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Canterbury Park 2013 racing season begins this weekend

May 16, 2013     E-mail this page to a friend!

Larger purses and increased interest lead to longer race meet

The 2013 horse racing season at Canterbury Park begins tonight, Friday, May 17. The 69-day race meet, the longest since 2006, will run until September 14. This year weeknight racing begins at 6:30 pm, 30 minutes earlier than past seasons. Racing on weekends and holidays will begin at 1:30 pm. The season opens with a three-day racing weekend. Friday features the $50,000 Lady Slipper Stakes and Saturday the $50,000 10,000 Lakes Stakes as well as a simulcast of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

For Preakness Day, there is a special Tumbler Giveaway for the First 4,000 paid admissions. Also, presented by Mystic Lake, patrons can enjoy live music by Kurt Jorgensen Band on the Mystic Lake Music Stage.

This season, guests will be greeted with new amenities intended to enhance the race day experience. A new infield toteboard will be unveiled on opening night that offers 200 feet of digital information and an 800 square foot video screen, nearly twice the size of what is being replaced. A video board has also been installed in the paddock area.

“The new toteboard and video screens will allow our guests to experience racing like never before,” Canterbury President Randy Sampson said. “The digital capability allows us to present information to the fans that was not possible in the past.”

Canterbury Park received a record number of stall applications for this meet due to a cooperative marketing and purse enhancement agreement reached last year with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) which owns and operates Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. SMSC will contribute $75 million to the horsemen’s purse structure over the next 10 years. This season purses will be double what they were in 2011 allowing Canterbury to compete with other racetracks in the Midwest.

“This agreement was a life saver for racing in Minnesota,” Sampson said. “Not only has the interest in racing dramatically increased but breeding in the state is also resurging. This season, thanks to the agreement, we will offer the largest single purse since 1991 when we hold the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby on August 3rd.”

Fridays feature Minnesota’s Biggest Happy Hour with live music on the Mystic Lake Music Stage and drink specials. Sundays are Family Day with free pony rides, face painting, and a petting zoo. The popular ‘Buck Night’ promotion, which includes $1 general admission, and beverage and food specials, will be offered when Thursday night racing begins June 13.

General admission to Canterbury Park is $5, with an additional charge for indoor, reserved seating. General parking is free. For additional information, call the Canterbury Box Office at (952) 445-7224 or visit

Race days and posttimes
Live Race Dates: May 17 through September 14
Thursdays (June 13 through September 12)—6:30 pm
Fridays—6:30 pm
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays—1:30 pm
July 3—special 4:00 pm posttime