Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Minnesota Breds Venture Out and Impress

When you have a foal you think about the future.  You can't help it.  They are so filled with hopes and dreams and promise that you think anything can happen.  You think, "Minnesota Derby...well, wait, what about the Kentucky Derby?  Or the Breeders' Cup?!"  You get a little goofy thinking about what could be, but that's part of this business, really.  If you're not going to dream - and dream big - why do it?

Looking around for a Minnesota bred that made it outside of Canterbury can be hard.  We could point to graded stakes winner Wally's Choice in recent memory but anyone else was before my time racing here.  However, it is getting easier.  The last several years Canterbury Park Hall of Fame owner/breeder Cam Casby has sent out homebreds like Polar Plunge and Talkin' Bout to compete against - and beat - open company around the country.  She loves to prove that Minnesota breds can compete with the rest of the world and has consistently succeeded.

Polar Plunge taking the 2012 Minnesota Distaff Sprint (Photo Credit: Coady Photography)
Rake Farms LLC's Sky and Sea went out two weeks ago to start her 3-year old campaign and set the fractions in a $75,000 Optional Claiming race at Tampa Bay Downs but got caught at the wire by the Firestone's First Glance.  If someone doesn't think she's going to be big trouble in the Genter and the Oaks then they're just not paying attention.

Sky and Sea breaking her maiden by nearly 16 lengths (Photo Credit: Ted Grevelis from Canterbury video)
This Friday, Marlene Colvin's Heliskier, a perennial fan favorite at Canterbury, will be getting his first start away from home when he takes on 8 in a $50,000 Optional Claiming race at Oaklawn in his 5-year old debut. His best efforts certainly makes him a nice fit.  Whether or not he can fire that kind of effort off the bench remains to be seen (though he has won each of his 3 season debuts so far) but he's the only horse in the field with a triple digit Beyer - he has two, actually - to his credit.

Heliskier in the Canterbury Park Winners' Circle (Photo Credit: Heather R. Frisbie)
We're no longer talking about a Minn bred hopefully winning a $7500 claiming race somewhere, but competing successfully against some of the better horses on the grounds at places like Fairgrounds, Tampa Bay and Oaklawn.

It is starting to look like not just purses are on the upswing in Minnesota.


Track Phantom said...

Nice write up....Good luck to all the MN-breds!!

Janie Rupp said...

I have obviously been around longer than you .Timeless Prince was a wonderful MN bred. We won with him at Arlington Park when Canterbury was shut down for two years.

Janie Rupp Assistant trainer for Joey Rusham

Theodore L. Grevelis said...

Thanks for reading and commenting Phantom and Janie! I've only been up here in MN racing about 8-years but I love hearing about some of the older horses - keep em coming!!!

As an aside, this wasn't to imply that this was a complete list by any means, just that several owners are being able to compete at high levels outside of MN these days. And it's not meant to be a complete list of those either - just an observation.

Looking forward to hearing about more!