Canterbury Park is heading toward its third straight weekend of canceled racing cards. Some trainers and jockeys are starting to move on to other racetracks across the country.
Jockeys Derek Bell and Ry Eikleberry, two of the track’s top riders, are taking mounts at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, in Altoona, Iowa. Trainer Michael Biehler is also running horses at that track, while Valorie Lund has taken is in the process of moving her stable of a dozen horses to a track in Kentucky (see comment below). Jockey Lori Keith picked up some races in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Tomorrow afternoon Sen. Claire Robling and Rep. Michael Beard, who both represent the Shakopee area, will hold a press conference to highlight concerns about the economic impact if the track remains shuttered. Canterbury and the state’s other racetrack, Running Aces Harness Park, receive no state dollars, but rely on the Minnesota Racing Commission to regulate their races. Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin denied a request by the racetracks to keep their doors open. The tracks filed a motion asking her to reconsider that ruling last week, but there’s been no response from Gearin.
Jeff Maday, Canterbury’s media relations manager, says it’s critical that there are races this coming weekend, or individuals will start to make permanent moves to other tracks. “I would think that they’re going to have to make some decisions,” said Maday. “It’s going start snowballing soon.”