Open Race Overnight Starters in May to Receive Additional $1,000 Incentive Payment
Canterbury Park racing officials, with support from the Minnesota HBPA, have announced new 2021 participation incentive programs designed to reward owners that send horses ready to race at the start of the meet. In addition, trainers and owners wishing to participate at the Shakopee, Minnesota track may apply for a loan to be used for the transport of horses arriving prior to the start of the 65-day season. In total, more than $500,000 will be made available to assist and support the arrival of a race-ready horse population in advance of the 2021 season which runs May 18 through Sept. 16.
Owners of thoroughbred starters in open-company overnight races during the first eight days of racing from May 18 through May 31 will earn an additional $1,000 participation bonus per start. This bonus applies to each start a horse makes during that time and will be paid directly into the owner’s account through the bookkeeper’s office.
“We want horses to arrive at Canterbury Park ready to enter and compete,” Vice President of Racing Operations Andrew Offerman said. “This participation bonus puts extra money in the hands of racehorse owners in addition to purse money they may earn and is designed to directly offset transportation expenses incurred to get to Minnesota.”
In 2020, Canterbury Park saw total handle increase by 68% despite running 21% fewer races. The $68.4 million in handle was a record for the track. Per starter handle was up 115% to $18,902. Field size averaged 7.24 thoroughbreds per race.
“It was important last year to start strong and make an impression on the national racing audience. Offering large and competitive fields accomplished that and we are prepared to build on this growth in wagering interest in 2021,” Offerman said. “The bonus not only assists owners in covering expenses at the start of the season, it grows field size and thus handle which in turn drive purses.”
Canterbury Park recently announced across the board increases in its overnight purse structure which meet or in some cases exceed 2019 overnight purses. In total, purses are anticipated to average approximately $230,000 per race day or a nearly 20% per day increase in 2021 as compared to 2020.
The shipping loan program is offered to qualified applicants who arrive prior to the start of the 2021 season. Shipping loan applications will be due with stall applications by April 2 and will be reviewed by the stall allocation committee which includes Director of Racing and Racing Secretary Robert Junk. The committee will authorize up to $25,000 per owner to cover the cost of horse transportation to Canterbury Park. The loan will be repaid through an agreement between the successful applicant and the track. All pertinent documents are available at https://www.canterburypark.com/horsemen/ .