Canterbury Park Ends Live Meet With Racing Friday and Saturday

Canterbury Park’s 2017 live racing season concludes with 13-race programs this Friday and Saturday. Canterbury Park President Randy Sampson is encouraged by what he has seen this summer at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack. “Wagering has increased over last year. Our racing quality continues to improve because of the level of purses we offer,” Sampson said. “The number of starters per race has increased as more trainers and owners bring race-ready horses to Canterbury. Additionally, horse players nationwide are becoming more familiar with Canterbury each season. Those factors generate more betting. The racing industry in Minnesota has a healthy future.”

Racing Friday begins at 5:00 p.m. and at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday. General admission is $7 for adults. Children 17 and younger are admitted free. Additional information is available at www.canterburypark.com .

Although the numbers will not be released until the conclusion of racing Saturday, daily average handle, the amount of money bet on each live program, is expected to show an increase over last year, as it has each season since 2011. Much of the yearly increase in handle and number of horses racing in Minnesota can be attributed to impact of a 2012 cooperative purse enhancement and marketing agreement between Canterbury and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community which owns and operates Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, located just three miles south of the racetrack. The agreement, which calls for $75 million to be added to purses over 10 years, has more than doubled the purses offered at Canterbury, drawing the attention of racehorse owners and bolstering the state breeding program.

“The quality of racing has been evident again this season,” Sampson said. “That will really be emphasized Saturday in the Shakopee Juvenile Stakes where we will see one of the fastest 2-year-olds in the country racing at Canterbury against a horse bred in Minnesota that also is very talented.”  Sampson is referring to the filly Amy’s Challenge who won her only career race and earned the highest Beyer Speed Figure of any 2-year-old in North America. The Beyer Speed Figure is a widely accepted gauge of a horse’s ability. Amy’s Challenge is trained by leading trainer Mac Robertson and is owned by Joe Novogratz of Chanhassen, Minn.  She will face 10 others in the $75,000 Shakopee Juvenile including Minnesota-bred Mr. Jagermeister who has won two of three starts.

Robertson will win his 11th training title at Canterbury. He enters the weekend with 62 wins and nearly $1.58 million in purse earnings, a Canterbury record.  Robertson has entered 29 horses for the final two days.

Curtis Sampson is the current meet leading owner with 16 victories, a two-win margin over Novogratz Racing Stables. Sampson has nine horses entered while Novogratz, the defending champion, has eight.

This is the first season at Canterbury Park for jockey Jareth Loveberry. He leads other riders in both purses and wins. His 69 wins are four better than Orlando Mojica, who is named on 20 mounts this weekend. Loveberry however is named to ride in 25 of the 26 races including the mount on Amy’s Challenge in the Shakopee Juvenile.

In all, 317 horses have been entered for the final two days. More than $600,000 in purses will be awarded.

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