Advance betting begins Thursday with Sept. 5 Derby Day capacity limited on track
In a sports world turned upside down this spring by the corona virus pandemic, thoroughbred horse racing continued on but even the Kentucky Derby could not escape postponement and will be run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on Saturday, Sept. 5 instead of the traditional first Saturday in May. Canterbury Park will be open for simulcast wagering, as it is each day, but will be operating under substantially different conditions as capacity is limited to 1,000 on a day that normally could draw a crowd greater than 10,000. Advance wagering on the Kentucky Derby is not new but will play a substantially more important role this year for an event that attracts more betting dollars at Canterbury than any other.
Canterbury Park will begin offering advance wagering on the Kentucky Derby program at noon on Thursday, Sept. 3. Walk-up wagering will be available at Canterbury’s outdoor ticket office leading up to the Derby.
“We want to make wagering as easy as possible for the one day of the year when all sports fans are tuned into horse racing,” Canterbury’s Vice President of Marketing John Groen said. “The experience will be different than in the past as we cannot all gather together to celebrate, but I know the excitement about the Kentucky Derby will still be there. We want fans to experience the excitement of the Derby as safely as possible.”
Advance wagering will be available Thursday from noon until 8:30 p.m. at walk-up windows located outside the ticket office. Walk-up wagering will be available both Friday and Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. through the completion of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday and Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Free parking is available adjacent to the walk-up wagering windows. Guests have up to two years to cash winning tickets in the Canterbury Park Racebook.
Churchill officials announced last weekend that the 146th running of the most popular horse race in the United States would be conducted with no spectators. Canterbury Park is allowed spectators and has been offering live horse racing each Monday through Thursday but Executive Orders issued over the past months reduce the number of guests allowed in the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack’s expansive grandstand. Admission inside the facility on Sept. 5 is by reservation only and tickets must be purchased in advance. A limited number remain at www.canterburypark.com . Advance wagering at walk-up locations does not require ticketing.
“The Kentucky Derby is still the most exciting two minutes in all of sports, but it’s even more fun with a wager on it,” Groen said. “Our walk-up wagering will allow fans to safely place wagers without entering the facility and enjoy all the action from home.”
NBC will televise coverage of the Kentucky Derby and undercard racing from 1:30-6:30 p.m. The 146th running of the Kentucky Oaks will be televised Friday, Sept. 4 on NBCSN from 2-5 p.m. Advance wagering on the Oaks card is also available beginning at noon Thursday.
The traditional order of the Triple Crown races, Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes, was shuffled with the Belmont already completed on June 20 and the Preakness slated for Oct. 3. The field for the Kentucky Derby will be determined Tuesday, Sept. 1 with Tiz the Law, winner of the Florida Derby, Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes, expected to be the morning line favorite.