SHAKOPEE, Minn. — The excitement at Minnesota's largest Kentucky Derby party at Canterbury Park this year, ran far beyond serving up traditional mint juleps and a day's worth of betting.
"It's our single-biggest betting day of the year," said Canterbury Park Spokesman Jeff Maday. He went on to explain, "the way we designed Derby Day is there's something for everyone."
Of course you can't talk derby without talking fashion, which was on full display with some of the best fascinators and seersucker suits in town. But perhaps the biggest draw of the day was the hype centered around two of Minnesota's own.
"Yes, I did bet on the Minnesota horses," said Janet Parrish, an excited derby fan.
"Zandon, owned by Jeff Drown of St. Cloud. Zozos, owned by Joni and Barry Butzow — Canterbury Hall of Fame members who live in Eden Prairie," said Maday.
Zandon, a 6-1 favorite, finished in 3rd place, and Zozos finished 10th in the 20-horse field.
"There's been Minnesota connections in the race," Maday explained. "Twenty years ago there was a horse that ran 16th. In 1990, Frances Genter of Bloomington won the Kentucky Derby with Unbridled, that's the only Minnesota owner to actually win the Kentucky Derby."
While there won't be a Garland of Roses for any ties to Minnesota this year, the excitement and memories shared Saturday will last forever.
"I have a passion for horses and I have worked out here with the horses, so I love it," said Parrish.
While it wasn't the outcome many in this crowd were hoping for, people we spoke with say they were just happy to be back out enjoying a favorite Minnesota pastime.
Regular season races at Canterbury Park are set to begin May 18.
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