07/27/2005 12:00AM

Canterbury track report


Jockey Paul Nolan, a Canterbury Park mainstay since the track re-opened for live racing in 1995, has been recuperating from an injury sustained in a fall on July 8.

Nolan was aboard the 2-year old Captain William when his mount broke down in the stretch run of the second race, causing Nolan to fall to the track. Taken to St. Francis Hospital, Nolan was examined and released. Nolan returned to the track the next day to breeze two horses in the morning before visiting the hotbox in the jockeys' quarters. He was told to report immediately to the Hennepin County Medical Center after a subsequent review of his X-rays revealed that Nolan had fractured the third vertebra in his neck and that his carotid artery might be compromised by the injury.

As the first-call rider for Canterbury's second leading trainer, Jamie Ness, Nolan had 31 victories at this meeting. He will miss a return engagement on the promising 2-year old Bow River, who is scheduled to run in the Timeless Prince Stakes on Sunday.

Now fitted with a neck collar, Nolan anxiously awaits the clearance of his physician to return to work. "This is really one of the hardest injuries I have ever had," he said. "I was really having one of my best meets ever and it's hard to watch your mounts win without you."

* Trainer Mike Kirby demonstrated his prowess with older horses when he captured races this past week with the 8-year old mare One Mile Limit and the 10-year old mare Smooth Shannon. Kirby trains a string of eight head, which also includes 8-year old Therlo and 9-year old Yankee Ruler.

When pressed for the secret to his training regimen, Kirby replied, "To be honest with you, I just train my older horses a lot but not far.

"A lot of my older horses go to the track every day but I exercise them, I don't exert them. Once they're good, I back off them, train them less."

One Mile Limit and and Therlo return in claiming races on Canterbury's Saturday card.