With a high heat index expected, Canterbury Park racing officials will delay Wednesday evening’s first post until 8:05 p.m. CDT and will not conduct the first five originally scheduled thoroughbred races, leaving seven quarter horses races beginning at the adjusted start time. The decision was made after consultation with the Minnesota Racing Commission veterinary staff and in agreement with the Minnesota HBPA.
The Wednesday program was to begin at 5:00 p.m. with 12 races, five thoroughbred races followed by seven quarter horse races. With a heat index forecast to exceed 105 degrees into the early evening, racing officials opted to delay Wednesday’s start until the apparent temperature is projected to subside and to cancel the first five races. The seven quarter horse races, races 6 through 12, are time trials for the Northlands Futurity and the Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby. The final race is now scheduled for 10:53 p.m.
“We made the decision to delay Wednesday racing, based on the forecast of an extremely high heat index, with the safety of all participants, horses, jockeys, staff and spectators, in mind,” Vice President of Racing Andrew Offerman said. “We are confident that by 8 p.m. the temperatures will have decreased to a comfortable and safe level.”
There will be no admission charge on Wednesday. Gates open at 7:00 p.m. Indoor seating, which is also free, offers air conditioned comfort.
“We understand that is an inconvenience for trainers and owners involved in the thoroughbred races that are being canceled and I apologize for that but stand by the decision made in agreement with the Minnesota HBPA and the MRC,” Offerman said. “The racing office will do its best to offer the same or similar race conditions for the coming week.”
The five canceled thoroughbred races will be brought back as extras for Wednesday, August 4. Additional races will be run the week of August 3 through 8 to make up for the lost thoroughbred races.