Canterbury Park, Shakopee, Minn logo

Canterbury Park Cards Eight Races for Saturday’s Start to 30th Racing Season

77 horses entered; first race at 5:15 p.m. plus Preakness simulcast

Canterbury Park will begin its 30th season of live horse racing on Saturday with an eight-race program beginning at 5:15 p.m. The first race will be followed by a simulcast of the 149th Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, from Pimlico Race Course. Canterbury racing officials were pleased with the number of entries, 77 total, for the opening night program.

“We are ready to welcome fans back to Canterbury Park for our 30th season of racing,” Sr. Manager of Racing Operations Amber Carlisle said. “I am very encouraged by the way entries went for the first of 54 days of racing. Trainers brought horses to Canterbury that are ready to race and that is evident by the quantity of entries.”

The 1,100 stalls on the Canterbury backstretch are quickly filling. Many trainers that make Shakopee their home each summer have returned. Joel Berndt, last year’s leading trainer, has entered

Joel Berndt

eight horses for Saturday. Mac Robertson, winner of the training title 15 times, has nine entered. There will be at least nine trainers new to Canterbury on the grounds this season.

Three jockeys have a mount in all eight races, Luis Fuentes, Luis Valenzuela and Eduardo Gallardo, second in the standings in 2023. Fuentes did not ride regularly at Canterbury last year but was second in 2022 with 50 wins. Fifteen riders have mounts on the program for 25 trainers.


The first race includes one of the best Minnesota-bred thoroughbreds in recent years, Thealligatorhunter, trained by Tim Padilla. The 6-year-old has won nine of 18 starts at Canterbury. He will be ridden by Alonso Quinonez.

The Shakopee, Minn. racetrack operated as Canterbury Downs from 1985 until the end of 1992 at which time the track closed. The property was purchased by Randy Sampson, his father Curtis Sampson and businessman Dale Schenian in 1994 and live racing returned in 1995. Canterbury Park is Minnesota’s only publicly traded gaming destination (NASDAQ:  CPHC) and has conducted a race meet each year since.

“Our goal in 1995 was to revive and foster a strong racing industry in Minnesota,” Randy Sampson, Canterbury chairman and president said. “I am proud of what our team along with racehorse owners, breeders and trainers have accomplished over 30 years. We are committed to racing into the future.”

General admission is $10 for adults, $7 for those six to 17 years old, children five and younger admitted free. Reserved seating is also available. Parking is free. Ticket discounts are available online at .

Following Saturday’s card, live racing will continue Saturday, May 25 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 26 at 1 p.m. The season runs through Sept. 28.