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ND Derby / Futurity Preview
News - Misc
Thursday, July 18, 2013

'Girl Power' in NoDak Derby, Futurity

Dakota Girl is Derby favorite while Tiff is talk of the Futurity

Ryan Roshau, NDHP Media Relations Director

In most years, the North Dakota Derby and North Dakota Futurity are run as feature races on their own separate cards.  But 2013 isn’t “most years”.

The boutique meet this summer necessitates that the high profile races are doubled up on one race card.  And oh, what a race card it is.

The $10,000 estimated North Dakota Derby highlights the card as the “Run for the Prairie Roses” goes off as the day’s ninth race—a one mile test over the oval.  The leading lady in the field is Ralph Buchholz’ Dakota Girl who comes into the race off of two straight victories at Chippewa Downs, the latter being a 4 3/4 length frolic in the $7,000 NDTOBA Stallion Derby. 

Buchholz, a long-time veteran of the North Dakota thoroughbred game last saddled a winner of the Derby here in Fargo ten years ago with Maddies Blues, but the last horse he won the ND Derby with as an owner/trainer was Patty Kim up at Assiniboia Downs in 1991.  Fittingly, Patty Kim is the dam of Dakota Girl who tries to emulate her mother 22 years later.  Before this race turns into an overwhelming ‘Chick Flick’ let’s remember that in the history of the ND Derby in Fargo, no filly has won the race; 0 for 8 since 2003 and some quality members of the fair sex have tested the Derby’s one mile distance. MistysDancer

If Dakota Girl is the heroine with Nick Haar aboard, then there is also a Butch who is primed to spoil the show.  Owner/Trainer Butch Herman crafts his trade in the Turtle Mountains and he has a 1-2 punch to take down the race favorite in Hello Scarlet and Tattle Tale Cat.  The former has won multiple stakes

including the NDTOBA Futurity here in Fargo last July.  Since that impressive run she has lost three straight as a sophomore and finished a woeful fifth in the NDTOBA Stallion Stakes at the hand of Dakota Girl.  Tattle Tale Cat meanwhile broke her maiden at Chippewa Downs in mid-June and proceeded to run  


second in the NDTOBA Stallion Stakes. Damon Leeds gets the call on Hello Scartlet while Mikhail Carmichael is up on Tattle Tale Cat. The fourth member of the Derby’s fearsome foursome is Go Socks Go, the only maiden the quartet.  Gordy Wilke’s charge will be ridden by Jordan Olesiak.  ‘Socks is 0/5 lifetime but does carry the good breeding put into her by Bill Maulding and she has shown to be coming on in her recent starts.  If the mile distance is to her liking she could be a lights-out winner that few expect.

 FuturityTrophyAnd if there is one thing we have learned from coming to the Horse Park over the years, it is to  expect anything in the North Dakota Futurity.   The $10,000 estimated race for juveniles is anybody’s guess due to the short field and the lack of seasoning.  After all, only three races have been run amongst the five horses in the field, and that one race was the $4,000 NDTOBA Stallion Futurity at Chippewa Downs that saw Butch Herman’s Classi Coyote top Joe Kid and Two Eyed Kid in 1-2-3 sequential order.  The time was solid but the 2 1/2 furlongs run is a far cry from Saturday’s 5 1/2 furlong trek around the Horse Park.  Herman’s Classi Coyote is a half sister to Derby contender Hello Scarlet and will be ridden by his son Jeremy. 
 While there is form of some note from the first three contenders, the two horses on the inside are a mystery to the fans.  But the options behind Door #1 and Door #2 might be worth making a deal over.  Tuff Grit has yet to answer the starter’s bell but the son of the speedy sprinter Orientate may love the one-turn distance.  He also has the soft touch of jockey Tiff Mosset (pictured above) who has been galloping some of the best two-year olds in the land for D. Wayne Lukas.  Speaking of bloodlines, Tuff Grit is he son of Strike an Image who won the ND Futurity north of the border a decade ago.  Meanwhile, Devron Leingang’s Boozeinablender is a flashy chestnut filly who has been posting solid works at Canterbury Park, most recently blazing three furlongs in :38 1/5.  Also worth noting is that Leingang has a good hand with campaigning juveniles as he won the 2009 Futurity with Hemietta in wire to wire fashion.

 The popular silver cup (pictured above), in circulation since 1964, will go to the winning owner to retain in his or her possession for the next calendar year. The last time the Derby and Futurity were run on the same day was back in 2003 when Maddies Blues won the Derby and Foxy Scott took the Futurity.  The Futurity goes off as race four in a ten race card.



Back in a Tiff
News - Misc
Monday, July 15, 2013

Back in a Tiff

Jockey Tiff Mosset returns to her home state after a whirlwind year

by Ryan Roshau

Amidst the color and blur of last summer’s North Dakota Horse Park meet, one special moment stood out.  It wasn’t a track record being broken or the thrill of watching a stakes race crown a champion, it was the pure joy of a jockey winning a race for the first time.  Compound that with the fact that she’s a female jockey…from North Dakota.
Since that sunny and dusty July afternoon, Linton, ND native Tiffany Mosset has given new meaning to riding like a girl.  The 23 year-old’s journey has taken her from Fargo to New Orleans to Louisville to Saratoga Springs But this week she has come full circle.  She’s back in Fargo riding at the Horse Park.
“I always had horses growing up,” Mosset says, fresh from a trip around the track at Saratoga earlier this week. “I liked horses and I liked speed.” Those leisurely gallops of her youth soon turned more serious with family members in the racing business. “My cousin Jodi (Buchholz) and her husband Rick got me started when I was 18,” Mosset recalls. “They owned a few racehorses and one day I got up on one at their place in Horace and we went around the pasture.  Before long I was working their horses on the track.”  That first leg up as an exercise rider came five years ago and it only made Mosset hungry for the real thing.
“Riding in a race was a dream.  I was so happy, so excited,” Mosset remembers as she rode in her first race at last year’s Horse Park meet.  She came close to winning after giving her horses some good rides and then the dream went to nirvana on July 20th. “I took the rail down the stretch in a race and I wasn’t afraid to go on the inside.  It was a thrill going through that hole and all you see is daylight ahead of you,” Mosset recalls as she described that first winning move aboard Striker’s Chance.  “How amazing it was to win like that, I had reached my dream.”
The dream was realized but there was an ironic twist to that first victory; finishing behind in second was the Buchholz’ home-bred Buckorama. “I knew they were in the race but when I won I forgot about everything else,” Mosset laughed. “I just sort of said to Rick, I guess you should put me up on your horse.”
The victory would be the only one in ten starts at the Horse Park and from there Mosset showed no signs of slowing down.  A brief stint as an exercise rider at Remington Park in Oklahoma was followed by a trip to the prestigious Fairgrounds Racetrack in New Orleans.  After freelancing in that trade she was eventually hired into the Steve Asmussen stable, a renowned outfit that has produced multiple champions including luminaries Curlin and Rachel Alexandra.  “It was a beautiful old track and great to work for them over the winter,” Mosset said. “It drove my brother crazy that I was in the same city as the Super Bowl!”  But the big time was about to get bigger as March turned to April. “I was laid off but having that Asmussen name associated with me was good.” It was from there that the journeywoman jock meandered north to Louisville – to Churchill Downs where they run the Kentucky Derby.  “I was trying to pick up work and one day someone told me to talk to Wayne Lukas,” Mosset casually recounts. “My friend said, ‘you are small and he likes girls as exercise riders so you never know.’”
Lukas was in the process of moving his stable from Arkansas to Kentucky for the spring and for a week Mosset waited for a sign of this training titan – revered in the sport as a four-time Kentucky Derby winner but that fact was lost on Mosset who saw him as just another everyday guy with horses.  That relaxed philosophy allowed her to walk up to the 77 year-old sage of the saddle and say that she was a rider looking for work, fresh off of her experience with the Asmussen barn.  He laughed and said, “Well I’ll be treating you much better than that, see you in the morning.”  Mosset wasn’t sure if she was hired or not but she knew one thing; she would show up in the morning.

TiffSmallerFrom the next morning on, Mosset was working Lukas’ horses, including the Preakness-bound Titletown Five and some of his very best two year-olds, destined for the nation’s biggest races next year.   Her hard work and horsemanship kept her on the staff but even she couldn’t imagine what would happen next. 

“Wayne has this rule that he will not let someone else outside his staff pony his horses to the starting gate and the other part of the rule is you have to use Wayne’s horse,” Mosset said. “If we are working for him we get first call so I asked one of his assistants if I could pony one of his two horses for the Kentucky Derby and she said yes.”  

So there she was, five years removed from that first gallop around her cousin’s horse pasture, parading a horse to the post in the Kentucky Derby. “My first thought when they played ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ is how awesome it would be to ride in this race someday,” Mosset continued.  “And you could feel the vibrations from the stands and I said ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ all these people who come to watch this, you don’t realize how big the Derby is until you get there.”  

To make the day even sweeter, Mosset’s parents, sister, and brother were all in attendance watching her in the moment. “When I was little I said ‘I want a pony in the Derby’ and now there I was.  It made me feel important to be a part of it to help them get ready for the biggest race in their life.”

The horse Mosset ponied to the starting gate, Will Take Charge, didn’t have his best result in his biggest race but he would go on to run in all three Triple Crown races.  When another Lukas horse, Oxbow, won the Preakness Stakes there was a celebration in the barn for the team effort. “Watching that race was just unreal because I see that horse every day in his barn and now he is, the talk of the racing world.”  

And Mosset hopes there is something to be said about those juveniles she works for the Lukas Stable every day.  Because of her small frame, she handles the younger stars of tomorrow.  “I would say there are about five that can have a say later this year,” Mosset says.  “Some of them are really fast and this one I get aboard, Tall Boy, he has potential as he’s starting to get it as a racehorse.  He will do better once the races get longer.”  He, Mosset, and many others in the Lukas barn have moved from Churchill to the summer meet at Saratoga—the Fenway Park of racetracks, steeped in 150 years of racing tradition. “To get this far in my life, it’s just really something,” Mosset reflects. “When I say I’m from North Dakota people say, ‘how in the heck did you get here?”

TallBoyAnd for this weekend, “here” will be “home” as she returns to North Dakota for a weekend break to see family and to ride races as a jockey—something she loves and misses.  “It’s an entirely different environment, it will be more relaxed and I want to have fun with family and ride a few.”

In North Dakota, where family and fun often intermingle, there’s hope to write another chapter to the Mosset memoirs.  Jodi and Rick Buchholz, who helped Tiffany get her start, have an entrant named Tuff Grit in one of the biggest races of the weekend - Saturday’s $10,000 North Dakota Futurity. This time, they’ll be giving Tiff the call – Tuff, meet Tiff if you will. “That’s when it will turn serious if I can ride for them and win it,” Mosset said. “A race is one thing but a stake?  Wow, winning it for family would mean so much more.”


*Photos Courtesy Mary Meek / Churchill Downs


2013 Meet Preview
News - Misc
Friday, July 12, 2013

Jubilee in July - Horse Park Meet of 2013 Begins July 19th

North Dakota Horse Park’s 2013 season, the tenth anniversary meet, promises to be one of the most exciting  on record. 

NDHP is proud to feature three full days of racing this year, highlighted by a stakes calendar that features the $10,000 estimated North Dakota Derby and $10,000 estimated North Dakota Futurity for thoroughbreds to be run on Saturday, July 20th.  The Derby will be run at one mile while the Futurity will be contested at 5 1/2 furlongs.  Both races are presented by the North Dakota Thoroughbred Association.  The Derby appears be drawing a small field, richly composed of horses fresh from the recent Chippewa Downs meet.  Dakota Girl won two races in Belcourt, including the NDTOBA Derby in late June.  Hello Scarlet, a disappointment in that same race, was a stakes winner here in Fargo last summer and stands to reason that a rebound is possible.  The Futurity, as it usually is, figures to be a wide-open race due to lack of form.  Butch Herman has shown a great propensity for training juveniles in recent years and his Classi Coyote has already crashed the winner’s circle this summer.

A Sunday card on July 21st is highlighted by the Quarter Horse breed as $5,000 estimated will be on the line in the NDQHRA Derby and $5,000 estimated NDQHRA Futurity.  Jennas Easy Cash brings her three race winning streak into the Derby and is clearly the horse to watch in this race.  The Futurity could be quick work for Dontthrotlemystyle who also dominated the competition at Chippewa Downs.  The juvenile colt is an undefeated two-for-two lifetime and could be a new star of tomorrow. 

Also on the meet’s final day, a quality field will likely line up for the AQHA Bonus Challenge, estimated at $10,000.  This marquee event will be run at 440 yards and will be open to three year olds and up.  The “sprint set” will also have the Open QH Derby and Open QH Futurity, two stakes races that have been playgrounds for Tom Maher’s Shamrock Ranch over the years.  Sunday will also feature the renewal of the popular mascot race—the Fargo “Fur”turity, run between races on the card.

Fargo’s proximity, in the southeast corner of the state, offers an all points opportunity to attract horsemen and equine athletes from a variety of sites.  Not only will the Horse Park be a destination for those who competed at recently concluded Chippewa Downs meet, but it also serves as an attractive four hour ship in from Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg and Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota.  This makes for interesting, full fields and a variety of wagering opportunities.

In all, 28 races are penciled in over three days  ranging from 300 yard distances up to 1 1/4 mile.  The return of popular jockeys and trainers will transform Northwest Fargo into “Derby City” for a weekend  as racing fans from across the tri-state area flock to the Horse Park.

The Scene Shifts to Fargo
News - Misc
Monday, July 08, 2013

Scene Shifts to Fargo

Chippewa Downs meet wraps up; next stop NDHP

It was fitting that the feature race at Chippewa Downs on Sunday, June 30th was won by Pt Special Feature.  The 5-1 favorite from the barn on Junior Dolphus won the richest race of the meet , the $4,278 AQHA Challenge Stakes by a half-length over Ja Gols Fancy Man.  Nick Haar piloted the sorrel filly home first stopping the clock in 17.86 for the 350 yard race.   The winner was bred in Oklahoma and collected her first stakes win of her career.
The thoroughbred set crowned a debut stakes winner as well as Ralph Buchholz’ Dakota Girl won her second straight race at Chippewa Downs, this time by daylight, in the $3,550 NDTOBA Derby.   The three year old filly out of the stakes winning mare Patty Kim covered the five panels in 1:03 1/5 as the 9-1 third choice. The dark bay filly broke her maiden on Father’s Day in Belcourt and now finds herself at the head of the three year old crop heading to Fargo for the North Dakota Derby on July 20th.  Tattle Tale Cat, another Derby nominee, ran second for Butch Herman while his other charge, the multiple stakes winning filly Hello Scarlet finished fifth as the 5-1 people’s choice. 
A small but contentious field is lining up for the upcoming Derby.   Besides Dakota Girl and the Herman duo, Go Socks Go is another Chippewa veteran who is eying Fargo.  ‘Socks was second in a Maiden race in Belcourt on June 29th.  Asfarashonorgoes, a maiden from Curt Rohweder stable is also Derby nominated.  The filly by Eddie B. Ready runs in a $7,500 Maiden Claimer at Canterbury Park on July 11th.
The need for speed was evident in the $3500 Open Speed Stakes also at Chippewa on the last day of June.  Tony’s a Genius bounded home a four length winner as the 4-1 favorite.  Maddie Cat was second while Run Johny Run was third.  Rapid Jack, a winner of two straight in Belcourt was up the track in sixth.

 On the meet's final weekend, quarter horses had the loudest say with the renewal of the Grass Roots Series.  In the Derby, Jennas Easy Cash, the 6-5 favorite, won by 1 1/4 lengths under veteran jockey Herman Fennel. It was the third straight win for the sorrel filly who should relish the extra distance in the NDQHRA Derby in Fargo as she got better as the race went on.  John Bubel and Terry Davis appear to have a hot one heading into the Horse Park Meet, hard to believe considering she was 0/8 lifetime heading into the Belcourt meet.

In the Futurity, Dontthrotlemystyle proved to be the best for Jim Fleming and Zach Bacon when he rolled home by 1 1/4 lengths in the $8,600 race.  Blurred Cash ran second while the race favorite Major Dasher finished third at 7-5.  Kevin Gefoh's winner will likely head next to the NDQHRA Futurity on July 21st where his charge will likely face more ND breds who were not eligible for the Grass Roots race.  Fresh faces or not, the son of Donttouchthethrotle is an impressive 2/2 lifetime and will now take his act on the road to a new track.  

In the meet's longest stakes race, Spring Blues proved to be a refreshing alternative in the Chippewa Downs Thoroughbred Stakes.  The smart money was on this 9-10 favorite who did not disappoint with a 6 1/2 length score.  The gray gelding, who last raced at Assiniboia Downs four weeks ago, defeated Express Air, Heaven's Hope, and other meet luminaries.


In an Open Derby valued at $4,200 First Down Marie, a Canterbury Park ship-in won the 350 yard test by a nose over Ja Gols Fancy Man for trainer Rusty Wilson.  'Fancy Man, the 4-5 chalk lost a head bob decision and will look to pick up the pieces in the next start for Owner/Trainer Junior Dolphus.

Jumpin' Jack, Class, and Dash
News - Misc
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jumpin' Jack, Class, and Dash

A trio of horses has their eye on Fargo

Maybe now they will start to believe in Rapid Jack.  Dismissed as a nearly 6-1 outsider, The 10 year-old gelding won his fifth consecutive race on North Dakota soil when he scored a front-running, three length victory in a $3,800 featured Allowance at Chippewa Downs last Sunday.  Tuffernhell, the 6-5 people’s choice finished second with Raspberry Jam, a veteran of the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale Meet, ran third.

Piloted smartly by Nathan Haar, the son of Get Me Out won the 5 ½ furlong contest wire to wire, stopping the clock in 1:11.  With two more weeks of racing at the Belcourt oval, Rapid Jack could be a key horse to watch in June and a hot charge to focus on when the circuit shifts to Fargo for a weekend of racing in mid-July.  The North Dakota-bred is owned by Valarie Kilian and trained by Wayne Slater.

In stakes competition, Butch Herman’s Classi Coyote out-dueled the odds-on favorite Joe Kid by three parts of a length to win the $3,500 N.D. TOBA Stallion Stakes for Juveniles on Saturday.  Herman’s Hello Scarlet, a half sister to Classi Coyote, triumphed in this contest last year over the same strip.  The Dean Martin trainee, Two Eyed Kid, finished third in the race.  The top three finishers are nominees for the North Dakota Futurity, contested at the North Dakota Horse Park on July 20th.

The track was a sea of slop for the Trials of the Grass Roots Futurity for the quarter horse breed.  Major Dasher posted the fastest qualifying time at 16.95 for 300 yards, recording his second straight win on the Chippewa straightaway.  The Herman family was again in the spotlight as Jeremy Herman saddled the race winner. Dontthrotlemystyle won the second Trial in 17.44 for trainer Jim Fleming.

The Grass Roots Futurity Finals will be held on Sunday July 7th at Chippewa Downs.


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