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Talk about good luck. Picture-perfect weather set the stage for a lively opening night at Canterbury Park, drawing a crowd estimated at 7,000 for Saturday's nine-race card. The first of 54 days of summer racing in Shakopee offered a little bit of everything: two $50,000 stakes, some triumphant favorites and a few surprise winners.

No upsets here: Both stakes races ran true to form, with heavy favorites winning the 10,000 Lakes for colts and geldings and the Lady Slipper for fillies and mares. Charlie's Penny took the Lady Slipper at 1-2 odds, and Doctor Oscar captured the 10,000 Lakes at 1-5 odds.

The competition for Charlie's Penny got a little lighter when Ready to Runaway, Canterbury's horse of the year in 2020, scratched. But Charlie's Penny still had to contend with top-notch sprinter Clickbait, and the two battled down the stretch, with Charlie's Penny digging in to win for the second time in two Canterbury starts. Doctor Oscar won by 1¾ lengths over stablemate Thealligatorhunter.

A total of $1,184,778 was wagered on Saturday's card, including $274,235 on track.

Longshots pay off: Opening night also included three winners at double-digit odds, lending some unpredictability to the evening. Euromantic scored the biggest upset, taking a $28,000 allowance optional claiming race at 24-1 for trainer/owner Vic Hanson. He returned $50.60 on a $2 win bet.

Two races later, Sir Sterling won at 22-1 odds for trainer Tony Rengstorf, paying $47.20 to win as he ran off with a $32,000 allowance. Trainer Lynn Rarick doubled up on the upset fun with Chocolate­icecream (6-1) and King Nate (12-1).

Return of the kings: Last year's trainer's race ended in a tie between Joel Berndt and Mac Robertson. They figure to be setting the pace again this season, with each entering 21 horses over the first three days of racing. Berndt got out of the gate quickly, winning twice on opening night.

Berndt trains for Bob Lothenbach of Wayzata, Canterbury's leading owner in each of the past three seasons. They won Saturday's third race with Birdie Machine, then followed up with Charlie's Penny in the Lady Slipper. Lothenbach set a Canterbury Park record with more than $1.5 million in earnings last season.

Owner Pete Mattson and trainer Tim Padilla also teamed up for a lucrative night. They ran 1-2 in the 10,000 Lakes Stakes with Doctor Oscar and Thealligatorhunter, then added a victory in the fourth race with Miss Mac Mac. Jockey Alonso Quinonez was aboard both winners.

Riding into summer: Lindey Wade, Canterbury's champion jockey in 2021, retired last fall — but it didn't last long. He recently resumed riding, returned here and had mounts in six races Saturday, winning with Charlie's Penny.

Harry Hernandez is looking to repeat in his second season in Shakopee. A runaway winner last season with 78 victories, he has stayed hot, currently ranking third among all North American jockeys in victories this year (115). He rolled to 150 wins last fall and winter at Arizona's Turf Paradise, more than twice as many as runnerup Karlo Lopez, who also rides at Canterbury.

Quinonez, Ezequiel Lara, Constantino Roman, Kelsi Harr and Jermaine Bridgmohan are among other top-10 Canterbury riders who have returned..

Tribal deal over: Saturday's card opened a new era for Canterbury, marking the first season in 11 years without the extra purse funds supplied by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. The deal, which contributed about $70 million to purses since its inception in 2012, expired Dec. 31.

Purses are expected to decline about 10% from last season, to $220,000 per day. To keep them from falling too far, Canterbury shrunk its season to 54 days, 10 fewer than in 2022. The season started later than usual, and most race weeks have been trimmed from four days to three. There will be four days of racing — with Thursdays added to the usual Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday schedule — for six weeks in July and August.

Canterbury officials hoped that sports-betting legislation could provide some additional purse funds, but the legislative session ended without passage of a bill.