'Comeback Kid' Canterbury Draws Lots of Interest

Canterbury Park, the Minnesota racetrack that hit rock-bottom in the early 1990s, could have its best meet since its "second coming." Officials report heightened interest in the Shakopee track's racing program, which this year will offer $120,000 per day in purses.

The meet begins May 18. The first horses, trained by Tony Rengstorf, arrived Wednesday in the stable area.

The Sampson family purchased Canterbury in 1994 and reopened it. Since that time, the track has made gains each year. Last year, a card club, revenue from which goes toward purses, opened on the first floor of the clubhouse.

For the first time in history, the stable are will be filled to capacity. "We're seeing an unprecedented interest in running at Canterbury this year," said director of racing Nat Wess. "Whereas last year we received 1,400 applications for 1,600 stalls, we have now received over 2,200 applications."

Training will commence Saturday. The highlight of the meet will be the third Claiming Crown, which is scheduled for Aug. 4.