Canterbury Park announced Thursday it will host 11 quarter horse stakes races during this summer's 54-day season, dropping four races from the schedule and reducing total stakes purses by about $200,000.
The Shakopee track will have less purse money to work with this year following last month's expiration of its 11-year purse enhancement agreement with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Its richest quarter horse race, the Northlands Futurity, will have an estimated purse of $86,000, down from $105,100 last season. The Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby, with a purse of $68,175 last year, is expected to pay $60,000.
Estimated purses for the full quarter horse stakes program will be $458,200 this season, compared to $655,600 paid last year.
Canterbury's season runs from May 27 to Sept. 16. Quarter horse racing begins June 7 and will be held on Wednesday evenings, with some Thursdays added to the schedule in July and August.
Highlights of the stakes schedule include the Northlands Futurity and the Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby (Aug. 16), the $48,000 Minnesota Quarter Horse Futurity and $48,000 Minnesota Quarter Horse Derby (Sept. 9) and a trio of stakes races July 19 that will pay an estimated total of $126,000.
Races cut from the schedule include the $25,000 Skip Zimmerman Stakes, the $20,000 Canterbury Park Distance Challenge, the $20,000 Mystic Lake Northlands Juvenile and the $16,000 1889 Futurity.