Big Opening-Weekend Handle Jump at Canterbury

The 31-percent increase is attributed to the track's takeout reduction.

Press release

Wagering on Canterbury Park's live opening-weekend races increased 31 percent over 2015.

Wagering on Canterbury Park's opening weekend races increased by 31 percent compared to 2015, according to a press release distributed by the track on Tuesday.

The increase is largely attributed to the Twin Cities-area track reducing its takeout to the lowest level in the United States.

Canterbury conducted 25 races May 20-22 and handled $2,024,819 on its live product, $478,057 more than opening weekend of its 2015 meet. The track’s per-race average handle was $80,992, or 26 percent more than the same period last year.

“The takeout reduction, and the positive industry reaction it produced, introduced many new horse players to the Canterbury Park product this weekend,” said track president Randy Sampson. “We expect more players nationally will discover the great value and improved quality Canterbury racing has to offer as the meet continues.”

On-track handle was up 25 percent and off-track wagers increased by 34 percent. On April 19, Canterbury officials announced a reduction in takeout to 15 percent on win, place, and show wagers and 18 percent on all multi-horse and multi-race wagers.

“We anticipated our out-of-state handle would increase significantly and the results of opening weekend were right in line with our expectations,” Sampson said. “We are also very encouraged by the significant increases in on-track attendance and handle as perfect weather and the takeout reduction combined to make for a very successful opening weekend for on-track business.

“The support of horsemen showed at the entry box as well, with more than 200 horses entered in the 25 races,” he added. “With many horses yet to arrive and young horses still getting ready to race, I would expect our horses per race to increase as the meet progresses and we again will have average field size exceed the national average.”

All of Canterbury Park’s opening-weekend races were for Thoroughbreds. The first American Quarter Horse races in the track’s condition book are scheduled for May 29.

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