Minnesota Racing Commission Announces Commission Stewards for Canterbury Park’s 2019 Season

Press release from Minnesota Racing Commission 

SHAKOPEE, Minn. (March 19, 2019) — The Minnesota Racing Commission has appointed David Hooper, David Smith and Stanley Bowker to the Canterbury Park Board of Stewards for its 2019 race meet. The appointments were made at the commission’s February meeting.

Hooper, one of last year’s Pete Pedersen award recipients for dedicated service and special contributions to the horse racing industry, has been involved in horse racing for more than 50 years, with more than 20 years as a regulator. This also will be his fifth meet as chief steward at Canterbury.

Smith has been a part of the racing industry for more than 30 years and has served as a thoroughbred and quarterhorse steward and standardbred judge at 11 tracks around the country. This will be his fifth season at Canterbury.

Bowker, another 2018 Pete Pedersen recipient, returns to Shakopee after serving as Vice-President and General Manager of Canterbury Downs in 1984. Bowker has spent 51 years in the horse racing industry and is currently chief steward at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

“The Minnesota Racing Commission is proud to have a board of stewards who have demonstrated professional excellence, integrity and benevolent consideration in the performance of their duties, both here in Minnesota and across the country,” said Tom DiPasquale, Minnesota Racing Commission Executive Director. “Their knowledge and experience will continue our dedication to the integrity of the racing program here in Minnesota.”

The 2019 race meet at Canterbury Park begins May 3.

The Minnesota Racing Commission was established to regulate horse racing and card playing in Minnesota; to ensure that it is conducted in the public interest, and to take all necessary steps in ensuring the integrity of racing and card playing in Minnesota thus promoting the breeding of race horses in order to stimulate agriculture and rural agribusiness. More information can be found at www.mrc.state.mn.us.

 

Horsemen, Join Us for Our 2019 Live Racing Season

Canterbury Park is enthusiastically planning for the 2019 live racing season, our 25th under current management.

Looking to build on a fantastic 2018 season that saw record purses and handle, our 2019 meet begins May 3. And we have several exciting announcements about this summer and the 66 race days on tap.

Track Improvements Fall 2018 4Track Improvements

Following motorcycle racing in September 2018, Canterbury Park took advantage of the exposed surface to complete extensive track improvements, which included resetting the limestone base to the original elevations as constructed in 1985.

You can catch up on the renovation project in this photo journal of the efforts.

Condition Book and Stall Application

The 2019 stall application and condition book are now available online. Get the details you need to plan for our upcoming meet. Stall applications are due Monday, March 18.

Starter Incentives

Canterbury Park officials recently announced enhanced incentives — including a $500 per-start minimum during our first condition book (May 3 to June 2) — to lure trainers and owners with race-ready thoroughbreds by offering programs that:

DISCO WAGON - Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby - 07-08-18 - R04 - CBY - Stretch• Reward those that arrive and start horses early in the meet.

• Pay more purse money to all starters: $250 per race minimum for thoroughbreds and a $125 per race minimum for quarter horses.

• Help with costs of shipping through a loan program for qualified applicants.

Find more details about starter incentive programs on our blog.

Stakes Schedules

Stakes schedules for both our thoroughbred and quarter horse meet have been released.

Best Moments of 2018 Canterbury ParkThe 2019 thoroughbred stakes schedule features 31 races worth $2.235 million, including the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, which highlights the Northern Stars Racing Festival on June 22. Last year, the inaugural event produced a Canterbury Park wagering record of $2.068 million.

• More on the thoroughbred stakes schedule

Meanwhile, our quarter horse schedule features 17 stakes races, including the premier race, the Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, with a purse estimated to reach $150,000, set for July 7.

• More on the quarter horse stakes schedule

New Staff

Matt CrawfordCanterbury Park’s 2019 live race meet will welcome two new racing officials.

This winter, Matt Crawford was hired as director of racing and racing secretary. He brings a wealth of experience in the industry to Canterbury Park, most recently at Zia Park in New Mexico and at Sam Houston Race Park in Texas. Previously, Crawford worked as a thoroughbred and quarter horse trainer.

Johnnie JamisonAlso, Johnnie Jamison has been hired as track superintendent. He, too, brings years of experience to the table. In addition to his work in track maintenance, Jamison has held positions in other parts of the industry, including starter and racing office management, and he was also a trainer.

Looking Ahead to the 2019 Meet

With all the preparation going into the 2019 meet, Canterbury Park officials are excited about the summer ahead.

Track President Randy Sampson with trainer Mac Robertson
Track President Randy Sampson with trainer Mac Robertson

“I am very excited about 2019 as we celebrate our 25th racing season and the successes we have had as a company,” Track President Randy Sampson said. “This is quite an accomplishment. We started in 1994 with simulcast racing, a few special events, and with many wondering how we could make horse racing work in Minnesota when others before us had failed. In 1995 live racing returned and we bolstered the events schedule. Twenty-five years later we have a card casino, a flourishing events and catering business, and racing continues to thrive.”

Meanwhile, Senior Director of Racing Andrew Offerman is looking forward to the meet as a whole, as well as the excitement of the major stakes races.

“We have consistently improved the quality of racing here at Canterbury Park, and we look to build on that momentum in 2019,” he said. “We’re thankful for the horsemen and all they do to enhance the live racing experience at our track.”

 

Morning Line for Canterbury Park’s 2019 Handicapper of the Year

As The Oracle (Bruce Meyer) turned in another stellar performance to become 2018 Handicapper of the Year at Canterbury Park, eyes are turning toward 2019 and who could claim the coveted title. With five HOY belts already, Meyer is the early favorite.

“It’s a competitive field every year,” said Jeff Maday, handicapping contest coordinator for Canterbury Park. “But it will be interesting to see who gets hot, or stays hot, to win our contests and earn those HOY points throughout 2019.”

List of Current Handicapping Contests

There are contests offered weekly so keep an eye on the Racing Promotions webpage for upcoming events.

Oddsmakers in the Racebook at Canterbury Park have produced  a “Morning Line” for 2019 Canterbury Park Handicapper of the Year. Many of the names will be familiar to those who compete in the regular contests.

2019 HOY Morning Line

• Bruce Meyer – 3-1

Reigning HOY champion.

• Mike Ferrozzo – 7-2

Former HOY champion with a national tournament reputation. Vows to focus on HOY in 2019.

• Terry Severson – 10-1

A threat in any handicapping contest entered.

• Ron White – 10-1

Best contest player never to win the HOY.

• Andrew Zabowski – 15-1

2018 was first year playing contests. He focused on HOY in second half of year and finished second.

• Hassan Entry – 15-1

Sleeper pick but strong competitor. Ray won the title in 2013.

• Pamela Kight – 20-1

Consistent player who flies under the radar.

• Dave Handeland – 50-1

Speed and fade in 2018.

• Field – 6-1

Looking Ahead

The 2018 Handicapper of the Year title came down to the final weekend, but Meyer already has a leg up on the 2019 competition, having secured a HOY point after winning the first Horse Player World Series Super Satellite contest.

There are plenty of opportunities for horseplayers to earn points toward the $2,000 HOY prize, including the upcoming $25,000 Road to Kentucky contest. The annual free-to-enter contest will this season reward one player with entry to the $3 million National Horseplayers Championship in 2020.

“The Oracle is a tough customer. He’s the favorite for the 2019 Handicapper of the Year award,” Maday said. “Still, it’s anybody’s game. In 2018 it came down to the final contest with several players in the mix. We’ll have to see how things unfold in the months ahead.”

Canterbury Park 2019 Racing Dates Approved By MRC

25th season includes 66-day meet, May 3 through Sept. 14

Canterbury Park’s 2019 thoroughbred and quarter horse race meet, as approved Thursday by the Minnesota Racing Commission, will include 66 race dates, commencing May 3, the Friday before Kentucky Derby, and running  through Sept. 14.

The upcoming meet will be the Shakopee, Minn., racetrack’s 25th season of live racing since reopening as Canterbury Park.

The facility originally opened in 1985 as Canterbury Downs but closed shortly after the 1992 season concluded. Current President and CEO Randy Sampson, his father Curtis Sampson, and businessman Dale Schenian purchased the track and surrounding property in 1994 and re-opened for simulcast racing in May of that year. Months later Canterbury Park became one of the few publicly held racetracks in the country.  Live racing returned in the summer of 1995.

On Thursdays and Fridays in 2019, racing will begin at 6 p.m., 30 minutes earlier than previous race meets, and weekend and holiday racing will begin at 12:45 p.m. On July 3 and 4 racing will begin at 4 p.m. There will be three Saturday evening programs, June 22, Aug. 10 and 24, with a 5 p.m. start time. A one-week break in the racing season will allow Canterbury to host Twin Cities Summer Jam, July 18-20. The three-day music festival will be held in the track infield.

Best Moments of 2018 Canterbury Park“I am very excited about 2019 as we celebrate our 25th racing season and the successes we have had as a company,” Randy Sampson said. “This is quite an accomplishment. We started in 1994 with simulcast racing, a few special events, and with many wondering how we could make horse racing work in Minnesota when others before us had failed. In 1995 live racing returned and we embellished the events schedule. Twenty-five years later we have a card casino, a flourishing events and catering business, and racing continues to thrive.”

The company recently broke ground on Canterbury Commons, a multi-use redevelopment expected to attract more than $400 million in private investment while creating new and in-demand housing options and high-wage employment opportunities, as well as additional dining and entertainment venues.

“Credit can be given to the dedication of many long-time employees as well as the horse owners, breeders, and trainers that have supported racing in Minnesota,” Sampson said. “And, of course, none of this is possible without the support of the great racing fans at Canterbury Park.”

Total purses are anticipated to exceed $14.25 million in 2019, at approximately $215,000 per day, similar to 2018. A 2012 cooperative marketing and purse enhancement agreement reached with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners and operators of nearby Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, will supplement purses by $7.28 million. The agreement extends through 2022 with more than $83 million going toward purse supplements and joint marketing of the two properties and the region known as RiverSouth-Land of Big Fun.

The 2019 stakes schedule will be released in January. Racing officials recently hired industry veteran Johnnie Jamison as track superintendent. A racing secretary is expected to be announced before the New Year. The promotional calendar, which includes several popular events such as Corgis & Cupcakes and Extreme Race Day, will be revealed in March.

2019 Live Racing Calendar

Canterbury Park Requests 66 Race Days In 2019

Canterbury Park officials have submitted to the Minnesota Racing Commission a request for a 66-day schedule in 2019 that would begin May 3, the day prior to the Kentucky Derby, and conclude Sept. 14. Canterbury Park, located in Shakopee, Minn., is Minnesota’s only thoroughbred and quarter horse racetrack. The MRC is expected to act on the request next month.

“We are well into the planning stages for the 2019 racing season, encouraged by the continued advances we have made in racing quality and by the well-received investments we have made in the guest experience at Canterbury Park,” Director of Racing Andrew Offerman said.

Buy Your 2019 Season Pass

In the recently concluded season, 69 days of racing were conducted resulting in record handle, the total dollars wagered throughout the race meet. Purses paid to horsemen also soared to record levels. A 2012 cooperative marketing and purse enhancement agreement reached with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners and operators of nearby Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, will again supplement purses in 2019. The agreement extends through 2022 with more than $83 million going toward purse supplements and joint marketing of the two properties and the region known as RiverSouth-Land of Big Fun.

“Canterbury Park’s presence in the pari-mutuel market as a quality summer racing product continued to be reflected in handle numbers as 2018 handle was a record $48.1 million, up more than 10 percent from 2017,” Offerman said. “That is more than double the handle number of $24 million posted in 2010, the last full meet prior to our purse enhancement agreement with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. I expect that we will see strong numbers again in the coming year as more horse owners and horse players are drawn to racing at Canterbury Park.”

Purses are anticipated to exceed $14.25 million in 2019, at approximately $215,000 per day, for the third time in track history.

“We recently concluded a significant renovation project on the main track’s racing surface, bringing it to its original 1985 specifications,” Offerman said. “We are also continuing with improvements to the facility, both inside and out, that will prove popular with race fans. A redesign of the Canterbury Card Casino is underway, making it more inviting to the racing public as it opens into the grandstand bringing with it enhanced and expanded food and beverage options that can be enjoyed by all guests.”

There is a proposed one-week break in the racing season when Canterbury hosts Twin Cities Summer Jam July 18 – 20. The three-day music festival will be held in the track infield. Festival officials announced earlier this year that country music star Tim McGraw will headline July 20.