Those involved in the harness horse racing industry have high hopes for their livelihoods this weekend, despite the future of the racing business being in limbo.

Harness racing returns to the track Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Leamington Fair.

“There is a ton of enthusiasm here," says Tom Bain, Essex County warden.

Following the abrupt closure of the Windsor Raceway, Bain says optimism is high and the Lakeshore Horse Raceway committee is paying close attention.

The group is waiting to find out if 10 more races can happen this season at a proposed not-for-profit racetrack.

"This, I think, is under the microscope,” says Bain. “(It’s a) test run to see if we can pull off the races and have a successful night here."

The Leamington agriculture fair president Tammy Wiper says harness horse racing has a rich and vibrant history at the 165-year-old family event.

"Our tradition has been harness horse racing here at the Leamington Raceway and we'd like to keep it that way," says Wiper.