11/18/2011 6:01PM

Canterbury Park to race 62 days in 2012


Canterbury Park received approval from the Minnesota Racing Commission on Thursday to conduct a 62-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse race meet in 2012. The meet will begin Friday, May 18, and run through Monday, Sept. 3.  Thursday and Friday racing will begin at 7 p.m., with weekend and holiday racing beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Featured race days in 2012 will include the 19th renewal of the Minnesota Festival of Champions, a day dedicated to the best racehorses bred in the state, and the second annual Fillies Race for Hope, a day of races exclusively for fillies and mares that will benefit Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation. Dates for those events will be announced in January along with a complete stakes schedule.

"The 2012 race meet will closely resemble the meet we ran this year, minus the state government shutdown that caused Canterbury and the horse owners, trainers, and breeders to lose 20 days of business," the track's president, Randy Sampson, said. "While the shutdown and loss of revenues had a negative impact on next season's purses, it is necessary to offer sufficient racing opportunities so that Canterbury continues to attract enough horses to make the meet a success," Sampson said.