Some Miscellany

Some odds and ends today:

Reminder: our kickoff get together is this Saturday between 9 – 11 AM in the cabanas trackside.  There should be signs up but in case there are not, proceed on the ground level in the grandstand out to the apron and turn right.  Walk down to the cabanas!  It is an “open house” type format so please don’t feel like you have to be there right at 9 if you can’t make it then – we’ll be there all morning.  One of our trainers, Nevada Litfin, is going to try and join us as well so we can touch base with him and pepper him with questions!

Dos Cuernos is in the barn and doing well.  He arrived yesterday.  It does not appear that he will race this weekend, but the next, but stay tuned.

Karl Broberg is scheduled to move his stable in this weekend which puts us in line for claiming horse number two this weekend.

The Minnesota Thoroughbred Association is sponsoring a seminar for prospective new owners should you want to attend.  It is immediately after our get together Saturday at 11 PM.  Please RSVP to the MTA (email and phone on the flier below) today or tomorrow if you’d like to attend.

May 11, 2019 Ownership Seminar


Paddock Groups

This year the Club is 157 members.  This is a lot of people to try and squeeze into the paddock before a race so we have to subdivide the groups.  We want everyone to have the opportunity to be able to enjoy the pre-race pageantry but also want to make sure that everyone is safe as well.  It’s important to limit the size in the paddock not only to prevent our overwhelming the other owners but also because of the potential for the unexpected.

For those of you that were around opening night in 2018, you saw a horse get loose on the way to the track and nearly got into the crowd. The same thing happened several years ago when a horse unseated his rider in the paddock and then broke through the fencing shortly after the command for riders up. In other words: the paddock can be a dangerous place so we’ll keep the numbers down and rotate access.

You can bring a spouse or child into the paddock with you but please keep it limited to that. If it gets too crowded we’ll have revert to a members only policy.

The traditional drawing day for the paddock groups has become the day after our anniversary.  I divide the alphabetical list of members and assign each segment of list a number.  My lovely wife of 3 years and a day then draws the numbers out of a hat and that becomes the order of the paddock groups!

This year we’ve split the gang into 3 with roughly 50 members per group. Without further ado, here are the paddock groups for 2018:

Group 1: Nelson – Zobel
Group 2: Heidelberger – Mueller
Group 3: Allen – Hegseth

Please make a note of which group you are in.  I try to remember to list the names in posts before the race but many times I forget and only mention the group number!

Dos Cuernos is on the first load coming up to Canterbury from Oaklawn and should be settled into the Litfin barn on Tuesday.  Team Broberg will be up and settled in mid-week as well and poised to claim the Club’s second horse.

The track may have opened last weekend but between the kickoff gathering Saturday morning and hopefully a race – THIS is the weekend the Club party gets started!!

Last Day to RSVP for Trackside Kickoff

Just a reminder, today is the last day to RSVP for the 2019 Club trackside coffee and donuts kickoff gathering.  It is 9 – 11 AM on May 11 in the Cabanas on the track apron.  Please feel free to treat it as an open house – we’ll be around all morning watching horses work, getting to know each other a little and get ready to start the season.

To RSVP, please send an email with the number in your party to  We have to have a count to the food and beverage folks the following morning so we can get everything ordered.

Dos Cuernos came out of the race just fine and will be heading up this way this weekend where he’ll settle in and Nevada and team will get him ready for his first local start.  In a perfect world, that would be the afternoon of the get together, but we’ll see how things shake out.


While there were several good size class drops heading into the race today at Oaklawn, it didn’t seem that Horny was THAT outclassed by this field.

He was.

He broke well and Justin Shepherd settled him into position 6th in the 7 horse field.  The leaders, including the dropper from $32,000 – and eventual winner – Smart Spree, took off and never came back.  In fact, when the horse on our outside nosed in front of us in the first quarter mile, the horses barely changed position through the finish line.  They clocked the first quarter in just about 22 seconds flat and 3/4 in :57.22 before finishing up the six furlongs in 1:10.26 over a track listed as ‘good’.

Justin said that he broke well but started playing with his tongue almost immediately all the way down the backstretch.  He finally started to get into the bit some turning for home but the damage was done and Shepherd let him finish mostly under his own power with just a couple of taps to keep him straight.  The horse that finished 6th was life and death to do so with his jock wailing away on him to get him home.  I’m glad Justin didn’t go that route, but rather kept him mind on business made him finish and didn’t sour him on the experience.

He’ll ship to Canterbury next weekend and we’ll look to have him ready for that second weekend with some rest and class relief.

Not the way we would have chosen to start the season but it’s not the end of the season either.  We’ll get him where he belongs and look to win some races this summer.

Race Preview: Dos Cuernos

Oaklawn Park is a tough place to win and this race will be no exception.  It is a small field but Horny isn’t completely outclassed here.  It’s an interesting mix of horses competing for the $28,000 purse in the $12,500 claiming race going six furlongs in tomorrow’s third race (estimate post time 2:25 PM CT).

For those of you new to the Club, before each race we try and give an overview of the race and thoughts on how we can win. Here is the field:

Wildcat Shoals (Chleborad/Loveberry) – Horse is 0-11 at Oaklawn and the last pair of races at this level have been even but non-threatening.  Best efforts have been just off the pace.

Smart Spree (McKnight/Mojica) – This guy is tumbling in class from $32,000 to $12,500 – begging to be claimed.  The question in races like this is: is he dropping to get a win or because he can’t compete? We won’t know until we see him run! He should be forwardly placed and try and outclass the field home.

Channel Won (Young/Quinones) – Making his seasonal debut after a 2018 that found him in the money over half the time.  Trainer Scott Young is 20% off the layoff and here is another one that will likely be pushing the pace early.


Family Code (Hartman/Elliot) – Picked up his first win in his third race after a year and a half layoff and his first off the claim from Robertino Diodoro to Chris Hartman.  He’s moving up from $8000 after a stalk and pounce win last out.  Likely to settle in behind the speedsters inside.

Coleman Rocky (Garcia/Lara) – He hasn’t shown much since coming to Oaklawn and immediately showing in a $6250 Starter Allowance.  He has certainly been trying much tougher company in allowance, starter and optional company.  Back into a straight claimer here for the first time since being claimed for $10,000 at Churchill Downs.  He should be coming late.

Iter (Mason/Bridgmohan) – Another big class dropper coming in from $25,000 last out.  Managed a couple of Oaklawn Park scores last season but finished out of the money in two start this year.  Today drops to the lowest claiming price we can see in his PPs and should be trying to stalk the early pace and pounce late.

This is the part where we like to outline how we can win the race.  Horny will need some racing luck for sure and will have to step up a bit.  I can see him at Canterbury flourishing at 6.5 furlongs – six may be just a bit short while a mile might be too long.  That said, that’s not what we’re facing here.

He’s not a pacesetter but he does have the race speed inside of him.  They should be able to clear and we should be able to settle in behind them.  He likes to come from relatively far out of it, but I’m hoping we don’t lose touch with the field early.

A potential wild card will be the weather.  Hot Springs is expecting storms tonight and rain tomorrow.  Horney does have a win over a wet track as well as a pair of thirds in 5 attempts.  Smart Spree on the inside (2 out of 3) and Iter (1 for 6) are the only others in the field with wet track wins.

If we can stay in striking distance of the leaders and have something left in the tank late, it should be an exciting finish.  Frankly, at this level I’d be happy to hit the board and take down 10 – 20% of the purse and pay for shipping and some training costs before the barn heads north after the Kentucky Derby.

Though I am on the road this week, I will be watching from a rest stop somewhere.  Many of you, though, can watch and wager at Canterbury Park if you can get away from work in the afternoon!


First Race of the Year Thursday

The 2019 Club will make our first start of the season on Thursday at Oaklawn.  Horny will head out in the 3rd race, a $12,500 claiming race for horses that have not won a race since November 25 going six furlongs.  It is a seven horse field and we’ll be breaking out of post four with Justin Shepherd aboard.  Estimated post time is 2:25 Central Time.

As some of you have already noticed, Horny won on December 18 at Mahoning Valley so how can he be eligible for this race?  Reading deeper into the conditions, in parenthesis, the condition of the race reads: “Races where entered for $8,000 or less not considered in allowances and eligibility.”  That race at Mahoning was a $7500 claiming race and thus didn’t count for eligibility into this race.

The decision to run here was an interesting one.  We try and run the Club as close to “real life” as we can so folks can get the experience and understand the decision making process involved.  There are times, however, that decisions are made that are contrary to what might be done if we weren’t the racing club and we’ll try and point those out when they come up.  This race is an example of that.

Horny is in a little bit over his head here.  While he’s not as outclassed as I thought he would be, it would be a surprise if he wins (as noted by his 12-1 morning line odds).  However, the horse was ready to run, feeling good and not eligible to run at Canterbury until the second weekend.  A race this weekend sets him up perfectly for that weekend. In a “normal” circumstance we would have run him back at the same level ($6250) to try and get a win and if he gets claimed, he goes.  Eventually there would be another horse.   Given that the meet is closing in a few weeks and claiming activity, especially at the lower levels, is getting frenzied, we decided to “protect” the horse and run him a little higher in order to dissuade a claim.

Horny is healthy, sound and has potential to win some races at Canterbury.  He would be difficult to replace before we open here and, as the Club, we want to hit the meet running so we entered at this level instead of lower. (Side note: Karl is looking for a horse as we speak but we may end up claiming one with him opening weekend).  So, as a Club decision, we protected the horse while in a “real world” scenario, we wouldn’t have run so high. You run to try and win, not protect your horse from being claimed.  We will not be doing the same once we get here.

Of course anything can happen in a claiming race but should we lose Horny at this level we would have done so whilst doubling our money.  That definitely would be a balm to the soothe the loss.

All of that said, the race didn’t come up as tough as I expected and we certainly have some hope (which I will cover in the race preview in a couple of days).

Good luck and can’t wait for the gates to open on the 2019 season

Reminder: RSVP to the coffee and donuts the morning of May 11, 9-11 open house style,  by the end of the day on Thursday, May 3 to

Kickoff Coffee Scheduled!

Mark May 11 on your calendar:  That is the morning we will be hosting our Canterbury Racing Club Seasonal Kickoff Coffee, Juice and Donuts!

As in past years we will have the cabanas on the apron between 9-11 AM.  We’ll be able to watch horses work, do some Q&A and get to know each other better. It is a great time to get in the spirit of the Club, put faces to the names and get to know other Clubbers with whom you’ll be enjoying the season. And, if things work out well, we could be racing later that afternoon.  There is even a chance that we can keep the cabanas for the entire day – but we won’t know until we get closer to the day.

We really need folks to RSVP to this event so we can get an accurate count for the Canterbury food and beverage department, so please let me know if you are coming and how many there will be in your party via email:  I need to know who is coming by the end of the day on May 3.  I will send occasional reminders over the next couple of weeks but please do not forget…don’t get shut out!

NOTE:  PLEASE don’t RSVP in the comments!  Send me an email so I can keep track correctly. Thanks.