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In 1966 there was no pari mutual race tracks in Minnesota, there might have been some harness racing at local fairs, but no legal wagering. It wasn't until 1985 that the first pari mutual track was open in the state, and then another 23 years before the next one was open. As of 2015 both tracks are still in business, but the junior track in Columbus could be in jeopardy. 

Minnesota is a tale of two tracks, they both have similarities and they both have big difference. For one they are both about the same distance from the Minneapolis, St. Paul metropolitan area, they both have card rooms, they both were trying to get the state to legalize slot machines. Thats where the similarities end.

One track is a big, sprawling thoroughbred facility which even has in inner turf course, built in the grand style of tracks in the forties and fifties. The other is a small harness track that doesn't even have a grandstand. The big difference is that one of them cut a deal with a local Indian Casino to supplement their purses for giving up the pursuit of slot machine, all but dooming the other track.      

A relative newcomer to the pari mutual arena Minnesota didn't legalize wagering till 1982. Canterbury Downs the states first racing facility opened in 1985 it was a grand sprawling facility that included an inner turf course. By 1992 the track was shuttered by the original owners. The track was reopened by local investors in 1995 and is still in existence.

A second facility Running Aces debuted in 2008. This facility was built for Harness Racing on much smaller and efficient footprint to meet the need for simulcasting and gaming.

Both tracks offer gaming other than horseracing but it is not your standard Racino VLT type action because for some strange reason all they offer is card games?