Derby Day in North Dakota to combine racing and fashion Saturday

The North Dakota Horse Park is doing it's best Kentucky Derby impression on Saturday at North Dakota Derby Day.

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – The North Dakota Horse Park is doing it’s best Kentucky Derby impression on Saturday at North Dakota Derby Day.

It’s the final races of the year.

We raced over to the track to speak to the general manager about preparation and a trainer looking for a big win

General Manager Hugh Drexler says North Dakota Derby Day is one of the state’s best kept secrets.

“It was strange to learn that a lot of people didn’t know this place was here,” Drexler said.

He describes and electric atmosphere with loud fans and some of the finest horses in the state gracing the track. They put months of preparation in.

“You know, you’ll see a one to two minute race on the track but its really a 24 hour a day, seven day a week type of thing that goes on,” Drexler said.

Bill Geditz has been around horses his whole life. He says it takes about seven months to get a horse ready to race. It’s a pretty strict diet and training routine.

“With advance technology there’s a lot of different supplements they can use. They use sweet feed which is an oat and molasses-based food, and they just have different types of vitamins,” Drexler said.

“Then as soon as they eat the first 15 to 20 minutes we start pulling them out, saddling them up, riding,” Team owner and trainer Bill Geditz said.

Geditz says they spend about three hours on the track with the horse working on endurance.

And they say all that work behind the scenes leads to this moment, the gates open and the horses are off to the races.

“Just to hear the horses running, I mean you can hear them, literally hear them on the sand as they’re going down the track. When people are quiet enough and you can hear that, it just makes you tingle,” Geditz said.

Drexler says there will be multiple races Saturday with some purses starting at $15,000 and the biggest race goes up to $30,000.

“Are people able to bet here?”

“They are so we’re kind of unique in the sense that we don’t simulcast our product. There are a lot of tracks in the country that do, and so in order to bet on the North Dakota Horse Park, you have to actually be at the track to wager at the track,” Geditz said.

Along with the racing, fashion will be a flex, there will be a bow tie and hat competition.

Gates open at 11:30 for the first race, general admission is $8.

Categories: Entertainment, Local News, North Dakota News