SHAKOPEE - This Saturday is the biggest day of the year at Canterbury Park in Shakopee - and they won't have a single live race. Spokesman Jeff Maday says they'll have between 10,000 and 12,000 people come out to place a bet on the Kentucky Derby - the first jewel in horse racing's Triple Crown.

Mayday says live racing at Canterbury Park begins on May 15th. And, with 70 total race days this year, it's their longest race season since 1992.

"I believe more than $14 million in purses will be paid out to the owners, the horsemen, the trainers, and the jockeys. Which is a great thing. We're seeing a lot of interest, and an improved quality. Horses that normally would have been competing maybe in Chicago and other places are now coming to Canterbury. We've got a waiting list for horses to come to Canterbury."

Maday says Canterbury's purse money is 20 percent higher than at Chicago's Arlington Park.

Mayday the horse racing industry is enjoying a resurgence in the state.

"If you go back a couple of years, before the deal that we signed with the Shakopee Midewakanton Sioux Community that funded the purses and added $75 million over these next 10 years, there were only 98 thorougbreds in the state. The industry was in decline, and it was a severe decline. The following year, right after that agreement, there were more than 200 foals".

Their biggest race of the year is the 4th running of the Mystic Lake Derby on Saturday, August 29th.

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