Eric Halstrom, vice president and general manager of racing for Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, is leaving the job to return to Canterbury Park in Minnesota.

Halstrom resigned from his Fair Grounds post effective Oct. 1. Canterbury officials said Sept. 9 Halstrom was hired as vice president of racing operations at the Minnesota racetrack.

Halstrom, 44, a native of Minnesota, was employed by Canterbury from 1997-2008.

"We are thrilled and fortunate to have Eric back," Canterbury chief executive officer Randy Sampson said. "He is a proven leader with more than 20 years of experience in the racing industry. Eric's reputation in the racing community and knowledge of the industry will be huge assets to Canterbury Park as we continue to improve our racing product."

In June 2011 Canterbury and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners and operators of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, entered into a joint marketing and purse-enhancement agreement that will add $75 million to purses over the 10-year life of the deal. Purses are now double what they were in 2011 and will increase again in 2014.

For the first time since 1991, Canterbury's 1,600 stalls were at capacity.

"I am grateful to Churchill Downs Inc. for the opportunity at the Fair Grounds," Halstrom said in a release. "It is a wonderful and historic racetrack with great horsemen and employees. I grew up in Minnesota and experienced my first horse race at Canterbury. I am excited to be returning home to work at a track that I deeply care for and that has such a bright future."

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