Test Your Handicapping Skills in Upcoming Contests

The final installment of the 2019 Countdown To The Cup Handicapping Contest is Saturday, Oct. 19. The free-to-enter contest awards Breeders’ Cup betting bankroll prizes to the players with the five top scores.  The contest track will be Keeneland with a noon entry deadline. There are very minimal betting requirements to obtain the full prize payout, but you have to be at the Canterbury Park Racebook to enter and when here you bet. Simple.

Select a horse in each Keeneland race and receive points based on pari-mutuel payouts. Best scores win.

There also is one final super satellite session, Oct. 17 – 19, to win an entry to the Hawthorne Handicapping Challenge Satellite Contest on Oct. 26. The super satellites cost $10 daily to enter and each day there are three contest tracks to choose from. Entrants can up to three times per week. Score based on pari-mutuel payouts in each of the eight contest races. The top individual-day scores, and one player for each five entries wins, advance to the Oct. 26 Satellite.

On Oct. 26 entrants can also buy-in for $50. The Oct. 26 first place winner receives $800 in entry fees (live banrolls) to the Hawthorne Fall NHC Qualifier on November 29-30 at Hawthorne Racecourse in Chicago, plus a $50 NHC Tour registration fee and $500 for travel.

Hawthorne will award a total of eight National Horseplayer Championship entries in two live-bankroll betting contests held Nov. 29 & 30. Plus the winner of each day receives the One Million Dollar NHC Bonus.

In the Oct. 26 contest at Canterbury, players will select one horse in eight contest races (choosing from races at Keeneland and the first six races at Hawthorne) and will earn points based on the mutuel payoff of each selection based on a mythical $20 across-the-board wager. Points are capped as follows: $600 win; $400; place; $200 show.

One player for each 27 entries in the satellite will win an entry to the Hawthorne Fall NHC Qualifier.

There is always a contest going on in the Racebook. On Oct. 24, super satellites awarding entry to the Horse Player Worlds Series Freeze Out Satellite on Dec. 28 begin.  Supers are offered each Thursday through Saturday. Entry fee is $10. Scoring is based on across-the-board payouts on selections in eight contest races.  One player for each 10 entrants receives a $100 entry to the Dec. 28 event that will send players to Las Vegas for the HPWS at The Orleans Hotel and Casino.

Olmstead Loaded For Closing Night at Prairie Meadows

Saturday marks the final day of the season racing for quarter horses at Prairie Meadows and the first day of the Turf Paradise meeting, which runs predominantly thoroughbreds. Both will offer Canterbury familiarity for those that played the Shakopee meet this spring and summer.

Prairie Meadows begins at 4 p.m. Saturday and will run 11 races including eight stakes. Canterbury’s five-time leading quarter horse trainer Jason Olmstead ,with 28 victories, leads the Iowa meet by 10 wins over Alex Wessels with racing tonight and Saturday.

Olmstead, who finished second in the standings the past five seasons, is seeking his first Prairie Meadows title.

“I’ve always been chasing Stacy [Charette-Hill] and just never could get in front,” Olmstead said.

He signaled the strength of his stable by winning three races on their opening day, Aug. 17.

Jason Olmstead

Southard Queen, Five Bar Bodee who previously won Canterbury’s richest QH race the $156,200 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, and Eagle Deluxe, victorious in the Keokuk Stakes that day, all won.

“Even when his horses aren’t winning, they’re competitive,” Prairie Meadows racing analyst John Hernandez said. “Case in point: Sunday October 6, Olmstead had seven starters, with six seconds and one third.”

Olmstead has started more horses and earned more purses than any trainer at the meet. On Saturday, Olmstead will saddle 15 horses, one in the opener and 14 over six stakes races.

“They’re all sitting on go,” the trainer said.

Olmstead teamed up in Altoona with jockey Justin Shepherd, better known for his thoroughbred prowess – he has 1,098 career thoroughbred wins and multiple graded stake victories. Together they have won 15 times. Berkley Packer also has ridden several trials and stakes for Olmstead, winning 10 races.

“[Shepherd] was doing well and winning races before I really had anyone running,” Olmstead said. “He’s having fun with it, riding good horses. He can ride with any of them.”

Owned by Tom Maher, Apollitical Mogul, was the fastest qualifier for Saturday’s $129,794 Altoona Derby.

Apollitical Mogul

“She’s running as solid as you can ask a horse to run,” Olmstead said. The filly has finished on the board, winning six times, in nine of 10 starts in 2019.

He has three runners in this 400 yard race. Packer qualified aboard both Apollitical Mogul and Minnesota-bred Jess Doin Time, and chose to ride the former Saturday.

“Apollitical Mogul has looked strong winning three straight here, one over a muddy track, and weather could be a factor this weekend,” Hernandez said.

Jess Doin Time, had trouble in her qualifying effort. “She stumbled, but got lined out and still managed to qualify,” Olmstead said.  Shepherd has the call on the Minnesota Quarter Horse Derby winner.

The Grade 3 Valley Junction Futurity closes out the night and Olmstead should have something to say about the results as he qualified four to the richest race.

“All of his horses in the $219,894 Valley Junction Futurity have run well here this season,” said Hernandez, who has been selecting winners at a high rate.  “Five Bar Bodee might have won his trial, but there was a short delay after all the runners were loaded and Southern Sunshine beat him out of the gate.” Southern Sunshine, trained by Charette-Hill, ran the fastest time of the 10 qualified. Her go-to pilot Jorge Torres is aboard.

“Bodee is doing well,” Olmstead said of the 2-year-old gelding that has won three of six starts with two seconds and $108,218 in purse earnings. “He might get outrun Saturday but he’ll leave there and give it all he has.”

Turf Paradise Has Much To Offer

Turf Paradise, in Phoenix, kicks off its 64th season with an eight-race program beginning at 2:55 p.m. Many Shakopee regulars winter there including perennial Turf Paradise leading trainer

Robertino Diodoro

Robertino Diodoro. He has earned the title the past six seasons and is odd-on to add another.

David Van Winkle, Jose Silva Jr., Shawn Davis, Valorie Lund, and Matt Williams will also be well represented. Jockeys include last season’s leading rider Francisco Arrieta, Chad Lindsay, Denny Velazquez, and Patrick Canchari. Canterbury Hall of Fame rider Scott Stevens calls Turf Paradise home as well. He has won the riding title in Phoenix three of the past five meets and eight times total.

The meet will run 138 days through May 3 of 2020, with a Saturday through Wednesday schedule. Offering both dirt and turf racing, Turf Paradise makes for a good early week addition to the simulcast schedule.

“We’ve got a lot of horses here,” racing secretary Robbie Junk said. “We will have a very competitive meet.” Junk expects to attract nearly 200 trainers and 1,600 horses to the stable area.

Wagering on all the action is available in the Canterbury Park Racebook.

Holiday Racing Monday / Keeneland Continues Wednesday

The Monday, Oct. 9, simulcast schedule, bolstered for the holiday, includes racing from Belmont Park as well as Santa Anita.  The thoroughbred schedule is below.

Keeneland’s Fall Meet began Friday and continues Wednesday with an eight-race card beginning at 12:05. The feature of the day is the $150,000 G3 Jessamine Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16th miles on the turf. This ‘Win and You’re In’ stake race will certainly propel horses to the Breeders’ Cup.

Local owners Barry and Joni Butzow of Eden Prairie entered a filly to the Jessamine but will need a defection to get in the starting gate as the field is limited to 14 and She’s All Skeet is the 15th filly and first on the Also-Eligible list. The daughter of Trappe Shot won a $126,000 maiden race at Kentucky Downs Sept. 14 in her second career start at odds of 19 to 1.





11:55 AM Belmont Park

11:55 AM Parx

12:00 PM Woodbine

12:10 PM Finger Lakes

12:10 PM Laurel Park

12:15 PM Delaware Park

12:15 PM Gulfstream West

12:40 PM Thistledown

1:10 PM Zia Park

2:00 PM Portland Meadows

2:30 PM Santa Anita

6:00 PM Mountaineer

7:00 PM Australian Racing B

8:00 PM Australian Racing A

8:01 PM Australian Racing C

Keeneland Fall Meet begins Friday

Keeneland begins its 17-day fall race meet this Friday, Oct. 6. The three-day opening weekend features nine stakes races with $3.75 million in purses and Breeders’ Cup implications galore. The Canterbury Racebook will carry all the action. Here are the first nine stakes of the meet:


$400,000 G1 Alcibiades – BC Juvenile Fillies prep

$250,000 G2 Phoenix –   BC Sprint prep


$1 million G1 Shadwell Turf Mile –  prep for BC Mile

$500,000 G1 Breeders’ Futurity-  likely spot for The Tabulator to run. He beat Canterbury’s Mr. Jagermeister in Iowa and then won the G3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs. Key BC Juvenile prep.

$400,000 G1 First Lady

$250,000 G2 Thoroughbred Club of America – BC Filly and Mare Sprint prep race.

$200,000 G2 Woodford


$500,000 G1 Spinster

$250,000 G3 Bourbon – turf race that readies 2-year-olds for the BC Juvenile Turf

The Keeneland website offers a lot of information.

To get a sense of the history of this track browse the extensive Media Guide.

Canterbury Quarter Horses Running Well at Prairie Meadows.

The Altoona racetrack conducted several trials Friday and Saturday and many horses that raced in Shakopee over the summer showed up.

A Jordon Reed, winner of the Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, was the fastest qualifier for the Valley Junction Futurity. The 2-year-old is trained by Ed Ross Hardy. Cr Game Changer, trained by Jason Olmstead, ran the fastest 400 yard time in the Polk County Derby trials. La Mos PYC, a three-time winner at Canterbury trained by Bill Harris, qualified for the Altoona Derby by winning ta trial and recording the second fastest time. Cr Lota Girl ran twice here and was the fastest qualifier in Friday’s trials for the Jim Bader Futurity. The finals, along with the BOA Challenge Championships, will be run the evening of Saturday, Oct. 14.


Thanksgiving Action at Canterbury Park

There is plenty going on at Canterbury Park  this long holiday weekend. The Racebook and Card Casino are open on Thanksgiving Day.

Then comes the annual Black Friday Giveaway in the Racebook & Card Casino

Why wake up before dawn to stand in the cold and battle the mall crowds when you can get the hottest items of the season in the warmth and comfort of the Canterbury Park.  Don’t buy it…Win it!




 Prize List

50″ Flat Screen Smart TV
Amazon Kindle Fire
Amazon Echo Dots
Pebble Classic Smart Watch
Amazon Fire TV
Swing Caddie Portable Golf Launch Monitor
Apple Watch
Apple iPads
ASUS Chromebook Flip
Beats by Dre Headphones Solo
Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Headphones
Fitbit Blaze
Keurig K45 Elite Brewer
Samsung Gear VR Headset
IRobot Roomba Robotic Vacuum
Apple TV
Best Buy Gift Cards
Target Gift Cards
Home Depot Gift Cards
Mystic Resort Cards
Turtles Gift Cards
Cash & Betting Vouchers

 *Some Giveaway Items are only available in the Racebook or in the Card Casino. 

 Prizes subject to change


To Enter the Black Friday Giveaway…

Racebook: Players can swipes their MVP Card at our free-to-enter kiosk located in the 3rd Floor Racebook.

Card Casino: Simply be logged into any Table Game or live Poker Game and you are entered to win or swipe your card at the free-to-enter MVP Rewards Kiosk located in the Card Casino.

Names will be drawn from each location every 30 minutes from 12:00pm to 5:30pm!


Players have 2 minutes to claim prize. Players ARE eligible to win more than once throughout the day. However, players may NOT win more than once in any given drawing time period. If prize is unclaimed after 2 minutes, that prize will go into the Unclaimed prizes drawing at 6:00 PM. Number of winners will be based off of number of unclaimed prizes left.


It’s not too early to start thinking Kentucky Derby. Wagering on Pool 1 of the Future Wager begins Thursday at 11a.m. and runs through 5 p.m. Sunday.  For more information on the wager and which horses are offered look HERE. Over that same time period wagering on the Derby-winning Sire is also available. Find the details and some potentially helpful facts HERE.

A Kentucky Derby Future Wager makes a great stocking stuffer !!

In The Money Contest

Black Friday In The Money features eight races at Del Mar.  $10 entry fee gives you a shot at $200 prize.  Here are the details.

Also Thursday through Saturday is the weekly Horse Player World Series Super Satellite Contest.  A $10 entry fee combined with a good score is the first step to a trip to Vegas this winter.

Tampa Bay Downs begins Saturday

A sure sign of winter is the opening of Tampa Bay Downs and the dulcet tones of race caller Richard Grunder. Look for Canterbury runners to show up there all winter. Trainers Bernell Rhone and Red Rarick along with jockey Dean Butler are in the mix Saturday when racing begins at 11:10 a.m.