$1,000 bonus for every starter in May, travel loan program, and special Illinois-based program announced.
Canterbury Park officials want it known that owners sending thoroughbreds to the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack ready to enter and run when the meet begins May 18 will be rewarded. A $1,000 bonus will be paid to the owner of any horse that races during the month of May. This bonus is in addition to any purse money earned.
The bonuses are made possible with the cooperation of the Minnesota HBPA, the organization which represents race horse owners, trainers and their employees. In addition, a travel loan program will again be offered to assist with the up-front expenses of shipping a stable to Canterbury Park. Both of these programs were successfully offered last season.
“Canterbury Park and the Minnesota HBPA understand the costs associated with shipping horses from across the country to Minnesota,” Sr. Vice President of Racing Operations Andrew Offerman said. “We hope these incentives assist in offsetting the transportation costs that we know can be an impediment to shipping a stable to Minnesota.”
Average field size in May of 2021 exceeded the overall meet average by more than one-half a horse per race and average all-sources daily handle during that time was up more than 15 percent compared to the remainder of the 2021 meet, two factors which encouraged officials to continue the bonus program. The participation incentive will be paid for each start a thoroughbred makes in an overnight race during the month of May and is in addition to their regular purse earnings.
New this season is a bonus program designed to encourage owners who raced horses in Illinois during 2021 or 2022 to race at Canterbury this season. With the closure of Arlington Park in suburban Chicago, a meet which has historically overlapped with Canterbury Park’s season, and Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero racing thoroughbreds only through June 25, Canterbury officials see an opportunity to attract new stables needing a summer venue.
“We understand that owners and trainers who have historically called Arlington home are faced with challenging decisions in 2022,” Offerman said. “We respect that all horsepersons need to make the best decision for their stable and we have a desire to keep these horses within the Midwest. Canterbury Park is a great option for them to consider.”
To encourage participation, Canterbury and the Minnesota HBPA are offering an incentive that will allow owners with horses that have been previously active in Illinois to receive an additional bonus for racing in Minnesota for either the entire summer or following the Hawthorne Spring/Summer Meet. A thoroughbred starter that raced in Illinois in 2021 or 2022 but has not previously started at Canterbury will be eligible for a $1,000 bonus in their first start of the 2022 season through July 17. Eligible horses need to have recorded at least one start at Arlington Park, Hawthorne Race Course or Fairmont Park from January 1, 2021 through May 17, 2022. This incentive will be in addition to the $1,000 participation bonus offered throughout May.
Shipping Loan Applications will be due with stall applications on April 4. Applications will be reviewed by the stall application committee with up to $25,000 per owner, or a maximum of $1,500 per horse, to assist in covering the cost of horse transportation. The loan will be repaid through an agreement between the successful applicant and Canterbury Park. All information, full conditions and loan applications specific to these programs, as well as the first condition book and stall application, can be found at www.canterburypark.com/horsemen.
Canterbury’s 65-day season runs from May 18 through Sept. 17. Racing will be conducted on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 5 p.m. CDT and Sundays at 1 pm.