Canterbury Park, Shakopee, Minn logo

-Canterbury Firsts –

by Noah Joseph

While Canterbury Park takes a break from live racing due to hosting the Twin Cities Summer Jam concert festival, let’s take a look at something a little bit different than usual. Here are some interesting facts about some of the first occurrences in Canterbury history.

  • The first horse on Canterbury stable grounds was Pure Pressure in 1985. He was trained by
    Pure Pressure

    Canterbury Hall of Fame member Bernell Rhone, who still trains here at Canterbury today.

  • In 1985, the appropriately named Canterbury Phantom was the first horse to have a workout over the Canterbury racetrack . She was owned by Steve Erban, who was inducted to the Canterbury Hall of Fame last week.
  • The first day of racing in Canterbury history was June 26th, 1985 and the first horse to win was Faiz for trainer Martin Kenney, who co-owned the horse with Linda Kenney. Marty

    Hamilton was the winning rider.

  • Also on that first day of racing, Canterbury held their first stakes race, named the Inaugural Stakes. Patch of Sun and My Earl dead-heated for the win.
  • The first Minnesota-bred horse to win a race at Canterbury was Millimark on July 27th, 1985. Millimark was owned by Mary Green who also was just inducted into the Canterbury Hall of Fame.
  • The first horse to win a grass race at Canterbury was the Australian bred mare Sauna. She won
    Sauna wins inaugural Lady Canterbury

    the Lady Canterbury on May 25th, 1986 under Chris McCarron for owners Allen Paulson and Summa Stables and trainer Richard Cross.

  • The first Minnesota Festival of Champions Day was held September 12th, 1992. Sadly, this was also a last, as it would be the last day of racing in Minnesota until 1995, and the end of the Canterbury Downs era.
  • The first day of racing when the track reopened as Canterbury Park was May 19th, 1995. The first winner in the Canterbury Park era was Billy
    Billy Three

    Three, who was owned and trained by Don Rice. Paula Bacon was the winning rider.

Who knows what firsts are just around the corner? Keep following the races and find out!

We’ll be back with live racing on July 28th.