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Canterbury Park
Canterbury Park Logo.jpg
Location Shakopee, Minnesota
Coordinates 44°47′22.67″N 93°28′48.36″W / 44.7896306°N 93.4801000°W / 44.7896306; -93.4801000
Owned by Canterbury Park Holding Corporation
Date opened June 26, 1985
Race type Thoroughbred
Notable races Claiming Crown
Canterbury Park Holding Corporation
Traded as NASDAQ: CPHC

Canterbury Park (NASDAQ: CPHC) (formerly Canterbury Downs), is a horse racing track in Shakopee, Minnesota, United States. It runs a meet that consists of about 70 racing days from early May to mid September, generally holding scheduled races Thursday through Sunday, with racing added on several holidays throughout the meet. The track itself features a one-mile (1,600 m) oval dirt track and a seven-furlong (1,400 m) 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 four years since its inception in 1999.The inaugural Mystic Lake Derby, offering the largest purse at the track since 1991, was run on July 28, 2012. The race was won by the 3-year-old Hammers Terror in a time of 1:37.18 over the one mile turf event.

The racetrack park also includes a card club. A two-week series of poker tournaments, Fall Poker Classic, is held each fall at Canterbury Park.


Canterbury Park at night, Oct 2017
Canterbury Park at night

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.

In 1999 the legislature authorized a card room with poker tables at Canterbury Park. This had the effect of allowing poker tables at the state's Indian tribe casinos as well.

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 government shutdown ended.

In June 2012 Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners and operators of Mystic Lake Casino, announced a 10-year cooperative marketing and purse enhancement agreement that will add $75 million to horsemen purses over the life of the agreement.

Not only does Canterbury Park host thoroughbred and quarter horse races, due to creative marketing, they host Corgi Dog Races, Wiener Dog Races, and the annual Running of the Bulldogs.

Current staff members include KFAN Radio Personality and Vikings Announcer, Paul Allen, and FOX Sports North Commentator, Kevin Gorg.

In 2019, Canterbury Park was the site of the Twin Cities Summer Jam.

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