Canterbury Park

Canterbury Park

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Canterbury's 2013 Meet Begins May 17

The 69-day stand will be longest at the Minnesota racetrack since 2006.

Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., will kick off its longest meet since 2006 when it begins a 69-day stand May 17. The meet will run through Sept. 14.

Weeknight racing begins at 6:30 p.m. CDT, 30 minutes earlier than past seasons, with a 1:30 p.m. first post on weekends and holidays. Among the new amenities at the track are a new infield toteboard that offers 200 feet of digital information and an 800-square-foot video screen, nearly twice the size of the former tote board; and a new video board in the paddock area.

"The new toteboard and video screens will allow our guests to experience racing like never before," Canterbury president Randy Sampson said in a release. "The digital capability allows us to present information to the fans that was not possible in the past."

Under a cooperative marketing and purse-enhancement agreement reached last year with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the tribe that owns and operates Mystic Lake Casino Hotel will contribute $75 million to the horsemen's purse structure over the next 10 years. The agreement means 2013 purses will be double what they were in 2011.

"This agreement was a life-saver for racing in Minnesota," Sampson said. "Not only has the interest in racing dramatically increased, but breeding in the state is also resurging."

The meet will be highlighted by the Aug. 3 Mystic Lake Derby, with a $200,000 purse that is the track's largest single purse since 1991, when it was called Canterbury Downs under previous ownership.