Canterbury Concludes with Solid Gains

Minnesota track records increases in attendance and wagering.

September 3, 2012

Canterbury Park

Canterbury Park concluded its 2012 live racing season on Monday with increases in attendance and handle. Average attendance for the 62-day meet featuring American Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing was 6,595, an increase of 7.3% compared to 2011 when average attendance was 6,143. The 2012 average attendance figure set a new record for the Shakopee, Minnesota, racetrack.

The amount of money wagered throughout the meet, referred to as handle, increased by 25% compared to 2011. The 2011 season was shortened by a state government shutdown and consisted of 56 race days. Average daily handle was $452,405, an increase of 12.9% over 2011.

“We are very pleased with this season and are already planning for 2013,” Canterbury President Randy Sampson said.

A joint marketing and purse enhancement agreement was reached in June with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which operates Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. The agreement will add $75 million to the purses over the next 10 years. This season $2.7 million was injected into the purse fund, representing a per day increase of 31.8%. A per day increase of an additional 25% is expected for 2013.

“The purse enhancement agreement will have a positive impact on the Minnesota racing industry in many ways,” Sampson said. “I expect to see more and higher quality horses and stables racing at Canterbury in 2013. I also expect to see breeding in the state increase and have already heard from several horse breeders that intend to increase operations in the coming years. The excitement level for Minnesota racing has never been higher.”

Edward Ross Hardy won his 11th Quarter Horse training title with 25 victories, 11 more than Vic Hanson. Hardy won at a 37% rate, and his runners finished in the top three 78% of the time. Nik Goodwin won the Quarter Horse riding title for the second time with 21 wins. Three of Goodwin and Hardy’s victories came with Canterbury Derby winner Huckleberry Mojito, who was voted Canterbury Quarter Horse of the Year. Huckleberry Mojito, a Feature Mr Jess filly, also won the Fillies and Mares Race for Hope Bonus Challenge for owner LMR 2011. Brenda Reiswig of Bismarck, North Dakota, was the leading owner with 10 victories.