Opening night attracted a large, boisterous and gleeful crowd as live racing returned to Canterbury Park for the 2022 season. There was talk of rain showers but those clouds missed Shakopee and the many fans, not deterred by the erroneous forecast, were greeted with sunshine and a late sunset. The wins over an eight-race card were spread around that night with seven jockeys winning a single race and Ruben Fuentes getting two wins due to a dead heat in the 10,000 Lakes Stakes when Dame Plata, with Fuentes aboard, battled to a heater with Thealligatorhunter and Alonso Quinonez. Handle for the evening totaled $1.846 million.
One of the more impressive results was provided by Clickbait with Cecily Evans riding for Mac Robertson in the Lady Slipper Stakes. The 6-year-old gray mare, who has now won seven of 13 lifetime and the same race last season, covered six furlongs in 1:08.46, cruising on the lead in fractions of 21.75 and 44.58. Her final time was .91 seconds faster than the boys in the 10,000 Lakes, earning a 104 Equibase speed figure compared to the 89 of Dame Plata and Thealligatorhunter.
“She’s just a spectacular horse and everything she does, she does so easy,” Evans said.
Thursday’s crowd was lighter than opening night with handle for the nine-race card of $1.694 million.
The Preakness Day wagering festivities led to a healthy Saturday evening live racing crowd, with most congregating inside as evening temps dropped to 50 degrees. Handle totaled $1.56 million with $185,000 of that number on track. Jockey Harry Hernandez, third in the nation by wins, won three races Saturday including one on Bugler who returned $25.60, the largest price of the night.
Racing resumes Wednesday at 5 p.m with a card that includes three $50,000 turf stakes. Hernandez enters the week with four wins as does Roimes Chirinos. Ruben Fuentes, his brother Luis Fuentes, Lindey Wade and Jermaine Bridgmohan have three and Cecily Evans remains undefeated with two wins.
Fourteen-time training champion Mac Robertson tallied seven wins from 14 starters. Francisco Bravo, Joel Berndt and Robertino Diodoro have two wins each.
Post Time Pick 4
New this season is the 10 percent takeout early pick four wager. Opening night saw a pool total of $95,909. Three odds-on winners began the proceedings followed by a 21-1 winner resulting in a $54 payout for a 50-cent bet. The Thursday and Saturday pools were smaller, $56,423 and $15,702 respectively, but the payouts much larger at $231 and $831.
The 10 percent takeout Pick 5, offered daily on the final five thoroughbred races, attracted an average pool of $98,484 returning an average payout for the 50-cent base wager of $543.