After submitting a revised 52-day race meet schedule beginning June 10 for approval to the Minnesota Racing Commission last week, Canterbury Park officials announced an estimated $10 million purse structure and stakes schedule May 22.
Daily purse distribution will average nearly $200,000 per race day and the stakes schedule has been reduced to a total distribution of approximately $2.3 million, with several stakes eliminated and others taking purse cuts.
The adjustments are a result of a shortened meet and anticipated loss in purse revenues generated by Canterbury Park's operations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The revised overnight purse and stakes schedules are contingent on finalizing an amendment to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Cooperative Marketing Agreement in place since 2012 and an agreement with the horsemen.
The $100,000 Mystic Lake Derby, $75,000 Mystic Lake Mile, and $75,000 Lady Canterbury will all be contested July 15 as a part of a five-stake race program. The Mystic Lake Derby, formerly the Shakopee, Minn., track's richest race, had been run with a purse of $200,000 the past seven seasons, while the Mystic Lake Mile and Lady Canterbury traditionally offer $100,000 purses.
Made in Minnesota Day will be held Aug. 19 and includes the Minnesota Derby and Minnesota Oaks, each offering unchanged $100,000 purses. The 27th Minnesota Festival of Champions worth more than $800,000 in total purse money will be held on Labor Day, Sept. 7. Purses for Festival Day remain unchanged.
None of the 16 previously scheduled Thoroughbred stakes races restricted to horses bred in the state were dropped from the schedule. The Quarter Horse stakes program remains largely unaltered with the July 7 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity expected to offer the largest purse of the season as a result of nominating and sustaining fee payments.
The originally approved race meet was to run for 65 days from May 15 through Sept. 12 with average purses of $225,000. The revised 2020 season, expected to be approved at a June 8 MRC meeting, will conclude Sept. 16. Racing will be conducted Monday through Thursday.
On March 16, Canterbury Park officials, based on the advice of state and regulatory bodies, temporarily suspended all card casino, simulcast, and special events operations in response to concerns about COVID-19. Company officials deemed this suspension of activities was in the best interest of the health and safety of its guests and team members. On May 8, the horse stabling area was opened for training. Simulcast and casino operations remain suspended but company officials are planning for a mid-June re-opening.