Canterbury Still on Hold Pending Budget Deal

Minnesota racetracks are awaiting a vote on a new state budget.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican leaders in the Minnesota legislature are working toward a budget deal, but until it’s finalized a government shutdown will continue and two racetracks in the state will remain closed.

Canterbury Park and Running Aces Harness Park have been closed during the shutdown. Ramsey County Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin has rejected appeals by the tracks, which said they pay all regulatory costs and should be able to operate under the Minnesota Racing Commission.

Officials at Canterbury, which continues to take entries for racing programs and cancels them if necessary, said operations, including the track’s card club, will remain suspended until a special legislative session is called and a budget is passed.

“Depending on the progress of Capitol negotiations, Canterbury Park will consider additional legal action,” the track said in a statement.

Local legislators July 13 held a press conference at Canterbury that attracted more than 1,000 people, including patrons, horsemen, and employees.