Robert Junk has joined Canterbury Park Racetrack and Casino as the new Racing Secretary. Junk, a 30-year industry veteran who has been involved in thoroughbred and quarter horse racing at the highest levels, succeeds Doug Schoepf, who retired in October after two decades at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack.
Junk, 55, currently holds the position of racing secretary at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino in Sunland Park, N.M. Sunland Park annually hosts the Grade III Sunland Derby, a stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby. He also has been racing secretary at Ruidoso Downs and directed the running of the All American Futurity, the richest race in American Quarter Horse racing, 13 times. Early in his career, Junk worked at various positions in racing offices across the Southwest and also as a jockey agent for Canterbury Park Hall of Fame rider Scott Stevens.
“Robert’s vast experience in horse racing and his ability to communicate with the stakeholders in the industry, the owners, trainers, jockeys, and employees, will benefit Canterbury Park greatly,” Canterbury Park Vice President of Racing Operations Eric Halstrom said. “Canterbury Park has momentum that will continue with Robert as racing secretary.”
Canterbury’s proposed 69-day race meet will begin May 20. Junk plans to have the 2016 stakes schedule and condition book complete in January. Stall applications will be due March 15.
“I am thrilled to be involved with an organization that is moving forward and that is dedicated to improving its racing product,” Junk said. “I spoke with many horsemen and they all were positive about racing at Canterbury and the direction it is headed. I look forward to the opportunity and the challenge.”