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Canterbury Park Announces Pre-Paid Starter Incentive Program to Assist in Recruiting Trainers for 2024 Race Meet

Approved trainers could receive as much as $37,500 in advance.

Canterbury Park racing officials today announced a Pre-Paid Starter Incentive program designed to entice trainers to race their thoroughbreds at the Shakopee, Minn. track this summer. The incentive, as much as $37,500 per trainer, would be paid upon arrival at Canterbury to approved trainers that have submitted a list of horses intended to start in thoroughbred races during the meet which runs May 18 through Sept. 28. The pre-paid incentive would be earned in full if designated horses each make a minimum of four starts during the 54-day season.

“Our pre-paid starter incentive program rewards both returning and new trainers that actively participate in the meet,” racing operations manager Amber Carlisle said. “Competition for horses is fierce and we are providing a monetary reason to race at Canterbury. If trainers make the necessary number of starts they keep the incentive.”

Incentive amounts for designated horses are determined by the location from which the trainer ships to Canterbury. Open-bred horses arriving from the furthest points of origin would be eligible for $1,500 while Minnesota-breds would be eligible for $750. For each start made, 25 percent of the incentive is earned up to 100 percent for the fourth start. If a designated horse starts fewer than four times, the unearned portion of the pre-paid incentive must be repaid to Canterbury Park.

Trainers must submit a designated horse list with up to 20 open-bred horses and 10 Minnesota-breds that are 3 years old or older. Two-year-old thoroughbreds are not eligible for the incentive program. Canterbury’s stall allocation committee will review the list and authorize a pre-paid incentive amount per trainer. That amount will be paid to the trainer when the designated horses are on the grounds, which must be no later than June 1. Canterbury officials worked with the Minnesota Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, which represents owners and trainers participating at the meet, to develop this new incentive program.

“We have a wonderful facility in which we continue to invest and are proud of our history and confident in our future,” general manager John Groen said. “Trainers new to Canterbury will find a wide array of conditions and distances on both turf and dirt. They also will discover that we have a welcoming backstretch and a surrounding community that embraces horse racing.”

The Pre-Paid Starter Incentive application should be submitted with stall applications. Find incentive plan fact sheet, application and stall application HERE.