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.




Q & A – Part 1

A lot of great questions have come in so we’re going to split this up into a pair of posts over the next few weeks.  Without any further ado, let’s dive into it with some explanation of terms.  There are many other, more involved, questions that we’ll tackle in another post.

Maiden Claimer – A race in which no horses have won a race and are eligible to be purchased at a designated price.

Soft Spot – A race that a specific horse, usually a very good one, ends up pitted against weaker foes so that he/she goes off as a big favorite.

Wide Open Race – A race that is the polar opposite of a “soft spot” where nearly all of the contenders are possible winners.

Dropping in Class – When horse moves from one level of racing to another.  Reference this post for the different levels of races from lowest to highest.  Dropping in class (from stakes to allowance, for example) would be going from races at the end of the post toward the beginning.

Racing Age – Thoroughbreds all celebrate their birthdays on January 1.  They may not have been foaled until May 15, for example, but move another year older on January 1.

Reasons for scratching – horses scratch for various with most likely being: a grass horse in a race that has come off the turf; injury; illness; re-entering in another race.

Pinhooking – A pinhooker makes money by buying a horse at one sale and then selling it at another later on.  For example, they buy a yearling and then resell it the next year in a 2-year old sale hoping to make a nice profit.

Walking Hots –  This is the process of cooling a horse down after a workout, exercise or a race.  The hot walker takes the horse from a lead rope and walks the horse until he is cooled off and dry.

Open Company – A horse that is not restricted to state bred horses; open to horses regardless of where they were bred.


Second Tour in the Books; Nevvy in Friday

Thanks to all that came out for tour 2 today.  The day was absolutely gorgeous and we had several firsts today as well.

On the trainer’s stand where we watch workouts we were joined by Ton DiPasquale, Executive Director of the Minnesota Racing Commission.  Tom was nice enough to spend some time with us and answer questions that we don’t normally get into and added a lot to the tour.

We also were able to watch Nevada enter Nevvy in the racing office – though we didn’t know that at the time, so that was fun!

By the time we made it up to the barn it was feeding time so a few folks got to go in and watch that and when that was done the rest of the group joined them and we had some in-the-barn time that we’d never had before.

It was a glorious day and, as always, my favorite part of the summer.  Big thanks to Nevada, Veronica, the barn staff and Tom for making it a memorable morning.


Nevvy is entered Friday night in the 5th race, post 5 with Denny Velazquez aboard.  It is a five furlong maiden special weight.  As Nevada mentioned to the group, given her little break, we want to get a race into her before we stretch her out again.

Post time is about 8:23 PM and we’ll be checking on a seating area for everyone.  Early indications are that the weather is going to be clear and nice.


Heather wasn’t able to make it this morning so try and enjoy my haphazard cell phone photos of this morning.  If you took some of your own, don’t hesitate to share them with everybody on the Club’s Facebook page!