Canterbury Hires New Track Superintendent

Track hires internationally-recognized track superintendent.

Press Release
January 18, 2013

Canterbury Park

Canterbury Park racing officials have hired Javier Barajas as track superintendent for the 2013 racing season. Barajas has held similar positions at Arlington Park, Golden Gate Fields, Fair Grounds and Retama Park. He is currently the track superintendent at Meydan Racecourse in Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, home of the world’s richest horse race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup. Because Canterbury Park’s race meet does not conflict with Dubai’s racing season, Barajas will continue as track superintendent with Dubai Racing Club in addition to overseeing the Shakopee, Minnesota, racetrack’s dirt and turf tracks from April through September.

"I am excited about the opportunity to work for Canterbury Park. The track has always been known as one of the safest in the industry and the management is really focused on improving racing,” Barajas said. “The schedules work perfectly for me to stay on at Meydan and also work at Canterbury.” This arrangement also allows for Barajas to spend more time with family in Illinois.

"Javier is recognized as one of the world’s top individuals in his field, and we are very excited to have him on our team," Canterbury Park President Randy Sampson said. "Having Javier in charge of maintaining our racing surfaces demonstrates our commitment to the safety of our equine and human athletes. His vast experience as track superintendent at some of the world’s top racetracks will be helpful in our efforts to improve the quality of racing at Canterbury Park."

In June of last year, Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community entered into a cooperative purse enhancement and marketing agreement that will inject $75 million into the horsemen purse fund over the agreement’s 10-year span. Purses for the upcoming season have doubled compared to 2011 due to the agreement. Canterbury Park will offer six six-figure stakes races including the largest single purse, the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, since 1991.

Canterbury Park’s 2013 season begins Friday, May 17 featuring 69 race days and an estimated total of $12 million in purse money. The stable area and main track will open for training in late April.