Canterbury Park begins racing season; other tracks face scrutiny over horse deaths

Share story

The 2019 horse racing season at Canterbury Park in Shakopee opens Friday night.

Then on Saturday, it's the Kentucky Derby.

The news for horse racing has not been good over the past few months. Twenty-three horses have died at the Santa Anita race track in California since December. Most were euthanized after suffering severe leg injuries during a race.

The racing surface and use of drugs are being investigated as possible causes. And it's not just California. In Kentucky, Churchill Downs is reportedly losing horses at a rate of 2.4 deaths per 1,000 starts.

MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke to Canterbury's Andrew Offerman, senior director of racing operations, about what they're doing to keep horses safe and what changes need to be made across the industry.

Click on the audio player above to hear their conversation.