Chart: Canterbury's new season
- May 17, 2012 - 9:53 PM
The season: May 18 through Sept. 3. Racing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, plus Memorial Day, through June 10; Thursdays added to the schedule on June 14.
Post times: 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Admission/parking: General admission $5 ($3 with MVP card); general parking free.
Trainers to watch: Most of the top conditioners from recent seasons will return to Canterbury. Some of them have brought more horses, encouraged by legislation that could help the track's card club generate more money for purses. Mac Robertson, winner of the past seven training titles, will stable 45 horses at Canterbury. Bernell Rhone, runner-up the past three seasons, has 54. Miguel Angel Silva, 12th in the Canterbury trainer standings last season, currently has the ninth-most victories in the nation (65) and returns with a 50-horse stable. Most of the top quarter horse trainers also will be back, including 10-time champ Ed Ross Hardy and 2011 leader Bob Johnson.
Jockeys to watch: Dean Butler will be trying for a fourth consecutive championship, while six-time champ Derek Bell will chase his first title since 2008. A handful of Canterbury regulars -- including Paul Nolan, Ry Eikleberry and Anne Von Rosen -- are not expected to ride in Shakopee this summer. A few others, including Tanner Riggs and Bobby Walker Jr., are returning after being away for a few years.
Save the date: Canterbury's season is highlighted by the Minnesota Festival of Champions on Sept. 2 and Fillies Race for Hope on Aug. 4. Other special events include the popular Extreme Race Day (July 21), with ostriches and camels taking the track and wiener dog races (June 17, June 24 and July 4).
Learn the ropes: Canterbury will offer one-night wagering seminars to educate beginning and intermediate fans on how to play the horses. Sessions cost $10, including track admission, snacks and materials, and will be held June 15, July 12 and Aug. 3 at 6:15 p.m.
Grab a seat: The area in front of the grandstand offers the best people-watching; stand along the rail to see and feel the power of the horses. Or join the swells in the third-floor clubhouse and restaurant. Tables for four ($15) or six ($20) have an unmatched view of the track and a private TV; the restaurant seating offers a full menu and tellers who will take your bets at the table. Call 952-445-7224 for reservations.
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