SHAKOPEE, MN – The last several years people nationally have begun to take notice of Canterbury Park. Growing purses, larger field sizes, new wagers, lower takeout and new ADW legislation have all contributed to the growing chorus of traditional and social media attention. Nearly every story, no matter the subject matter, always included one element found at Canterbury that’s sometimes missing at most racetracks: fun!
While the patrons at Canterbury – and they average about 7,000 a day – are certainly having a good time, the employees, trainers, owners, jockeys, photographers and even media members are having a blast too.
Canterbury’s Digital Media Specialist Michelle Benson captured the joy around the racetrack in a four minute dance video released earlier today that showcases many of the above from around the track along with fans dancing to the Justin Timberlake song “Can’t Stop the Feeling”.
The idea had been percolating for about a year before it found voice this season with Benson and Canterbury Marketing .
“Last year when Taylor Swift’s song ‘Shake it Off’ came out I thought a video would be a really fun idea but I just wasn’t sure if it was a good idea,” said Benson. “This year Shyla Howell (Senior Marketing Manager) said to me that she noticed that people were posting videos to the Justin Timberlake song and that it might be the song of the summer. I immediately started getting ideas in my head of sketches of what I wanted, set shots and everything. Shyla and I started to get really excited about it.”
Most participants were more than willing to strut their stuff for a minute or two, others needed some persuading.
“Some were easier than others and others were a little tougher,” laughed Benson. ” The most shocking were [Fox Sports North’s] Kevin Gorg who said he would never do it but did; the jockeys were a little hesitant but then Patrick Canchari showed up and then Eric McNeil, who’s new up here, and Denny Velazquez joined up and they were great and had a lot of fun with it. Getting some of the trainers was awesome too: Russ and Bernell Rhone were great and getting Robertino Diodoro and Gary Scherer together was funny, too.”
“The fans were fun too,” she continued. “And the interns were great – they just were dancing like crazy and had a lot of fun and in their shot there was a guy in the background, reading his Daily Racing Form, totally oblivious to the dancing going on around him. It was hilarious.”
While only recently released earlier the this morning, the video is already gaining traction through social media and the horse racing community.
“We put it out on You Tube, Facebook and I went ahead and did some 6 second pieces to get it out on vine,” said Benson. “I would be great if it went viral, of course!”
With rapidly improving racing, fun promotions, an inclusive approach between management and horsemen, Canterbury has certainly made a fun fan experience but as the video (see it below) shows, it really is a fun summer for all involved in racing in Minnesota.