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Sandy Downs closing weekend offers action-packed Saturday card, big stakes races Sunday

July 24, 2013     E-mail this page to a friend!

Sandy Downs, the home track of IdaRacing, features a closing weekend card with the region’s top Quarter Horses in three stakes races. More than $85,000 in purses will be up for grabs on Sunday. Gates open at 4pm on Saturday with post time for the first race at 6pm. Sunday’s matinee card starts at 1 p.m. with gates opening at 11 a.m.

All weekend will feature music and fun with the Colt Whitmore Show in between races. There is a fun bounce for the kids, many giveaways and a non-stop trackside party. The Racing Aces from the American Quarter Horse Association will hold a seminar for both new and experienced fans on Saturday & Sunday. Hosted by Jennifer Hancock, Q-Racing Ace and an expert in quarter horse racing from the AQHA Journal will give the first 100 attendees a free Superfecta bet. Also both days, kids get a free hot dog while they last.

Saturday’s racing action includes the Bingham Memorial Corporate race and the Dennis Jackson Memorial, which honors the late executive director of the Idaho State Racing Commission.

Saturday also brings the return of the popular Fort Hall Indian Relay races. It’s also Ladies Night, with a free drink coupon for women while supplies last, so early attendance is suggested.

On Sunday's card, Steffiesclassic Dash is the early favorite in the Hawthorne Quarter Horse Futurity going 350 yards. Ray and Ron Moosman’s Steffiesclassic Dash was defeated by just a neck in only her second race, the $26,000 Rocky Mountain Futurity in May at Pocatello Downs. The Utah-bred filly followed that up two weeks ago at Sandy Downs with a strong two-length victory at 350 yards. Uriel Dominquez once again will be aboard.

A classy gelding, Secretly Bluff, has been installed as the second choice in the field of ten. With the outside post, jockey Dirk Crane will have a full view of his competition aboard his hard-charging closer. In his second outing, Secretly Bluff was the beaten favorite at Los Alamitos in South California at only 300 yards, finishing third. Stretching out to 350 yards in his next race on July 14 at Sandy Downs, Ben McKinney’s “Bluff” dueled and then pulled away for the win.

The Hawthorne Futurity is sponsored by the Hawthorne Animal Hospital in Chubbuck and will be the fifth race on the card. One race later, veteran trainer, Bret Vickery sends out One Famous Secret in the $26,000 Hadtobenuts Derby against a full field racing at 400 yards. Joe Crispin gets the mount for the Travis and Wendy Saxton-owned Texas-bred in the race for 3 year olds. Hawthorne-bred My Bananarama, owned by Bryon Goody ,has shown past class winning the Dixie Downs Futurity and should get good notice from race sponsor Lonna Gerstner and local fans.

Had To Be Charlie, son of multiple stakes sire Hadtobenuts and out of the Easy First Down mare Chickadown Azure, comes in lightly raced and on the improve and should go off at a good price for owners and race sponsor Dan & Connie Moon.

The ladies take over in the seventh race as 3-year-old and older fillies and mares battle at 400 yards in the $25,000 AQHA-Merial Distaff Challenge. The Streakin Clean, fresh off a Sandy Downs victory on July 13 is the morning-line favorite to win her fourth race in only six starts this year. Jockey Eddie Aceves travels back to the Idaho Falls track looking for another check from the Arizona-based four-year-old.

Sandy Downs is located on East 65th Street in Idaho Falls. For further information, visit or call 208-745-8433. If you can’t make it to the track, watch the races from the comfort of your own home and wager online with or by phone toll-free at 877-782-9994. Fans can open an account by logging onto or calling the Phonebet number. The service is available in all states where online betting is permitted. Players earn IdaRewards a daily cash back program for most bets, premium monthly rewards, easy access to extensive information to handicap the races, and exceptional personalized service.