Kick Off Coffee

The annual Canterbury Race Club kickoff coffee has been scheduled for May 12 from 8 AM to 11 AM in the cabanas trackside – rain or shine.

We will have some donuts, coffee and juice and run it like an open house.  Come and go as you please and it will be a chance for us to get together, meet, watch morning works and kick off the racing season.  Maybe we’ll even have an entry that afternoon!

If you could please RSVP to by Friday, May 5, with the number in your party so we can get a headcount.  See you there!

I Never Give Up Works Over the Track

I Never Gave Up worked this morning at Canterbury.  She went 4 furlongs in :51.67.  The work was the 21st fastest from the 23 horses that worked on the day.

On the surface you can look at this work, shrug your shoulders and say “well, that wasn’t very good” but unless you know what the trainer’s intentions were for the work and what he wanted to get out of it.

In this case, Nevada wanted to get her to run with some energy over the racetrack without pushing too hard.  The time wasn’t important, the energy level was and assess the progression of her fitness level over the last few weeks.  In that respect, mission was accomplished.  She came back just fine and does appear to be getting fitter than she was at Oaklawn.

Another example are a pair of horses that work 4 furlongs.  Both go in :48 and you would, just by looking at you past performances you’d view them as equal.  However if one horse comes back bouncing around and acting like he never ran while the other can barely catch his breath – they are most certainly not equal.  Intent is important with works as is how the horse worked as opposed to just how fast.

You can get notifications for I Never Give Up, Mr. Ark and any other horse you’d like to follow through several sources.

An app for both Android and iOS called Horse Races Now allows you to track entries of your favorite horses, trainers and jockeys in an easy to use interface.  On tracks that authorize video for the app, you can even watch the races live.

The Daily Racing Form and Equibase both have virtual stables where you can get email notifications of trainers and horses including workouts, entries and results.

All three are relatively easy to use and you can check them all out to determine which works for you.

The Kids are Alright

The Litfin caravan pulled into town this weekend and Mr Ark and I Never Give Up both are secure in their stalls on the backside of Canterbury Park. Both had an uneventful trip up from Oaklawn (the best kind).

Both horses have been walking every day and getting used to their surroundings. Next step in a day or two will be to go over to the track, gallop and get ready for their first starts in Minnesota.

After the weekend we’ll take a look at how they are progressing and look to start entering races.

I Never Give Up 4th

I Never Gave Up finished 4th yesterday in the 3rd at Oaklawn.

She broke well and Alex Birzer guided her into a stalking position down the backstretch and into the turn.  As the field straightened out for home she was angled out a bit and had a straight shot to the finish line.  For a moment it looked like she might just sweep on by but she tired and was unable to gain any ground on the leaders. She was nipped at the wire to for third.

The Club picks up a check for $1150 which will covering her shipping to Canterbury and a wee bit more.

She seemed to come out of the race okay but very tired so she’s not quite at the fitness level that she needs to be.  Nevada, however, will take care of that in the mornings.

The timing for her first start at home looks to be good for opening weekend but we have a lack of races to choose from.  There are several state bred maiden races but the only open maiden race is opening night in a maiden claiming $10,000.  We want to get in action as quickly as possible but we also want to try and maximize the potential of our starts and if she can win at a higher level, we want to give her that opportunity.  The other side of that coin, of course, is you can only run what is written.

However we won’t put the start before the horse (HA!) but get her and Mr. Ark up here, settled in and – weather eventually permitting – getting them training over the racetrack.

The Litfin stable will be packing up throughout the weekend and will hit the road early next week.  Once they get settled in we will touch base with Nevada and see how the move went and how our charges are settling in.

I Never Give Up – Race Preview

I Never Give Up makes her first start for the Club Wednesday afternoon at Oaklawn in the 3rd race.  She drew post 11 in the six furlong sprint for 3-year old maidens running for a tag of $16,000.  Alex Birzer has the ride. Approximate post time is 2:25 CT.

Soaring Lil Sass (McBride/St. Julien) – In two starts she’s finished 7th and 8th and no closer than 9 lengths.  She did show speed in her last when she dropped in class but she’s rising a bit today.

Sweet As Caroline (Gleason/Wethey) – 0 for 5 maiden coming off both her best race and a claim. Gleason is 33% first off the claim this year but she’s also moving up from the $12,500 ranks (as our we, for that matter).  In her last, she came from well off the pace but was also traveling a mile.

La Tell (Villafranco/Thompson) – First time starter from a barn that is winning with firsters at a 20% clip.  Works have been fair but have to respect the connections.

Baby Collette (Hartman/Cabrera) – Comes in with the biggest class drop in racing: maiden special weight to maiden claiming.  Showed a little speed early over the Fairgrounds turf. Tries the dirt off a nice work returning after a couple of month layoff.

It’s Springtime (Mason/Morales) – Two starts have been even but non-descript: hasn’t been quick nor has closed.

Valiant Lady (Mason/Felix) – Has been running at a higher claiming level all meet and looks like she’s taking the plunge to get a win in here.  Generally pretty quick early, Felix may look to get ou, try and control the race and play “catch me if you can”.

Alex’s Bourbon (Catalano/Hill) – Another first timer and another trainer that clicks with them at 20%.  Works have been consistent and improving.

Her High Road (Dixon/Court) – Two starts and finished relatively far back though showed considerable early speed in her last before tiring late.

Baroness Juliette (Stuart/Canchari) – Dropping in claiming price by more than half, she was only beaten 3 3/4 lengths last out and the class drop should help her considerably.

Sunny’s Funny (Asmussen/Santana) – Top connections behind this morning line favorite. Hasn’t hit the board since her 3rd place debut – all four of her races have been maiden special weights – and her last hasn’t shown a lot but she gets back on the dirt as she tries Oaklawn for the first time


This race is a real interesting mix and is very much representative of an “end of the meet” race – horses dropping in from the sky, skipping several claiming levels, trying to get a win to get out of town with some cash.

Can we win this race?  Maybe.  It’s a tough one when you have a predilection for speed and drew the far outside post.  Part of the upside is that Birzer wanted to stay on the mount even when she shifted barns.  Her speed figures are not out of line here either. I don’t think we can get an uncontested lead but she may be quick enough to get decent position behind the inside speed…IF she can be rated.  If we find ourselves sitting sweetly a few lengths behind the leaders heading down the lane, we may get first run at the leaders and who knows what can happen then?

It won’t be easy but we’ll be looking for a good run here that will set us up nicely for a good summer here at home.

Good luck!

I Never Give Up in Wednesday

I Never Give Up will be making her debut for the Club on Wednesday at Oaklawn in a $16,000 Maiden Claiming race for 3-year old fillies going six furlong.

There were a pair of options when we went to enter: a $12,500 or a $16,000.  When it became apparent that the $12,500 was not going to fill, we opted for the $16,000 so we could race before the end of the meet.

Alex Birzer, who had been riding her under the old connections, will retain the mount.  We are, however, mired on the far outside in post 11.  As we approach the end of the meet there are class droppers galore trying to get a win before they leave tow. We are moving up a little, so it is going to prove to be a pretty stern test.  She is 8-1 on the Morning Line.  Post time is 2:25 PM.

We’ll preview the race in a few days.  Good luck everyone!