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Charity auctions are a great place to pick up one-of-a-kind items and unique experiences. That’s how Lake Highlands’ Mina family became the loudest cheerleaders in Texas for a Canadian racehorse.

Will Mina is a senior at Jesuit now and Harrison is an 8th grader at St. Patrick, but years ago their parents, John and Amy, attended the St. Patrick Catholic School fundraiser in support of their children. They bid on and won the naming rights to a racehorse, and they christened her “Know What I Mina.”

Know What I Mina began racing at Lone Star Park in 2018, and the family visited the track and cheered her to the finish line. She ran for a few years on the southwest circuit, traveling often to Oklahoma and Louisiana. Though she battled injuries and unlucky jockeys, she finished in the top 3 horses in a third of her races.

After a couple of years, a trainer in North Dakota purchased the horse for breeding purposes. To the surprise of everyone but Know What I Mina, the mare thrived with her change of scenery and new diet of poutine and oats. With renewed vigor, she began racing in Canada.

Know What I Mina was entered into a claiming race at Canada’s Assiniboia Downs June 14, where she placed first and was claimed by a Canadian ownership group. She has now run six times in 2021, placing in the top 3 for half of those races.

The Mina family doesn’t own the horse, but they developed a strong connection after giving her a name. They get electronic notifications when she’s scheduled to run and gather around to watch the live race. The boys admit now they’re glad some of their childhood naming suggestions didn’t take – it might be embarrassing to shout “Go Slug Bug Purple!” or “Run Toot Toot Spegoots!”

“Hearing our name being called over the loudspeakers has been pretty surreal,” says John. “We got to see her at Lone Star a few times, including once in June of 2018. It started pouring down rain during the race when the horses hit the backstretch, but she still managed to win by a nose.”

A papa’s pride.

Know What I Mina has $50,000 in career earnings, including $12,000 so far this year. You may watch her race – and win – in the video below. Race 2 begins at the 1:30 mark, and she’s wearing #4.