Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Down - Then Up! A 'Somerset' Weekend

Ben visting Sammy in 2007

I spent Father's Day in Nevada, where my boys, Ben, 12, and Forrest, 7, live most of the year with their mom. But we spent a few minutes bunched around the computer Saturday and Sunday afternoon to watch a couple of races on-line. You might think that we were watching the Stephen Foster, but what we were watching were two maiden races from Canterbury Park where we clearly had a vested interest.

On Saturday, Somerset Sam took on a field of Minnesota bred maidens in a Special Weight contest going six furlongs. Sammy was cutting back down to 6 furlongs after tiring badly in his last start at a mile and had been training well. However Sammy never quite got into rythym and finished mid-pack - 6th, in the field of 12. Frustrating to be sure. Sammy's sister, Somerset Wish, was running the next day and it was up to her to try and salvage the weekend.

Wish broke well and hung just off the pace in her $25,000 maiden claiming event. In mid stretch she took aim at the leaders and staggered a bit and gave us all a scare. We weren't scared of injury, that's just been her M.O.: take aim, give us hope and then tire in the stretch. Not this time!! Our girl straightened up and fired again and this time passing the two front runners and Adolpho Morales held her together for a 1.75 length win (below - official Canterbury Park photo).
It was nice to crack the winner's circle as a partner with Star of the North Racing. David Miller has worked very hard guiding our two horses and was certainly due some racing luck. His straightforwardness and honesty have always been appreciated and while the infamous PWMNBN has been a clear cut example of what not to do, David has been a shining example of how to treat your partners. I owe my start as a managing partner to him and am grateful. I know he doesn't like the kudos to go directly to him, but you've earned at least one, "Atta boy!", David.

My kids were thrilled. Below is a picture of them visting Wish last summer. These are horses they have met, touched, fed carrots and love. Now, they may get lost in the intracacies of racing - Forrest wanted to know if Wish could run in the Kentucky Derby now - their appreciation for what goes into racing and the marvelous animals we're priviledged to deal with every day is very much now part of their lives. Forrest even asked what he needed to do to own racehorses when he got older! Now that they know the game, I'm going to make sure that I'm as good a guardian and promoter of the sport as I can be. At least there are a couple of kids who'll help to make up the next generation of our fan base.
The boys will be up here for most of the summer and we're hoping we can get them in a couple of winner's circle photos before they head back to the desert!


David M. Miller said...


I am not worthy of a word's worth of all the credit you have given me but our filly Wish deserves every bit. We should also credit our friend Jack Walsh of Somerset, Wisconsin who sold us these nice horses.

The best part is all the fun the boys are having with this. Today Luke and I watched the replay together. If there has been more written about one filly winning a maiden claiming race at Canterbury Park, I haven't seen it.

I am honored to be part of a group who loves this game for all the right reasons and really happy to see how much fun you are having with your sons in your racing partnerships.


PEM said...

Damn nothing like having a winner and not being in the picture!

Happened to me last September 20th (which happens to by anniversary so you know I couldn't get a pass to be at that one) and when my phone started vibrating at the table no one was more shocked than me--except maybe my wife!

Anyway-congrats-best of luck-keep it up!