Belle Back on Track

Brilliant Belle, scrape aside, came out of her race really well. Her cut is already healing and she galloped over the main track today with no problem. She may be sweet as can be in the barn, but she’s a tough filly too!

Nevada, star of paddock and screen, did another video for us letting us know a bit about how she came out of the race and what could be next.


Belle Stumbles Early

There are times when a horse may stumble from the gate and be able to get back into the race – usually it’s not at five furlongs.  Belle was no exception.  She stumbled out of the gate and then was bumped from the outside and that was all she wrote.

All things considered she didn’t run badly but there was only so much you could do.  We didn’t finish last…so there’s that.

She came back okay.  She cut herself a little but nothing that requires any intensive attention.  Nevada will let her cool off for a few days and recover and then we’ll see what’s next down the road.  She was in this one pretty deep but I think she would’ve been involved if we cleared the start.  We’ll have to see what opportunities present themselves when we’re ready in about 3 weeks.

In the interim, we’re still looking to claim another.  I was hoping we’d pick up a little extra dough here to throw in the kitty but we’ll play the hand we’ve been dealt and look for something sturdy and inexpensive.


When we are in the paddock we need to be limited to the grassy area.  Wandering down to the saddling area is not acceptable.  There are folks down there trying to get horses saddled, relaxed, walking, etc.  It is a potentially dangerous pace to be and we have no business being down there.  You can get your photos up in the walking ring.  Please stay up near the group.  Anyone down in the saddling area will be asked to leave the paddock.

Brilliant Belle: Race Preview

Belle is in tonight in race 7. She’ll break from the middle of the field in post position 4. It’s a salty little $20,000 claiming race and we could finish anywhere in this field. Justin Shepherd will again take the controls for the quick 5 furlong sprint over the main track. There is not a seating location this evening as the track has sold out it’s group areas. We’ll meet Group 2 at the paddock after the replays of Race 6.

Approximate post time is 9:22 PM. Here is a look at the field:

Earsahead (Applegate/Loveberry): Had a solid 2016 hitting the board in all three races run here at Canterbury. She came back after her winter break at Will Rogers to hit the board twice in a $17,500 claimer and $12,500 starter allowance, albeit in 5 horse fields. Worth noting that her wins have come wire to wire.

It’s the Swede (Broberg/Sanchez): Another with a good 2016 with a pair of stakes wins for Iowa breds. First two starts of 2017 were also at Prairie Meadows and while not stellar, they were also in a $45,000 allowance and the Mamie Eisenhower stakes. Her three wins last year came…wire to wire…

Annoy (Heitzmann/Velazquez): You’ll recall we handled this one in the last race, though you may also recall that we got a perfect trip while she had to swing wide which may have been the difference. She’ll break inside of us and have the speed to her inside which should clear her a path to rail in a nice stalking position.


Stella’s Princess (Bravo/Mojica): Minnesotan finished 2016 with a flourish winning at pair of nice state bred sprints. The Minnesotan started the year in a Will Rogers stake and a pair of open allowances here at Canterbury. This spot may only be slightly lighter than those…maybe.

Gratzie (Robertson/Canchari): Soundly defeated us in her last start at Oaklawn before taking a break. She’s put in a pair of nice of solid works and should want the lead as well.

Seams Discreet (Arnett/Butler): One of the leading trainers in Iowa sends this one up after having been training consistently since arriving in Altoona. My guess is that they couldn’t get the race they wanted and found these conditions to their liking. That alone makes him dangerous. Reeled off 3 consecutive allowance and optional claiming wins before faltering in a pair of stakes in New Mexico. Another to sit off the pace.

As mentioned, this is a salty group of seven and there are surely some unknowns: Just how good is Seams Discreet? Can Stella’s Princess handle open? How will the shippers take to Canterbury? Are we really as good as our last race or what that a fluke?

The race will be quick, no question about that. There are enough in here that are going to want to go that if we try and wire the field this time, we could be in for trouble. While two of her three wins have been on the engine, she broke her maiden rating of the pace. That may be the tact we’ll have to take in this one to avoid burning and fading – especially with the speed on the inside that could keep us wide throughout. With Annoy on our inside, the likelihood of us being able to get to the rail early this time is going to be tough.

I’m also concerned about the “bounce” factor. The “bounce” theory is that thoroughbreds that run a career race – a superior race than they have ever run before – tend to run a poor race next or “bounce”. She’s had a nice maintenance work in between races and last week she got really keen to go to the track when one of her stablemates was heading out for a race. Hopefully these are indications that she is ready to go without issue.

We will see tonight just how good she is. She’ll have to track some quick horses early and outkick a pair of really good ones late. She repeats her last performance, she can win. She falters a little and we could be 7th. It should be a good one to watch for the crowd – and a bit of a nerveracker to be involved in!

Good luck and we’ll see you tonight!

Belle In Friday Night!

Brilliant Belle will go out and try and rinse the bitter taste of Jerry’s claim/injury on Friday night. She’ll be going in the 7th race of the evening, has drawn post 4 and will carry the victorious Justin Shepherd once again. The race is a $20,000 claiming race (nearly three times her purchase price!) going five furlongs over the main track. A salty group of 7 will head postward about 9:22 PM and Group 2 shall lead them…into the paddock.

As a reminder, Group 2 is: Nierman – Zessman

She worked an easy maintenance work this morning, covering 3 furlongs in :38.86. Nevada liked the way she went and she came back just fine.

Attached is the first financial statement of the year through May but does include the $7500 claim on Thursday night, just so it can show a more complete picture at this point in time.

CRC 2017 Running financials – MAY

Finally, if you haven’t seen a bowed tendon before, below is a picture of Jerry’s. We went out to the farm to see him yesterday before he heads north tomorrow and took this picture so you all can see it “live”. He obviously is very sore. We also snapped this picture of him as well. I know it looks like he’s sticking his tongue out at us, but he’s not – it was just a cute picture. He’s a very sweet horse and we certainly hope he can recover and go on to a second career somewhere – even if it’s just as someone’s trail riding horse.

The bowed tendon is on the left. You can see the huge discrepency in size between the two.

Jerrys Two Tickets: Bowed Tendon

The vet came by and checked on Jerry this morning. It turns out that he seriously bowed a tendon in his leg. A “bow” is simply a horseman’s term for “tear”. Damage to flexor tendons occurs commonly during exercise. Even in fit horses, a tear can occur during a fast work, work on unleveled ground, work involving jumping at speed, racing, or training. The degree of damage can range from minor, with little fiber damage to very severe with total tendon rupture occurring. Jerry’s injury fell short of a total rupture but severe enough that he will not be able to race any longer.

Jerry has already been sent to Russ Rhone’s training farm in south Shakopee where he will await transport to Bowman’s Second Chance Ranch in North Dakota on Monday. Doctor Richard Bowman is a vet that founded this organization to rehabilitate and rehome injured thoroughbreds coming off the track. You can learn more about this tremendous organization here:

This is a depressing setback, no question. Paying $7500 to retire a horse is a terrible use of limited funds, but there was no way of knowing that this would happen in the race either. It is sad that it happened – especially for the horse. For the record – and I know people are wondering – I have known Bernell Rhone (previous trainer) for years and he would never knowingly run an injured horse. Clay gave him the once over before the race and the horse showed no signs of an issue. He simply got to racing and was injured to no fault of anyone. It is, however, tremendously bad luck.

We will reevaluate this weekend and see what direction we will head in and keep you all posted. There is still some room to do something else so we’ll look and see the best way to go forward.

Welcome to Jerrys Two Tickets

The Club claimed Jerrys Two Tickets out of the 4th race yesterday for $7500. A turf horse coming in off of a layoff, Jerry broke okay but found himself near the back of the pack and never really got untracked.

Jockey Orlando Mojica did not like what he felt underneath him pulling up after the race and his action was off, so the horse ambulance was called and Jerry got a ride to his new home.

He was given a once over last night and while it appears that he may have a tendon injury, it is too early to tell for sure. We’ll let him come down after the race and give him a much more thorough examination in a day or two and go from there.

Claiming is the ultimate caveat emptor (Latin for “buyer beware”) and while there are protections in place if you claim a horse that ends up with a fatal injury during the race, there are none if a horse gets hurt.

Once Clay and the vet have determined the extent of the injury sustained during the race we will pass along as well as the plan going forward.

In better news, Belle is doing well and it is getting to be time to find her next race. She’s been at the track every day and we’re looking forward to what she can do next.

We’ll also be posting the first financial statement of the season this weekend for the period through May, so stay tuned for that.


As horse owners you are responsible for various bills including those submitted by the farrier when he shoes your horse. In general, a horse receives new shoes every four to six weeks. The farrier is a very important piece of the puzzle. As the old saying goes: ‘No foot, No horse.’

A good farrier can make a huge difference in horse performance. Nevada uses Scott Rhone in most cases.

Watch this instructional video to learn more:

Video by Michelle Blasko

Empty on Friday But More to Check Out

As we mentioned, there were four horses we were looking at as possible claims tonight.  Here is a run-down (names with-held!) of what we found:

Horse 1 – SCRATCHED  So that made it easy to eliminate this one!

Horse 2 – Precipitous class drop made us a little wary.  Horse dropped five class levels but still couldn’t win tonight.  Clay was familiar with the owners and cautioned that they don’t drop a horse like that without a reason.  Obvious there was something not right.

Horse 3 – We hemmed and hawed about this one.  We checked it out in the paddock and the horse had a bit of a bump on its shin, indicative of perhaps having some work done (a potential problem) and was a small horse showing some anxiety in the paddock.  Three strikes and you’re out.  He did hit the board but barely.  Had we claimed this horse we would have overpaid and he probably can’t win at this level.

Horse 4 – In doing the research into this horse Clay discovered that he was a bit of a nut case that required special handling.  This kind of horse can be problematic because if you don’t know its secrets you could really have some issues and its not like after a claim you can go to the old trainer and ask!  Horse finished up the track.

So three horses to look at; two of the three didn’t make it to the “eye test” stage and the one that did failed it.  None of them impressed on the track.

We’re not done this weekend, though, and we’re also looking at a potential private sale.  Tomorrow doesn’t look promising but there are some possibilities on Sunday.

Stay tuned.

All reports on Belle are solid.  As mentioned yesterday, she came out of the race really well and started galloping back again the other day and really impressed her exercise rider with how solid she was after coming off a hard fought win.  We’ll give her a week training and then figure out her next spot!

Belle Back on Track; Targeting 2nd Friday

Brilliant Belle went back to the track for training today and is showing no ill effects from her race…eh, victory…on Friday. She will continue to work over the track for the next week and we’ll look for her next start.  Then it will be up to paddock group 2 to keep the momentum going!


We’re researching several horses that are in tomorrow night for a possible second Club horse.  Several factors go into this process.  You try to check the background of the horse if you can – if there has been a history of injury, for example.  Or if the horse has any interesting quirks.  You try and find our if the layoffs the horse has experienced (there SHOULD be some layoffs, they just can’t keep training and training.  Eventually they will sour) have reasonable explanations. Make sure their workouts are regular and consistent.

As long as all there factors check out, they have to pass the “eye” test: watch them walk over before their race and see if there is anything that there is to be alarmed about: legs, knees, ankles and the way the horse moves.

If all checks out then we’ll drop the claiming slip and see if we can get ourselves another horse.