Canterbury Park racing officials have submitted a request to the Minnesota Racing Commission for a 54-day mixed-breed horse racing season in 2023. The proposed meet would begin Saturday, May 27 and conclude Saturday, Sept. 16. Four days of racing per week would be conducted from July 12 through August 20 with racing on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday beginning at 5 p.m. central and Sunday at 1 p.m. Three-day weeks would begin and end the season with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday racing. Racing will also be conducted on three Mondays: Memorial Day, July 3 and Labor Day. The 2023 schedule was submitted with the consent of the Minnesota Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association which represents the interests of horse owners and trainers participating in thoroughbred racing in the state. Daily purse distribution is expected to average $200,000.
The May 27 opening date is later than customary to allow additional construction time for the redevelopment and improvements underway in the horse stabling area. Construction of a 100-stall barn will begin this month while nine barns are scheduled for demolition as the result of a land sale making way for an outdoor amphitheater.
Other projects currently in progress include a reconfiguring of the training track, repositioning of the main track entrance gap for morning training, conversion of the receiving barn to a 70-stall stabling area, construction of a 34-room dormitory, a relocated stable gate entrance and complete replacement of main track and paddock lighting.
The first condition book along with the 2023 stakes schedule will be released in early January. Stall applications will be available in March and are due at the beginning of April. The stable area is expected to be open for arrivals May 5, 2023.
The Minnesota Racing Commission, a nine-member panel appointed by the state’s governor tasked with overseeing the integrity and safety of horse racing at Minnesota’s two pari-mutuel racetracks, is expected to consider Canterbury’s race date request at its December meeting. Minnesota Administrative Rule 7872.0100 requires Canterbury Park to submit its request for 2023 racing dates no later than November 15.
(info and photo courtesy of Canterbury Park)