05/20/2003 11:00PM

Business up, but slots in question at Canterbury


SHAKOPEE, Mn. - Canterbury Park officials got some good and bad news on opening day last Friday. The bad news was that the measure allowing the installation of slot machines at the racetrack may have been sacrificed as part of last-minute budget negotiations at the Minnesota statehouse.

The good news was that the track reported its best Friday night business ever when a crowd of 9,192 wagered on the nine-race card.

Jockeys Derek Bell and Bobby Walker both made big impressions opening weekend. Bell won four races on the Friday card, and Walker won four races Saturday, with three of those winners coming for the Richie Scherer barn.

Last year's leading rider, Seth Martinez, is expected to return to Canterbury Park this week after remaining in Arizona during Canterbury's opening weekend to vie for the jockey's title at Turf Paradise. Martinez finished second behind Steve Gomez by one victory.