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.
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.
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:
• 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.
Stakes schedules for both our thoroughbred and quarter horse meet have been released.
The 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.
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.
Canterbury 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.
Also, 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.
“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.”