Canterbury Park Live Racing Season Concludes Friday and Saturday

Purses and handle reach record numbers

Canterbury Park’s 2018 live racing season concludes with 13 races Friday and 14 on Saturday. In all, 318 horses have been entered for the final two days where more than $660,000 in purses will be awarded, bringing total purse disbursement during the 70-day season to record heights of more than $15.2 million, an average of approximately $220,000 per day.

Total handle, the amount of money bet on each live program, will also reach a new high. Through last Saturday, nearly $45 million, including on and off track dollars, has been wagered on Canterbury’s races, a jump of 9.4 percent compared to last season.

“We have had a very good summer of racing with solid attendance and wagering,” Canterbury President Randy Sampson said. “The month of May was difficult due to weather but we quickly hit our stride and made great gains in June, July, August, and September. We will conclude the meet with an exceptional two days of racing.”

Increases in purse payments is a direct result of a 2012 cooperative purse enhancement and marketing agreement between Canterbury and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community which owns and operates Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, located just three miles south of the racetrack. The agreement, which calls for $75 million to be added to purses over 10 years, immediately drew the attention of racehorse owners and bolstered the state breeding program.

The increase in the quality of racing at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack produced a rise in handle as more horseplayers took notice locally and nationally. Total handle has more than doubled since 2010, the last full racing season prior to the SMSC agreement, with revenues from the increased wagering also helping to grow purses.

“Our partnership with SMSC has been tremendous for the racing industry in Minnesota,” Sampson said. “Racing and breeding in the state can be done with confidence.”

Friday’s program begins at 5:00 p.m. and Saturday’s at 12:45 p.m. General admission is $7 for adults. Children 17 and younger are admitted free. Additional information is available at .

Jockey Ry Eikleberry, with 83 victories, enters the final weekend with a 10-win lead over Orlando Mojica. Eikleberry last won the riding title in 2014.

Mac Robertson, who has won 11 training titles at Canterbury, leads Robertino Diodoro by three wins, 53 to 50. Robertson has entered 29 horses for the final two days while Diodoro, who has twice been top trainer, has 28.

$200,000 Mystic Lake Derby is Saturday

Mystic Lake Derby

Post positions were drawn Wednesday for the richest race of the Canterbury Park season, the fifth running of the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby. The one mile turf race will be run Saturday as the fourth race on a nine-race card that begins at 6:00 p.m.  Nine 3-year-olds were entered, including multiple stakes winner One Mean Man who won the Grade 3 American Derby earlier this summer at Arlington Park. One Mean Man, the 8 to 5 morning line favorite, is trained by Bernard Flint and will be ridden by Santo Sanjur.

In 2012, Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners and operators of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, entered into a cooperative marketing and purse enhancement agreement that calls for SMSC to contribute $75 million to horsemen purses over 10 years. Purses are now more than double what they were in 2011. Out of the agreement also came the Mystic Lake Derby.

While the signature race is the highlight of the weekend, other festivities, beginning Thursday, Aug. 25, have been scheduled to celebrate the partnership between Canterbury Park and SMSC. Indian Horse Relay, a daring display of bareback racing showcasing teams representing 14 American Indian nations competing for more than $50,000 in prize money, will be featured on Thursday and Friday with two trial heats each night conducted between the pari-mutuel races. The top eight teams from those trials advance to the Inter-Tribal Championship Saturday evening.

“This is a very important weekend at Canterbury Park,” track president Randy Sampson said. “The agreement with SMSC reinvigorated the racing community. We have seen new trainers, jockeys and owners come here chasing the increased purses and, as was evidenced by a record-setting Minnesota Thoroughbred Association yearling sale earlier this week, the breeding industry is stronger than ever.  We are pleased to be celebrating Native American culture through sports, music, dance, and art exhibitions as well as hosting the biggest race of the summer.”

Indian Horse Relay


An Indian Market, with more than 30 vendors offering unique Native American arts and crafts, will be open daily in the Expo Center during the races.

The Saturday race card also includes three additional stakes: the $75,000 Minnesota HBPA Distaff, the $75,000 Brooks Fields, and the $40,000 Careless Navigator.

Post time Thursday and Friday is 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Mystic Lake Derby Day, has a special 6:00 p.m. first post.

For additional information visit .