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Canterbury Park’s 2018 Season Offers Larger Purses, More Race Days

Starter Incentive Program rewards trainers and owners; stall applications due March 26

Canterbury Park’s thoroughbred racing season begins Friday, May 4 with an expanded schedule of 70 race days and a more lucrative starter incentive program.

Total purses are projected to exceed $15 million, a record level for the Shakopee, Minn., racetrack, with a per-day average of approximately $215,000.In 2017, the Leg Up Fund financially helped five injured jockeys with payments totaling just over $10,000.

Canterbury Park racing officials, with the assistance of the Minnesota Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, have increased available funding for the starter incentive program, creating a system that rewards stables that come to the meet with ready-to-race thoroughbreds.

“We are hopeful that trainers will come to Canterbury Park in 2018 ready to take advantage of this starter incentive program,” Randy Sampson, Canterbury Park CEO, said. “We believe that this program will attract more race-ready horses to start our meet and, in turn, will increase field sizes in the early days of our 2018 season.”

The $150,000 program, which continues until the funds are exhausted, offers the following bonuses for eligible horses:

  • $750 Bonus ($600 to Owner and $150 to Trainer) if the horse makes its first start at Canterbury Park from May 4 – May 12.
  • $500 Bonus ($400 to Owner and $100 to Trainer) if the horse makes its first start at Canterbury Park from May 18 – May 28.
  • $250 Bonus ($200 to Owner and $50 to Trainer) if the horse makes its first start at Canterbury on or after June 1.


For example, a field containing eight eligible horses would add the following amounts to the already published purse:

  • May 4 – May 12: $6,000
  • May 18 – May 28: $4,000
  • On or after June 1: $2,000


“We anticipate a total purse increase of approximately 10 percent in 2018,” Sampson said. “We also have added three days to the meet, equaling the most we have run in Canterbury Park history, and have increased purses in both overnight races and in our stakes schedule.”

The enhancements to the purse structure and starter incentive program have attracted the attention of new stables interested in racing at Canterbury this spring as the deadline to apply for stall space approaches.

Canterbury Park stall applications are due Monday, March 26. All forms pertaining to Canterbury Park’s 2018 Meet, including full terms and conditions of the Starter Incentive Program, can be found online at The stable area opens for training April 20.