Nominations closed Friday for five stakes races that will be run at Canterbury Park Saturday, June 23, the richest night of racing at the Shakopee, Minn., racetrack.
The five stakes making up the Mystic Lake Northern Stars Racing Festival will pay a total of $500,000 in purse money with the seventh running of the Mystic Lake Derby offering $200,000 alone.
Thirty-five 3-year-olds were nominated to the Mystic Lake Derby, a one-mile turf race. Nominations include Ezmosh, trained by Brad Cox, winner of the Grade 3 Arlington Classic Stakes on May 26 and Minnesota-bred Mr. Jagermeister, who would be attempting a route of ground and turf for the first time should trainer Valorie Lund opt to run. Graded stakes winner The Tabulator, trained by Larry Rivelli, is also nominated.
The $100,000 Lady Canterbury, at one mile on the turf for fillies and mares being run for the 26th time, and the $100,000 Mystic Lake Mile, also on turf, drew 39 and 48 nominations respectively. Notable on the Mile nomination list is Slim Shadey, winner of $1.2 million in purses. He was recently claimed by trainer Mike Maker who is well represented in all but the Dark Star Cup, having nominated a total of 13 horses.
“I am pleased with the number and quality of nominations to all five of the stakes,” Director of Racing Andrew Offerman said. “There is interest from all parts of the country as well as a very strong local contingent. The early summer Northern Stars Racing Festival creates many opportunities for stables gearing up for action in the coming months.”
The $50,000 Dark Star Cup has 21 nominations and the $50,000 Hoist Her Flag Stakes has 25.
The Mystic Lake Derby was first run in 2012 following the signing of a cooperative marketing and purse enhancement agreement earlier that summer between Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners and operators of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. The agreement calls for SMSC to contribute more than $70 million to horsemen purses over 10 years and has more than doubled the annual purse payments.
Entries for June 23 will be taken this Wednesday for the 10-race card that will have a special 6:00 p.m. first post.