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Sandy Downs season opens June 11 with record stakes trials and Belmont Block Party

June 3, 2016     E-mail this page to a friend!

Sandy Downs, the home track of IdaRacing, opens its live racing season on June 11th with a Belmont Block Party, where racing fans can bet on the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes—the coveted third leg of the Triple Crown—while also attending and betting on live racing at the track.

There’s an early post time on Saturday, June 11, with Gates opening at 11:00 a.m., with the first race at 12:00 noon sharp!

Thirteen high-stakes races are scheduled for opening day with the Idaho Quarter Horse Racing Association’s premiere Bitterroot Futurity Trials. An estimated 130 two-year-old Quarter Horses are hauling in from all across the Intermountain West to Idaho Falls for a chance to make the top ten to qualify for the finals and an estimated $150,000 in purse money on June 25.

This will be a great boost for the local economy!

Due to the number of horses hauling in, horsemen are encouraged to book rooms early! The LaQuinta Inns& Suites is a proud sponsor of IdaRacing and is offering discounted rooms for horsemen (subject to availability) with promo code IDARS1.

Horsemen are also reminded that the nomination and first payment deadline for the Hawthorne/Idaho Cup Futurity is June 15!

Horsemen, track officials, and staff are being asked to get their licenses early. On Friday, June 10, the Idaho State Racing Commission begins licensing near the grandstands at Sandy Downs beginning at 2:00 p.m. Entries take place on Tuesday, June 7, beginning at 7:00 a.m., with the draw at approximately 1:00 p.m. under the grandstands.

Record crowds are expected to attend this season opener with such high stakes races as never before seen at Sandy Downs, combined with the excitement of the Belmont Block Party . . . it should be a great day!

The Belmont Block Party features live music and fun for the whole family, with the Colt Whitmore Show in between races, fun bounces and water works for the kids, giveaways, free betting vouchers, and free kids’ dogs (while supplies last), as well as good eats and ice cold beverages at this day-long non-stop trackside party.

Fans are reminded to come early and bet early to avoid being shut out at the windows. Don’t be late or else you’ll miss it!

The 2016 live racing schedule and first post time at Sandy Downs are as follows:
June 11: Special First Post — 12:00 noon Mountain Time (MT)
June 25: 5:00 p.m. MT
August 27: 5:00 p.m. MT
August 28: 1:00 p.m. MT
September 11: 1:00 p.m. MT

IdaRacing would like to thank all of the sponsors who make racing possible in our community. Special mention goes out to the Corporate sponsors who really make a difference by supporting racing, a long-standing rural family tradition. A big thank you and shout out to Sand Hill Media, Bingham Memorial Hospital, Hawthorne Animal Hospital, TEC Distributing and Coors Light, The Dakri Bernard Realty Group, LaQunita Inns & Suites, and! You can find a complete listing of all sponsors at—remember to support these great businesses!

Sandy Downs is located on East 65th Street in Idaho Falls. For more information, visit or call (208) 745-8433. If you can’t make it to the track, you can 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 new accounts by signing up at or by calling the Phonebet number—(877) 782-9994. service is available in all states where online betting is permitted. is licensed in Idaho, regulated by the Idaho State Racing Commission and the Oregon Racing Commission and is a service of eBet Technologies and owned by Idaho-based Intermountain Racing & Entertainment, LLC.