Ragged Edge is a 3-year-old Philly that made her racing debut on a hot night at Canterbury Park.
"She doesn't really know what to expect, she hasn't been introduced to the major leagues," said trainer Bernell Rhone. "I'm kind of anxious to see what we've got."
Rhone, a longtime trainer, said that horse, like humans, need lots of fluids, shade and extra electrolytes when they exert themselves.
Because of the high heat Friday afternoon -- with temperatures soaring above 90 degrees, the animal hands had to make sure the water buckets were always full. They also must regularly cool off the four-legged athletes with a nice cold shower.
"We want to be careful they don't over-exert, so we'll make sure they're sponged down," Rhone said. "We want to make it as pleasant an experience for them as possible."
As for racing fans, the place to be as the hot afternoon sun gave way was trackside. A stiff breeze kept the crowds comfortable, but also meant sun umbrellas stayed down.
"I've lived in Minnesota my whole life. I'm not going to complain about the first 90degree day," said racing fan Heather Berkness. "It's not worth it. Not humid. Perfect weather."
With the race season officially underway, everyone is looking forward to a great summer at Canterbury – and some wishful betting on mother nature to deliver more days just like Friday in the months to come.
"I think it might be a hot summer," said Berkness. "We had warm winter, so why not a hot summer?"