Canterbury Park Championship Challenge elevated to Grade 2.
Canterbury Park’s racing department today announced that the 2023 mixed meet will include 11 quarter horse stakes races highlighted by the Northlands Futurity on Aug. 16 offering an estimated purse of $86,000. The purse for the 400-yard Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby, also Aug. 16, is estimated to reach $60,000. Both races are being run for the 36th time.
Quarter horse racing will be conducted on Wednesdays during June, July and August with Thursday races added in portions of July and August throughout the 54-day meet that begins May 27. The first quarter horse race of the season is scheduled for June 7. The schedule, including overnight purses, is favorable for owners and breeders of Minnesota-bred quarter horses with the first two stakes of the season being the June 7 North Star State Derby and Futurity, restricted to state breds.
The Canterbury Park Championship Challenge, a Bank of America Regional Challenge Race, will offer a $40,000 added purse and has been upgraded to a Grade 2 race. The Canterbury Park Championship Challenge has been won by Danjer, a multiple Grade 1 winner with $2,269,068 in earnings, each of the past three years. The 7-year-old Oklahoma bred gelding trained by Dean Frey was named 2021 AQHA World Champion Quarter Horse. Danjer went on to win the Grade 1 AQHA Challenge Championship Stakes each year after winning at Canterbury.
The Grade 3 Canterbury Park Distaff Challenge will have a $30,000 added purse. Both of the Challenge events will be conducted on July 19.
Initial nomination payments for the Northlands Futurity and Canterbury Park Derby are due March 1.
The entire quarter horse stakes schedule can be found HERE.