Canterbury Park officials are fabricating a plan to attract Triple Crown winning colt American Pharoah to Minnesota to race in the Mystic Lake Derby in August. The plan is to significantly increase the race's purse if the horse enters.
If American Pharoah commits, the race would be run Aug. 30 at 11/8 miles on dirt with a likely purse of over $1 million, instead of the initial, shorter race slated for Aug. 29 at 1 mile with a purse of $200,000.
Canterbury will face competition as several prestigious races will also be trying to attract American Pharoah. Canterbury would have to surpass the oldest major thoroughbred race in America, Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, which offers a purse of $1.25 million. Pacific Classic at California's Del Mar, offering a purse of $1 million, has also been mentioned.
The St. Paul Derby at Canterbury Downs in 1986 was the richest race ever held at the Shakopee track, carrying a purse of $300,000.