Sports

Report: Les Bois Park cancels 2016 live horse racing season

Jockey Nieela Black, center in red, rides Rosie's Renegade to a first-place finish in the second race on opening day at Les Bois Park, Saturday, May 2, 2014. KBOI reported Monday that the park has canceled its 2016 season.
Jockey Nieela Black, center in red, rides Rosie's Renegade to a first-place finish in the second race on opening day at Les Bois Park, Saturday, May 2, 2014. KBOI reported Monday that the park has canceled its 2016 season. kjones@idahostatesman.com

Les Bois Park will not operate a horse racing season in 2016, Treasure Valley Racing President John Sheldon said, according to Boise radio station KBOI (670 AM).

The Treasure Valley track took a financial hit earlier this year when slot-like instant horse racing machines were ruled illegal in Idaho. Les Bois laid off 86 people after the ruling.

“It makes it really difficult,’’ Sheldon told KBOI. “Owners are looking for where they are going to send their horses. They’re trying to come up with their plan for 2016, and we had hoped that Les Bois Park could be a big part of that, but with no revenue coming in from historic racing, they’re going to have to find other places to run.”

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said last month he’d like instant racing machines to return to Idaho, but with tighter regulations.

Sheldon said Otter’s push for instant racing machines offers hope for the horse racing industry in Idaho, though Otter said he won’t release his plan until his State of the State address in January, according to KBOI.

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