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Enoch Cree Nation hopes to bring horse racing to community west of Edmonton

The horse race track at Northlands in Edmonton Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
The horse race track at Northlands in Edmonton Tuesday, May 24, 2016. Global News

With horse racing leaving Northlands at the end of 2016, the Enoch Cree Nation hopes to bring horse racing to the community.

Horse Racing Alberta recently put out a call for “expressions of interest” to organizations who would be interested in owning and operating an “A” class horse racing track in or near Edmonton.

There were a number of requirements for applicants, including the ability to run more than 100 days of thoroughbred and standardbred racing.

READ MORE: ‘2016 will be our last year in the horse racing business’: Northlands

The Enoch Cree Nation said it meets all of the minimum criteria and intends to make a strong case to bring horse racing to the community.

“The Enoch Cree have a long history with horse racing. The opportunity to add a class “A” track to our entertainment facility is exciting for us, and also would be a wonderful benefit for our guests all around the Edmonton area and beyond who come here for fun and entertainment,” Chief Billy Morin said.

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“We look forward to putting together a strong and compelling proposal when the RFP process commences.”

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READ MORE: Government of Alberta announces funding plan for horse racing

In the 1970s and 1980s, quarterhorse and thoroughbred racing were held at Enoch Park.

The deadline for expressions of interest was Thursday, May 19.

In February, Northlands announced 2016 would be its last year in the horse racing business. The announcement was made as Northlands unveiled “Vision 2020,” the organization’s plan for the site once the Edmonton Oilers move on to Rogers Place.