Cokato breeders have a long track record of winning horse races
By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN For Bob and Julie Petersen of Cokato Township, owning and breeding horses has been a family business for the past 21 years.
In that time, they have won countless races, with the most recent being the $24,000 Minnesota Stallion Breeders’ Futurity June 20 at Canterbury Park.
The winning horse was Seis It Fast, a 2-year-old quarter horse gelding trained by eight-time champion Edward Ross Hardy.
On their ranch, which they call For Your Amusement Only, the Petersens raise and breed quarter horses and thoroughbreds until they reach 2 years of age. Then, they are turned over to Hardy who they have worked with for the past 10 years to train for races.
Last year, Seis It Fast’s two brothers also won races at Canterbury Park during Festival Day Traffic Cartel won the Minnesota Bred Derby, and Oak Tree Blvd won the futurity race.
“She’s producing well,” Bob said of the mare, Chic N Traffic, who has a yearling and another baby at her side.
The Petersens have won approximately 200 races across the US, with 61 wins at Canterbury Park in its 25 years.
The Petersens are actually the leaders in purses at Canterbury, with a total of $521,445, according to Jeff Maday, media relations manager for Canterbury Park.
‘They’ve been a part of every important quarter horse race at Canterbury,” Maday said.
Julie had horses growing up. The couple began by buying and breeding a race mare “and it just kept growing,” Bob said.
The Petersens’ children, daughter Morgan and son Grant, have also been an integral part of the business, having raised their own race horses throughout the years.
Looking at the albums of race winners, one can see the family grow.
Soon, the couple will be losing their last chore helper as Grant goes off to the University of North Dakota in the fall.
As far as breeding and raising race horses, “it’s addicting,” Bob said.
“It’s fun to raise one from the ground up and see them go to the race track and run,” he said.
“It’s also taken us all over the US to places we wouldn’t have otherwise gone,” Julie said.
Their horses have brought them to a majority of the states with race tracks, such as California, New Mexico, Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, and Illinois.
“If we get into a big race, we try to go and watch them run,” she said. “We’ve met a lot of interesting people along the way.”
The Petersens qualified their horse, Pull That Wagon, to The Northlands Futurity, Grade III at Canterbury Park for this Saturday.
This is traditionally Canterbury’s richest race for quarterhorses and one of only two graded races for them at the park. The race is Saturday, July 3 beginning at 4p.m. with fireworks following the races.
With this being Canterbury Park’s 25th anniversary season, the Petersens encourage people to come out to the race track and enjoy the free admission and other fun activities, including Family Day on Sundays.
On Family Day, there are free pony rides, a petting zoo, face paintings for kids, horseshoe toss, and more.
See www.canterburypark.com for more details and activities at the park through Aug. 29.