Canterbury Park racing officials today announced the 2016 thoroughbred stakes schedule which includes 25 races and a record $1.885 million in purses. The 23rd Minnesota Festival of Champions, a day of racing reserved for horses bred in the state, will be held Sunday, August 21. The six stakes run that day will pay $410,000 in purse money. The $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, the largest single-race purse on the schedule, will be run Aug. 28.
“We are pleased to offer a record stakes schedule for both Minnesota-bred and open runners at Canterbury Park in the upcoming season,” Director of Racing Operations Andrew Offerman said. “The upgrade of the Mystic Lake Derby to Listed status is another step in what has been the continued improvement in the quality of horse racing in the state of Minnesota.”
The Minnesota Derby and Minnesota Oaks on July 30 will have record purses of $85,000 each. Both races are restricted to horses foaled in Minnesota in 2013. The foal crop that year increased by 250 percent over the previous year due to the 2012 purse enhancement agreement with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community that adds $75 million to the horsemen purse structure over the 10-year terms of the deal.
Six additional overnight stakes will also be run throughout the meet with purses totaling $240,000.The 69-day live racing season begins May 20 and runs through Sept. 17 at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack and card casino.