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State Shutdown Halts The Races At Canterbury Park

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SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) — All bets will be off at Canterbury Park Friday night and beyond, unless a budget deal can be reached at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Canterbury Park in Shakopee is regulated by the Minnesota Racing Commission, which was deemed a non-essential state operation prior to the state government shutdown. Spokesperson Jeff Maday said that means close to 1,000 of the estimated 1,100 workers at the racetrack and park will be out of work or furloughed.

Racetrack photographer Andrea Thelan is among them.

“This is my only paycheck right now, my only job,” said Thelan. “It’s kind of a suspenseful game, I’ve been crossing my fingers, writing letters and emails to legislators.”

Thelan said this is her first job after graduating from college six months ago, and said she is going to struggle to survive and pay her student loans.

Horse trainers said they’ll take a bigger hit. Trainer Bryan Porter of Texas says he has $50,000 to $60,000 on the line for Sunday’s race, and now odds are, he’ll take his horses out of state.

“I went toKentuckyto get stalls on Tuesday, I was inIowaand Indiana too. I have made a living doing this my whole life, I can’t sit for three weeks and wait for something to happen, can’t do it financially,” said Porter.

Canterbury park officials said Thursday they were hopeful they could keep the card and blackjack club portion of the business open, which runs 24 hours a day. Maday said now hopes of the card club staying open for business aren’t likely either.

He said Canterbury Park will wait to see if a judge will consider a petition to stay open on Friday. Thursday morning, the motion was filed and consolidated along with other businesses trying to stay open.

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