Wrapping the Canterbury Meet | Midwest Paddock Report
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Wrapping the Canterbury Meet

Some odds and ends, facts, figures and anecdotes from the recently concluded Canterbury Park meet.

By the Numbers

  • This year’s meet was 2-days shorter than 2016 with 6 fewer races.
  • On track handle declined 6% year over year.
  • Off track handle increased 3.5% year over year.
  • All sources handle was up .9%
  • Field size crept upward from 7.75 to 8.07
  • Attendance was down 2.5%.
  • Claims were down 13.9% in terms of numbers and down 14.2% in total value.
  • Average claim price was $8,883 nearly flat

Odds and Ends

  • Trainer Mac Robertson swept all three stakes closing weekend with Malibu Pro in the John Bullit on Friday, Sir Navigator in the Mezten HBPA Sprint and Amy’s Challenge in the Shakopee Juvenile.
  • Saturday’s stakes win featured the same connections: owner Novogratz Stables, trainer Robertson and rider Jareth Loveberry
  • The fastest 2-year olds in the country this year according to Beyer Speed Figures were Amy’s Challenge and Mr. Jägermeister, one-two in the Juvenile (92 & 90).
  • Amy’s Challenge has the two highest 2-year old Beyers on record this season (92 & 91).
  • The pair of juveniles on Saturday were 18 lengths clear of the rest of the field and also were faster than the older males in the Metzen the race prior (1:09.58 v. 1:10.02).
  • Two winners this season paid over $100 for a $2 win ticket: Yes By Gold ($121.40) and Gold Cup Skier ($123).
  • A track record was set, Smooth Stroke ran about a mile and 70 yards on the turf in 1:38.62
  • A single day handle record was broken for a non-claiming crown day, $1.468 million on September 15 over 13 races.
  • The $167,600 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity was the richest quarter horse race in track history.

Anecdotes and Observations

  • Some of the highest attendance days at the track featured “alternative racing” – wiener dogs, corgis, zebras, etc.
  • Though two racing days less than 2016, the discrepancy in races run was only 6 thanks mainly to a pair of 13 race cards on closing weekend.
  • Although Jareth Loveberry won the riding title, Alex Canchari logged the highest win percentage among jockeys with over 50 starts (23%).  Loveberry, however, still checked in at an impressive 20%.
  • For trainers, Mac Robertson led both categories with 69 wins and a 25% win percentage.  Robertson also set a record for most purse money earned in a season with $1,763,068.
  • Jockey Nik Goodwin became the all time quarter horse leading rider in Canterbury history this season by wins and also won his 1,000th thoroughbred race.
  • Seasonal quarter horse leading rider Oscar Delgado was tops in wins and win percentage (21%).
  • While Jason Olmstead was leading quarter horse trainer, Dean Frey was tops in win percentage (28%) among trainers with more than 25 starts.
  • Weather played less of a roll this season than last with14 fewer races were washed off the turf.

Finally, in the ‘good news’ department, Yes By Gold carries a story of sportsmanship and big-heartedness that needed to be relayed.

“Yes By Gold is a really nervous horse.  He just can’t settle down,” said Don Hoover.  “We [he and fiancée, owner/trainer Nancy Sheehan] have an outside barn and he was always distracted.

“Bernell Rhone offered us a stall on the inside of his barn,” he continued. “A nice quiet spot where the horse could settle down and relax.  Nancy, of course, took care of him, but the space was good for him.

“I’m telling you,” he concluded, “That horse would never have won a race, never mind two, if it wasn’t for the generosity and sportsmanship of Bernell Rhone.”

And that is as good a place as any to put the cherry on the sundae of the 2017 Canterbury Park season.

Editors’ Note: We will be back from time to time during the Minnesota off season as stories warrant, both here in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest. Thank you all very much for this year’s skyrocketing readership and for sharing our stories and pictures. We appreciate it so very much.

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