Canterbury Park aiming for June 10 opening, 52-day racing schedule

Rachel Blount, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Horse Racing

After its summer racing season was thrown into doubt by the pandemic, Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., announced a revised 52-day schedule Wednesday that would begin June 10, probably with no spectators allowed.

The new schedule, which must be approved by the Minnesota Racing Commission, includes racing from Mondays through Thursdays. It would run through Sept. 9. Representatives of horsemen's groups also must approve the new dates, and the track will give state and local officials an operational plan that includes safety measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Shakopee track was supposed to start a 65-day season Friday. Its card club and simulcast operations have been closed since March 16, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, and the opening of its stable area was delayed by two weeks. Canterbury is operating the stable area under COVID-19 safety protocols that include temperature checks, limited access, mandatory use of face masks and frequent sanitizing of equipment.

Horses began arriving at the track last Saturday, and the training track opened Tuesday. About 80 horses are on the grounds, with 20 more scheduled to come in on Wednesday.

A handful of tracks around the country have continued to race without spectators since the pandemic began triggering stay-at-home orders. More than a dozen others have announced plans to start spectator-free racing in the coming weeks. Churchill Downs, which postponed the Kentucky Derby to Sept. 5, will start racing Saturday.


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