Canterbury Park

Canterbury Park

Coady Photography

Wagering, Attendance Spike at Canterbury Park

Average daily handle rose 12.9% and attendance averaged a record 6,595 per day.

Canterbury Park reported a 25% increase in wagering and record average daily attendance during the 62-day meet that concluded Sept. 3.

Average attendance for the 62-day meet was 6,595, an increase of 7.3% compared with 2011 when average attendance was 6,143. It was a new record for the Shakopee, Minn., track.

Total wagering in 2012 increased by 25% compared with the 2011 season that was was shortened by a state government shutdown and consisted of 56 race days. In 2012, average daily handle of $452,405 represented an increase of 12.9% from 2011.

"We are very pleased with this season and are already planning for 2013," Canterbury president Randy Sampson said in a release.

This season $2.7 million was injected into the purse fund as a result of a $75 million joint marketing and purse-enhancement agreement between Canterbury and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community that operates Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. This year’s increase represented a per-day increase of 31.8%, and a per-day increase of an additional 25% is projected for 2013, according to the release.

"The purse-enhancement agreement will have a positive impact on the Minnesota racing industry in many ways," Sampson said. "I expect to see more and higher quality horses and stables racing at Canterbury in 2013, I also expect to see breeding in the state increase and have already heard from several horse breeders that intend to increase operations in the coming years. The excitement level for Minnesota racing has never been higher."

The champion trainer for the eighth consecutive year was Mac Robertson, while Tanner Riggs was leading jockey with 74 wins. Ruben Martinez won the owners’ award.

Heliskier, a 3-year-old Minnesota-bred, was named Canterbury Horse of the Year. Trained by Robertson for Marlene Colvin of Ethan, S.D., Helikier won all four starts, including the $50,000 Victor S. Myers Stakes and the $65,000 Minnesota Derby.