Canterbury Park’s 2023 thoroughbred stakes schedule will feature 24 races totaling $1.65 million in purses. Fifteen of the stakes will be run on the main track and nine on the turf. The schedule will reward owners and breeders of Minnesota-bred racehorses with 16 of the races restricted to horses bred in the state including four of the richest races, the Northern Lights Futurity, Northern Lights Debutante, Minnesota Oaks and Minnesota Derby, each with $100,000 purses.
The successful strategy begun three years ago will be employed again in 2023 with stakes races clustered on specific dates during the 54-day meet that begins May 27 and runs through Sept. 16. The Northern Stars Racing Festival on Wednesday, June 21 features six stakes including the $100,000 Canterbury Derby. Last season that night of racing produced a record handle of $4,734,286.
The 30th Minnesota Festival of Champions, a program of races dedicated to horses bred in the state, will be Saturday, Sept. 9. The six thoroughbred stakes will total $500,000 in purses.
A shipping and participation incentive program will be announced in the coming weeks along with the first condition book. Stall applications for the upcoming meet will be available in March and are due April 13. The stable area will open for arrivals May 5 with training on the main track and training track beginning May 8.