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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.
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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.

In June, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which owns Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, reached a purse enhancement agreement with Canterbury Park. The tribe agreed to pay $75 million over the next decade if the racetrack dropped its long-standing push to add slot machines.

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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.

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Canterbury Park offered its richest purse ever for a single race at the track on Saturday. The $161,000 Mystic Lake Derby was the first significant event since the horse track partnered with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Last month, the owners of Mystic Lake Casino agreed to pay $75 million over the next decade to boost racing purses at Canterbury Park. In exchange, the racetrack will drop its longstanding push to add slot machines. Hammers Terror won the inaugural race, with jockey Lori Keith in the saddle.

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