EIKLEBERRY JOINS THE JET SET THIS WEEK

Eikleberry, Butler, Canchari

Eikleberry , Butler, Canchari

Want the definitive definition of what it is to be competitive, to give oneself heart and soul to the prospect of winning?

Well, consider the following as a possibility:

Ry Eikleberry is leading the jockey standings at Canterbury Park by two wins after Thursday’s card. A week ago, his prospects of being in Shakopee for the completion of the meet were iffy at best. He was awaiting word on all sorts of riding possibilities over the next couple of weeks upon which his business after Canterbury is heavily dependent, namely his paychecks at Zia Park in New Mexico.

Now, consider what he is willing to do to remain part of the race over these final days in Shakopee.

Thursday morning he shelled out around $900 for plane tickets that he will first put to use on Sunday morning when he departs for New Mexico to keep riding commitments there. The Festival of Champions is the only day of racing he will miss locally over the final days, at least at this point. He will return to Canterbury for Monday’s Labor Day card. Monday night he departs again for New Mexico. “The next morning I have to pick up my truck in El Paso and take it back to set up at Zia,’’ he said.  That entails 10 to 12 hours behind the wheel, not a jog to the super market for bread by any stretch of the imagination.

On Wednesday and Thursday, he will work horses at Zia. When he finishes there on Thursday he will drive to Midland, Texas, 1 ½ hours or so, to catch a flight back to the Twin Cities and Canterbury Park.

“The following week I do the same thing,’’ he said.

Alex Canchari, currently in second place two wins back, returns from a suspension on Saturday to resume his part bid.  Four-time Canterbury riding champion Dean Butler, meanwhile, made a move on Thursday’s card with two winners and is three behind Eikleberry, one behind Canchari, who indicated his eagerness Thursday night to rejoin the race on Saturday.

Thursday’s card was conducted in relative silence compared to other buck nights this year, overshadowed by a plethora of events with Minnesota attachments. The Minnesota Gophers were at TCF Bank Stadium against Eastern Illinois. The Minnesota Vikings were at Tennessee against the Titans and the Minnesota Twins were at Kansas City.

There was one other event that assured diminished attendance at Canterbury Park _ the great Minnesota get together, the State Fair, with its unending variety of fast foods certain to keep the cardiac clinics in business over the next few days.

SATURDAY NIGHT FROLIC

So…have a score you’d like to settle with rider Dean Butler? Or maybe trainer Mac Robertson, or track CEO/GM Randy Sampson?

You’ll get an opportunity Saturday by participating in the ALS Ice Bucket challenge.

Simply make a bid as part of a silent auction at the marketing booth on track level of the grandstand. All bids will be donated to the ALS Foundation. The top three bidders will win the opportunity to drop the icy contents of a bucket on one of the three aforementioned individuals.

BY JIM WELLS

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