EDMONTON -- Friday morning, jockeys at the Century Mile track rode their horses up and down the sand hoping to give the animals a good stretch and burn off some pent up energy.

The last horse races in Alberta were held last October, and it’s been a very long stretch for race track and horse owners.

Opening day was supposed to be April 25 for the Century Mile track just south of Edmonton, but officials are hoping that they may hear the hooves back on the track before long.

“I think there's a good chance. We've done a lot of lot of things here to be pre-emptive with that,” said Century Mile's Matt Jukich. 

The hope is Alberta Health Services will roll horse racing into the second phase of the province's relaunch.

Should that happen, races could return as soon as the end of the month which would make it the first professional sport to reopen in Alberta.

AHS is expected to update as soon as next week what will be able to reopen in stage two.

Jukich says everyone in the industry is chomping at the bit to get started.

"We've got increased sanitation stations, everyone's cleaning their gear every day so we're being very careful back here.”