07/06/2011 11:39PM

Canterbury cancels Thursday as government shutdown continues


SHAKOPEE, Minn. – Canterbury Park has lost another racing card to the state government shutdown.

Wednesday evening Canterbury officials cancelled racing for Thursday, July 7, hours after filing for reconsideration of Judge Kathleen Gearin’s ruling against a motion to keep Canterbury Park open.

Operations at the track are overseen by the Minnesota Racing Commission which was closed along with nearly the rest of the state government as a result of a deadlock between the governor and state legislature over the budget.

Canterbury and a coalition of horsemen’s organizations chose to file for reconsideration with Gearin rather than appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals because of the time it would take for consideration: Gearin could rule as early as tomorrow, while the appeals process could take weeks.

Gearin’s original finding was that the law requires an annual appropriations bill passed by the legislature for the commission to operate. MNHBPA attorneys are hopeful that with the additional information provided in their brief, Gearin will reconsider that finding and agree with their contention that the appropriation to the commission is automatic and does not need to be passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.

With the cancellation of Thursday’s card, Canterbury has lost five racing days to the shutdown. A decision on Friday’s race card is expected on Thursday.