehorse can be a lot of fun and Jeff and I aim to make this experience as fun as possible.

Jeff and I will both post on the blog and respond to comments. As mentioned on an earlier post, I’m also available to reach by e-mail if you have any questions at: aofferman@canterburypark.com.

Thanks again for your interest in the racing club. I look forward to meeting all of you!