$25,000 Road to Kentucky Contest continues Saturday

Even though the Kentucky Derby prep races are complete, Canterbury’s Road to Kentucky Contest action continues Saturday, offering weekly cash prizes to the top performers. The contest track will be Keeneland.

Have a look at the previous winners and contest rules here.


Live Racing Returns Friday, May 5

First post on opening day is 4:00 p.m.

Simulcast of the Kentucky Oaks at 4:49 PM followed by more live racing into the evening.

Friday’s during the meet are Minnesota’s Biggest Happy Hour with opening night music provided by Tim Mahoney on the Mystic Lake Music Stage®

Food and Beverage Specials include:

$2: Chili, and Hot Links

$3: Regular Tap Beer Specials and Pizza Slice at Pizza & Pasta

$3.50: Premium Tap Beer Specials

$4: Margaritas Featuring Kimo Sabe Mezcal, Select Craft Bottled Beer, and Chili Cheese Tater Tots

$4.50: House Wine

Stable Area Welcomes Horsemen; Track Opens for Training Thursday

Canterbury Park’s stable area officially opened today.  Horses by the trailer and van load will be arriving over the next several weeks to ready for opening day, Friday, May 5. The main track opens for morning activity Thursday at 6:00 a.m. The training track will open April 25.

Stall superintendent Andrew Vold expects the 33 barns to be at capacity this summer, with several new trainers committing to race in Shakopee.

New track superintendent Ken Brown has been working the main track relentlessly and Sunday’s morning rain has greened up the turf course which should see its first use mid-May.

Minnesota breds prepping elsewhere

Both Hold for More and Pensador, owned by Dale Schenian and trained by Francisco Bravo, are entered in the ninth race Tuesday at Will Rogers Downs in a one mile allowance race. Neither has raced since September at Canterbury.

Pensador was the winner of the Minnesota Derby last season and Hold for More, who is 7 for 14 lifetime, won the Crocrock Minnesota Sprint Championship.

The first Minnesota bred stakes take place Saturday, May 20 with the 10,000 Lakes Stakes for colts and geldings and the Lady Slipper Stakes for fillies and mares. Both are six furlong sprints with $50,000 purses. Hold for More was second in the 2016 rendition of the 10,000 Lakes.

This past Saturday, the final race day of the Oaklawn meet, Minnesota bred colt Hot Shot Kid was victorious in an $80,000 maiden route. Alex Canchari was aboard the 3-year-old who is owned and bred by Warren Bush of Carroll, Iowa. Canterbury Hall of Famer Mac Robertson is the trainer.

Hot Shot Kid wins at Oaklawn with Alex Canchari aboard. Photo : Coady Photography

R2K Cap Horse Wins El Camino Real

Those players that assumed Golden Gate Field’s nine-race El Camino Real card, the featured track in the weekly Road to Kentucky Contest last Saturday, was going to be a predictable chalk-fest were mistaken. Four of the races produced scores of more than 475 points including the feature race which was won by Zakaroff at 48 to 1 odds, a cap horse in R2K, yielding 2,104 points. Total points available for the week totaled a season high 4,540.

Zakaroff was a must have for contest purposes and about a dozen entrants selected him. The 2,104 points from that race alone is more than any of the total winning scores from the first four weeks. R2K is a marathon with several weeks and many double-point races remaining, but Zakaroff supporters were provided a huge boost in quest of the overall title and $1,350 prize.

The high score of the week went to Kerry Stephens with 3,140, nearly 70 percent of the available points. The second place score, 2,834, was earned by Larry Cronin. Neither had played R2K in the first four weeks so while they are not impacting the overall leader board currently, they did earn prize money, and if they play out the remainder of the contest, keeping in mind that the lowest three scores are dropped from the total, they both could contend.

This Saturday’s R2K track is Fair Grounds with 12 races including the Derby prep Risen Star, a field of 14. Entry to R2K is always free.

The Horse Player World Series Satellite Contest also takes place Saturday. Winning players will earn a trip to Las Vegas in late March to compete in the HPWS at The Orleans Hotel Casino. Entry fee to the satellite is $100. Players make 10 mythical $2 win/place wagers with the goal being accumulating the most points based on mutuel payouts of selections.

McCraken Wins Sam F. Davis but R2K Points Were Found Elsewhere

McCraken remained undefeated by winning Saturday’s Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs. The favorite’s impressive run from off the pace to win going away at 3 to 2 odds attracted betting in the Wynn Las Vegas Kentucky Derby futures where the son of Ghostzapper is now the 6 to 1 favorite.

The 12-race Tampa card was featured in Canterbury’s Road to Kentucky Contest. Total available contest points surpassed 2,500. McCraken, in the double point Derby prep, was worth 228 points with high points in that race coming from second-place finisher Tapwrit at 9 to 1 for 268 points.

The top R2K score was earned by Dick Hall who amassed a total of 1,700, more than 60 percent of the total available.  Hall had the winner in the opener for 208, hit Pazzaluna in race 5 for 582, and had Tapa Tapa Tapa in race 8 for another 292. Hall also had Tapwrit and scored points in nine of the 12 eligible races.

This Saturday the Road passes through Golden Gate Fields with the double-point Derby prep race the El Camino Real.  Entry to R2K is always free. Entry deadline is first post at Golden Gate.

Final Week for HPWS Super Satellites

The Thursday through Saturday (Feb. 16-18) Horse Player World Series Super Satellite contest will be the final chance to win a $100 entry to the Feb. 25 HPWS Satellite. Players can buy into that satellite for $100 but can also win an entry through the super satellites for just $10. The Feb. 25 contest will send top players to The Orleans Casino for the annual Horse Player World Series at the end of March. The HPWS is expected to offer more than $800,000 in prize money.  There is a history of Minnesotans performing well in the HPWS. Bart Solomon, now a Vegas resident, won the 2011 HPWS and nearly $300,000.

Interested in receiving Updates from the Minnesota Racing Commission?

You can receive email notification of commission meeting agendas, rule making meetings, and horse racing discussion group sessions by registering at  https://www.mrc.state.mn.us/contact/  .

Canterbury Racing Club 2017 accepting new members now

Tahitian Queen wins for Canterbury Racing Club in 2009

Tahitian Queen wins for Canterbury Racing Club in 2009

Introducing potential racehorse owners to the sport and simply allowing fans to experience the excitement of horse ownership had long been a challenge.  The Canterbury Racing Club began in 2009 with the intention of overcoming those obstacles in a manner that would allow people to learn about the sport in an inexpensive manner with the hopes that some of the club members might go on to start partnerships or run a stable of their own. And if not that, then maybe members would just treat their friends and family to a day at the races and help grow the fan base.

Those modest goals were accomplished over the years as the club membership grew from the initial year with about 60 members to nearly 200 at the high water mark. Some club members did branch off to form the Canterbury Alumni Club, others went out on their own, and new partnerships were formed. Many people were introduced to racing as well. Now several other racetracks around the country have started racing clubs as well and are drawing new fans and new owners to racing.

The 2017 Canterbury Racing Club is enrolling new members through the end of February.  Find more information and the 2017 registration form on the Canterbury Racing Club blog .

Total cost for this experience is $250. The club will own at least one horse throughout the year. Club members receive admission to Canterbury Park for the season as well as, if available, a special location to watch when club horses run, paddock access and – with luck – access to the Winners’ Circle. Members will also have an opportunity to visit the backstretch where the horses reside.

You get to follow YOUR horse(s) during the year both at the track and through the interactive club blog.

This is a not for profit venture, but remaining club funds are returned to members at year end. The racing club is intended as an educational experience to familiarize people with the ins and outs of race horse ownership and pull back the curtain, if you will, and de-mystify the sport.

Plus it is cool to be able to tell your friends that you own a racehorse!

Again, membership is open until the end of the month at which time the club’s trainers will attempt to acquire a horse or two.  Get the info HERE.

Laughs & Love on St. Valentine’s Day at Canterbury Park

Laughs & Love at Canterbury Park

Sterling Entertainment Group and Canterbury Park present Laughs & Love on Valentine’s Day. This live comedy show, with two performances Tuesday, Feb. 14, is headlined by Minneapolis comic Gabe Noah and also features Las Vegas comedian Trever Malagon, and Twin Citians Colleen Justice and Joe Cocozzello. The intimate setting of the The Triple Crown Club is the prefect place to enjoy an evening.

Doors open for the first performance, which includes cocktail service and dinner, at 5:30 p.m.

The dinner menu, prepared by Canterbury Chef Terry Goertzen, will feature chef-carved prime rib, seared salmon, chicken, and accompaniments. Dinner will be served from 6:00 – 6:45. Entertainment begins at 6:45.

Doors will open at 8:45 p.m. for the second show. A dessert buffet with choice of gourmet desserts plus a coffee station will be provided at 9:00 p.m. with entertainment beginning at 9:30. Cocktail service is also available for the second performance.

Reservations are required for both shows. Tickets can be purchased at www.vitalculture.com/seg  for both 18+ shows. Ticket prices start at $35.

More information is available at www.CanterburyPark.com .

**The Comedians**

–    Gabe Noah became a professional stand-up comedian in 2007. Just 18 months later, he was named runner-up in the Funniest Person in the Twin Cities contest. By 2012, he was a regular in clubs across the Midwest and was voted “Best Comic” by his peers in Minneapolis. Noah has been featured on Rooftop Comedy’s compilation album Best of Bathroom Humor and he is a founding member of “comedy boy-band super group” The Turkeys, whose sketches are released by MyDamnChannel and have appeared on the front page of cracked.com.

–    Colleen Justice began her stand-up career in 2010, when she was a semi-finalist in Acme’s Funniest Person in the Twin Cities contest, as well as a semi-finalist in The House of Comedy’s Funniest Person with a Day Job Competition. Justice has opened for Norm Macdonald and was a finalist in The Best Comedian Ever Contest at the Joke Joint in 2014. In 2015 she was asked to perform at The Akumai Comedy Festival in Mexico.

–    Trever Malagon has found himself in a ton of debt with no care of concern in the world in ever paying it off, because he says, “That’s Rock ’n Roll.” When not on his rigorous touring schedule around the country, Malagon says he likes spending time off-stage roasting people in the waiting room at the Free Clinic in whatever town or city he is in for the tour. He honed his style of joke telling doing comedy shows in various outlets in Las Vegas.

–    Joe Cocozzello was born and raised in New York City until the age of 13, when he moved to Minnesota for the next 13 years before moving back to New York. There, he learned the comedy trade over the next decade. Cocozzello returned to Prior Lake and is excited to bring his adventures and humor back to the Midwest.

R2K Week 1 in the Books, Detour to Tampa for Week 2

The annual Road to Kentucky Handicapping Tournament began with a bang when Apache Fog, at 59-1, ran second in the opening race at Fair Grounds, yielding 536 points to those entrants looking for a price. That however turned out to be the high-water mark as far as single race points go, as the remainder of the races were won by short prices, until the finale when Hollywood Handsome prevailed in race 12 for 424 points. The double-point LeComte Stakes was won by favorite Guest Suite for 324 points.

A perfect score was around 2,500 points, so this was not a week where players could separate from the field. Rule of thumb is that winning scores generally earn 50 to 60 percent of the total possible and that held true as the top five all exceeded 1,200 points

Milen Sefcik – 1353

Daniel Ovando – 1334

Douglas Herman – 1328

Jacob Kjos – 1285

Jason Jukulen  – 1243

Complete standings can be found at: http://www.canterburypark.com/Simulcasting/SimulcastingPromotions/RoadtoKentucky2017/tabid/360/Default.aspx

This Saturday, because there are no Kentucky Derby prep races, the R2K contest will make a pit stop at Tampa Bay Downs for its 10-race card that begins at 11:25am. Weekly prize money remains the same and scores are achieved in the same manner expect there is no double-point race.  Those bonus races return in force Feb. 4 with three preps: The Holy Bull, The Withers, and the Robert Lewis.




Derby Futures Pool Opens Friday, Jan. 27 and Concludes Three-Day Run on Sunday, Jan. 29

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017 – Indistry Press Release) – John C. Oxley’s Classic Empire (#3), winner of the Sentient Jet
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) and the champion 2-year-old of 2016, is the individual favorite to win the 143rd running
of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), but the Mutuel Field (#24), or “All Others,” is expected to
continue its traditional role as the overall betting choice in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs’ 2017 Kentucky Derby Future
Wager (“KDFW”), which opens its three-day run on Friday, Jan. 27.

The Mutuel Field has been favored in the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager of the calendar year since Churchill
Downs created the bet in 1999, and odds maker Mike Battaglia installed the “All Others” as the 8-5 likely bettors’ choice
in his morning line odds for 2017’s Pool 2. Wagering on the three-day pool opens at the home of the Kentucky Derby and
at racetracks, satellite wagering centers and online betting platforms at noon (all times EST) on Friday, Jan. 27. Wagering
on KDFW Pool 2 will conclude at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29.

Battaglia assigned odds of 5-1 to the Mark Casse-trained Classic Empire, the son of Pioneerof the Nile who was
the winner of the Eclipse Award for the champion 2-year-old of 2016 in a unanimous vote. Classic Empire scored four
victories in his five races in 2016 – including a pair of triumphs at Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby will be run
for the 143rd consecutive year on Saturday, May 6. Casse’s colt earned $1,485,920 during his championship campaign and
could make his first start of 2017 in the Holy Bull (GII) on Feb. 4 at Gulfstream Park.

Classic Empire was the 6-1 individual choice for the opening pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager
conducted over four days in November, but the “All Others” bet was a strong 6-5 overall favorite at the conclusion of that

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager provides racing fans with the opportunity to wager on contenders for the
Kentucky Derby at odds that could be more attractive than those available on the day of America’s greatest race.
The Future Wager offers $2 minimum win wagering on 24 betting interests that include 23 individual horses and
the Mutuel Field, which includes all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the individual wagering interests in a respective
pool. Each pool also offers $2 exacta wagering on the 24 wagering interests, with the latter also available in $1 minimum
increments in boxes and other multiple number configurations.
Payouts in the win and exacta wagering in Pool 2 will be determined by the odds that are in place at Sunday’s
conclusion of wagering.

The official rules of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager do not permit scratches of betting interests or refunds of
wagers placed during any of its four pools. Wagering will be suspended on a betting interest in any of the respective pools
if Churchill Downs determines that an individual horse will not be able to participate in the Kentucky Derby because of
injury, illness or other circumstance.

While Classic Empire is a solid individual choice in the morning line odds for the second Kentucky Derby Future
Wager pool, there are plenty Derby candidates with attractive odds among the remaining 22 individuals in the pool. The
latter group includes 10 horses that were not a part of November’s opening pool.
Rated closely behind Classic Empire among individual 3-year-olds are Cheyenne Stables LLC’s unbeaten
Mastery (#12, 6-1) and Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC’s McCraken (#13, 10-1), whose record remains perfect after
three races.

Mastery, a son of Candy Ride (ARG) trained by four-time Kentucky Derby winner and Hall of Fame conditioner
Bob Baffert, closed at odds of 10-1 in November’s opening pool and has since won the Los Alamitos Futurity (GI) for his
third triumph in as many starts. Baffert also trains Pool 2 wagering interest American Anthem (#1, 15-1), the runner-up in
the recent Sham Stakes (GIII) at Santa Anita for owners WinStar Farm LLC and S F Bloodstock LLC.
McCraken, a homebred son of Ghostzapper trained by Ian Wilkes, closed his 2016 campaign with a triumph in
the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby and the site of all of the colt’s three
career victories. Wilkes is seeking his first Kentucky Derby triumph after working as an assistant to Hall of Famer Carl
Nafzger when the latter saddled Kentucky Derby winners Unbridled (1990) and Street Sense (2007).

Other accomplished horses among Pool 2’s 23 individual betting interests include Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S.
Moss’s Gormley (#7, 15-1), winner of the recent Sham (GIII) and the FrontRunner (GI) at Santa Anita for trainer John
Shirreffs, who teamed with the owners to win the 2005 Kentucky Derby with 50-1 longshot Giacomo; Klaravich Stables
and William H. Lawrence’s Practical Joke (#18, 20-1), winner of the Champagne (GI) and Hopeful (GI) and third in
the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile; Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Team D’s Mo Town (#14, 20-1),
a son of Uncle Mo who won the Remsen (GII) at Aqueduct in November; Robert V. LaPenta and Harry Rosenblum’s
Uncontested (#21, 20-1), a front-running winner of the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park for trainer Wayne Catalano; and
L and N Racing’s Lookin At Lee (#11, 30-1), runner-up to Classic Empire in Keeneland’s Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity
(GI), fourth to that rival in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the winner of the Ellis Park Juvenile.

Pool 2 of the 2017 Kentucky Derby Future Wager includes 10 horses that were not among the wagering interests
in November’s opening pool. That group includes American Anthem; St. Elias Stable’s Battalion Runner (#2, 20-1), an
easy 8 ¾-length winner of a Gulfstream Park maiden race in his New Year’s Eve debut; M M G Stables LLC’s El Areeb
(#4, 50-1), a runaway 11 ½-length winner of the Jerome (GIII) at Aqueduct on a muddy track on Jan. 2; Harrell Ventures
LLC’s Faja (#6, 50-1), an 8 ¾-length winner in his career debut at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 17; William S. Farish and
Lora Jean Kilroy’s Guest Suite (#8, 50-1), a gelded son of Quality Road who took last week’s Lecomte (GIII) at Fair
Grounds in his 2017 debut for trainer Neil Howard; Rialto Racing Stables and Southern Springs Stables’ Petrov
(#17, 50-1), runner-up in the Smarty Jones; Mont Saint Legame (JPN) (#16, 50-1), a Japan-based son of Came Home
whose two wins in as many starts include the Cattleya Sho at Tokyo Racecourse for trainer Koji Maki; Sonic Mule (#19,
50-1), winner of the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park for owner Calumet Farm, which holds a record eight
victories in the Kentucky Derby; Conrad Farm’s State of Honor (#20, 50-1), the runner-up in the Mucho Macho Man;
and Michael Langford’s Lecomte runner-up Untrapped (#22, 50-1).

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who won the 2010 Kentucky Derby with WinStar Farm’s Super Saver, trains four
KDFW Pool 2 betting interests. Pletcher’s quartet includes Tabor, Magnier and Smith’s Fact Finding (#5, 30-1), whose
three wins in as many races include the Smooth Air at Gulfstream Park, Battalion Runner, Faja and Sonic Mule.
Other trainers with more than one Pool 2 wagering interest include Baffert; Casse, who also trains State of Honor;
and Steve Asmussen, who trains Lookin At Lee and Untrapped.

Real time odds on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and more information on the 143rd running of the Kentucky
Derby is available online at http://www.KentuckyDerby.com.

The New Year Begins

Welcome to 2017.

Horses all celebrate their birthday on Jan. 1.

Horse players can honesty claim to be even for the year.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby begins in earnest for the newly turned 3-year-olds. Canterbury’s annual R2K Handicapping Contest begins Jan. 21. Opinions soon can turn to cash.

Bruce Meyer won the Handicapper of the Year title in 2016. This is Meyer’s fourth title having won the honor, and the $2,000 cash prize, in 2011, 2012, and 2014. He was the 5 to 1 favorite to win the 2016 title and delivered.

This coming weekend is the annual Canterbury Park Pirtek Snocross National, Jan. 6-8. There is a full slate of simulcasting and the card casino will be hopping. Gulfstream has a good looking card Saturday with these stakes:  Hutcheson, Old Hat, Dania Beach (G3) , Ginger Brew and Mucho Macho Man which may include Even Thunder, winner of the 2016 Shakopee Juvenile and King’s Swan at Aqueduct.

Thursday also is the first day of the Horse Player World Series Super Satellite Contests. These $10 entry-fee contests are held each Thursday through Saturday with weekly winners qualifying for the Feb. 25 Satellite which will send players to Las Vegas to play in the HPWS. Test your handicapping skills with a chance at a mid-winter trip to Vegas.

Happy Holidays from Canterbury Park


The Canterbury Park family wishes you and yours the happiest of holidays.

The Race Book will close after the conclusion of simulcasting Friday night and will re-open on Monday morning at 10am.  Monday begins the Santa Anita race meet. The nine-race card, with its opening-day fixture, the Grade I Malibu, plus three other graded stakes, begins at 2 pm. The field of eight for the Malibu includes Mor Spirit, unseen since the Kentucky Derby.

The first 200 guests Monday beginning at 10am will receive a complementary 2017 Santa Anita wall calendar.

Daily Racing Forms for Monday are on sale beginning Friday at the third level program stand. They also can be purchased at valet on Saturday until 6pm and then beginning Sunday at 6pm.

The Card Casino will close for 24 hours beginning at 6pm on Saturday and re-open on Christmas Day at 6pm. The first 100 guests in-line at re-opening can play in a free $2,100 Shootout No Limit Texas Hold Em Freeroll. See the rules below.  Live cash games of course are always offered and the action should be substantial.




Players start with 1500 in Tournament Chips

Optional $10 Staff Appreciation Add-on = 500 additional chips (available at the table before start of play)

Play No-Limit Hold’em for one hour. 25/50 blinds

At the end of one hour of play, the player with the highest chip count from each table goes to the final table.

Final table plays No-Limit Hold’em for one hour. 25/50 blinds.

At the end of an hour of play, placement is determined by chip count.

1st Place – $1,000

2nd Place – $300

3rd – 10th Place – $100

It’s Official: 2017 Live Racing Returns Friday, May 5

Canterbury Park

Canterbury Park Receives MRC Approval For 2017 Racing Dates.

67-day meet runs May 5 through Sept. 16.

Canterbury Park’s 2017 live racing season will begin Friday, May 5 and run through Sept. 16. The Minnesota Racing Commission approved the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack’s request for a 67-day thoroughbred and quarter horse meet on Thursday evening.

Racing on Thursdays and Fridays in 2017 will begin at 6:30 p.m. and weekend and holiday racing at 12:45 p.m. On May 5 and July 3, racing will begin at 4:00 p.m.

“We are very pleased with the 2017 racing schedule,” Canterbury Park President Randy Sampson said. “We will begin racing earlier than we have for the past eight years, with opening weekend coinciding with the Kentucky Derby. This allows additional opportunities for owners to run their horses and also better accommodates trainers coming from race meets that end earlier in the spring.”

From 2005 to 2008 the Canterbury Park meet also opened on Kentucky Derby weekend and produced some of the largest crowds in track history including 18,230 on 2008 Kentucky Derby day and 17,111 in 2006. The Kentucky Derby will be run May 6, 2017.

With July 4 falling on a Tuesday, Canterbury Park will conduct six consecutive days of racing, June 29 through Independence Day, followed by an eight-day break with racing resuming on July 13. The down time will be used for track and turf maintenance.

“A week-long break in the schedule is unprecedented at Canterbury but it serves the horse population very well and allows our track crew to make sure the racing surfaces remain in top shape for the second half of the meet,” Sampson said.

Canterbury Park racing officials will announce the 2017 stakes schedule and purse structure in January.