N.D. Horse Park Opens Today - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

N.D. Horse Park Opens Today

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After a two year hiatus, the North Dakota Horse Park is opening it's gates once again this weekend! They're back at it tonight at 5:00 p.m.

Horse racing in the Red River Valley? Just three years ago it wasn't so. But for the second year in a row it's proving to be gaining popularity.

One jockey, Damon Leeds, has been in the game since 1988 and finds himself all over the country, "I ride all along the Midwest, the Indiana circuit, and the Chicago circuit."

Trish Soulsby the North Dakota Horse Park Media Relations Manager says this year should be a bit different, "I think your going to have higher better class racing cause once you have a season that was successful like last year. The word gets out and more horse people say I'll go to the North Dakota Horse Park and compete."

"If you see a horse that's calm, cool, not worrying about anything. That's a good sign they're not worried. They're confident and they're gonna break good in the race and finish strong in the race too," says jockey Leeds.

But that's not to say it's a sure thing. Sometimes no one picks the winner. It's not common but it happens according to Soulsby, "so everybody who bet on the horse second to win got paid. So it's unusual! If they had bet on that horse, they would have won over 200 dollars on just one dollar."

If your feeling so bold as to put a couple bucks on a bet, it doesn't matter if you're a novice or an expert. Because betting starts at two dollars on up. "Your heart starts pumping when you have made a wager even if it's just 2 dollars. You see your horse zipping around coming down the stretch and you think... you have a shot," says Soulsby

Meanwhile Leeds knows that it's anyone's guess who will win,"I've seen the craziest son of a guns go across and win by 10-20 lengths. It's a gamble on these guys. No one knows who's gonna win."

So whether your bets are based on insight or instinct, you shouldn't lose your shirt, unless it's way too hot.

It costs $3 to get into the horse park and children 12 and under are free. If you know nothing about placing bets, they'll have a "horse racing 101" session 45 minutes to an hour prior to the start of the day's races.

Race Schedule:

Tonight: 5:00pm

Saturday: (Thoroughbred, North Dakota Derby & Futurity) 1:00pm

Sunday: (Quarter, North Dakota Derby & Futurity) 1:00pm



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