Canterbury Park received approval Thursday, December 18 from the Minnesota Racing Commission to conduct a 62-day thoroughbred and quarter horse race meet in 2009. The meet will begin Friday, May 15 and run through Sunday, August 30 with Thursday and Friday post times of 7:00 p.m. and weekend and holiday post times of 1:30 p.m.
Featured race days include the 11th annual Claiming Crown Saturday, July 25 and the Minnesota Festival of Champions, a day dedicated to the best race horses bred in the state, on the final day of the meet. “We are excited about the opportunity to again host Claiming Crown in 2009,” said Canterbury Park President Randy Sampson. “The national spotlight shines on Canterbury Park that day and allows us to showcase our track.”
Canterbury Park will race five fewer days than in 2008. The purse structure is expected to remain similar to last season when a daily average of $141,000 was paid to horsemen. “The current economic situation dictated a shorter race meet next year,” said Sampson. “We are proud of our facility and racing surface and maintain a very good working relationship with the horsemen. I am confident they will continue to race at Canterbury. We also are fortunate to have a strong fan base. In 2008 we had our second highest average daily attendance since reopening in 1995. The public continues to support racing in Minnesota and finds Canterbury to be a great summer entertainment option.”