People were busy around the Sun Downs Race Track on Thursday getting the grounds ready for the annual six-day horse racing meet.
Supplies for the concessions were being brought in. Bathrooms were being cleaned up. So was the infield.
On the backside of the track, horses were being walked, fed and hosed down.
And in the backside trailer, Shorty Martin had just completed filling out the first two race cards, which will consist of nine races each day — the first being Saturday with a first post time of 1 p.m.
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“The first two entry days were good,” said Martin, the longtime Sun Downs racing secretary who holds the same job at Les Bois Park in Boise. “We’ll have some good races this first weekend, too.”
They will include the $2,100 Boekenoogen Memorial at 210 yards, set for Saturday.
Among the meet’s other big races will be the Pot O’Gold Futurity, usually between $20,000 to $30,000 for a purse; and a few American Quarterhorse Association stakes races, including the Maiden Challenge, Merial Distaff and the Sun Downs Bonus Challenge.
The meet runs Saturday, Sunday, April 25-26 and May 2-3.
On May 2, race fans will be able to wager on and watch the Kentucky Derby.
Martin said the usual local trainers have committed a number of horses again for the meet.
“Guys like Bob Lawrence, Bill Hof and Jason Homer have committed anywhere from 10 to 18 horses for the meet,” Martin said.
It seems each year, there is a race to get the meet organized by the Tri-City Horse Racing Association.
This year has been no different, said Nancy Sorick of the TCHRA.
“But it’s all coming together,” she said.
Now, she just needs the fans to come out and support the races.
“We’ve got to have good crowds and support from the public,” Sorick said. “That would make the difference. And good weather. We need good weather.”
Oh, and one more thing, she said: “For everybody to have a good time.”