Mr. Ark: Race Preview

Mr. Ark is running Saturday afternoon in the 7th race.  The race is a $7500 claiming race on the turf going five furlongs.  He is breaking from post 8 and has former Canterbury rider Leandro Goncalves aboard.

The Club has space in Silks tomorrow and it is Group 2’s time in the paddock.

Here is the field:

Pepper Prince (McKinley/Sanchez) – Winner last out at $4000 coming off the pace over the dirt at 29-1.  This will be his first try over the turf course.

Lonesome highway (Bethke/Lindsay) – A winner over the turf and in the money in half of 10 attempts, he has shown ability on the grass – he just hasn’t seen it in a while.  Super consistent six year old with recent wins in Nebraska but has finished second twice this season at Canterbury on the main track.

Six Ninety One (Hanson/Hamilton) – Opened the Canterbury season with a 5 1/2 furling main track win going gate to wire.  Switched over to the turf course he finished a stubborn second at this level three back.  Certainly will be prominent early.

Smarty Party Papa (Lund/Thompson) – Pace pusher has won three of four at Canterbury this season.  Has not won on the turf but has hit the board in two of three efforts – all here in Shakopee.

Magic and More (Spencer/Escobar) – Prairie Meadows shipper is one of six over the turf with a place and show as well.  Canterbury turf record is one second in his lone try.

JP Rocker (Rarick/Velazquez) – Winner in a $12,000 optional claiming sprint over this turf course earlier in the season over the quick Boston Charley.  Should be sitting right off the speed.

Outrun the Posse (Silva/Eikleberry) – 2-1 morning line favorite, he claimed by Miguel Silva early in the meet for $4000 and came back to win at $5,000 two starts later then was a winner last out at this distance first time over the turf virtually gate to wire.


Scherer Magic (Diodoro/Mojica) – The pair is winning at 26% at Canterbury and Robertino Diodoro is 21% first off the claim (he claimed this one last out at Prairie Meadows for $5,000).  Definitely a speedster, he’ll have his work cut out for him breaking from post 9 and in only his 3rd start over the turf, but this barn is a good one and speed is never a bad thing to have on your side.

Star Spangled (Richard/Stevens) – Minnesota beat open company over the turf before, gate to wire in a $20,000 conditioned claimer in 2017.  Has had a rough time of it recently.

Mr. Ark broke his maiden over the turf in impressive fashion at Lone Star, taking command half way in the 7 1/2 furling race and drawing off by 5.  He only got on the grass one more time and that was at Lone Star in a $15,000 non-winners of 2 lifetime and he finished up the track, though he did have some trouble in the race.  He never tried the turf again.

The intention when we claimed him was get to Canterbury, win a race early (since he was a multiple winner over the main track it didn’t make sense to play around with what was working) and then experiment a bit on the turf.  He’s never really lived up to his promise so we’ll give him a go over the turf now and see what happens.

He’s quick enough that he should be able to get position early.  I’m not sure he’s fast enough to get the early jump over some of the speed inside of him but Leandro may be able to get position just behind it.  If he can, then it will be a matter of the early speed tearing each other up and picking up some of the pieces late.  It will be interesting to see if he has a closing kick over five furlongs.  In theory (335 Tomlinson for the distance on the turf) this should be right in his wheelhouse.  This doesn’t mean that he’s necessarily good enough, but we may have a puncher’s chance.

See you tomorrow and GOOD LUCK!


Ark in Saturday; Nev Next Week

Mr. Ark will be moving onto the turf course Saturday.  He is in race 7, a five furlong sprint on the grass with Leandro Goncalves in the saddle.  We’ll be breaking from post position 8.  The field is 10 for the $7500 claiming race.

We’re back to Group 2 in the paddock – the first time we’ve ever moved through the groups for a third time.  We’ve certainly had a lot of races at home this season.  Hopefully he’ll step up on the grass. much like he did when he broke his maiden in a maiden special weight in Louisiana.

One thing Ark has show is some speed and in the lower level claiming sprints on the turf, speed gives you a chance.  Hopefully the cutback and surface change will make it happen.  We’ll preview the race in a couple of day.

Nev has been training well and we’ll be looking to enter her next weekend.  It’s a sprint to the finish and we’re hoping that the sprints will get us to the finish first as the season winds down.

It is the last couple of days to RSVP for the donuts and coffee (and juice) a week from Saturday 9-11 AM in the Cabanas trackside.  We’ll watch horses work out and wrap up the season with one last get together before the stable moves to Kentucky for the rest of the year.  It’s a great opportunity to all touch base, reflect on the season, maybe talk about next year a bit and just enjoy being at the track in the quiet of the morning with just us and the horses – and maybe bring those friends that have been intrigued by your excitement all summer!  RSVP at

Nev 2nd – Paying the Way


I Never Give Up finished second again this weekend, bringing in another $5600 and paying the way again this month for herself as well as Mr. Ark.  Granted, it’s not winning – which we REALLY want to do before the local season ends – but it is keeping the account level.

She came back okay – she was a little muscle sore in the shoulders, like a charley horse, but she’s already feeling better – so it looks like we’ll get one more start in store before the meet ends here.

Here is where things do differ a bit from “real life” as opposed to the Club.  If the filly was owned singularly, we’d keep going in maiden special weights and hope to miss a monster and finally win, but feeling okay with picking up a $5600 check every two weeks.  When you’re flying solo or in a small partnership, the name of the game is keeping the bills paid.  The Club is a bit different, though.  Without the prospect of keeping the horse long term or making a profit, winning itself takes on a bit more importance than usual (and it is always important!) so I will be working with Nevada to find a spot for her to drop to in order to give us the best chance to win before the end of the meet.

Mr. Ark will get one more in and, unless he shocks us, will be retired.  I don’t think it will be this weekend, most likely the weekend after (Labor Day).  We do have a couple of riding stables interested in making their place his forever home so we know we’ll have a soft landing for him.  Of course that changes in the unlikely event that he gets claimed from us in that last race!

Please keep the RSVPs coming in ( for the wrap up gathering, 9-11 in the trackside cabanas on September 8.  Deadline for RSVP is September 1.


Nev In Saturday; Wrap Up Morning Date Set

First things first – Mr. Ark came back okay but it is clear that he just is not what we would have hoped he could be.  We’ll give him a try over the turf and, unless he really impresses, we will be looking to safely retire him.

I Never Give Up will be in on Saturday.  She’ll be in the final race of the day, a Maiden Special Weight going 5 furlongs over the grass with Denny Velazquez aboard.  I believe we have completed another rotation through the groups so we’re back to group 1 in the paddock.  We’ll keep you posted as to a location to sit for the day.

Finally, after a one year hiatus, the wrap up coffee, juice and donuts is back!  We will be getting together in the Cabanas between 9 – 11 on Saturday, September 8.  We will wrap up the meet with one last get together, relieve our late season winning streak (ever the optimist!) and talk about the future.  If nothing else, it will give us a last opportunity to enjoy each other’s company before we scatter for another winter.

Please RSVP by September 1 for the event to me at  We’re not constrained by space but we do need a head count for the food and beverage folks.


Mr. Ark: Race Preview

It’s time for Mr. Ark to start pulling his share of the weight in the stable Thursday night.  Nevvy has surely been doing her share (and she came out of her race nicely) but Arky just hasn’t gotten it together since the claim though he’s been training pretty well so hopefully he’ll star to run like it!

He goes here in $4000 claiming races for horses that haven’t won a race since September 15 or have started at this Canterbury meet and not finished third or better.  The race is over the main track going a mile with Francisco Arrieta on board.  We’ll break from post 3 and Group 4 will be in the paddock. The group spaces are sold so we’re on our own

Here is the breakdown.

Benny’s Glory (Randy Rarick/Velazquez) – Final race at Tampa Bay wasn’t bad at all but the pair of Canterbury races have been less than terrific.

Houdini Hill (Fields/Eikleberry) – Had a good run over the track three back in a sprint where he finished third.  Qualifies for the race by last winning 13 days prior to the cut off day but has only been close that once since.


Vino Limbo Tango (Becker/Goodwin) – Has spent most of his time at Canterbury – and elsewhere – navigating turf courses or wet dirt courses.  Stretches out to his preferred distance after coming back after nearly 9 months off.  May want to lead the way here.

Express River (Bravo/Gugielmino) – Showed some speed early in the dirt portion of the Battle of the Surfaces but faded.  May help push the pace along for a bit.

Winter Wally (McKinley/Bedford) – Hasn’t shown much yet after 6 months away but was much closer earlier last out.  Stretches out from a sprint to a mile which may be problematic.

Dually Affirmed (Gordon/Samuels) – Another out of the Dual Surface race, surged to the lead and flattened out but the best of his races here this year.  That effort could be enough to win here.

Speed is Life (Rengstorf/Mawing) – Winner of the 2014 Vic Myers and Minnesota Derby as well as the 2016 Minnesota Classic, the horse has not been the same this season but may have enough back class to get it done against this group.

Tempietto (Silva/Hamilton) – was competitive at Tampa until his last race and has a rough go of it since coming north as well. Looks like one that liked to stalk the pace when he was on a solid roll.

Ark had been pretty consistent versus open company in Texas at the lower levels and it was our hope when we claimed him that he would do the same here.  SO far he hasn’t lived up to that promise so it is certainly easy to understand why we are 10-1 in the morning line.

However…(you HAVE to have a however, right?  There always has to be hope in this game!)

He has shown some speed in his starts and, looking back to his win, he was on the lead but much slower than he has been going.  I’m not sure with some of the speed that is in here that he can get to the front and keep the pace slower, but perhaps he can relax a bit and sit behind the pace like he did in wins at Retama and Lone Star and make a move late.  He’ll have to stay close because, as we saw last weekend, it was very hard to close into the speed over this racetrack but these aren’t exactly stakes horses and the pace shouldn’t be more than he can handle.

We’ll see how the race develops and root our boy home.  It won’t be easy, but it’s not an impossible task either.

Good Luck!