Exploring Canterbury Park’s Enchanting Northern Stars Turf Festival: A Mystic Journey

The Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival: A Horse Racing Extravaganza

The Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival, hosted at Minnesota’s Canterbury Park, promises to be the center of the horse racing universe this Wednesday. With five stakes races and an array of betting options, including a low-takeout all-turf stakes Pick 5, this festival is a must-attend event for racing enthusiasts.

All-Turf Stakes Pick 5: A Handicapper’s Delight

One of the highlights of the Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival is the all-turf stakes Pick 5 wager, boasting an industry-low 10% takeout. This 50-cent bet covers races 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8, offering an incredible opportunity for bettors to showcase their handicapping skills and potentially cash in on big winnings.

The featured race of the day is the Mystic Lake Derby, a mile-long turf race with a hefty $150,000 purse. This highly anticipated race features 11 talented 3-year-olds competing on the Canterbury grass. It is the richest race of the season at Canterbury Park and is sure to attract attention from both spectators and bettors alike.

A Plethora of Wagering Options

In addition to the all-turf stakes Pick 5, the Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival offers several other enticing wagering opportunities. There is a Pick 4 starting with the first race, an all-stakes Pick 4 covering races 5 through 8, and a late Pick 5 on the final five races of the day. With all these options, bettors have a variety of ways to engage with the races and potentially strike it big.

Last year’s festival garnered great feedback from horseplayers, resulting in a single-day handle record of $3,795,180. Given the deep fields and an impressive lineup of trainers and jockeys this year, there is a high possibility of surpassing that record and creating another memorable day of racing at Canterbury Park.

A Star-Studded Field

The Northern Stars Turf Festival attracts top-notch trainers and jockeys, adding further excitement to the event. Esteemed trainers such as Brad Cox, Mike Maker, Tom Amoss, Greg Foley, and Ron Moquett have brought their horses to compete in the festival. Accompanying them are renowned jockeys including Florent Geroux, Javier Castellano, and the underrated Adam Beschizza, who will showcase their skills alongside local talents, Jareth Loveberry and Roimes Chirinos. The presence of such esteemed horsemen and women elevates the level of competition and ensures thrilling racing action.

Thrilling Races and Competitive Fields

The races on the Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival card boast full fields, offering bettors ample choices to find their winning selections. The $100,000 Lady Canterbury, the $100,000 Dark Star Turf Sprint, and the $100,000 Curtis Sampson all drew 13 entries, guaranteeing fierce competition. The Dark Star Turf Sprint even has two also-eligibles, adding further intrigue to the betting landscape. The $100,000 Mystic Lake Mile attracted a field of 12, adding another exciting race to the festival’s lineup.

“The card really came together well. All the turf stakes drew full fields,” said Canterbury Park Senior Vice President of Racing, Andrew Offerman. “The Northern Stars Turf Festival will be extremely competitive, with horses from Kentucky, local horses, and horses from around the country. It should make for very exciting racing.”

Intriguing Contenders in the Mystic Lake Derby

The Mystic Lake Derby, the highlight of the festival, features 3-year-olds vying for victory on the Canterbury grass. Among the entries, six are locally bred Minnesota products, including Bens Malice, who offers both value and the advantage of familiarity with the home course. With two wins on the Canterbury Park grass, Bens Malice is a strong contender at 8/1 odds.

Two other contenders to keep an eye on are Stitched and Dowagiac Chief. Stitched, trained by Greg Foley, comes into the race after a victory in the Caesars Stakes at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Although his Equibase Speed figures may not be flashy, his turf and overall win record speak for themselves. Dowagiac Chief, trained by Tom Amoss, had an unlucky outing in the Grade 2 American Turf but previously showcased strong performances, including a victory in the Black Gold Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Other Exciting Stakes Races to Watch

The Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival isn’t just about the Mystic Lake Derby. There are several other stakes races worth paying attention to. In the five-furlong Dark Star Turf Sprint Stakes, XY Speed, trained by Mike Maker, emerges as a top contender with Javier Castellano aboard. Schlofmitz, a promising horse improving with each race, aims to make an impact in the one-mile Curtis Sampson Oaks. Saranya, last year’s winner of the Curtis Sampson Oaks, returns to defend her title with a strong performance at Keeneland under her belt.

The Schedule for the Canterbury Park Northern Stars Turf Festival

Let’s take a look at the key stakes races and their post times for the Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival:

Leg A: Race 3 — $100K Curt Sampson Oaks (Post Time: 6:10 p.m. CT)

The Curt Sampson Oaks kicks off the festival, featuring talented fillies competing over a mile distance. It sets the stage for an evening of exhilarating racing action.

Leg B: Race 4 — $100K Dark Star Turf Sprint (Post Time: 6:41 p.m. CT)

The Dark Star Turf Sprint, a five-furlong dash on the turf, promises a thrilling burst of speed as sprinters vie for the winner’s circle in this highly competitive race.

Leg C: Race 6 — $100K Lady Canterbury Stakes (Post Time: 7:43 p.m. CT)

The Lady Canterbury Stakes brings together a talented field of fillies and mares, ready to showcase their speed and stamina over the Canterbury grass. The one-mile race is bound to captivate racing fans.

Leg D: Race 7 — $100K Mystic Lake Mile (Post Time: 8:14 p.m. CT)

The Mystic Lake Mile, a one-mile contest on the turf, provides a true test of endurance and strategy. With a full field of competitive runners, this race is sure to keep spectators on the edge of their seats.

Leg E: Race 8 — $150K Mystic Lake Derby (Post Time: 8:45 p.m. CT)

The Mystic Lake Derby, the pinnacle of the festival, concludes the day with its rich purse and talented field of 3-year-olds battling it out on the Canterbury grass. This race is the perfect crescendo to a day filled with excitement and anticipation.

A Conclusion to Remember

The Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival at Canterbury Park promises high-quality racing, thrilling finishes, and endless wagering possibilities. With a star-studded field, full race cards, and an assortment of betting options, this festival captures the essence of the horse racing universe. Whether you’re a seasoned handicapper or a casual spectator, mark your calendars and experience the electrifying atmosphere of the Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival.


1. Can I attend the Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival in person?

Yes, the Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival is open to the public, and spectators can enjoy the races firsthand at Canterbury Park. Please check the official website or contact the venue for any specific attendance guidelines or restrictions.

2. Are there any accommodation options near Canterbury Park?

Absolutely! There are numerous hotels and accommodations available near Canterbury Park to suit various budgets and preferences. Consider booking in advance to secure the best options.

3. How can I place my bets on the races?

If you’re attending the festival in person, you can place your bets at the on-site betting facilities. Alternatively, many online platforms and mobile applications allow you to wager on horse racing events conveniently from anywhere. Choose a reputable platform that offers thoroughbred racing betting options and follows the necessary legal regulations.

4. Can I watch the Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival races online?

Yes, several online platforms and streaming services may provide live coverage of the races. Check with authorized streaming providers or the official Canterbury Park website for more information on how to access the live streams.

5. Are there any additional attractions or entertainment options at Canterbury Park?

Absolutely! Canterbury Park offers a wide range of amenities to enhance your experience. In addition to the thrilling races, you can enjoy delicious dining options, live music, gaming opportunities, and more. Visit the Canterbury Park website for a comprehensive list of attractions and entertainment offerings.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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