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HRN Original Blog:
The Dark Horse

Getting to know Canterbury’s very own Angela Hermann!!

Angela by Mel
Photo: Daily Funnies by Mel
Canterbury Park’s, and Minnesota’s very own, Angela Hermann possesses an unparalleled passion for racing which is very prevalent in the work that she does previewing races from the paddock of the Midwest oval. Just completing her first meet as the analyst at Hawthorne Race Course, I was very impressed with her knowledge of the sport as she gave the fans useful insight from the Cicero paddock. I spent a little time with Angela this week to see how we all could get to know her a little better.

Besides, us fellow Minnesota-breds stick together, right? We do have that “Minnesota Niceya know…jeepers…yah…

Growing up in Apple Valley, Minnesota (home of the world famous Minnesota Zoo), Angela was without the pedigree similar to those who have an inside connection to the sport. Her interest in racing began in 1998 during Real Quiet’s Triple Crown run. After that, she was hooked. During the many summers after that she would make her race predictions for the day using the Star Tribune (local newspaper) and watch the replay shows to see if she won. (In a bit of a coincidence I did the EXACT SAME THING as a kid…) Her passion for horses did not wane over the years as most of the people close to her had expected.


Angela then really became connected to horses via the many roles she has held at Canterbury since 2004. Desiring a job at Canterbury from the moment she was able to legally drive, she worked her way up the ranks at the track after serving as a Clubhouse Usher, a member of Guest Services, a member of Group Sales, as well as in the Track Information department before landing where she is today as the paddock analyst.  Also during that time she learned valuable information about the sport while working in the racing office for a track in Columbus, NE (“lovely Ag Park”)!

So it became apparent to me that these roles and this experience has given Angela the ability to provide quite insightful analysis before the races start. In fact, I tracked her picks for a few races over a few days and you know what? She gives out quite a few winners! I asked her about her observations and what she looks for in the paddock when selecting horses. “I look more towards the younger horses. It’s easier to tell when a younger horse is having a good or bad day versus the older veterans who know what is about to happen. I like horses that are eager and antsy, but not nervous; though some can be misleading. As long as the horse isn’t bucking the jockey into a bush…” In terms of her handicapping, she claims to be someone who is self-taught as she has developed her own handicapping style. What she looks for most is trainer intent and more pace versus class. Maybe I should try that…

But Angela’s passion for the sport goes well beyond just a few minutes on TV . She is also very much a fan advocate; wishing to get more people involved and interested in racing. “I’ve been there. I’ve been the person that can’t read a racing form. However I like to give a better perspective in terms of what people are looking for or wondering about. I enjoy turning the DRF into ABC’s and there are many different aspects of racing that can be taught and learned.” Angela does feel that she has an atypical face associated with racing (a dress versus a cigar). She does have the ability to answer typical racing questions and feels that anyone can enjoy the sport with a little time and dedication! She classifies herself as a “bridge between the everyday fan and an expert.” Sweet!

So in typical Dark Horse fashion, this blog can’t be all serious, right? I asked Angela about some of her most funny and embarrassing moments in racing. Well, the funny moment went viral on YouTube as a North Dakota-bred (that figures, geez) named RC Riptide ate her notes right out of her hand! See video below. Her most embarrassing moment (other than some drunk guy ripping the microphone right out of her hand) came during a hot, summer evening where she passed out from being overheated! After making several trips back and forth from the paddock to the winners circle for race previews and post-race interviews, even after drinking multiple bottles of water, she literally passed out on camera! I still don’t think that’s as bad as forgetting who you write for while on camera…but I digress.

So I was curious to know Angela thought about what Canterbury offers that most fans wouldn’t know about. She told me that virtually every horse in the area runs there! She states that the track offers a great atmosphere, a perfect setting, a safe surface for the horses, a new tote board, a new video board in the paddock, and better racing with the new increased purses and full stables on the backside! Whoa.
And recently coming from Chicago myself, I wanted to know her impressions of Hawthorne and Chicago. For Angela, the weather was the biggest challenge for her at the track! Customarily handicapping racing for summertime, “it was extra hard work handicapping with frozen tracks, wet tracks, and the lack of turf racing in the spring in Chicago.” Prior to the meet she checked past charts but quickly learned how the track bias changed with the winter (and summarily tossed out those old charts).  Yep, that sounds like a typical Chicago winter and spring to me!

Quick Facts:

Best part of the job:
When people win and when people want to come back to the track; trying to help people pick winners! Also receiving thanks from people for having a great time at the track.

Worst part of the job: When the season ends…

Favorite horse at Canterbury:
Minnesota-bred filly Keewatin Ice

Favorite horse ever: Real Quiet

Favorite jockeys: Laffit Pincay and Gary Stevens

Favorite trainers: Graham Motion and Al Stall, Jr.

Favorite 80’s song: Michael Jackson’s Thriller!

Favorite racing moment at Canterbury #1: Quiet Queen’s 30-1 victory in the Lady Canterbury race on Claiming Crown day.

Favorite racing moment at Canterbury #2: Personally escorting Rafael Bejerano through the track as he just arrived from Woodbine (after winning a Grade 1 stake) with less than 30 minutes to post for his mount in the 2008 Claiming Crown Jewel!  

Interests outside of racing: Sports (she is a huge sports fan) - especially THE VIKINGS (SKOL!), horseback riding, and spending time with her family. In fact, Angela said, “if you are a sports fan, then you have to be a fan of racing!” I agree!

As far as future goals and aspirations go for Angela, she would like to work the California circuit someday. With some extended family there, she has always adored the area. If she is at all able to blend California and horse racing, that would be the ultimate dream for her. However, she is really enjoying what she is doing now and does not take anything for granted. I think that is very obvious and I think she has a very bright future in front of her.

Finally she has some advice for new or aspiring analysts. “Have passion for the sport. You can never know enough about it; keep your ears open as something insignificant now can be huge down the road. In terms of handicapping, there are many different theories but everybody is right at some point.”

It is clear to me that Angela has the drive and passion to help carry the sport of horse racing into the future. Her knowledge of handicapping and horses is amazing to me and I really admire her desire to educate the casual fan and embody the love of the sport into people for generations to come. For my fellow Minnesotan, I predict nothing but great success.


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Older Comments about Getting to know Canterbury’s very own Angela Hermann!!...

LMAO... Sully, he'll never post his picks especially with this ridculous excuse. He's a big-time fraud. Big-time.
why should I do your work and receive no compensation?
So start posting picks, TV, so we can analyze your competency. Not much data to go on in that department except a bunch of ramblings.
ANYONE listening to the hustler's on the air, without checking their long term competency, is taking a silly risk.
When I was at Hawthorne, a man made the picks
State &Track {20% takeout} + Whales {CONSISTENT 15-20% ROI} = Badguys >> Hey Angela, maybe bigbill can help the newcomers out.
amino... Love your first post!
That’s fairly weak research data that you’ve submitted with your hypothesis t_v. I will agree that it’s U whales that are ruining the game. *Welcome Newcomer, Throw away your money* is a tough sell.
no win photo, no high fives, no jumping up and down, no chest thurmping that their prediction came true on the day they said it would
Why would they apologize for winning? Isn't that the point?
let me flip that BACK STRETCH GOSSIP would be MORE reliable
yes the FORMER is more reliable....I have said this DOZENS of times here. I worked the winner's circle camera for two years...I laughed at the number of time the trainer (in dirty jeans) accepted the win and then called the owners APOLOGIZING for the win...They have as much chance of prediciting the winner as a mid-level handicapper.
I think there's a difference between interpreting trainer intent and backstretch gossip.
Back stretch gossip might get you off a single here and there, but NO ONE beats the whales long term unless it is another whale...If only the "behind the scenes" were atucally repoted TRUTHFULLY and not through gloss over fiction, more people would take more time to actually know what they were doing before throwing their money away.
*warn* Nice handicapping angle, nice article.
Hey Amino, I don't fully understand your comment.
Angela has a big leg up on *t_v and the whales* vis a vis trainer intent @ Canterbury, but she best worn the newcomers that *THEY* are coming {electronically} to feast on the weak or ill-informed.
Favorite '80s hit? Ha! It's BCD. Blog Crossover Disorder! Nice writeup Chris!
Getting to know you♫♪Getting to know all about you...♫♪, how funny 'Riptide' munching on her script and she keeps going. And I love her enthusiam for the new comer, let's all take a newcomer to the track this summer!!!

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 (Whoa - it's me - the DARK HORSE)
Greetings and welcome to my "dark" blog!  I have been a fan of horse racing since I was about 12 years old.  Growing up in Minnesota, my dad would take me and my brothers to Canterbury Downs and I would practically beg to go every weekend!!  I made my first "big" score there hitting the win, place, and exacta in the same race at age 14 (pulled in $84 with horses named Railroad Red and Racers Dream!).  I even had a poster in my bedroom of Lost Code winning the 1987 St. Paul Derby!
While finishing school in Chicago, I spent every possible moment at Arlington Park with my dad.  We took the time to develop computer programs (on the ever popular Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS) to try to find patterns and handicap races more accurately.  My dad taught me a lot about handicapping races, paying particular attention to class moves!

Since then, I have become more involved with horse racing each passing year through a variety of different media-based roles. Once deemed the "second best racing ambassador in Chicago" (hey I've been called worse), 
I now reside in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the USA and will be covering many different aspects of racing - in my unpredictable DARK HORSE STYLE!  
My favorite tracks are:
Del Mar
Kentucky Downs

Some of my all-time favorite horses include: 
Feel free to contact me anytime and I will respond! 
Twitter: @GoDarkHorse <---Preferred
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This blog is eternally dedicated to the memory of Tim "Tiznow" Reynolds.

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