Canterbury Park Extreme Race Day

Jockeys race horses on the dirt track and grass for Battle of the Surfaces at Canterbury Park’s Extreme Race Day.

Canterbury Park will postpone its horse racing season past its original start date — May 15 — and said it will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation to determine a later start date, according to a news release from the racetrack.

“We recognize that live racing will not be possible on May 15 but continue to work with the Minnesota Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association to determine the best possible summer racing schedule,” Canterbury Park President and CEO Randy Sampson said in a statement.

Prior to the pandemic, the racing season was to last from May 15 to Sept. 12.

“We have horsemen at racetracks around the country that are currently training and racing and they are important resources during these very challenging times. We are using the best information available from all known resources,” Vice President of Racing Operations Andrew Offerman said in a statement. “We consult daily with other racetracks, assembling best practices that have been successful for those currently operating to ensure we are providing the best possible care for all equines as well as those working with them.”

Uncertainty across the country has created a significant shortage of available stabling for America’s racehorses. Canterbury is the summer home for more than 1,500 horses and provides stabling and shelter free of charge to trainers and owners throughout the duration of its season.

“Canterbury Park and the Minnesota HBPA will do as much as we can to assist the horses and their caretakers during this difficult time but we need to do so in a smart and responsible manner for Minnesota and the local community,” Offerman said.

On March 16, Canterbury Park announced the temporary suspension of the card casino, horse race simulcast, and special events operations at Canterbury Park in response to the pandemic.

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