Publish date:

Curtis Sampson, who brought horse racing back to Minnesota, dies at 87

He died peacefully at his home in Hector, Minnesota.
Author:
Curt Sampson

The Minnesota man who took a faltering Canterbury Downs and helped turn it into the thriving race track it's known as today has died. Curtis Sampson, a native of Hector, Minnesota, passed away Thursday in his hometown at the age of 87. 

"We head into today with very heavy hearts and our minds are clouded given the death of Canterbury Park co-owner and chairman Curt Sampson," said track announcer Paul Allen before the races began Thursday evening

"The loving, giving, vibrant man died peacefully at his Hector home," Allen added. 

Sampson, his son Randy Sampson and Dale Schenian purchased a closed Canterbury Downs in 1994 and reopened the track as Canterbury Park a year later. 

In 2000, they added to the entertainment by opening the Canterbury Card Casino, never failing to maintain a "relentless focus" on a "family-friendly atmosphere," a press release from Canterbury reads

Racing is happening this summer at Canterbury Park, though fans aren't allowed to attend because of COVID-19. Instead, the Shakopee track is offering curbside wagering and free live streaming during the races.

Next Up

Gopher Football

U of M-barrassed: Gophers shocked by Bowling Green

The Falcons snapped a 21-game non-conference winning streak in front of a homecoming crowd.

Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins applies for exemption to COVID vaccine, is rejected

Wiggins could miss a large chunk of the season without the vaccine.

CJ Ham

Vikings-Seahawks: 5 things you can count on happening

Can the Vikings finally beat Russell Wilson?

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Residents asked to be on the lookout for at-large suspect in Sauk Rapids

The suspect was last seen near the intersection of Garden Brook Drive Northeast and Strawberry Court Northeast.

Towerside Innovation District

Aquifer energy storage project wins financial backing of Mpls city council

It'll be used to power the Towerside Innovation District near the U of M.

Screen Shot 2021-09-25 at 10.02.45 AM

Bomb threat prompts school evacuation in central Minnesota

A search of the building did not find any suspicious items.

Pexels - beer outside patio brewery

Brewery, taproom moving into former Twin Cities newspaper space

Loons Landing officially signed the lease this week.

Vic Richfield auto theft PD - rectangle crop

Police: Car with dog inside stolen from outside Twin Cities liquor store

They're asking people to be on the lookout for the vehicle.

John Hofer - Chisago County Sheriff's Office

Murder charge filed over inmate's death at Chisago Co. Jail

The man suddenly became unresponsive and died while in a holding cell.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 10.53.38 AM

Canterbury Park jockey banned for illegal device, loaded weapon

The Shakopee track has been running live races during the pandemic.

Horse track sets 2012 average attendance record

The average attendance for the 62-day live racing season at the Shakopee racetrack was 6,595 -- a new record at Canterbury Park, the Shakopee Patch writes. That's up 7.3 percent compared to last summer -- which was 6 days shorter because of the state government shutdown. The amount of money wagered was also up 25 percent this year.

Empire-Racing-jason bullard

Charges: $18M Ponzi scheme funded horse racing stable, other businesses

The couple owns Empire Racing Stables, which is one of the leading horse owners at Canterbury Park.

Screen Shot 2020-08-17 at 8.29.56 AM

Jake Mauer, 'patriarch of the Mauer baseball family,' dies at 89

Jake Mauer is perhaps best known for his role at Canterbury Park in Shakopee.

Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 10.53.38 AM

Canterbury Park requests 52-day racing season starting in June

The racetrack and card casino has been shut down since mid-March.

Commission approves deal between race track and casino

The bargain calls for the tribe that operates neighboring Mystic Lake casino to pay Canterbury Park $75 million over 10 years. In return for that cash infusion to boost its purses, the Shakopee track will give up its long-running push for slot machines. The Running Aces harness racing track is not part of the deal and argued against it.

Racing back in action at North Dakota Horse Park?

It looks like horse racing might return to Fargo as soon as this summer after being shut-down for two years because of major debt. Forum Communications reports the horse park has paid off several thousand dollars and found new revenue streams. The commission is set to discuss racing dates later this month.

Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 10.07.57 AM

Minnesota basketball legend Bob McDonald dies at 87

The MSHSL said he died in Hibbing Tuesday, and had tested positive for COVID-19.