Updates and Coffee Talk

Vanderboom seems no worse for wear nearly a week after his effort.  He’s going back to the track and will be galloping for another week or so before we’ll look to find him another race in maybe a bit of a softer spot!

Vanderboom Ridge last week.

Vanderboom Ridge last week.

The search continues to find Miz Owell a home – either to retire from racing or get the rest she needs before returning to the track in the spring.

Look for an invitation in this space for a morning get together on the apron before the end of the meet.  We’ll have some coffee and donuts as well as watch some morning works and generally have a “last hurrah” before the track closes for the season.  If you’re not a Clubber but have been thinking about it, you’re free to come along as well!  We should have the details worked out this weekend and have an announcement the beginning of next week.

Some vet bills came in so we’ll be finalizing the next financial spreadsheet as well and that should be posted this weekend.



Vanderboom, Miz Owell Falter

Vanderboom did not run the kind of race we had hoped for last night.  He was in a great spot early but when Denny Velazquez asked him heading into the turn, there was nothing there.  He faltered down the lane and finished a disappointing 8th.

Talking to Denny after the race he said that he felt that Boomer just wasn’t getting his feet up and out of the mud very well.  Early on it wasn’t bad but as the race progressed he was getting more and more tired and was empty late.

He’ll rest up and we’ll look to find him a softer spot before the meet ends and we shift to Chicago.

Miz Owell is having some issues.  She’s developed a little soreness in the hock and this past week she’s developed some soreness in an ankle.  What she needs is four to six months off to be out in a field and heal up.

For the Club, where we need to be horseless by the end of the season, this isn’t an option for us, so we will be looking to sell her to someone who has that kind of time or someone that would like her as a broodmare.  She’s an E Dubai out of a Mizzen Mast mare and should be attractive to a breeder.  With the proper amount of rest and rehab, she could run again successfully next season as well.

We won’t get what we paid for her but we will get what we can while making sure that she’s going to a good home.

This has been a tough season for the Club, no question about it – especially on the heels of a pair of highly successful seasons.  But the Club is an educational experience and all lessons in racing aren’t happy.

The Thoroughbred has a beauty and a grace that is unmatched and for all it’s size and power there is an underlying fragility that makes this dance so intricate.

The business is a hard one and we have been very fortunate over the past few years to be able win more than our share of races and the joy has been great.  Bad breaks, injuries, rainouts, etc. are also part of the business and, though not pleasant parts, still issues that need to be dealt with and managed through.

The season is not over yet and Boomer can still win a few for us and, depending upon the finances, maybe we can pick up a replacement for Miz Owell, but we have to get her sold first.

Being a race horse owner is a thrilling, rewarding experience.  It can also be stressful, worrisome, difficult and trying. You take the good with the bad, like in anything.  Hopefully it is still fun to see the horses go the post and race for us and that the lessons learned, while so far this year are not the happy ones but the trying ones, are still lessons worth learning.  It’s not an easy business, but you dust yourself off, get back up and get back at it.  Because it’s worth it.

Vanderboom Ridge: Race Preview

Vanderboom Ridge heads out for us for the first time Saturday night in a $16,000 claiming race going a mile over the main track with Denny Velazquez on board.

We knew stepping up in class a bit could be done – he was competing effective, though not winning, at $20,000 after all – but this is far from a normal $16,000 claiming race. Several droppers from as high as allowance company makes this race a bit stiffer than a “normal” $16,000 race.

Here’s a look:

Go Gold (Westermann/Hernandez) – Off the pace type that just hasn’t been able to quite get there.

Charlie Again (Van Winkle/Ramgeet) – First off the claim for Van Winkle was 3rd in his last out at this level. Definitely has some early speed.

Tap the Admiral (Arnett/Butler) – First time out at Canterbury, his last race was a very gutsy 2nd at Prairie Meadows in a $15,000 optional. May not be a speedster but will like to be close.

Vino Limbo Tango (Becker/Castro) – Been running at a higher level but almost exclusively on the turf. Should be part of the mix early.

Deadly Truth (Diodoro/Vegara) – This miler is coming off a win in a $10K optional claimer with an 80 Beyer and late running style.

Caleb’s Comet (Rarick/ACanchari) – Six year old has been competitive at this level for a while but unable to win since Tampa in January.

Sammy’s Mineshaft (Padilla/DeLorme) – Dropping in from allowance company, her race two back is all you need to know about her: She’ll try and get to the front and run away from the field as she did then while picking up a eye-popping 90 Beyer.


No sense sugar-coating it, this one is going to be a tough one. He’s been training well and even though he’s run mostly over the turf, he can run on the dirt. A couple of hurdles to overcome here: the 8 post with a short run into the first turn and a horse that likes to be up close/on the lead.

My fear is that he goes out, can’t tuck in behind the speed to let Vino Limbo Tango and Charlie again soften up Sammy’s Mineshaft. Then we’d be carried wide through that firs turn and have a much tougher row to hoe.

Admittedly, on paper our best doesn’t stack up to Sammy’s Mineshaft and Deadly Truth but then they don’t run the races on paper. With unpredictable weather ahead and some potential scratches because of it combined with racing luck could give us the opportunity we need to get that elusive win for the Club.

Again, group 4 is in the paddock: Connell – Erickson with Sheggeby – Zenner. While it doesn’t appear that we’ll have a spot together, we’ll meet you over at the paddock after the photos for race 5.

Good luck!

Vanderboom Ridge in Saturday

Vanderboom Ridge will take to the track Saturday night for the first time for the Club in the 6th race.  The race is a $16,000 claiming race going a mile on the dirt with Denny Velazquez up.

Normally I would be pretty excited to see our boy running a level up…but this is QUITE a level up.  Several are dropping in from allowance company and the $20,000 ranks so this became a sharp hike in class.

Race 6 will go off about 9 PM.  It is uncertain yet if we will have a place to watch the race since group sales has done a tremendous job lately in getting the space sold, but we’ll keep you posted on that development soon.

Group 4 is in the paddock and, as a reminder, here is Group 4:

Connell – Erickson with Sheggeby – Zenner

We are also looking for the next $7500 claiming race over the grass for Miz Owell – as soon as it’s up, we’re entering.

Good luck!

Tour in the Books; Next Races

The second tour is in the books with a great turnout on a beautiful day today at Canterbury Park. The weather could not have been more cooperative and Miz Owell was in fine form! She was really feeling good and did some bucking rearing and jumping for everyone. Everyone stayed clear and we let her burn off her exuberance. It was a lot of fun seeing her finally really feeling good again!

Vanderboom Ridge showed us just how unflappable he is when the water truck came steaming through and he never even batted an eye. He loved the attention and was an absolute champ with it all.

Thank you all for coming out and spending you morning with us!

We are looking for races for both horses right now. The hoped for Vanderboom Ridge spot Friday night did not materialize so we’ll wait and try again. With him we can go from $10K – $20K so we’ll be entering and trying to get one to go. The next $7500 on the turf for Miz Owell we are entering. Those usually fill so I would think the next one listed is the one we’ll run in.

Finally, several folks asked about moving into another Alumni type group so, if you are interested, please drop me a line at ted@grevelisracing.com and we’ll go from there!

Enjoy Fillies Race for Hope Day and good luck with your wagering!

Sunday’s Tour Details

The second tour is this Sunday and it will be our largest group ever. All of you that sent me notes are in and we are now over full, so we will need to be prompt and stay together.

Here are the details:

– We will meet you all at the stable gate at 9:00 AM. While we may wait a couple of minutes, late comers cannot be allowed entry to the backside, so please be prompt. The stable gate is located on Barenscheer (sp) Rd. If you’re approaching Canterbury from 169, go straight through the lights instead of turning left at the light. The backside will be on your left. Take the first left and then the first left again. That is the stable entrance. You can park along the side there or along Barensheer on the grass. Please make sure that you are off the road.

– We will check out the end of morning works, go up to the equine pool, swing by the barn and wind up at the admin building;

– There will be a LOT of walking so wear comfortable shoes and be prepared. The tour will take about 2 hours, perhaps a bit more so be comfortable and dress for the weather. There are rest rooms in the admin building and not much along the way, so plan accordingly;

– If you’re bringing kids, keep a close hold of them. There is a lot of potential for injury and we cannot be responsible for kids wandering off. Which leads to the next point…

– Horses have the right of way at all times. We’ll keep the group close together and make sure that we give the horses a wide berth. There will be a lot of activity this time of the morning and we need to make sure that we stay out of the way.

The tours are always a big highlight of the Club and it looks like Sunday – at least as of right now – is going to be absolutely gorgeous!

Vanderboom Live!

Michelle Benson and Kara Toye put together the following video on Vanderboom Ridge’s settling in in the barn. He’s back on the track and doing well. He’s a well mannered fella and is built well. Clay really likes what he’s seen so far and we’ll be looking to him to get back to the races in about 10-days.


Miz Owell 4th

Miz Owell finished 4th yesterday in her $7500 claiming race. Denny Velazquez had her right where Clay wanted her to be throughout the race but when the time came to start running she flattened out and she ended up getting just beaten for third.

We’ll see how she came back in a few days and see if there is anything different we can do with her to help make her more competitive.

Vanderboom Ridge is back to the track and is doing well. Clay likes the way he came out of the race and is galloping well. Look for him back in about 10-days or so.

Michelle Benson put together a very cool video w/ Denny’s help: a look at the race from the jock’s perspective. Enjoy!

Miz Owell: Race Preview

We go in the 5th tomorrow. It’s a straight $7500 claimer going 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf. She’ll break from post 5 with Denny Velazquez on board. The weather looks to be perfect so I think we should have no problems staying on the turf.

Here is a look at the 7 horse field.

Enlightened (Bethke/Nolan) – Claimed out of the same race we claimed Miz Owell. She came right back at the same level and got a good trip but there was nothing in the tank.

Make Money Honey (Diodoro/Ramgeet) – Very solid and very consistent runner. After being washed off twice she’ll finally get a try over the Canterbury turf – though she had a win and a second in those off the turf trips. The Canterbury turf is much different than Turf Paradise so her form may not necessarily translate but she’s going to be dangerous regardless.

Sweet Tango (Bethke/Bethke) – Another Troy Bethke trainee, this Minnesotan just missed last out a level up. Though she was routed at this level two back her other turf efforts have been solid and a repeat of her last could win this one.

Emma Lea’s Song (Silva/Franco) – First off the claim for Silva (0 for 6 first off the claim this year) out of a solid 2nd place performance at this level.


Hugsforhennyhall (Oliver/Hernandez) – The speed in the race. Hasn’t been able to hang on since February and the turf is not her favorite surface.

Aaron’s Belt (Weir/Mojica) – Having a very tough meet so far this year but getting her last was her best so far. Drops down now to her lowest level. If she really is improving, the collision of improvement and drop in class could be tough.

I would really like it if we had a little more pace in the race. Having a lone speedster is never good, especially with a short field and having a horse that is an off the pace type. There is one in here, Sweet Tango, who may be able to give Hugsforhennyhall a run for her money early, but she’s prefer to stalk. If she does stalk, she’ll get first run at the leader. The rest of us will be coming late and it will come down to position and a clean trip if one of us is to win.

Denny did a nice job last tie having her in a good position all the way around, but she just didn’t have anything left in the tank. Now she’s 3 more weeks removed from her colicky episode and she’s been doing really well with that. She hasn’t missed a day at the track and, if we have her in position again, she should have more for us down the lane.

Paddock group 3 (Sande – Severson with Anderson – Collier) – you are charged with turning the season around and delivering us a win!

Good luck all!

Silks on Sunday

There will be a space available in Silks on Sunday inside. The tables should be marked. We’ll be around and swing by after the 4th race. We can watch our girl come up and then head over to the paddock.

Here is a short video put together by Michelle Benson at the end of her exercise the other day and a couple of stills as well. It was a toasty, humid morning but she did well and came back nicely. We’re really looking forward to Sunday!