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Racing on the High Plains: Northeast Area Horse Racing

May 11, 2017     E-mail this page to a friend!

Story by Kirby Grimes, Track Announcer

The 2017 season at Northeast Area Horse Racing in Aberdeen, South Dakota, kicks off on May 20th. Five exciting days of racing span two weekends at the historic Brown County oval. Full fields and 11 stakes races will highlight the meet.

Opening weekend of May 20-21 features three stakes races for Thoroughbreds.

The opening day is the Harold Sanderson Memorial Sprint for 3-year-olds and up going five furlongs for $2,600-added.

May 21 is highlighted by the South Dakota Claiming Stakes for South Dakota-bred horses with a claiming price of $4,000. The co-feature is the Roger Munger Memorial going seven furlongs with a purse of $2,600-added.

Opening weekend plays host to several trials for the following weekend's Quarter Horse stakes action. Opening day will see trials for the South Dakota Bred Derby, and the South Dakota Bred Futurity. Trials for the NAHR Aberdeen Open, the NAHR Aberdeen Open Quarter Horse Derby and the Bank of America/NAHR Maiden Challenge are scheduled for the following day, May 21.

Memorial Day weekend will feature three days of racing on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Sunday, May 28, features the South Dakota Governor’s Feature for Thoroughbreds with a purse of $6,500-added. The Thoroughbred stakes action concludes on Memorial Day with the Legion Stakes at the route distance for 1-1/8 miles and a purse of $2,600-added.

The Quarter Horse stakes action ramps up the second weekend of the meet with six stakes races. Sunday sees 3-year-olds going 350 yards in the $4,200-added South Dakota Bred Derby. Then, in the Bank of America/NAHR Bonus Challenge, 10 older (3YO and older) Quarter Horses race 350 yards.

Memorial Day features four stakes: the Bank of America/NAHR Maiden Challenge at 300 yards for $5,000-added; the South Dakota-Bred Futurity for 2-year-olds going 300 yards; the NAHR Aberdeen Open for 2-year-olds at 300 yards for $2,500-added; and the NAHR Aberdeen Open Quarter Horse Derby for 3-year-olds at 350 yards for a purse of $2,500.

Entrants to the Quarter Horse stakes are required to run in trials in order to compete in the finals. A complete condition book can be found online at

Northeast Area Horse Racing invites everyone out to enjoy great racing and fun for the whole family. First post will be 1:00 p.m. local (Central) time, with mutuel windows open by 12:30 p.m.

Two live concerts have been added this year: Kip Attaway will perform on May 20; and Williams and Ree play on May 27. Tickets are still available for both shows.

Admission is free and there is something for everyone, including bicycle giveaways for children 11 and under and daily prize drawings for adults. An extensive slate of concessions and beverages will be offered along with a full wagering menu.

New this year is a horse and tack auction on May 28 following the conclusion of racing. Consignments are welcome and are still being accepted.

“We are trying to create a fun atmosphere for the whole family,” said Bubby Haar, chairman of Northeast Area Racing.

The track and entertainment venues are located at the Brown County Fairgrounds at 400 24th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, South Dakota. For more information, please contact General Manager/Racing Secretary Mike Schmidt at (605) 715-9580.