The Fourth of July is typically a muggy sweltering day during which folks gather under the sun for shenanigans anyway, but this year, the heat has hit a new, dangerous level, forcing Canterbury Park to cancel its annual racing and festivals on the holiday.
"We have never cancelled in the heat before," said Randy Sampson, president and CEO at the Shakopee thoroughbred track. "We have moved post times to later before because of heat, but we've never actually canceled."
The festivities, which include free hot dogs and a wiener dog race, will be moved to Saturday. They were canceled Tuesday after weather reports of 110 degrees with the heat index concerned Sampson and state veterinarians.
The general heat limit for horse racing is 105 degrees, Sampson said. Hotter temperatures can put the horses at risk for overheating, exhaustions and injuries due to falling down. In addition, Canterbury staff was concerned with the well-being of patrons and jockeys.
"We waited as long as we could to make the decision," Sampson said. "I still think we can have a good day on Saturday."
Tubby Time, a 6-year-old Minnesota-bred and last year's Canterbury Park Horse of the Year, won the $50,000 Blair's Cove Stakes for the second consecutive time, and his trainer, Mac Robertson, for the fifth. Tubby Time passed stablemate Coconino Slim late to win by 1¼ lengths. He covered the 11/16 mile over the turf course in 1:43.07. Mack's Blackhawk finished third.Etc.
Minnesota Stars FC will face Puerto Rico on Wednesday night at NSC Stadium in Blaine, the first meeting of the season between the North American Soccer League teams. The City of Blaine's annual fireworks display will follow the game.