07/08/2008 11:00PM

Concert, fireworks bring in big crowd


Canterbury Park had its highest attendance and handle figures for a Thursday since the track re-opened in 1994 on the July 3 card, which featured a concert and fireworks following the races. Combined handle totaled $937,000 and attendance was reported at 14,237, though Canterbury Park vice president of operations Eric Halstrom joked that if all the children in attendance had been counted the crowd may well have totaled 30,000.

This was the third year Canterbury hosted a fireworks show. Canterbury purchased $1,300 worth of pizza to feed the backstretch help that was kept on hand to make certain the horses were not disturbed by the fireworks.

* Jockey Jesse Garcia, who sustained a hairline fracture of his collarbone two weeks ago in a spill, will undergo an MRI this week and hopes to return to riding before the Claiming Crown on Aug. 2.

* Canterbury horsemen will be holding a benefit on July 23 for steward Hank Mills, trainer George Bango, and farrier Gary Ladd, who are all dealing with serious health issues. The Even Money Band, a longtime favorite fixture at Canterbury backstretch events, will perform at the benefit, which is scheduled for 6 p.m.