At the December meeting of the Minnesota Racing Commission the Commission approved Canterbury’s request for dates in 2017. Highlights include the earlier opening of racetrack in a return to its traditional Derby Weekend opener (Friday, May 4); a summer break after 4th of July to allow for track maintenance after racing for six consecutive days around the holiday; closing date of September 16; and 67 total racing days.
Racing on Thursdays and Fridays in 2017 will begin at 6:30 p.m. and weekend and holiday racing at 12:45 p.m. On May 5 and July 3, racing will begin at 4:00 p.m.
“We are very pleased with the 2017 racing schedule,” Canterbury Park President Randy Sampson said. “We will begin racing earlier than we have for the past eight years, with opening weekend coinciding with the Kentucky Derby. This allows additional opportunities for owners to run their horses and also better accommodates trainers coming from race meets that end earlier in the spring.
“A week-long break in the schedule is unprecedented at Canterbury but it serves the horse population very well and allows our track crew to make sure the racing surfaces remain in top shape for the second half of the meet,” Sampson continued.
In a management shake up at Canterbury, long time Chief Financial Officer Dave Hansen and Vice-President of Racing Operations Eric Halstrom were terminated with Randy Sampson taking over as interim CFO.
In an Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated December 5, Canterbury noted:
Beginning December 5, 2016, Canterbury Park Holding Corporation (the Company) implemented a restructuring of management to better align the Company’s senior leadership to a new corporate structure approved by the Company’s shareholders in June 2016, as well as to address current revenue trends, operational needs and business growth opportunities (the Restructuring). Pursuant to the Restructuring, on December 5, 2016, David C. Hansen’s employment as Chief Financial Officer terminated. Also, as part of the Restructuring, on December 7, 2016, Eric Halstrom’s employment as the Company’s Vice President of Racing terminated.
Effective December 5, 2016, Randall D. Sampson, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, became the Company’s principal financial officer and principal accounting officer. Mr. Sampson served as the Company’s principal executive officer, principal financial officer and principal accounting officer from 1994 until 2001. As disclosed in the Company’s Proxy Statement for its 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, after graduating from college with a degree in accounting, Mr. Sampson worked for five years in the audit department of Deloitte & Touche where he earned his CPA certification. He subsequently gained experience as a controller of a private company and, thereafter, served as Chief Financial Officer of a public company before becoming one of the three co-founders of Canterbury Park Holding Corporation in 1994. Mr. Sampson will not receive any additional compensation for assuming the duties of principal financial officer and principal accounting officer.
There was no additional comment from the company regarding the management changes.