Canterbury Park Racing

Canterbury Park Racing

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Canterbury Park Purses Continue to Increase

The Minnesota track expects to pay about $12 million during its 2013 meet.

Canterbury Park's first condition book for 2013 shows yet another increase in purses, with about $12 million to be paid out during its Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet.

The increases, which began last year, stem from a multi-year, $75 million joint marketing and purse-enhancement agreement between Canterbury and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community that operates the nearby Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. In 2012, Thoroughbred purses received $1.76 million from the Mystic Lake Purse Enhancement Fund.

The 69-day meet is scheduled for May 18-Sept. 14. According to the condition book, the purse for an open allowance race will be $40,000, with an entry-level allowance race going for $27,000.

Maiden special weight purses will increase to $25,000 ($30,000 for maiden allowance races for horses bred in Minnesota). The purse for an open $25,000-$20,000 claiming race will be $24,000, while open $5,000 claimers will compete for $12,000.

The 2013 purse structure makes the Minnesota track competitive with most tracks in the Midwest. Canterbury has a one-mile dirt track and seven-furlong turf course.

According to The Jockey Club Information Systems, average daily Thoroughbred purses at Canterbury in 2011 were $103,121, with a total of $5.77 million paid over 56 days. Last year the daily average jumped to $134,436, with a total of $8.33 million paid over 62 days.

The planned 25% increase from last year would put this year’s daily average at about $170,000 a day.

The 2013 stakes schedule was released earlier. There will be 26 Thoroughbred stakes worth $1.76 million, up 20% from last year.

There is renewed and new interest in the Minnesota Thoroughbred breeding program because of the 10-year deal with the Sioux tribe. Breeders have reported an increase in the number of mares bred, and the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association reported a 68% hike in sales during its 2012 stallion services auction.

Gross receipts were the highest since 2004.

"The type of increase we saw this year is indicative of the tremendous amount of excitement over the marketing agreement with the SMSC and the confidence that breeders now have in the future of Minnesota racing," MTA president Scott Rake said.