Canterbury Park officials have submitted a request to the Minnesota Racing Commission seeking approval for a 67-day horse racing season in 2017. The proposed mixed-breed race meet for thoroughbreds and quarter horses would begin Friday, May 5 and conclude Sept. 16. The commission is expected to act on Canterbury Park’s request next month.
For the past eight years, the race meet has begun in mid-May, but from 2005 to 2008 the meet opener coincided with Kentucky Derby weekend and produced some of the largest crowds at the Shakopee racetrack, including 18,230 on 2008 Kentucky Derby day and 17,111 in 2006. The Kentucky Derby will be run May 6 next year.
“We believe that extending the meet over a longer time period and once again starting on Kentucky Derby weekend will prove to be beneficial in recruiting new stables,” Canterbury Park president Randy Sampson said, “generating additional business on our live races, and will provide owners of Minnesota-bred horses additional racing opportunities.”
Horsemen purses are expected to again exceed $14 million.
Proposed post time on Thursday and Friday is 6:30 p.m. with weekends and holiday racing beginning at 12:45 p.m. Post time on May 5 and July 3 would be 4 p.m.
Oles coach fired
St. Olaf football coach Craig Stern was fired on Wednesday after 13 seasons with the program, the past four as head coach. His teams were 6-34 overall, 3-29 in the MIAC. Defensive coordinator Justin Lerfald was named the interim head coach while the college searches for Stern’s successor.
NSIC football awards
Augustana quarterback Trey Heid, a senior from Lakeville, was named the NSIC offensive player of the year on Wednesday. Minnesota Duluth linebacker Beau Bates, a senior from Excelsior, was picked the conference defensive player of the year.
Newcomers of the year were Southwest State running back Max Simmons of Bloomington and Sioux Falls defensive back Delvin Batiste. Jed Stuart of Sioux Falls was named the coach of the year. He led the Cougars (11-0) to their first regular-season NSIC title in any sport.
• Two seniors on the Macalester men’s basketball team reached 1,000 career points in the Scots’ season-opening 92-70 victory over North Central University on Tuesday night in a home game at Leonard Center. Kareem Ismail of Pasadena, Calif., scored 18 points to reach that milestone and had 11 rebounds. Dylan Kilgour of La Crescenta, Calif., scored 11 points and had four steals.
• The Gophers’ Lindsey Horejsi of Albert Lea, Minn., was named the Big Ten freshman of the week in swimming. She finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke (59.50) and fourth in the 400 medley relay (3:35.82).
• Clarkson’s Jake Kielly, a freshman from Eden Prairie, was named the ECAC goalie of the week. He made 58 saves combined as the Golden Knights beat RPI 5-2 and Union 3-1.
• Five NSIC volleyball teams are ranked among the top six in the latest NCAA Division II Central Region poll. Concordia (St. Paul), Minnesota Duluth and Southwest Minnesota State hold the top three spots, respectively. Winona State is No. 5 and Augustana No. 6.