Sports

Les Bois Park moves ahead with plans for a busy live racing season

With SB 1011 vetoed by Gov. Butch Otter, and the bill’s failure to get a two-thirds majority override, Les Bois Park had a dark cloud removed Monday.

But with the track’s future so uncertain until then, a lot of work is left to do before the season opener May 16.

“We’d had to postpone a lot of things for five weeks as this was resolved, but now there’s this flurry of activity,” Treasure Valley Racing President John Sheldon said.

From sponsors who had been reluctant to go forward to the more than 200 sites across the country that will simulcast Les Bois Park’s races, track officials hit the ground running to get contracts signed this week.

There are planned upgrades for the facilities, along with an intention to hire more than 170 workers and officials to assist the live racing season.

“We’ve got a lot to do, but we’re going to be up and running, so that’s the best feeling,” Sheldon said.

Les Bois is slated to host 32 live racing dates this season, two more than last year despite a later start, and purses are expected to remain the same. The dates will shift from Wednesdays and Saturdays to mainly Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in an effort to get more entries and hopefully draw better jockeys, horses and trainers.

Now, with less worrying about things beyond its control, Les Bois turns its focus to things it can ahead of the season’s start.

“This is a better sort of stress,” General Manager Duayne Didericksen said.

Les Bois is scheduled to have a Kentucky Derby party May 2, without live racing. The live meet continues through the Idaho Cup on Aug. 7-8.

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