12/10/2012 2:18PM

Canterbury Park to run five six-figure stakes in 2013


SHAKOPEE, Minn. – Canterbury Park’s 2013 stakes schedule features five stakes worth more than $100,000, the most in one season since the track reopened in 1995. The Mystic Lake Derby increases to $200,000, while the Lady Canterbury Stakes and the Northbound Pride Oakswill be returning to $100,000. The newly created $125,000 Mystic Lake Mile and $100,000 Shakopee Juvenile Stakes round out the major stakes.

The renamed Chaucer Cup returns to Canterbury next year in the form of the $50,000 Dark Star Cup, run in honor of local media personality and longtime track supporter Dark Star.

The 20th running of Minnesota Festival of Champions, a day dedicated to horses bred in the state, is scheduled for Sept. 1. The six-race stakes lineup offers $370,000 – $40,000 more than was offered in 2012 – with each of the stakes this year named for the most prestigious past winners. The two major Minnesota-bred 3-year old stakes, the Minnesota Derby and Oaks, will be run for $75,000 – the most since the late 1980s.

Earlier this year, Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community entered into a cooperative marketing and purse enhancement agreement that will inject $75 million into the horsemen’s purse fund over the agreement’s 10-year span. As a result of the agreement, overnight purses increased retroactively during the 2012 season and total purses offered in 2013 will be nearly double what were paid in 2011.

“The stakes schedule and overall purse structure will draw new racing stables to Canterbury as those operators realize what an attractive place Minnesota is to do business,” Canterbury Park President Randy Sampson said.

The total stakes schedule includes 26 races worth $1.76 million, an increase of more than 20 percent compared to the 2012 season, while total purses offered in 2013 will be nearly double what were paid in 2011. The 69-day race meet, the longest the track has conducted since 2006, begins May 17 and concludes Sept. 14.