07/16/2007 12:00AM

Track to stage combined races

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Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., will hold simultaneous turf and dirt races during its card on Sunday in which the order of finish, for parimutuel purses, will be determined by the combined results of the races.

The plan, which is believed to be the first of its kind, will match two fields of $10,000 claimers at 1 1/16 miles, one on grass and one of dirt, with each field limited to 10 runners. Bettors will be allowed to wager on any of the horses in each race to win, place, or show, as well as in exacta, trifecta, and superfecta pools, with the order of finish determined by the order in which the horses cross the finish line, regardless of the surface. The finish line at Canterbury for the turf and dirt courses is at the exact same location.

According to a spokesman for Canterbury, Jeff Maday, the track will use three photo-finish cameras to determine the order of finish, and was scheduled to test the system on Tuesday. "Our Teletimer guys have been over and over it, and they assure us it will work," Maday said.

Because the turf course is inside the dirt course, and therefore shorter, the starting gates for the two races will not line up.

Both Television Games Network and HorseRacing TV are expected to broadcast the race.