Canterbury Park To Resume Live Racing With Limited Spectators

This week, after unanimous approval by the Minnesota Racing Commission (MRC), live thoroughbred and quarter horse racing starts at Canterbury Park. According to an Emergency Executive Order issued by State Governor Tim Walz on June 8, the racing venue must handle a small number of spectators during live racing and resume wagering simulcast operations today June 10.

In support of the race meeting, the MRC also approved a change to the current cooperative marketing and purse arrangement between Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC). Additionally , the company anticipates that all table games in the company’s Card Casino will resume with initial capacity limitations on June 15.

Canterbury Park President and CEO Randy Sampson said: “We are delighted to announce the initial reopening of operations at Canterbury Park beginning with the start of our live racing season and the resumption of simulcast operations this Wednesday as we continue our longstanding support of horse racing in Minnesota.

“We are appreciative of Governor Walz’ recent Executive Action which allows for a limited number of spectators for our live racing and simulcast operations and also paves the way for the anticipated partial resumption of our Card Casino operations early next week.”

His team has worked diligently with state officials, the MRC and the Benevolent & Protective Association of Minnesota Horsemen to prepare for the 2020 meeting, which will feature 52 days of live racing up until September 16, according to Sampson.

On the opening plans for the venue he advised: “Live racing and pari-mutuel wagering, which will be closely followed by our Card Casino, are the first steps in our phased reopening of Canterbury Park following the state-mandated shutdown in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We plan to approach all of our re-opened operations with a measured, safety-first approach as we implement a variety of sanitation and social distancing protocols designed to promote the safety of our team members, customers and patrons, the horsemen and the horses.”

Sampson also stressed Canterbury Park ‘s significance as a “economic engine” for the greater Shakopee region. “The return of live racing with limited spectators and the resumption of activities, although limited, in our race book and Card Casino are but the first steps in releasing the full power of that engine,” he said.