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!

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