Canterbury Park racing officials Wednesday announced a thoroughbred stakes schedule for the 2018 season with 35 races worth $2.375 million, including three new races and increased purses for nine existing stakes.
The Shakopee track’s richest race, the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, will be run Saturday, June 23, along with four other stakes totaling $500,000 in stakes purses alone.
The six stakes races that make up the Minnesota Festival of Champions on Sept. 2 also will be worth $500,000. Each race will see a $15,000 purse increase. The Sprint, Distaff Sprint, Classic, and Distaff Classic will have purses of $75,000 and the Northern Lights Futurity and Debutante of $100,000.
“We will be offering the richest stakes schedule in Canterbury Park history, with two days offering half a million dollars in stakes purses, and more total purse money than ever before,” company president Randy Sampson said.
Racing officials expect that total purses will increase to $15 million or nearly $1.2 million more than the 2017 season.
The 70-day live racing season begins May 4 and runs through Sept. 15.
MSU Mankato No. 1
Defending national champion Minnesota State Mankato is ranked No. 1 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Division II preseason poll.
The Mavericks, 64-7 a year ago, received 14 of a possible 16 first-place votes and 396 points.
Winona State (52-12) was ranked No. 24.
NSIC coaches disagree, though. In their preseason poll, the Warriors are No. 1, with 11 of a possible 16 first-place votes, followed by Augustana and the Mavericks.
They picked MSU Mankato outfielder Jessica Meidl, a senior from Lakeville North, as the conference preseason player of the year and Winona State senior McKenna Larsen as the pitcher of the year.
• Nebraska’s Toby Boyer, a junior from Ham Lake and Forest Lake High School, was named the Big Ten men’s tennis player of the week. He went 3-0 in singles and 3-0 in doubles to lead the Cornhuskers to three victories in dual matches.
• Sophomore forward Ludvig Hoff of North Dakota was named to Norway’s team for next month’s Olympic Games in South Korea. He is from Oslo.
• St Thomas is ranked No. 19 in D3baseball.com’s preseason poll. The Tommies were the co-regular season champions in the MIAC last year.