Horse Skijoring Returns To Canterbury Park Saturday

Horse racing in the snow, with a twist, is back at Canterbury Park this Saturday. A horse, most often a quarter horse, and a rider in a stock saddle, run down the stretch pulling a skier through a demanding course complete with gates and jumps as they compete against the clock and another team to qualify for the finals. More than 200 teams, with competitors from around the country, have registered for Saturday’s event.

The action begins at 1 p.m. Now in its third winter at the Shakopee racetrack, a popular freestyle show is also featured prominently. Skiers and snowboarders, again pulled by a horse, launch off a 15-foot snow ramp across a 20-foot gap performing tricks and flips. Cowgirls, cowboys, punks, speed geeks, and weekend thrill seekers will compete for cash, glory and prizes with a forecast in the 30s and sunshine making the outdoor stadium seating a perfect vantage point to take in the action. Indoor reserved seating is also available. Advance tickets can be purchased online or day-of purchases can be made at the gate for $10 for admission. Kids 12 and younger are admitted free.

Added to the show for 2020 is Winter Wiener Dog Racing. Yes, 18 dachshunds will dash over the snow in trial heats with the top dogs reaching the final and a shot at Winter Wiener Dog Racing immortality.

Translating to “ski driving” in Norwegian, skijoring was first reported in the mountains of Central Asia thousands of years ago. While not an Olympic sport yet, skijoring was a demonstration sport in the 1928 Winter Olympics. It gained popularity in North America in the 1940s, and today is a competitive worldwide sport.

Canterbury Park 2019 Quarter Horse Stakes Schedule

Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity one of seven stakes on Fastest Day in Minnesota Sports, July 7

Canterbury Park’s quarter horse racing stakes schedule was announced today and includes 17 races during the 66-day season that begins May 3. The premier race, the Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, with a purse estimated to reach $150,000, will be run Sunday, July 7. This will be the 32nd rendition of the Northlands Futurity, one of seven stakes that day worth a total of more than $400,000.

Other stakes races on July 7, a rare day at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack when only quarter horse races will be run, include the $75,000 estimated Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby, the $45,000 added Bank Of America Canterbury Park Championship Challenge, the ARC Distaff Challenge, the Distance Challenge, the MQHRA Stallion Auction Futurity, and the Northlands Juvenile for 2-year-olds that did not qualify for the Northlands Futurity. Each of the Challenge races held this day will provide the winners with automatic qualifying berths to the 2019 AQHA Challenge Championships, the industry’s signature championship event, on October 26, 2019 at Albuquerque Downs in New Mexico.

“This is the Fastest Day in Minnesota Sports,” senior director of racing Andrew Offerman said. “Minnesota quarter horse racing has produced some very solid runners in recent years and deserves a showcase like this. We will feature the best and fastest quarter horses on a single day competing for the biggest purses Canterbury Park offers.”

Quarter horses bred in Minnesota will have ample stakes opportunities beginning with the $25,000 North Star State Stakes May 27 and concluding with the Minnesota Futurity and Minnesota Derby, each worth more than $50,000, Sept. 1. The $35,000 Bob Morehouse Stakes will be conducted July 27 and the $35,000 Cash Caravan Aug. 10.

A new state-bred-only stake for 2-year-olds has been added on Aug. 10, the $20,000 Cam Casby Futurity. Casby, a Canterbury Hall of Fame member celebrated for her accomplishments as an owner and breeder of both thoroughbreds and quarter horses and for her vocal support of Minnesota racing, bred and owned multiple stakes winners including four Minnesota Futurity and one Minnesota Derby winners. Casby died in 2014.

Stall applications for the 2019 meet are due March 18 and are available, along with the first condition book, at www.canterburypark.com.

2019 Quarter Horse Stakes Schedule

2019 Quarter Horse Stakes Schedule

2017 Breeders’ Cup: Kind of a Big Deal 

If you’ve never been to the Racebook at Canterbury Park for simulcast horse racing, consider heading out for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup.

There are two main reasons, says Jeff Maday, media relations manager at Canterbury Park.

The biggest purses. The best horses.

“That’s part of the allure,” Maday said. “It brings the best horses from around the world. That was the idea when (the Breeders’ Cup) was founded.”

The 2017 Breeders’ Cup will be held at Del Mar, a historic race track in California, on Nov. 3-4. Formed in 1982 as way to crown the sport’s champion, the event attracts celebrities to its various locales and plenty of media attention. The first championship race in 1984 was a white-knuckle three-way finish.

 

 

Horses come from across the globe for the Breeders’ Cup, which caps off the thoroughbred racing season and often factors heavily in the run for Horse of the Year.

 

Canterbury Park

The action will be shown live in the Racebook at Canterbury Park, where veteran handicappers and novice horseplayers alike can take in the races in comfort.

The Breeders’ Cup often draws a good crowd to Canterbury Park, Maday said. For good reason.

The total prize purse is expected to exceed $26 million.

“The (wagering) pools are huge,” Maday said. “There’s a chance for a life-changing score.”

While the Breeders’ Cup rotates between venues each year, it probably won’t ever make it to Minnesota. It’s held in early November each year, and previous events in Chicago and Toronto were difficult, weather-wise, on the fans, Maday said.

Still, watching in the friendly confines of Canterbury Park’s Racebook isn’t a bad alternative.

“It’s a fun day,” Maday said, “especially if you win.”

Race Days

The Breeders’ Cup is a great time to catch up on horseracing between the end of Canterbury Park’s live racing season and January, which marks the countdown to the Kentucky Derby.

The Clubhouse level will open at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 3, and 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4. The Mezzanine level opens at noon both days. Admission is free.

You can reserve a table now for the Breeders’ Cup, and come out on Friday for Racebook Happy Hour. Food specials will be offered both days.

Need to brush up on your horse-betting skills? Check out our website or grab a program 5_BCGIF_GetHotin the Racebook for the basics.

If you are a more experienced horseplayer, try entering our World Series Satellite Contest. And we also have a more detailed look at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup.

With more than 500 televisions and plenty of seating, our Racebook ensures you won’t miss a second of the action.

Visit the Breeders’ Cup website for more information and updates as the races approach.

Come Play!

-Kris Janisch

Sifting Through the Chalk

Turf Chute“Money, horse racing and women, three things the boys just can’t figure out” – Will Rogers (1879-1935)

The above quote attributed to American entertainer and humorist Will Rogers was uttered in a different era. It was an era where news traveled slowly. There were no computers, no iPhones, and no internet. It was an era before the information explosion.

It was also an era where a pacing racehorse named Dan Patch was the most popular athlete in America, drawing crowds on occasion in excess of 100 thousand people. And despite the fact that pari-mutuel wagering hadn’t yet been introduced in the United States, I’m quite certain that each patron poised to witness another Dan Patch world record knew deep down that the race favorite only emerged victorious approximately one-third of the time. Because that’s the way it has always been.

Or has it?

Fortunately for us, in 2013 we do live in the information age. We can compile large quantities of data and use computer analysis to draw sound statistical conclusions. The larger the sample size, the more likely the conclusions drawn will carry forward. So let’s look at some horse racing data regarding the wagering favorite and see what it shows:

In the last 365 days, there were 36% winning favorites for all thoroughbred races in the United States.

This number has indeed remained relatively consistent over the years, despite the fact that there is more information available now than ever before. The crowd from the Dan Patch era would be laughing (probably at us, not with us).

So how do favorites at Canterbury Park compare to the national average? The chart below shows a breakdown of the local favorites for a 30 day period and a 365 day period.

Win % 30 days         Win% 365 days

All Thoroughbred Races           39%                                  41%

 

Allowance/Stake                         41%                                  44%

Claiming                                     37%                                  39%

Maiden Special Weight             25%                                  31%

Maiden Claiming                        53%                                  52%

 

Colts/Geldings                             33%                                  41%

Fillies/Mares                                46%                                  41%

 

Open Company                             36%                                 38%

Minnesota Bred                            45%                                 49%

 

Fast Track                                      41%                                 44%

Off Track                                        37%                                 38%

Turf                                                  29%                                 34%

 

Sprints                                            35%                                 42%

Routes                                            46%                                  40%

Take a look at the above chart and look for patterns. What types of races are giving the public trouble? Where is the public dialed in? What would Will Rogers say if he saw this chart?

My guess is he would think “the boys” still haven’t got it figured out.

But that’s the challenge of the game.

This blog was written by Canterbury Regular “The Oracle”. The Oracle is a longtime Minnesota race fan that has handicapped Canterbury’s races religiously for more than 20 years. He writes about handicapping and statistical trends in Canterbury’s races.

Photo Credit: Coady Photography

Pick 3 & Pick 4 Takeout Cut to 14%

Canterbury Park is introducing a wagering friendly 14% takeout for its Pick 3 and Pick 4 pools this summer. The reduction in takeout from 23% to 14% make these some of the lowest takeout rates in the country, and in my view players should absolutely be focusing on these wagers over the course of the summer. Canterbury Park will offer rolling Pick 3s and an early and late Pick 4 each day. A Pick 4 carryover will occur if nobody correctly selects all four winners in the sequence. This article will focus on the Pick 4, and offer a few strategies for tackling this popular and challenging wager.

Check out Opening Day Entries by Clicking Here

The Pick 4 involves selecting the winner of four consecutive races. The wager carries a 50-cent minimum bet, which allows for multiple combinations to be played at a reasonable price. The Pick 4 is quite a bit more complex than the Pick 3, mainly because the extra race provides so many more possible outcomes. For example, a Pick 3 sequence of three consecutive eight horse fields would offer a total of 512 possible outcomes (8*8*8=512), whereas a Pick 4 sequence of four consecutive eight horse fields offers a total of 4,096 possible outcomes (8*8*8*8=4,096). It’s not easy to hit but the rewards are potentially great!

Last year, the average Pick 4 pool size at Canterbury Park was approximately $5,000. The new 14% takeout rate will hopefully increase that pool size this summer! A modest investment could possibly return thousands of dollars, something that can’t be achieved with a single win bet. Let’s take a look at a few different approaches to constructing a Pick 4 ticket.

The Caveman: Coined by Steven Crist of the Daily Racing Form, this approach is simplistic in that it involves playing all your contenders from the entire sequence on one ticket. If you like 4 horses in the first leg, 2 horses in the second leg, 4 horses in the third leg, and 2 horses in the final leg, you would simply put them all on the same ticket and the cost would be $32 dollars (4*2*4*2=64 combinations * 50-cents = $32 dollars). The advantage to this strategy is that if one of your contenders wins all four races you will definitely win the bet. The disadvantage to this strategy is that you are playing each horse equally in the sequence, without any preference for your stronger plays. Here are a few additional methods of play worth considering:

The Solid Single: In the above example, let’s assume the two races where we used 2 horses included a favorite and a longshot. We could use each favorite as a “single” and play two tickets as follows: (4*1*4*2 and 4*2*4*1). The total cost is still $32 but we have the opportunity to win the wager twice if both singled favorites happen to win, and we can still do as well as we would have done with the “Caveman” approach if one of the two singles wins. We are only vulnerable if both longshots win, which is not a pleasant scenario to contemplate!

The Longshot Single: If you want to swing for the home run, singling longshots in Pick 3’s and Pick 4’s is certainly a good way to go. Longshots, or “separators” as they are also called, really drive these wagers into big overlay territory. Putting $20 to win on a 10-1 shot is great when the horse wins and you collect $200, but singling that same 10-1 winner in the Pick 4 could result in a pool sweeper or a potential 4-figure score. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s something to consider when looking at options for your wagering dollar.

One last thing, the Pick 4 generally results in a payoff greater than the win parlay for the sequence. It’s another thing that makes the wager attractive. Here’s a real life example from a recent Pick 4 sequence.

The win payoffs were $6.60, $6.20, $6.00 and $4.40. This is certainly a hittable sequence with a 6/5 shot and three 2-1 shots. The $2 win parlay would have returned approximately $135 dollars. The $2 Pick 4 in this case returned nearly $350, a huge improvement over what the win parlay paid. Assuming similar pool sizes with Canterbury Park, the lower takeout rates at Canterbury would have pushed this same payoff up near $400!

Play the Pick 3 and Pick 4 wagers at Canterbury Park. Good Luck!

This blog was written by Canterbury Regular “The Oracle”. The Oracle is a longtime Minnesota race fan that has handicapped Canterbury’s races religiously for more than 20 years. He writes about handicapping and statistical trends in Canterbury’s races.

Pick 3 & Pick 4 Takeout Cut to 14%

Canterbury Park is introducing a wagering friendly 14% takeout for its Pick 3 and Pick 4 pools this summer. The reduction in takeout from 23% to 14% make these some of the lowest takeout rates in the country, and in my view players should absolutely be focusing on these wagers over the course of the summer. Canterbury Park will offer rolling Pick 3s and an early and late Pick 4 each day. A Pick 4 carryover will occur if nobody correctly selects all four winners in the sequence. This article will focus on the Pick 4, and offer a few strategies for tackling this popular and challenging wager.

Check out Opening Day Entries by Clicking Here

The Pick 4 involves selecting the winner of four consecutive races. The wager carries a 50-cent minimum bet, which allows for multiple combinations to be played at a reasonable price. The Pick 4 is quite a bit more complex than the Pick 3, mainly because the extra race provides so many more possible outcomes. For example, a Pick 3 sequence of three consecutive eight horse fields would offer a total of 512 possible outcomes (8*8*8=512), whereas a Pick 4 sequence of four consecutive eight horse fields offers a total of 4,096 possible outcomes (8*8*8*8=4,096). It’s not easy to hit but the rewards are potentially great!

Last year, the average Pick 4 pool size at Canterbury Park was approximately $5,000. The new 14% takeout rate will hopefully increase that pool size this summer! A modest investment could possibly return thousands of dollars, something that can’t be achieved with a single win bet. Let’s take a look at a few different approaches to constructing a Pick 4 ticket.

The Caveman: Coined by Steven Crist of the Daily Racing Form, this approach is simplistic in that it involves playing all your contenders from the entire sequence on one ticket. If you like 4 horses in the first leg, 2 horses in the second leg, 4 horses in the third leg, and 2 horses in the final leg, you would simply put them all on the same ticket and the cost would be $32 dollars (4*2*4*2=64 combinations * 50-cents = $32 dollars). The advantage to this strategy is that if one of your contenders wins all four races you will definitely win the bet. The disadvantage to this strategy is that you are playing each horse equally in the sequence, without any preference for your stronger plays. Here are a few additional methods of play worth considering:

The Solid Single: In the above example, let’s assume the two races where we used 2 horses included a favorite and a longshot. We could use each favorite as a “single” and play two tickets as follows: (4*1*4*2 and 4*2*4*1). The total cost is still $32 but we have the opportunity to win the wager twice if both singled favorites happen to win, and we can still do as well as we would have done with the “Caveman” approach if one of the two singles wins. We are only vulnerable if both longshots win, which is not a pleasant scenario to contemplate!

The Longshot Single: If you want to swing for the home run, singling longshots in Pick 3’s and Pick 4’s is certainly a good way to go. Longshots, or “separators” as they are also called, really drive these wagers into big overlay territory. Putting $20 to win on a 10-1 shot is great when the horse wins and you collect $200, but singling that same 10-1 winner in the Pick 4 could result in a pool sweeper or a potential 4-figure score. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s something to consider when looking at options for your wagering dollar.

One last thing, the Pick 4 generally results in a payoff greater than the win parlay for the sequence. It’s another thing that makes the wager attractive. Here’s a real life example from a recent Pick 4 sequence.

The win payoffs were $6.60, $6.20, $6.00 and $4.40. This is certainly a hittable sequence with a 6/5 shot and three 2-1 shots. The $2 win parlay would have returned approximately $135 dollars. The $2 Pick 4 in this case returned nearly $350, a huge improvement over what the win parlay paid. Assuming similar pool sizes with Canterbury Park, the lower takeout rates at Canterbury would have pushed this same payoff up near $400!

Play the Pick 3 and Pick 4 wagers at Canterbury Park. Good Luck!

This blog was written by Canterbury Regular “The Oracle”. The Oracle is a longtime Minnesota race fan that has handicapped Canterbury’s races religiously for more than 20 years. He writes about handicapping and statistical trends in Canterbury’s races.

Claiming Crown 2012 to Gulfstream Park

Lexington, Ky. – Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will host the 14th running of the Claiming Crown on the opening day of its 2012-2013 meet, Saturday, December 1, 2012. The 2012 event will see a significant increase in purses to $850,000 for seven races with the individual race purses ranging from $100,000 to $200,000. In addition to the six Claiming Crown races conducted at the 2011 event, the Tiara for fillies and mares on the turf will return this year.

“We’re ecstatic to play host to the 14th running of the Claiming Crown on opening day December 1,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Timothy Ritvo. “Horses competing in the claiming ranks are many of the toughest in the world. They’re game and they build loyal followings within the Thoroughbred community, whether with fans, owners or trainers.

“This is an important event to our chairman, Mr. Frank Stronach, and we’re very excited about kicking off our 2012-2013 season with the Claiming Crown. The management and staff at Gulfstream look forward working with the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.”

“The FHBPA Board of Directors thought that the purses for the Claiming Crown had become quite outdated and stale over its 13-year history, and thus, chose to significantly increase them. The Board felt that if the Claiming Crown were to come to Gulfstream Park, it needed to be the best Claiming Crown ever,” said FHBPA Executive Director Kent Stirling.

“We are proud to join with Gulfstream Park, the National HBPA and TOBA to revitalize this great day for our claiming horses. Claiming horses are the backbone of our industry and deserve to be celebrated on their day with higher purses, and what we expect to be record setting live handle and simulcasting numbers.”

“We are excited and honored that Gulfstream Park has agreed to host the 2012 Claiming Crown,” said TOBA president Dan Metzger, who also serves as chairman of Claiming Crown Limited. “The enthusiasm and purse commitment from both Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA has been extraordinary and we believe that this year’s event promises to be our best yet.”

“The National HBPA is extremely pleased that this year the Claiming Crown will be hosted by Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA. Their commitment to purses and a quality day of racing certainly elevates the Claiming Crown to a new level and will position it among the premier racing days of the year anywhere in the United States,” said Joe Santanna, President and Chairman of the National HBPA, one of the co-partners of the Claiming Crown. “The Gulfstream Park Claiming Crown races provide horsewomen and horsemen across the country with an exceptional opportunity.”

Patterned after the Breeders’ Cup, Claiming Crown was designed to reward Thoroughbred racing’s “blue-collar” horses and will offer races at varying distances on both dirt and turf.

This will mark the first time Gulfstream Park has hosted the event, which debuted at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1999. Canterbury has hosted 10 of the first 13 renewals of the event. The Claiming Crown was held at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 2002, at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky in 2007 and Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2011.

Further details on the event’s race lineup, purse structure, nomination and entry deadline schedule and eligibility dates to be released soon.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The Claiming Crown was created to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup; a special racing event, created for the “average owner,” and featuring some of the most competitive horses in the country. The Claiming Crown has been held annually since 1999. For more information about Claiming Crown please visit www.claimingcrown.com.

TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA’s mission is to “improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders.” Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.

The National HBPA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen. Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, Finish Line Horse Products, Inc. and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.

The above content is an Edited Press Release from TOBA.