Bold Move at Canterbury Park to Improve Quality of Racing
Canterbury Park is making a move that bettors should embrace when the track opens for its 69-day race meet May 20. Track officials announced this week that a reduction in pari-mutuel takeout will will result in the racetrack offering a wagering product priced lower, on average, than any track in the country.
“Canterbury Park has long strived to be the most horsemen-friendly track in the country. Now, we want to be the most horseplayer-friendly racetrack in America,” Vice President of Racing Operations Eric Halstrom said. “With the growth in the quality of our racing program we, with the support of our horsemen, are taking the next step and making our races the most profitable wagering opportunity. By changing our takeout to the lowest in the United States, we’re giving horseplayers worldwide great value and drawing attention to what is sure to be the finest racing season in Minnesota history.”
Canterbury will have a win, place, show takeout of 15 percent, and all exotic wagers will be set at 18 percent, down from 23 percent last year, giving horse players the best horse racing wagering opportunity in the country according to 2015 rates published by the Horseplayers Association of North America. Canterbury previously set takeout for straight wagers at 17 percent. The Minnesota track’s rate for exactas, trifectas, and superfectas will be the lowest in North America, according to HANA statistics.
The Shakopee, MN race track is located 25 miles Southwest of Minneapolis, and Canterbury officials are confident that the lower takeout and ongoing improved quality of racing will be most attractive to horse bettors. With field sizes that regularly exceed the national average, horsemen purses have increased by 91 percent since 2010 due to tribal purse enhancements, and out-of-state handle on Canterbury’s races has risen by 114 percent over the same period.
“We have been successful in increasing handle as our racing quality has improved. However, substantial upside still exists, and we believe this bold move will help us recognize that potential and create passionate Canterbury Park fans throughout the country. We’re excited to offer something that no other racetrack in the United States has – the highest return to bettors all over the world,” Halstrom said.
Purses at Canterbury are supplemented as part of a 10-year agreement with the local Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which operates the nearby Mystic Lake Hotel & Casino. Overall, the tribe will provide purse and marketing support valued at $75 million.
The reduction in takeout has also been met with widespread approval from major racing organizations including the nation’s premier horseplayer advocate group, the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA).
“Canterbury Park has made a bold gesture for 2016—lower takeout for all,” HANA president Jeff Platt said in a statement included in a Canterbury release. “Their new wagering menu offers tremendous value.”
Last year, for a 70-day meet, Canterbury paid a record average of $179,656 in purses per day, and gradually has beefed up its stakes schedule. With the takeout reduction and increased handle, Canterbury is positioned to enjoy its finest racing season ever while giving horseplayers worldwide greater value.
For more information about Canterbury Park visit www.canterburypark.com .