Canterbury Park’s $2 million proposal to try and draw American Pharoah to the Shakopee may be dead on arrival.
Ahmed Zayat, owner of the first Triple Crown winner in nearly four decades, responded to the offer via social media last night.
The Mystic Lake Derby, already offered the largest purse of Canterbury’s 70-day season at $200,000, is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29, at one mile on the turf. Should Zayat Stables and trainer Bob Baffert have agreed to bring American Pharoah to Canterbury for this race, it would have be the richest race in the history of the track and the largest purse offered this summer in North American racing while also moved to 1 1/8 miles over the main track.
The track remains optimistic that a deal can get done – or at least is still in play.
“Canterbury’s partnership with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has revived racing in Minnesota and allows us to make a proposal that could attract the greatest horse in the last four decades to our racetrack,” Randy Sampson, Canterbury Park President and CEO said. “Our intent is to make the Mystic Lake Derby a major race. Attracting American Pharoah to Canterbury would certainly do that. We and our horsemen owe it to our loyal race fans to at least extend this offer to the connections of the Triple Crown winner.”
The MWPR responded to the Zayat tweet asking if that was the official response to the Canterbury offer at 10:18 AM CT. As of publication time, 2:00 PM CT, we had not received a response, though it should be noted that the Zayat account has been quiet since before we asked. They may just have a few things going on!
We will continue to update as information warrants.