Fargo track to put on horse racing meet
for The Forum
After securing partial funding in late February from the North Dakota Racing Commission, Fargo’s horse racing facility is on track for a three-week meet in July, the longest meet it will host since 2009.
Racing Commission members on Friday approved cutting a check of $115,000 in promotional funds to both the North Dakota Horse Park in Fargo and the Chippewa Downs horse racing track in Belcourt.
North Dakota Racing Director Gunner laCour said that he plans to recommend giving the North Dakota Horse Park $260,000 in promotional and purse funds for its 2014 meet, which is nearly double the $168,500 the state made available to the Fargo track in 2013.
Last summer, officials at the track hoped to run a three-week meet, but after receiving far less than the $520,000 they requested, the meet was reduced to three days of racing over one weekend.
LaCour said he plans to recommend that the Fargo track receive a total of $180,000 in promotional funds and $80,000 for purse money.
He said Horse Race North Dakota – which operates the Fargo track – is working with new management, including a financial consultant.
LaCour said available racing funds have grown this this year. They are generated by taxes placed on account deposit wagering companies licensed by North Dakota. After another cycle of taxes have been collected, the commission will award the remaining amount of promotional and purse funding to the two tracks in April or May.
Purse funds are used to pay the winners of races, while promotional funds are used to pay for track operations and promotions.
The Fargo track’s three weekends of racing are July 19 and 20, July 26 and 27 and Aug. 2 and 3.
–reprinted with permission from The Forum
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