Northern Stars Racing Festival and MN Festival of Champions are marquee nights
Canterbury Park’s 2022 thoroughbred stakes schedule will feature 27 stakes, 15 on the main track and 12 on the turf, which will offer $2,060,000 in purses. Building on a successful strategy employed over the past two seasons, the stakes races will again be clustered on specific dates during the 65-day meet that begins May 18 and runs through Sept. 19. Stakes for horses bred in Minnesota will be run primarily on Saturday evenings while open-company stakes will occur on Wednesday nights. Post time on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays is 5:00 p.m. CDT and 1:00 p.m. on Sundays.
The Mystic Lake Northern Stars Racing Festival is set for Wednesday, June 22 and features the richest race of the season, the Mystic Lake Derby, a one-mile turf race with a $150,000 purse, along with four $100,000 races: the Lady Canterbury, the Curtis Sampson Oaks, the Mystic Lake Mile and the Dark Star Turf Sprint. Also included is the $60,000 MTA Stallion Auction Stakes, bringing the stakes purse total for that night to $610,000. Last season the Northern Stars Festival, with the same races grouped on a June Wednesday, attracted a record handle of $3,795,180.
“The Mystic Lake Northern Stars Racing Festival has proven popular with connections
throughout the Midwest as evidenced by last year’s strong fields,” Vice President of Racing Operations Andrew Offerman said. “We plan to continually improve this event and believe that keeping it on a Wednesday evening will allow it to be uniquely featured across the country.”
The 29th Minnesota Festival of Champions, a program of races dedicated to horses bred in the state, will be Saturday, Sept. 10. The six thoroughbred stakes will each offer a $100,000 purse.
Hall of Fame Night, with four $50,000 Minnesota-bred stakes, is Saturday, July 16. The $100,000 Minnesota Derby and Minnesota Oaks co-headline Made in Minnesota Night on Aug. 13 which also includes the $50,000 Wally’s Choice Stakes and Glitter Star Stakes.
“Regarding the state-bred program, we felt it was important to move our featured Minnesota races to Saturday evenings for the benefit of the owners,” Offerman said. “We acknowledge that watching your horse in person and bringing family and friends to the races is a significant part of the experience. Running these events on Saturday evenings will accommodate that goal while also providing enhanced visibility to the wagering audience on nights when we will have large crowds.”
The first condition book and stall application, due April 4, are available at www.canterburypark.com/horsemen. A shipping and participation incentive program will be announced next week with the objective of attracting new stables to Canterbury Park and encouraging participation in the first weeks of the season.