Canterbury Park - the Shakopee, MN racetrack that lowered takeout's this season - had a very nice weekend opener. Friday through Sunday, handle was up over 30%, year over year.
the weather cooperated, and on-track wagering was up, it's still (by
any measure) a super result for the track who had hoped to generate some
buzz with simulcast players. Wagering outside the state via ADW and
other racetracks was up 34%.
debuted an HD signal (to a couple complaints on social media, mainly
regarding the lack of visibility of the odds in full fields), and odds
that update every ten seconds, giving players a pretty good experience
for a smaller racetrack. They also flew in Katie Gensler to help with
the two new candidates for paddock analyst, and the pre-game show had a
The track catered to both its
on-track and off-track customers by doing the right thing with the
takeout decrease -- they promoted it. It's messaging is on the starting
gate, the track announcer mentions it, and during the pre-game show the
analysts talked about and explained that lower takeout means their
customers' tickets pay more. "When you win, you win more" is a strong
message to patrons.
They seemed to push all the right buttons to set the table for a decent meet.
as many of us have learned, is in a unique position as a racetrack.
While most tracks earn the vast majority of their wagering dollars from
off-track sources, Canterbury has an amazingly strong on-track business;
upwards of half of some evenings total wagering comes from people on
track. Although many of these bettors are younger and per capita
wagering is low -- they have mainly come for other activities and
promotions -- it does again set the table for growth. If even a handful
of these newbies get that if this new 18% trifecta takeout (with some
work) can be beatable, it's again very strong messaging.
we as bettors can enjoy the perks of better takeout, it's also those of
us who are fans and horse owners to be quite excited for the meet
itself. Also not left out are the trainers.
Trainer Robert Diordino said things at Canterbury are different, “At a lot of tracks, you feel like you’re walking into an empty bingo
hall,” said Robertino Diodoro, Canterbury’s leading trainer last year.
“It doesn’t feel like you’re even at a racetrack any more.”
Keen who sent a string to Canterbury last season loved the family vibe
and people in the stands, “It's unbelievable. I love seeing the families
here and the young people..."
For most of us not at
the track, Canterbury's Friday evening races are at 6:30CT (there will
be Thursday night racing at some point), and racing continues this
weekend with a special Monday matinee for holiday weekend at 12:45CT.
Canterbury Park on social media during the races, Candice Hare will be
handicapping @chare889 as the national handicapping correspondent,
Brian Arrigoni is the on-track paddock analyst @MrB_CBanalyst, and there
are others playing on social media with the hashtag #playcanterbury
This article was reprinted with permission.