Canterbury Park

Canterbury Park

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Canterbury Hikes Purses, Adds Turf Derby

Agreement with local tribe to increase purses 35%; $150,000 race added to schedule.

Canterbury Park raised purses 35% and added a $150,000 stakes after the Minnesota Racing Commission approved a purse and marketing pact between the racetrack and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which operates a nearby casino.

The deal between Canterbury and the tribe was announced earlier in June but hinged on regulatory approval, which came June 13. It is believed to be the first of its kind between a racetrack and a casino tribe.

The purse increase was effective June 14. An additional $2.6 million will be paid to purses this year, and roughly $75 million over the next 10 years under the terms of the agreement. There are options to extend the arrangement after 10 years.

In return for financial contributions from the tribe, which owns the Mystic Lake Hotel and Casino located several miles from Canterbury, track officials won’t pursue competing slot machines in the legislature.

Thoroughbred stakes purses will increase from $1.12 million to $1.46 million. The new stakes is the Mystic Lake Derby for 3-year-olds at one mile on the turf July 28.

Canterbury president Randy Sampson said the $150,000 pot will be the highest ever paid at the track.

“I am thrilled by this agreement with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the opportunities it presents for racing and breeding in Minnesota,” Sampson said. “The larger purses combined with our horsemen-friendly attitude will make Canterbury Park a very attractive place to race now and in the future.”

Sampson said all purse increases will be paid retroactive to opening day in mid-May.

Quarter Horse stakes purses will increase $72,000 to $232,000 this year.

An open maiden special weight race now goes for $20,000, with $5,500 from the purse supplement. A Minnesota-bred maiden allowance now pays $25,600, with $5,500 from the purse supplement.