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Canterbury Park is a horse racing track located in Shakopee, Minnesota, USA. It runs a meet that consists of 62 racing days from early May to Labor Day, generally holding scheduled races Thursday through Sunday, with racing added on several holidays throughout the meet. The track itself features a one mile oval dirt track and a seven furlong turf course. Outside seating is available along with several indoor seating options. The track runs multiple food stands and bars throughout the building and simulcast betting is also offered.
Canterbury Park has hosted the Claiming Crown of horse racing for all but two years since its inception in 1999. The State of Minnesota takes a percentage of all winnings. The park also includes a card club. A two-week series of poker tournaments is held each fall at Canterbury Park.
Canterbury Downs was founded by Walter Brooks Fields, Jr., and other investors. According to David Miller of the Daily Racing Form, "Fields, along with his nephew Brooks Hauser, formed Minnesota Racetrack Inc. after a constitutional amendment allowing parimutuel wagering on horse racing was approved by Minnesota voters in 1982. Naming Santa Anita as its primary partner, Minnesota Racetrack Inc. was awarded the state's first racetrack license by the Minnesota Racing Commission and the facility in Shakopee held its first race on June 26, 1985. The introduction of the state's lottery and the widespread growth of casino gaming at Native American-hosted facilities in the area saw Canterbury Downs business repeatedly fall below revenue projections, and the track was sold in 1990 to Ladbroke Racing PLC.
In 1990, Canterbury was bought by Ladbroke Racing Corporation and was renamed New Canterbury Downs. In December 1992, it closed its doors after a disastrous live racing season that saw an enormous drop in attendance. In late 1993, Canterbury was bought by Irwin L. Jacobs, who quickly sold it to Curtis and Randy Sampson. Shortly after the sale, the Sampsons worked to revitalize Canterbury, so that it reopened its doors to simulcasting, and it quickly removed itself from debt. In late 1994, Canterbury carried through on a promise to return live horse racing to Minnesota. In January 1995, Canterbury Downs officially changed its name to Canterbury Park.
Due to the 2011 Minnesota state government shutdown, Canterbury was forced to close. Ramsey County District Judge Kathleen Gearin rejected a court case by the owners of Canterbury to reopen it. Canterbury Park reopened on July 20, 2011 when the 2011 Minnesota state government shutdown ended.
Thursdays through Sundays
1:30pm CT weekends, 7:00pm CT weekdays
Canterbury Park Holding Corp.
1100 Canterbury Road
Shakopee, Minnesota 55379
Canterbury Park Race Track
1100 Canterbury Road
Shakopee, MN 55379
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