Canterbury Making ‘An All-Out Effort’ To Open Backstretch On May 4

Officials at Canterbury Park have filed a request with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture asking for a critical sector worker exemption, reports the Star Tribune, a move which would allow the backstretch to open for horses on May 4. The request includes detailed biosecurity protocols designed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and would allow the backstretch to open even if the state’s stay-at-home order is extended.

“It’s been an all-out effort over the last two weeks to make sure we can get the backstretch open,” said Andrew Offerman, Canterbury’s vice president of racing operations. “We have a responsibility to the horsepeople who count on our facility in the summer to be a shelter for the horses and their caretakers. We need to be there for them.”

Canterbury has already received 2,300 applications for its 1,600 stalls, and the Minnesota HBPA will dip into the summer purse fund to help cover the costs of opening the track in May while no racing is being held.

Offerman said all options for the track’s racing schedule are on the table, including racing without spectators, but both purse levels and live race dates could be changing.

Read more at the Star Tribune.

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