Canterbury Park’s 2019 thoroughbred stakes schedule includes 31 races worth $2.235 million and will again cluster many of the most popular and lucrative races on single days.
The Shakopee, Minn., horse track’s richest race, the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby on Saturday, June 22, will be the highlight of the Northern Stars Racing Festival along with four other stakes totaling $500,000 in purses. Last year, the inaugural event produced a Canterbury Park wagering record of $2.068 million.
Each of the six thoroughbred stakes races that make up the 26th Minnesota Festival of Champions on Sept. 1 will be worth $100,000. The Northern Lights Futurity and Debutante were increased to six-figure purses in 2018 while the Sprint, Distaff Sprint, Classic, and Distaff Classic receive $25,000 increases in 2019.
“Minnesota Festival of Champions will offer a record single-day purse payout for Canterbury Park with the total purse distribution approaching $850,000,” senior director of racing Andrew Offerman said. Minnesota Festival Day is dedicated to horses bred in Minnesota. “When purses increased in 2012, owners and breeders really stepped up the quality of Minnesota-breds, and they continue to be rewarded with rich stakes as the industry continues to improve.”
A 2012 cooperative marketing and purse enhancement agreement reached with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners and operators of nearby Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, provides $83 million toward purse supplements and joint marketing of the two properties over its 10-year term.
Saturday, Aug. 10, Minnesota-Made Day, will serve as a Minnesota Festival preview with five state-bred thoroughbred stakes totaling $350,000, including the $100,000 Minnesota Derby and Minnesota Oaks. Grouped on Aug. 24 are the Mystic Lake Turf Express, Brooks Fields Stakes, and HBPA Distaff.
The first condition book is available online along with stall applications, due March 18. Both are available here.
The 66-day live racing season begins May 3 and runs through Sept. 14.