Reporting Chris Simon
SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) - For horse racing fans, Saturday is business as usual at Canterbury Park. The 12 race program begins at 1:30 p.m. and includes two stakes races.
The $75 thousand Northbound Pride Stakes and the $40,650 Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby were originally scheduled for July 4, but were postponed due to excessive heat.
Park official Jeff Maday says they are counting on the Twin Cities breaking out of the heat wave.
“It was tough to deal with, but it was the right decision for us to make. It was right for our horses, the jockeys and the fans,” says Maday.
Saturday’s two stakes races are highlighted by the Fourth of July Wiener Dog Championship, Free Hot Dogs and a Hot Dog eating contest – all events traditionally reserved for Independence Day.
“This year is due to heat, obviously last year due to the Government shut down we were forced to close for 20 days, so this marks the second Fourth of July in a row that we have not had racing,” said Maday.
Park officials are banking on a weather prediction by the National Weather Service that the Twin Cities will break out of the heat wave Friday night and have temperatures in the mid 80s on Friday at track side.
“That’s because the information we had on Tuesday caused us to cancel races on Wednesday so we are hoping today’s forecast is, well let me just say that we hope the weather forecasters are better at the weather than I am at picking horses,” said Maday.
Additional activities for the family include a Pony show, petting zoo and face painting.
Admission is $5.