Horse racing could see a triple crown winner this weekend as Justify tries to win the Belmont Stakes.
Meanwhile, North Dakota’s live horse racing circuit is getting started for 2018.
Jim Olson reports from Belcourt where racing in the state begins tomorrow.
Horses will soon be racing around the oval track at Chippewa Downs. And Sharlene Reuer of Jamestown expects her handful of horses to be right in the mix.
(Sharlene Reuer, Horse Owner) “Last year I had four wins between here and Fargo.”
Reuer spends three weekends here at the facility near Belcourt before heading to Fargo for three more weeks of racing at the North Dakota Horse Park.
(Gunner Lacour, ND Racing Commission Director) ” We have people from all over the state, it brings people from the east and west, north and south. It’s quite a group.”
(Stuart Lafountain, Tribal Council Member) “It’s something that we grew up with.”
Stuart Lafountain used to ride his horse here from his nearby home and, with circle the track with friends who’d gathered for some fun racing.
(Stuart Lafountain, Tribal Council Member) “Horse racing has been here for years and it’s a passion of a lot of people.”
Nowadays, it much more organized – with the Chippewa Downs one of only two in the state with live parimutuel racing through the North Dakota Racing Commission.
(Gunner Lacour, ND Racing Commission Director) “We generate through mostly online wagering and we utilize that revenue solely to put on live racing in the state.”
And it’s big here – hundreds of horses will race over the next three weekends and most will be boarded here for that time.
(Doug DeMontigny, Order Board Chairman) “We can house 200-250 horses here and they stay through the race weeks.”
Each Saturday and Sunday, eight races are held with the first post time at 1:30 – but it’s good to arrive early to check out the horses and jockeys in the paddock area.
(Doug DeMontigny, Order Board Chairman) “Nice to be there and take a look at the horses.”
That’s where we found Sharlene Reuer and her new, two-year-old Free Fallin’ Cowboy. She’s hoping he carries on a winning tradition.
(Sharlene Reuer, Horse Owner) “When you’ve been horse racing, it’s in your blood…hard to get it out.”
That’s why she and her horses will be spending the next two months at the track – right here in North Dakota.
Jim Olson, KX News.
There are four off-track locations where you can bet on the races at the Belcourt and Fargo tracks.
And you can bet online right on your computer.