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Triple Crown winner American Pharoah at Canterbury? It could happen this summer

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What would it take to get Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to race at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota?

Canterbury Park track announcer Paul Allen, via his radio show on KFAN this morning, broke news that the track is considering moving the Mystic Lake Derby from the turf track to the dirt track and boosting the purse to $2 million in an effort to draw American Pharoah to Minnesota.

A $2 million purse would be equal to that of the Kentucky Derby.

The Mystic Lake Derby is currently scheduled to run Saturday, Aug. 29 with a purse of $200,000, according to the track's official site. Per the Star Tribune, a $2 million purse is $1.7 million more than the richest purse in Canterbury history.

Here's more on the idea from KFAN.

"The prize purse structure would be as follows…

  • 1st Place: $1,200,000 (60%)
  • 2nd Place: $400,000 (20%)
  • 3rd Place: $200,000 (10%)

The remaining 10% would be split between 4th and 10th places...

The race is currently scheduled for Saturday, August 29th but an accepted invite by American Pharoah will also likely push the Mystic Lake Derby to Sunday allowing Canterbury Park play-by-play voice Paul Allen the opportunity to return from his other duties calling the Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys preseason game Saturday evening in Dallas."

American Pharoah's impressive run to victory at Belmont Park on Saturday completed the Triple Crown of horse racing, having previously won the Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby.

The incredible thoroughbred is the first to win the Triple Crown since 1978, and it might be the first super horse to continue racing after success in the biggest races. The horse's owner plans to continue racing American Pharoah – rather than making millions in breeding – in an effort to grow the sport's audience and keep fans excited.

“I think we owe it to the sport to do the right thing,” Ahmed Zayat said Sunday, according to Visalia Times-Delta. “We’re not thinking about the money or the value. When the horse is ready, we’re not going to be scared of running him. It’s all about the fans now.”

Stay tuned, horse racing could get very interesting in Minnesota this summer.

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