Canterbury Park ends its 70-day season Saturday afternoon with an 11-race card, closing the curtain on one of the most successful meets in the Shakopee track's 21-year run. A total of $14.1 million in purses — a Canterbury Park record — was paid out during the track's longest season since 1992, and track officials said attendance and handle will surpass the strong numbers generated last year.
When: First post 12:45 p.m.
The main event: The closing-day card includes the $75,000 Shakopee Juvenile Stakes, a 6-furlong race for 2-year-old thoroughbreds. The Robertino Diodoro-trained Stormation is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in a field of 10.
Down to the wire: Jockey Leandro Goncalves was among the track's most intriguing newcomers when the season began in May. The multiple graded-stakes winner quickly became one of the most sought-after riders on the grounds, and he entered the final two days of racing with a seven-victory edge on Dean Butler in a hard-fought race for the jockey title. Butler, a four-time Canterbury riding champ, will finish as the top-earning rider with $1.7 million in purses.
Diodoro double: In his third season in Shakopee, Diodoro has locked up his second consecutive thoroughbred training title, with 45 victories through Thursday's card. Mac Robertson finished second with 32 victories but leads all thoroughbred trainers with $941,663 in earnings. Two well-known trainers spending their first summer at Canterbury — Tom Amoss and Dallas Keen — also had strong meets. Amoss has the track's highest win percentage (31 percent), while Keen's horses have finished in the money 58 percent of the time, second only to Amoss' 61 percent.
Best in the U.S.: Midwest Thoroughbreds, the nation's leading owner by victories, returned to Canterbury this season and finished atop the owner's standings for the second time. Its horses had won 29 races through Thursday, seven more than Al and Bill Ulwelling of Elk River. The Ulwellings' horses have banked a meet-high $621,630 in earnings. Midwest Thoroughbreds has won 159 races at American tracks this year.