Horse racing is scheduled for each Saturday and Sunday in June at Chippewa Downs in Belcourt

Horse racing each weekend in June

Submitted Photo Horse racing begins this weekend at the Chippewa Downs track located at Belcourt. Races are scheduled for every Saturday and Sunday in June.

BELCOURT – Horse racing returns to Chippewa Downs this Saturday and Sunday, the first of four consecutive weekends of quarter horse and thoroughbred action during June. A year ago racing at the track was limited due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Last year was a disaster. The crowd was down and the field of horses was down,” said Doug Demontigny, chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Outdoor Recreation Development Association. “This year we’re allowing full crowds in with no age restrictions like last year.”

Demontigny said social distancing will still be encouraged at some areas of Chippewa Downs but, overall, it will be horseracing as usual at the inviting layout, including a good contingent of horses and jockeys from Canada.

“We’ve got a lot from South Dakota, also Montana and Minnesota,” said Demontigny. “This year there’s Manitoba horses too. They are allowing them across the border for commercial purposes.”

As has been the case since 1991, pari-mutuel betting is conducted at Chippewa Downs for both “sprint” and “route” races, quarter horses and thoroughbreds. Jockeys, trainers and horses have been practicing at the track for several weeks in preparation for the June races.

“We’ve been putting a lot of water on the track,” said Demontigny. “Despite the dry weather the track looks good, in tip-top shape.”

Families are encouraged to attend the races. A bicycle give-away for youngsters is set for each race day following the fifth race.

“We’ve got four generations of some families at the track,” noted Demontigny. “We’re really, really proud of that.”

Post time each race day is 1 p.m.


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