If you were at Canterbury Park on Sunday, you saw a series of events before and during the fifth race that were pretty much singular in their sequence -- and came close to a catastrophe that was averted by the actions of several jockeys in the race.
If you only saw this tweet, you only know a fraction of what happened:
The full story is best told by track announcer Paul Allen, who called the race, and Star Tribune reporter Rachel Blount, who watched a video of what happened and talked to several people who were there. Both of them emailed their observations, which have been combined and edited to tell the story.
PA: "Never seen anything like our fifth Sunday. Never. And I've called around 25,000 races over 25 years. I mean, first a horse flips in the gate. Delay. Then the seven (horse) runs off and is loose for a few more minutes. Longer delay."
RB: "Both horses were scratched; neither was seriously injured. Riders also were OK."
After about a 10-minute delay, the race started.
RB: "Tiz a Princess broke fine. Then she took a left turn after a few strides, unseated Patrick Canchari and jumped over the fence separating the turf course from the infield."
PA: "(Tiz a Princess) ran into the infield and was heading north towards the center of the final turn and doing so as the horses racing were heading that way. I split my race call between reminding patrons to hold all betting tickets because I knew the stewards -- the track referees -- would conduct an inquiry, Watching the horses race and the loose one potentially wreaking havoc while meandering."
Canchari was OK after being thrown and rode horses later in the program. Tiz a Princess was about to cause more trouble.
RB: "Tiz a Princess jumped over the inside rail and back on the course, running in front of the field and cutting diagonally across the turf course toward the outside rail. Jockeys (Jareth) Loveberry and (Leslie) Mawing both slowed their horses and altered course to avoid her, but both continued racing. Razipat (Loveberry's horse) crossed the finish line first, with Battle Chic (Mawing's horse) second. An outrider caught Tiz a Princess."
PA: "Tiz a Princess eventually jumped the rail separating the infield and the turf course and almost ran right into a couple of horses. Jockeys Jareth Loveberry and Leslie Mawing did masterful work with the leading two (horses) to avoid what could have been a disastrous collision. The riders saw the loose horse in the infield while negotiating the backstretch and started slowing down their horses."
RB: "Allen's call throughout the race was uncharacteristically subdued. He was clearly concerned."
PA: "Never have treated a race call like that. The finish and bets were inconsequential to what I knew could happen -- a full-stride collision. I spent more time describing what the loose (horse) was doing than rattling through the field of those racing."
The race was declared "no contest," the first time that had happened at Canterbury since August 2015, when a horse ran in the wrong direction during a sprint race, according to Jeff Maday, the track's publicist.
RB: "The stewards' decision to declare a no-contest was because the riders had to stop riding the race and significantly alter course to avoid the loose horse. All win/place/show, exacta, trifecta and superfecta wagers were refunded, as were daily doubles beginning with race 5."
PA: "The greater good prevailed; all horses and riders exited ... safely. That one was straight from a Stephen King novel."
To watch a video of the race, click here. You will need to sign up, but one of the options is a free service that provides video race replays from Canterbury in standard definition.