“I Never Give Up” Retired

I Never Give Up was X-rayed this weekend and her left front ankle revealed a crack on one of the bones of her ankle.  The Super Saver filly was still acting oddly after her right front foot was outfitted with a special shoe to help alleviate the tenderness she was experiencing in it so Nevada ordered a set of x-rays.  The right front came back fine but the left front revealed a crack in one of her ankle bones that will force her to be retired from racing.

The oddity of the left being the issue is even more astounding when viewed through the prism of the way she raced and was working.  As we know, she lugged in toward the inside rail when she would switch leads for the run down the stretch.  Generally, if a horse is sore, they will shy away from the side that hurts.  In other words, a disturbance in her right front would have caused her to lug in NOT a bone break in her left front.

Of course we don’t know how long the injury has been in place and may have only affected her in the last race since she was never quiet able to bounce back from that one, though she certainly came close.  The vet was amazed at what must be her pain tolerance threshold.  She could jog every morning yet when Nevada push on her a little harder to get her closer to a work then a race, she would come back not quite right.  She would walk out of it eventually and continue to be able to jog okay, but not go really hard.

She could make a relatively nice broodmare for someone so that’s what we’re looking at now.  If we can’t move her quickly she will be relocated to a farm for turnout since that expense is considerably less than being on track.

In an odd year that saw us earning money but not winning races, this is certainly an ignominious end to a frustrating 2018 season.  We ran a lot, hit the board but couldn’t get to the line first.

Once we get the filly off the payroll we’ll gather up the last bills, pay everyone off and then take a look at the season and see what, if anything, we can do differently in 2019.  We want to keep this fun an educational but we also want to win races.  It is tough having a year where we didn’t win a race since that has never happened in the Club’s history.  Bad year’s happen but that doesn’t mean we can’t step back, take a hard look and see what we can do differently in coming years.

Settled In Kentucky

I Never Give Up made an uneventful trip to Kentucky where she is stabled for the time being at Keeneland.  Initially Nevada was given a handful of stalls at Churchill but he was pushed to Lexington with the promised arrival of all the shippers for Breeders’ Cup weekend.

In any event, she shipped well and is settled in.  Her new shoes seem to be working well for her but we’ll know a lot more about that later in the week/weekend when Nevada sends her out for a workout.  That kind of pressure and exertion is exactly what we need to test how she responds to them.

The breeze will also tell us how much fitness she has retained/lost from her time away from the track when she was recovering and the few days of track training she missed shipping.  She was dialed in pretty good at the close of the meet so hopefully she will come out of the work strong.

We’ll be looking at both Indiana and Kentucky to enter her and we realistically have a shot at 3 races before the meets there wrap.  There are a pair of maiden claiming $15,000 races at Keeneland in a couple of weeks but both are on the dirt – not that she can’t handle the dirt, she can.  We just think she’s better on the turf.  That said, we could use that as a prep race to get her back in the groove before gunning at Churchill or Indiana Grand.  She’ll most likely need one to tighten her up anyway and she was only nosed out for show at Oaklawn in a MCL $16,000 because her rider mailed it in late, so she can certainly be competitive.

Once Nevada gets a work in her we’ll know better where we’re at and I’ll let you all know!

New Shoes and Shipping Out

Nevvy hits the road tomorrow as the Litfin caravan heads off to Kentucky.

Nev had her feet done today and Nevada and the farrier were going to try a new way of shoeing her.  Without getting too into the weeds on the intricacies of hoof care (and I’m not sure I could even if I wanted to!), basically she may be having a little pain in one of her feet that could be helped by a special shoe.  The shoe will help absorb the concussion of the pounding of a race.  The trickle down effect of that would be she will be more comfortable running which should keep her from lugging in late in the race and THEN keep her from muscle cramping after the race or when she runs from trying to overcompensate for the ache.

It’s certainly an interesting dynamic – the way feet can effect performance, but there is an old saying: no hoof, no horse.  We’re hopeful that this latest twist will help Nev run straight and true and get us the win(s?) we’re looking for.  She’s a talented filly and should have upside.  Nevada and his team have been working hard to figure her out and get her to the reach her potential.  Fingers crossed that we’re there.

There should be a day of travel and then settling in in KY.  We’re licensed there and are set up to be licensed in Indiana as well (Indiana Grand runs through November and isn’t that far away) so we’ll have some options.

Once the barn gets to Churchill, we will look to get her working and entered as soon as we can to start the next phase of her season!

2018 New Member Sign Ups Have Begun

If you’ve been following along and wondering when it would be the time you could sign up for the 2018 Club or when you could finally tell your friends that it was time for new sign-ups for the 2018 Canterbury Racing Club…today is that day!

This is for NEW Club signups, folks that were NOT members in 2017.

Here are the guidelines:

Members will pay $250 to join the Club. There are no additional fees and the only additional expense will be if we are fortunate enough to get into the Winners’ Circle, there will be small charge for a photo.

The Club ends at the end of 2018 or when we have sold off our horses. As an example, in 2013 we closed in November because our last horse was claimed then and it made no sense to claim a horse for only a few weeks. In 2016, however, we raced straight until December 30th while last year we sold the horse privately on December 27.

Members get admission to Canterbury Park for the season as well as, if available, a special location to watch the races, rotating paddock access and – again, if we’re lucky – access to the Winners’ Circle. We will conduct a few backstretch tours during the season as well so we can visit the barns and get a glimpse at life on the backside. Last year we did a welcome coffee, juice and donuts that was well received so we’ll see if we can do that again as well.

You get to follow YOUR horse(s) during the year!

Members can only get back as much money as they put in. This is a not for profit venture and is used as an educational experience to get people familiar with all the ins and outs of race horse ownership and “pull back the curtain”, if you will, and de-mystify the game.

We’re launching our “open enrollment” period, if you will. We’ll be looking to close out by February 28, 2018. Nevada Litfin and Clay Brinson will once again train for the Club. Nevada had a terrific season last year while Clay had some challenges. However you don’t forget how to be a terrific horseman and Clay has given us good seasons in the past and we’ll look forward to a bounce-back summer this year! We have averaged about 150 members over the past couple of years and if we have this many again we will look to have one horse with each trainer and, ideally, have them in place to start the 2017 Canterbury Park season.

For those of you that are 2017 Club member: You will have the opportunity to either roll over your returning money into the 2018 Club or receive a check for the amount. We have NOT received the final vet bill yet so we have not closed out the year. I will be posting again once we close out 2017 and will have the rollover form available at that time as well. We are aiming for the end of January for the rollover forms. If you are a 2017 Club member, there is nothing for you to do at this time – except, of course, to tell your friends to join you this year!

Sign up forms are at the bottom of this post. At the bottom of the form is the information to mail in your agreements. Please let us know if you have any questions either by leaving a comment here or contacting us directly at ted@grevelisracing.com or jmaday@canterburypark.

2018 Canterbury Racing Club Membership