09/01/2003 11:00PM

Canterbury closes with record gains

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SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Canterbury Park's 2003 meeting concluded Monday with record gains in attendance and handle.

Ontrack live attendance was 302,771, up 14 percent from last year's attendance of 265,363. Daily average attendance was 4,806, a 10 percent increase over the previous year.

Ontrack handle was $17,616,337, a 15 percent increase over the previous year and a 10 percent increase over the ontrack handle in 2001, the last year the Claiming Crown was held at Canterbury. Offtrack wagering on the Canterbury Park signal totaled $13,090,261 in 2003, a slight decrease from the total in 2001 of $13,104,850.

Trainer David Van Winkle won the training title for the second consecutive season, with 35 victories, holding off a challenge by Bernell Rhone, who missed tying Van Winkle for the lead by one winner when his horse Now Playing finished second in the last race of the meeting.

Derek Bell won the rider's title for the third time in four years, with 77 victories from 324 mounts. Over the course of the 2003 meeting Bell moved into second place on the all-time money-earners list at Canterbury Park, behind only Scott Stevens.

Steve Richardson topped the owners' standings in 2003, the first year he ran a stable at the Canterbury Park meeting. Richardson's runners won 17 races, including Ghoastly Prize's victory in the Claiming Crown Iron Horse.

Edward Ross Hardy won the Quarter Horse training title for the second consecutive year, with 14 victories. Rider Tad Leggett topped the Quarter Horse jockey standings with 11 wins.