Checking IDs: A final look before the race

  • Article by: KELLY PARSONS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 25, 2013 - 9:25 PM

Once a horse is put in a stall, moments before it makes its way to the track, Mark Bader walks around and asks groomers to lift the lip, exposing the tattoo.

Inside a barnlike shelter, horses stand in numbered stalls as they get saddled and await their races. Then, one by one, Mark Bader checks to make sure each horse is where it’s supposed to be.

And who it's supposed to be.

For two years, Bader, 60, has served as the identifier at Canterbury Park, a job that requires him to inspect the mouth of each horse for an identifying tattoo before it races to make sure it matches what the program says. Bader, who trained horses for 35 years, used to train at Canterbury Park before coming into his current job.

Each horse has a tattoo on the inside of its upper lip, which has a letter followed by five numbers. The letter helps identify the age of the horse. Once a horse is put in a stall, moments before it makes its way to the track, Bader walks around and asks groomers to lift the lip, exposing the tattoo.

Bader isn’t allowed to touch the horses himself because of fear of cross-contamination. If a tattoo is too faint to be seen, he will then look for other identifying qualities, such as body markings and color.

His appreciation for horses was passed down from his father, who trained them, Bader said he likes being around the racetrack in whatever capacity that may be.

“There’s electricity every day,” he said. “There’s a little bit of danger in here. If you get hit with one of these horse’s legs, it’s like getting punched by a boxer with a metal plate in his glove.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Atlanta - LP: J. Walden 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: H. Rondon 5
Washington 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Philadelphia 4
Chicago WSox 2 Top 4th Inning
Cleveland 2
NY Yankees 2 Top 4th Inning
Baltimore 0
Pittsburgh 0 Top 4th Inning
Cincinnati 1
Miami 0 Top 4th Inning
NY Mets 4
Toronto 3 Top 4th Inning
Tampa Bay 1
LA Angels 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Texas 0
St. Louis 0 Top 1st Inning
Milwaukee 0
Boston - J. Lackey 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Detroit 0 Top 1st Inning
Kansas City 0
Minnesota - K. Johnson 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
San Diego - J. Hahn 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Oakland - J. Samardzija 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Arizona - M. Bolsinger 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
D.C. 10:00 PM
San Jose
Winnipeg 10 12:05
Montreal 10
Ottawa 9:00 PM
Calgary 7/12/14 5:30 PM
Brt Columbia 7/12/14 8:30 PM
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Toronto 7/18/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 7/18/14 9:00 PM
Montreal 7/19/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Los Angeles 29 2nd Qtr 4:27
New York 26
Seattle 3 1st Qtr 8:17
San Antonio 0
Phoenix 7:30 PM





question of the day

Poll: What are you most looking forward to during All-Star festivities?

Weekly Question


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters