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Sandy Downs opening day just a week away

June 4, 2010     E-mail this page to a friend!

The 2010 Ida Racing Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse season at Sandy Downs is ready to launch next Friday night, June 11, and it promises to the biggest season in the track’s long history.

“The quality of horses this year is far and above any racing season at Sandy Downs,” said Jim Bernard, racing manager. “With the lack of racing in both the Boise and Evanston markets, Sandy Downs has benefited by hosting the best horses in the intermountain west.

“On an average season, we receive 150 stall applications,” Bernard continued. “This year, we have a received over 350 and counting. We have stalls full at Sandy Downs, Rigby Fairgrounds and Blackfoot.”

The 2010 trainer roster also includes some big names.

“We have Bret Vickery here with 10 horses, “Bernard said. “He [Vickery] won the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs several years ago with Ab What A Runner. Also on the grounds is Jimmy Hanson, a Pocatello native, who is the leading Thoroughbred conditioner at Los Alamitos.”

Bernard also pointed out that trainer Bill Hoburg, a perennial leading AQHA Challenge trainer is in Idaho Falls for the first time.

The 2010 season runs a total of 17 dates, mostly Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 6:00 p.m. Two Sunday programs will be offered June 17 and July 25, starting at 2:00 p.m.

Full card simulcasting will be offered every live race date featuring such tracks as Hollywood Park, Los Alamitos, Ruidoso Downs, and Emerald Downs, with free admission for simulcast fans beginning at 1:00 p.m.

In addition to championship-quality racing at Sandy Downs, the Idaho Falls oval will play host to a number of new on-track promotions, including concerts by three award-winning artists: Michael Martin Murphey on opening night, Juice Newton on July 2; and Asleep at the Wheel on August 13.

“The concerts will take place immediately following the last live race,” Bernard explained. “Admission to the races and the shows are only $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under. You’ll also receive an official Sandy Downs program, a tip sheet for the evening’s races, and a discount coupon. No question, it’s the best entertainment buy in Eastern Idaho.”

Highlighting the Sandy Downs racing schedule opening weekend are the Adequan Sandy Downs Derby Challenge trials on opening night, while Saturday’s live card will feature the John Deere Sandy Downs Juvenile Challenge trials for two-year-olds. Saturday’s spotlight race is the $17,500 (estimated) Bateman-Hall John Deere Bonus Challenge.

For a complete list of key races over the entire Sandy Downs season, the current Sandy Downs condition book, and additional information about and links to Ida Racing at Sandy Downs, go to