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Canterbury is race ready, limited fans allowed

As racing returns to Canterbury Park, jockeys, trainers and fans learn to adjust to new rules.

SHAKOPEE, Minn. — Leslie Mawing's life as a jockey is slowly returning to normal.

"No body knows what's happening for sure, but we're trying to adapt to the structure of racing and do it safely," Mawing said.

Just a few months ago, Mawing was racing in Tampa, Florida with no fans in attendance.

"I just rode in Florida and we had to go with that procedure," he said. "You're used to fans cheering ... but we've had to get used to it.

Mawing traveled north in May to continue his training and preparation for the upcoming season at Canterbury Park. Now, fans will also return to the races at Canterbury, the park is allowing 250 people in on Wednesday.

"I think we’re gonna have a good upcoming season for us, in 2021, and I’m just excited to see all that happen."

Horse Racing's big ticket races have all been delayed because of the pandemic, and Mawing says it will make for a more even playing field once racing is back in full tilt.

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"As a jockey, I’m excited to see how the late bloomers will perform compared to the ones that have won the earlier races. I can’t wait to watch those races on TV. "

Regardless, Mawing is happy to have some fans back, which means he can keep supporting his family.

"As a jockey, we’re pretty much self employed, so if you’re not working, you’re not making money and it makes it tough for some people to go on unemployment. For myself, I've got a family, three kids and a wife, and we’re just relying on racing as soon as we can."

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