Opening Night Handles $1,845,976; Pick 5 Carryover $91,333

Thealligatorhunter with Alonso Quinonez aboard

Canterbury’s 65-day racing season got underway Tuesday with a small, but very lively crowd capped at somewhere around 2,500. The 50 cent Pick 5 was elusive to bettors who wagered $135,332 into the pool. With no winning tickets, the carryover into Wednesday evening is $91,333.

“People, the fans, seem so happy to be back,” trainer Valorie Lund said. “I had complete strangers wishing me luck.”

Masks are no longer required for the fully vaccinated, so smiling faces could be seen everywhere.

One of those smiling faces was owner Peter Mattson of Prior Lake, Minn. His Elusive Amelia won the first race, Astronaut Oscar the second and Owen’s Pleasure the third. Had he ever won three races in one night? “Not that I recall,” said Mattson. “I haven’t won three races in a month,” said the self-deprecating  Mattson, who was third leading owner in 2020.

Mattson’s horses were not done yet however. Minnesota Lucky finished off the board in the fifth but Thealligatorhunter, who Mattson co-owns with trainer Tim Padilla, won the eighth race by open lengths.

Jockey Alonso Quinonez was aboard three of the Mattson winners and Chad Lindsay another. Quincy Hamilton brought in the longest price of the night, taking Papa Rizzo gate to wire at 37 to 1 and paying $77.20.

Three riders new to the jockey colony this season, Lindey Wade , Ruben Fuentes and Luis Negron, had one win each.

The $1 Pick 6 also went un-hit. The carryover into Wednesday is $7,714.87. First post is 5PM CDT.

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