Minnesota Race Tracks: Where to Bet on Horse Races in MN

Learn about Minnesota's race tracks and legal horse race betting options

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In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of the Minnesota race tracks, where live thoroughbred and quarter horse racing is hosted. You’ll be pleased to know that in-person Minnesota horse racing betting is not only legal but also well-regulated. Let’s take a closer look at the Minnesota horse racing industry.

Most Popular Minnesota Race Tracks

Canterbury Park

Address: 1100 Canterbury Rd, Shakopee, MN 55379
Phone: 952-445-7223

Between May and September, you can witness thrilling thoroughbred and quarter horse races. With popular races like the Minnesota Derby, Minnesota Turf Distaff, and Northlands Futurity, there’s always a high-stakes event to enjoy.

The betting experience is flexible and diverse, with options such as Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Quinella, and Superfecta. The 1-mile racetrack, coupled with numerous promotions and discounts on race days, enhances the overall experience.

Canterbury Park

You can visit the paddock before each race to watch the horses get saddled and pick up last-minute tips from the paddock analyst. After each race, you can head to the winner’s circle to see the winning horse and jockey pose for pictures.

The tote board is your central hub for all racing information, including betting odds and winning payouts. General admission into the racetrack is reasonably priced at $8 for adults and $5 for ages 6 and up.

Beyond the racetrack, Canterbury Park offers a 24/7 casino where you can play card games like blackjack, Three Card Poker, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. With year-round simulcasting, Canterbury Park offers an exciting Minnesota horse racing experience.

Running Aces

Address: 15201 Running Aces Blvd, Columbus, MN 55025
Phone: 651-925-4600

At Running Aces from May to September, you can enjoy live racing on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. The 5/8-mile racetrack provides a heart-pounding experience, with a variety of bets available, including Win, Place, Show, Quinella, Parlay, Superfecta, Pick 3/4/5, and Hi-5.

Even when the racing season ends, you can stay in the action all year round with simulcasting. Plus, with the mobile betting app, you can place bets on races at the track or simulcast races across the country.

Running Aces

Additional services include the card room for games like Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, and Mississippi Stud. After a day at the races or in the card room, you can unwind at the Running Aces Hotel, with its Scandinavian design, deluxe rooms, indoor pool, room service, and free breakfast.

List of All Minnesota Race Tracks

Read all the details about the two horse race tracks in Minnesota.

RacetrackAddressPhone NumberBetting Allowed?
Canterbury Park1100 Canterbury Rd, Shakopee, MN 55379952-445-7223Yes
Running Aces15201 Running Aces Blvd, Columbus, MN 55025651-925-4600Yes

Simulcast Wagering in Minnesota

Minnesota legally allows simulcasting, which means you can place bets on horse races happening in real-time across the country. While Minnesota doesn’t have standalone off-track betting (OTB) locations, you can still enjoy year-round simulcast wagering at the state’s two racetracks.

Betting LocationAddress
Canterbury Park Racebook1100 Canterbury Rd, Shakopee, MN 55379
Running Aces Racebook15201 Running Aces Blvd, Columbus, MN 55025

Popular Horse Races in Minnesota with Dates

The below list provides details of the horse races held at Minnesota’s racetracks, along with their dates.

Horse RacesRacing DatesWhere to Bet
10,000 Lake StakesMayCanterbury Park
Dark Star Turf SprintMayCanterbury Park
Minnesota Turf DistaffMayCanterbury Park
Minnesota DerbyMayCanterbury Park
Minnesota OaksMayCanterbury Park
North Star State FuturityJuneCanterbury Park
North Star State DerbyJuneCanterbury Park
Bob Morehouse StakesJuneCanterbury Park
MQHRA Stallion Auction FuturityJuneCanterbury Park
AQHA Bank of America Canterbury Championship ChallengeJuneCanterbury Park
Northlands FuturityJuneCanterbury Park
Canterbury Park Quarter Horse DerbyJuneCanterbury Park
Minnesota Quarter Horse FuturityJuneCanterbury Park
Minnesota Quarter Horse DerbyJuneCanterbury Park

Types of Legal Horse Betting in Minnesota

In Minnesota, you can legally participate in a variety of horse betting types. From the straightforward ‘Win’, ‘Place’, and ‘Show’ bets, to the more complex ‘Quinella’, ‘Parlay’, ‘Superfecta’, ‘Pick 3/4/5’, and ‘Hi-5’, there’s something to suit every level of betting expertise. 

You can place your bets on different types of horses, including thoroughbreds and quarter horses. The state also offers a variety of race types, from fast-paced thoroughbred betting to strategic harness racing. Whether you’re a seasoned punter or a novice, Minnesota’s horse betting scene offers plenty of opportunities.

Other Types of Gambling in Minnesota

Discover all there is to know about Minnesota gambling laws and other forms of gambling in the state:

History of Minnesota Horse Racing

In the 1960s, numerous attempts to legalize pari mutuel wagering on Minnesota horse racing failed. It was not until 1982 that a constitutional amendment finally allowed such betting. The Minnesota Racing Commission was established in the 1983-1984 legislative session to license racetracks and regulate horse racing and betting.

However, when pari mutuel betting was legalized, the nation was experiencing a decline in attendance and daily handle. Minnesota’s racing industry argued that other states were providing tax relief to their racetracks by lowering taxes.

In 1988, legislators agreed and gave a tax reduction. The following year in 1989, out-of-season simulcasting was legalized.

In 1991, a shift towards remote betting from home telephones and off-track betting (OTB) facilities was stopped. Rep Jim Rice filed a suit arguing that the original 1982 amendment was adopted by voters intending only to permit the legislature to legalize on-track betting. In 1992, a district court agreed with Rice’s argument, invalidating the OTB law and telephone betting rules. The Minnesota Supreme Court upheld this decision.

In 1994, legislators passed an amendment to the state’s constitution to legalize off-track betting, but voters rejected the measure. However, in 1996, the Minnesota horse racing industry benefited from a tax break that made the first $12 million in takeout each year exempt from the pari mutuel state tax.

The repeal of PASPA in 2018 opened new opportunities for sports betting across the US, but Minnesota is yet to fully embrace these changes, leaving the horse racing industry in a state of anticipation for future developments.

Minnesota Gambling FAQ

Is Minnesota horse racing legal?

US gambling laws by state vary, so it’s always important to check the rules and regulations in your area. In Minnesota, horse racing is perfectly legal. Here, you can enjoy pari mutuel betting on horse races, which was legalized in the state in 1982.

Can I bet on horse races in other states?

Yes, you can bet on horse races in other states thanks to simulcast wagering. This system allows you to place bets on live races happening anywhere in the country from the comfort of your local racetrack or off-track betting facility. Always remember to follow responsible gambling practices.

What’s the largest race track in Minnesota?

The largest of Minnesota race tracks is Canterbury Park. You’ll find it in Shakopee, Minnesota, and it’s a premier destination for live horse racing in the state. Besides racing, Canterbury Park also offers a card club with poker and casino games.

Can I bet on horse races online in Minnesota?

Yes, you can bet on horse races online in Minnesota. The state allows residents to place wagers on horse races through licensed online platforms. These platforms offer the convenience of betting from the comfort of your own home.

How can I bet on Minnesota horse racing events?

In Minnesota, you have several options for betting on horse racing events. Firstly, you can visit in-person Minnesota race tracks like Canterbury Park, where you can place your bets directly. Secondly, Minnesota also allows advance deposit wagering, which means you can fund an account with a licensed online platform and place your bets from the comfort of your own home.

What’s the minimum age to bet on horses in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, the minimum gambling age for placing bets on horses is 18 years old. Whether you’re placing your bets at a physical racetrack or through an online platform, this age requirement is strictly enforced.

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