While much of Minnesota was shoveling snow Monday, Canterbury Park provided a glimpse of summer.
The Shakopee horse racing track announced its thoroughbred stakes schedule for the 2019 season, which includes 31 races worth $2.235 million. The track has grouped several of those stakes races on big-event cards scattered throughout the 66-day season.
The Northern Stars Racing Festival, a hit with horseplayers when it was introduced last year, will be June 22 and is anchored by the richest race of the season, the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby. The event’s five stakes races also include the $100,000 Lady Canterbury and the $100,000 Mystic Lake Mile.
The Northern Stars festival generated $2.068 million in wagering last summer, a Canterbury Park record.
Ten other races—including all six thoroughbred stakes on Festival of Champions day—will pay $100,000. The Sept. 1 Festival of Champions, Canterbury’s annual day of racing for Minnesota-bred horses, will offer total purses of approximately $850,000, a Canterbury Park record for the most purse money paid in a single racing day.
Other major racing days include Minnesota-Made Day on Aug, 10, with five state-bred stakes races highlighted by the $100,000 Minnesota Derby and $100,000 Minnesota Oaks, and an Aug. 24 card with three $50,000 races.
The season, which runs from May 3-Sept. 14, will be the 25th anniversary of the track’s reopening and rebranding as Canterbury Park.