SHAKOPEE, MN – Jockey Alex Canchari had just wrapped up a successful season at Oaklawn Park earlier this year. He finished tied for 3rd in the jockey standings with 45 wins and purse earnings of $1,586,983. Naturally the phone started ringing.
“I had a lot of offers to ride elsewhere after finishing third at Oaklawn,” said the 23-year old Canchari. “I had offers to go with [agent] Lenny Pike in Kentucky who has Corey Lanerie, ride for Doug O’Neil at Santa Anita but I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I wanted to come here, help my dad, ride at my home track, win a title…but I broke my hand and cost myself a shot at the title. I had Jaws [agent Terry Miller] call me from Kentucky and I’ll start riding at Kentucky Downs next weekend.”
Miller has already secured a pair of mounts for Canchari this Friday at Ellis Park, prior to the Kentucky Downs opening on Saturday, including a 7/2 morning line favorite for trainer Dale Romans. The lucrative Kentucky Downs meet starts the next day which features seven days of live turf racing spread over three weekends and some of the largest purses in the country. Canchari will then ride at Keeneland and finish the year at Churchill Downs.
“That’s part of my plan,” said Canchari. “Build up my business for Oaklawn. A lot of the people I rode for in Arkansas are in Kentucky through the Fall and that should help me build up my business at Oaklawn. Chris Hartman, who I rode the Arkansas Derby for, made a big push to get me to ride in Kentucky and I’ll go and work on building up my business for the future and make that my base.”
Fan favorite Canchari made the most of his last day at Canterbury, winning three races including the last race of the card, his last ride of the summer in Shakopee.
“I love it here. It’s hard to leave,” concluded a clearly emotional Canchari.