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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Canterbury Park, Minnesota HBPA Working to Attract Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah

Canterbury Park and Minnesota Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association officials announced today that the Mystic Lake Derby would offer a $2 million purse should the owners of American Pharoah, winner of the Triple Crown, agree to race at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack. The race would take place on Sunday, Aug. 30, at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

“Canterbury’s partnership with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has revived racing in Minnesota and allows us to make a proposal that could attract the greatest horse in the last four decades to our racetrack,” Randy Sampson, Canterbury Park President and CEO said. “Our intent is to make the Mystic Lake Derby a major race. Attracting American Pharoah to Canterbury would certainly do that. We and our horsemen owe it to our loyal race fans to at least extend this offer to the connections of the Triple Crown winner.”

In 2012, Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, owners and operators of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, entered into a joint purse enhancement and marketing agreement that contributes $75 million to horseman purses over the 10-year span of the agreement.

“The 37-year drought has ended and we have a Triple Crown winner. This is a tremendous opportunity for the racing industry and this change to the Mystic Lake Derby puts Canterbury Park into the national racing conversation,” said Eric Halstrom, Vice President of Racing.

The Mystic Lake Derby, already offering the largest purse of Canterbury’s 70-day season at $200,000, was originally scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29, at one mile on the turf. Should Zayat Stables and trainer Bob Baffert agree to bring American Pharoah to Canterbury for this race, it would be the richest race in the history of the track and the largest purse offered this summer in North American racing.

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