Canterbury Park concluded its 2012 live racing season Monday with increases in attendance and handle. Average attendance for the 62-day meet was 6,595, an increase of 7.3% compared to 2011 when average attendance was 6,143. The 2012 average attendance figure set a new record for the Shakopee racetrack.
The amount of money wagered throughout the meet, referred to as handle, increased by 25% compared to 2011. The 2011 season was shortened by a state government shutdown and consisted of 56 race days. Average daily handle was $452,405, an increase of 12.9% over 2011.
“We are very pleased with this season and are already planning for 2013,” Canterbury President Randy Sampson said.
A joint marketing and purse enhancement agreement was reached in June with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community which operates Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. The agreement will add $75 million to the purses over the next 10 years. This season $2.7 million was injected into the purse fund, representing a per day increase of 31.8%. A per day increase of an additional 25% is expected for 2013.
“The purse enhancement agreement will have a positive impact on the Minnesota racing industry in many ways,” Sampson said. “I expect to see more and higher quality horses and stables racing at Canterbury in 2013,” Sampson said. “I also expect to see breeding in the state increase and have already heard from several horse breeders that intend to increase operations in the coming years. The excitement level for Minnesota racing has never been higher.”
Three-year-old Heliskier was named Horse of the Year. The undefeated Minnesota-bred won all four starts including victories in the $50,000 Victor S. Myers Stakes and $65,000 Minnesota Derby. Heliskier is owned by Marlene Colvin of Ethan, SD. He is trained by Mac Robertson and was ridden by Derek Bell.
Robertson won 53 races and was the leading thoroughbred trainer for the eighth consecutive season. Jockey Tanner Riggs won his first rising title at Canterbury. He rode 74 winners, nine more than three-time leading rider Dean Butler. Ruben Martinez of Phoenix, AZ, with 20 wins, was the leading thoroughbred owner.
Edward Ross Hardy won his 11th quarter horse training title with 25 victories, 11 more than Vic Hanson. Hardy won at a 37% rate. His runners finished in the top three 78% of the time. Nik Goodwin won the quarter horse riding title for the second time. Goodwin had 21 wins. Three of Goodwin’s and Hardy’s victories came with Canterbury Derby winner Huckleberry Mojito, who was voted Canterbury Quarter Horse of the Year. Brenda Reiswig of Bismarck, ND was the leading owner with 10 victories. Canterbury’s 2012 divisional champions include:
- Horse of the Year - Heliskier (owner: Marlene Colvin; trainer: Mac Robertson)
- Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding – Heliskier (owner: Marlene Colvin; trainer: Mac Robertson)
- Sprinter – Heliskier (owner: Marlene Colvin; trainer: Mac Robertson)
- Older Horse – Tubby Time (owner: Jeff Larson; trainer: Mac Robertson)
- Grass Horse – Tubby Time (owner: Jeff Larson; trainer: Mac Robertson)
- Older Filly or Mare – Ruthville (owner: Arthur B Hancock, III; trainer: Michael Stidham )
- Three-Year-Old Filly – Keewatin Ice (owner: Camelia Casby; trainer: Bryan Porter)
- Two-Year-Old – Badge of Glory (owner: Cheryl Spick and Richard Bremer; trainer: Bernell Rhone)
- Claimer – Patriate (owner: Robert Johnson ; trainer: Robert Johnson)
- Quarter Horse – Huckleberry Mojito (owner: L M R 2011 ; trainer: Edward Ross Hardy )