The $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, the richest race of Canterbury Park’s 2015 season, will be run Saturday, Aug. 29. The one-mile turf race for 3-year-old thoroughbreds had originally been scheduled for Aug. 23 but Canterbury officials made the decision to change the date, allowing for the Mystic Lake Derby to be run on the same day as the Midwest Indian Horse Relay Championship as well as placing the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack’s premier horse race on a day that will be nationally prominent for fans of the sport.
“Running the Mystic Lake Derby August 29 allows us to combine the race with Indian Horse Relay and continue an event that was very popular last year,” Canterbury Park president Randy Sampson said. “That Saturday is also a prominent day nationally on the racing scene with several big races, including the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Re-positioning the Mystic Lake Derby to the same day will just add to the national excitement for horseplayers.”
Indian Horse Relay, a daring display of bareback riding, is America’s oldest sport dating back more than 400 years when horses became an integral part of the cultures of Indian nations of the Great Plains. The competing relay teams, many of the best in the sport, represent various American Indian nations. Relay races will be run on the racetrack Aug. 27 and 28 with the championship held Aug. 29.
“This is a great event for race fans and those seeking an exciting entertainment option. We’re proud to have developed this new tradition in partnership with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community to draw additional people to the area and expose them to this amazing heritage sport,” Sampson said.
In 2012, Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners and operators of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, entered into a cooperative marketing and purse enhancement agreement that increases horsemen purses by $75 million over 10 years and also provides funding for co-branded promotions between Canterbury and Mystic Lake.
This will be the fourth running of the Mystic Lake Derby. The 2014 winner, Long on Value, has since won graded stakes in California and Florida.