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Racing returns to NDHP

July 13, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

Story by Ryan Roshau, North Dakota Horse Park

It may be an appetizer instead of a feast, but for racing fans hungry for horse racing in North Dakota, it may serve as all that they need.

For the first time since the summer of 2009, horse racing returns to the little track on the prairie as the Horse Park reopens its doors this weekend to kickoff its four day meet. July 14, 15, 21, and 22 will see live racing at the Fargo oval.

The opening weekend of racing will feature full cards mixed with Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred action with several races exclusive for North Dakota-breds.

Checkin Her Out appears as standout in HRND Inaugural

The trees are still swaying in Belcourt following Checkin Her Outís back to back victories at Chippewa Downs in June. June 23rd saw the daughter of Check Her Out score a 2ľ-length victory in a NDQHRA Derby over fellow sophomores. In that race three weeks ago, the brown filly posted a 90 speed index. The result closer but as equally dazzling a week later in an Open Derby Final when she tallied a neck victory as the 8-to-5 favorite.

Since that renewal, she has been moved from the barn on Rich Nevins into the capable hands of Bob Johnson, who will saddle her in the Saturday feature. Johnson, a perpetual leading QH trainer at past Fargo meets, has taken down many of the stakes for North Dakota-breds in the past with charges like Mr. Toaster, Dashing By By, and Dripping Diamond. Checkin Her Out was also bred in the Flickertail State.

As well-known as Johnsonís name is at the Horse Park, ďMaherĒ is easily right up there. Owner Tom Maher has been a prominent supporter of the Fargo oval since Day 1 and heís back with a stable of contenders once more. In the Inaugural, Maher enters with the dark horse Ballroom Gal. The Texas-bred has been finishing in mid-pack in recent Claiming races at Canterbury Park but her Speed Figures do contend with this crowd. In three races earlier this spring at South Dakota tracks she was never out of the money and in May of 2011 she was a starter in the Ruidoso Futurity Trials.

While Checkin Her Out was a star attraction at Chippewa in June, Josies Little Outlaw was building quite a resume of her own. Leo Hermanís filly started four times in Belcourt and tallied two wins including one in a $8,875 Derby Final on June 30th. Her speed figures and class seem to be a cut below but the fact remains she is a winner and has been on the board in each of her last three starts.

Bill Maherís Call Me Scoot Dancer has been off the board in all four career starts but the gelded son of Torrid Tango has a pedigree that could respond to the Horse Park stretch. Nemos King and Cat Whisper are a pair who scored maiden victories at Chippewa Downs last month. The latter stumbling at the start and losing his rider in the Open Derby race on June 30th.