When last Sunday’s race program was complete, a total of 322 races had been run over the first 35 days of the meet. Thirty days remain when racing resumes Wednesday, July 27. The short break allows for the three-day Twin Cities Summer Jam music festival to be held in the racetrack infield tonight through Saturday. The break also allows for many of the racehorses to refresh and prepare for the rest of the season.
On Sunday, entries will be taken for both July 27 and July 28. The program on July 27 will include trials for the Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity and the Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby.
Total handle, the amount of dollars wagered, increased by 10 percent compared to the first 35 days of the 2021 season with on track handle jumping 23 percent. That on track handle is down just 3.7 percent compared to the last pre-pandemic season of 2019 is a strong indication that fans and dollars are returning to the races.
Out-of-state handle skyrocketed during the pandemic showing an increase of 248 percent compared to 2019 and continues to increase year-over-year with a 9 percent increase compared to the same time period last season.
Harry Hernandez leads all jockeys in wins and purses earned with 41 victories and $891,608 in earnings. Luis Fuentes is a one win behind with 34 fewer mounts than Hernandez. Twenty-three of Fuentes’ wins have been for leading trainer Joel Berndt. He has ridden 54 favorites with 28, or 52 percent, prevailing.
Berndt has 36 wins, two more than Hall of Famer Mac Robertson, and is winning at a 34 percent rate, the best of the top 15 trainers. Robertson however has won a lot of the right races and is the top earner with $880,806 in purses.
The leading owner title is all but official as Lothenbach Stables, Inc. (Bob Lothenbach) has 33 wins from 81 starts, 24 more victories than second-place Winchester Place Thoroughbreds. Lothenbach’s purse earnings of $769,166 is more than the next three owners combined.
The largest $2 win payout was $94.20 on July 14 when All Sing Baby was victorious. The Pick Five payout on July 16 was the largest thus far. A carryover of $85,000 into the card generated another $641k in handle resulting in a return of $15,121.20 for 50 cents.