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Published February 27 2010

Tentative Fargo summer horse race dates set

Eight dates are reserved for horse racing in Fargo this summer if the group that runs the races can get its outstanding debts paid in time, the state’s racing director said Friday.

North Dakota’s Racing Commission on Tuesday set aside the dates in late July and early August for Horse Race North Dakota, the nonprofit that runs racing at the track in north Fargo. The dates are July 23-24, July 30-31, Aug. 6-7 and Aug. 13-14.

Winston Satran, the state racing director, said that doesn’t mean Fargo will have racing this year.

“At least it gives them something to plan around,” he said.

The racing commissioners would still have to sign off on 2010 racing in Fargo, which would require Horse Race North Dakota to set a budget and pay off its bills, Satran said.

A state-ordered financial review of Horse Race North Dakota issued last month took issue with the group’s fiscal oversight and calculated that at the end of 2009, about $220,000 in bills were still outstanding.

The nonprofit is considering two options to sell facilities surrounding the track, Satran said. The nonprofit that owns the actual track and a group of horse owners are the prospective buyers.

Both proposals are meant to generate enough cash to let HRND to pay its debts.