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Photo Essay: Opening Weekend, Canterbury Park | Midwest Paddock Report
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Photo Essay: Opening Weekend, Canterbury Park

Photo Essay: Opening Weekend, Canterbury Park

SHAKOPEE, MN – Thunderstorms were followed by freeze warnings for part of Minnesota this past week and part of the opening weekend card at Canterbury Park was delayed by showers, but that did not dampen the enthusiasm of Minnesotans to have live racing back.

Bringing them on to the track

Bringing them on to the track

The 2015 season off and running

The 2015 season off and running

Nearly 7,000 out for the opener - on the apron and cheering for their favorites

Nearly 7,000 out for the opener – on the apron and ready to cheer for their favorites

Even the wildlife couldn’t stay away from the racetrack.

A persistent duck that kept wandering onto the track all evening.

A persistent duck that kept wandering onto the track all evening.

Trainers and riders came in from all over the country to ply their trade at the Shakopee oval this summer and some, like Canterbury Hall of Famer Bernell Rhone, came back looking tan and fit.

Bernell Rhone waiting to be interviewed after taking the first stakes race of the season, the 10,000 Lakes

Bernell Rhone waiting to be interviewed after taking the first stakes race of the season, the 10,000 Lakes

The backside had been alive for weeks with horses getting ready for the afternoon action.

Keeping an eye on the action in the morning

Keeping an eye on the action in the morning

In tandem

In tandem

The first stake races of the season saw the re-coronation of a champion,

Bourbon County cruising to victory in the 10,000 Lakes

Bourbon County cruising to victory in the 10,000 Lakes

And a salute to a passing legend

Polar Plunge getting starting to surge past Sky and Sea for Al & Bill Ulwelling.  Polar was bred by the late Cam Casby who passed away suddenly over the winter.

Polar Plunge getting starting to surge past Sky and Sea for Al & Bill Ulwelling. Polar was bred by the late Cam Casby who passed away suddenly over the winter.

The rain merely delayed a race but didn’t dampen spirits.

Kato Miss waits for her race in the saddling enclosure as heavy rains delayed racing for 20 minutes on Sunday.

Kato Miss waits for her race in the saddling enclosure as heavy rains delayed racing for 20 minutes on Sunday.

Ready to get restarted on Sunday with a hole in the weather.

Ready to get restarted on Sunday with a hole in the weather.

Even the kids got into the act at what may be the most family friendly racetrack in America.

Reagan (L) and her sister Cadence with their photo and souvenir eyewear from leading jockey Dean Butler

Reagan (L) and her sister Cadence with their photo and souvenir eyewear from leading jockey Dean Butler

Dean Butler, on fire opening night with 5 wins on the card, took time to make two girls' day.

Dean Butler, on fire opening night with 5 wins on the card, took time to make two girls’ day.

We know that this isn’t an “only in Minnesota moment” but as the young ladies above were waiting for a win photograph that Regan was in courtesy of owner Scott Rake and his filly Bad River Belle, jockey Dean Butler emerged and engaged the girls in conversation. In a flash Butler was gone and returned from the jocks room with a pair of goggles for Cadence and made sure to sign Regan’s win photo. This is how you take horse crazy youngsters and turn them into race fans forever – a simple act of generosity and the gift of time. Regan clutched her win photo all the way home to southern Minnesota and rumor is that Cadence still may not have removed her new goggles.

2 Responses to “Photo Essay: Opening Weekend, Canterbury Park”

  1. Sophia Grevelis says:

    Wonderful pictures as usual Heather.

  2. Bruce Malkerson says:

    Thank you for doing the Report.It adds to my enjoyment of this great sport and industry and all people and horses involved.

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