Ask the Patch Pros: About Horse Racing and Betting

Want to know how to wager on the horses? What's a post time? Can I view the horses in the paddock before picking my winner? We've got you covered in this installment of Patch Pros.

"At Canterbury Park, race 4, $2 to win, on horse 5.”

Um, what? From post time to pari-mutuel betting, learning how to bet on the horses is key to long-term enjoyment at ther track, according to the website. But what if you're a first-timer?

There's plenty to learn. In fact, there's so much that Canterbury offers a five-week course called Canterbury College. While many of us don't quite have time for that, we do have an all-star crew to answer your questions. So we encourage you to ask anything you've ever wanted to know about horses, racing and betting. 

Our panel of experts includes:

Jeff Maday, Canterbury Park's media relations/player development manager

Andrew Offerman, Canterbury Park's social media coordinator

Dave Astar, owner and manager of two thoroughbred racing and breeding businesses, Astar Thoroughbreds and Astar Lindquist Stables

Lisa Baumann May 24, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Thanks Canterbury Andrew/Jeff! I'm starting to think we might need an ark around here. And thanks for the first-timer tips. I didn't realize there was anywhere to sit inside and watch? And maybe I'll bet show to try and win something the first time around?
Dave Astar May 24, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Becky, I've worked with several trainers over the last 10 years. Currently, we have our horses in Gary Scherer's barn. There are some very good trainers in Minnesota. I look at earnings per start trainer data and stable procedures to determine who I now use. In 2011 Mac Robertson led the league at Canterbury with his horses earning $5,322 per start in 2011 at Canterbury. The rest of the 2011 Top Ten Canterbury trainers in earnings per start, with at least 20 starts at Canterbury, included Biehler, Oliver, Bravo, Scherer, Rhone, Brinson, Lund, Rengstorf and Arterburn. (Equibase Data)
Lisa Baumann May 25, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Just saw Canterbury Park tweet this - "Races 3 and 4 are officially Off the Turf tonight. Main track will most likely be listed as Fast." Is this rain related? Anyone?
Canterbury Park May 25, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Yes, Lisa this is rain related. We will not run races on our turf course if it is too wet. Track conditions are as follows (from best to worst): For Dirt: Fast, Good, Muddy, Sloppy For Turf: Firm, Good, Soft, Yielding There are maintenance tools that can be used to help the dirt course stay dry; however, those same tools aren't available for the turf course.
Dave Astar May 25, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Lisa, it is rain related. Whenever the turf gets soggy most tracks will remove the races from the turf and move them to the dirt for general safety reasons. With some exceptions for bigger stakes races this almost always happens. The turf track is typically termed to be "firm" normally and when it's a bit soggy but they still race on the turf it's called "yielding". The dirt track is normally called "fast" but based on the amount of moisture it absorbed it might be called "good", "muddy" or "sloppy". I haven't been to Canterbury today but they do a great job there. I bet they sealed the dirt track to help it drain during the downpours yesterday so the track condition may be good or even fast tonight for racing de[ending on how much it drys out during the day. Many horses actually prefer a slightly softer "off" track. ("Off" is a term used for anything other than a fast track.)


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