Horse racing in the United States dates back to 1665, when the first racetrack was constructed on Long Island. 320 years later, on June 26, 1985, the first race was held in Minnesota at what was then known as Canterbury Downs. It was founded by Walter Brooks Fields, Jr., and other investors after a constitutional amendment allowing parimutuel wagering on horse racing was approved in Minnesota in 1982. Due to a racing season that saw an enormous drop in attendance, Canterbury Downs closed it’s doors in 1992, and reopened as Canterbury Park in 1994 after it was purchased by Curtis and Randy Sampson along with Dale Schenian.
Today 1500 horses stable at the park during the season, which runs from May to September, and run about 600 races. Jockeys come from all over the U.S. to race, as well as Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Panama, and England.