Canterbury Adds Dates, Will Increase Purses

Canterbury Adds Dates, Will Increase Purses
Photo: Coady Photography
Canterbury Park

Canterbury Park will offer a 69-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet in 2013 and purses will increase 25% from 2012 levels, officials said.

The Minnesota Racing Commission approved the dates request Nov. 15. It will be the longest meet at the Shakopee racetrack since 2006, when there also were 69 days of racing.

The situation at Canterbury changed dramatically in June when track owners and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community entered into a cooperative agreement that will provide $75 million for horsemen over 10 years. The purse and marketing deal could continue beyond that.

The tribe owns the nearby Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. Under the terms of the agreement, Canterbury, which has a card club, will not pursue slot machines as it has in previous legislative sessions in Minnesota.

This year over 62 racing days, Canterbury paid an average of $134,436 per day in purses according to The Jockey Club Information Systems. There was, however, almost a full month of racing before purses were increased under the deal with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

Based on TJCIS figures, purses will average about $169,000 a day in 2013. In 2011 over 56 days, purses averaged $103,121.

The 2013 stakes schedule and purse structure will be released later this year.

"The impact of the SMSC agreement on racing in Minnesota was immediate," Canterbury Park president Randy Sampson said in a release. "Daily purses were up this past season and will grow again along with the number of race days. Our goal since 1995 has been to revive the state's equine industry, and we are now well on the way to reaching that goal."

Locals have said there already has been movement in regard to Thoroughbred owners looking to breed more horses or move horses to Minnesota for the Canterbury meet. The facility has a turf course and is the only Thoroughbred track in the state.

The meet is scheduled for May 17-Sept. 14 with racing Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. CDT and Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays at 1:30 p.m.

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