JOCKEYS WORK IN CROWDED QUARTERS

sardines

There might be times this summer when a jockey or two suddenly fans his or her elbows in an attempt to create some breathing room, a little space to inhale and exhale, to claim a little personal space.

There isn’t much room at the inn this year; all the rooms have been booked so to speak. If you didn’t have a reservation, you might have to look elsewhere.

The jockey’s lounge is crowded like it has never been before, stocked plumb full, sardine-like, as it hasn’t been in ages or, at the very least, the memory of veteran riders who have  been here for years.

There are 30 jockeys who ride thoroughbreds exclusively, and another seven who limit themselves to quarter horses.

About the packed quarters this years, the large influx of riders?

“It’s double previous years,’’ said Ry Eikleberry, currently the leading thoroughbred rider.

“We usually have about 18 riders,’’ said Dean Butler, the track’s champion rider four of the last five meets.

The complete list this summer includes such new arrivals as as Dalton Brown, Cesar Ordaz, William Henson, Erick Lopez, Quincy Hamilton, Jorge Carreno

More riders means fewer mounts for some riders, including proven, veterans.

Carlos Castro rode at Canterbury in 2012, skipped the following meet and is back this year. He rode the 1,000th winner of his career on Friday night’s card. He is here without an agent. “There are lots of riders,’’ he said. “And some really good ones.’’

Add to the list of observers Hall of Fame rider Scott Stevens, who had only one mount each on the Saturday and Sunday cards this weekend.

            “It’s a tough meet,’’ he said. “Real tough.’’

 BELL WILL RING LOCALLY

Canterbury Park Hall of Fame rider Derek Bell, a six-time riding champion in Shakopee, will return on Thursday’s card to ride Ghost Dance in the $60,000 Blair’s Cove Stakes for trainer/owner Brian Porter.

Bell is not at Canterbury for the first time in years and has has been riding this summer at Prairie Meadows in Iowa. He is making his first appearance of the meet at the track he once dominated.

Ghost Dance won this race last year with Alex Canchari aboard.

TODAY’S FUND TO BENEFIT ANNE VON ROSEN

Anne Von Rosen, a Canterbury Park veteran, was paralyzed in a riding accident at Turf Paradise in Phoenix this spring and will be the beneficiary of today’s first Leg Up Fund donations.

            Several events are planned on today’s card to raise money for Von Rosen, who is confined to a wheelchair and seeking various remedies in an attempt to regain her ability to walk.

            A silent auction is part of the fundraiser today. Other events will be prominently featured throughout the grounds.

            The Leg Up Fund in future years will be used to raise money for Canterbury riders exclusively. It is intended to help fill part of the void left by the discontinuance of the Don MacBeth fund a few years ago.

THEIR MOMMA WOULD BE PROUD

            Half sisters Happy Hour Honey and Thunder and Honey will race in two of the four stakes races on the July 3 and July 4 cards. They are both from A J’s Honey.

            Happy Hour Honey will run in the Princess Elaine Stakes on Thursday. Thunder and Honey will run in the Frances Genter Stakes on Friday.

            Owner Bob Lundgren of Prior Lake is hoping for his second win in the Frances Genter. Happy Hour Honey won it in 2012.

            Thunder and Honey has a full sister who is a winner in Russia where she now resides.

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