Lotsa Luck 2

It’s going to take a little more luck and a lot more action to get the situation at Idaho Downs (formerly known as Les Bois Park) resolved.

Yesterday, I attended a meeting of the Idaho State Racing Commission, the group that oversees live and simulcast horse racing in the state. To say the least, I am disappointed.

Representatives of the Horsemen’s Benevolence & Protective Association (HBPA) and Idaho Entertainment, the company that holds the lease to operate the county-owned track, are at an impasse. There seems to be fault on both sides for the breakdown in communication and failure to achieve a reasonable compromise.

Herein lies the problem: legally, Idaho Entertainment must have a signed agreement with the HBPA in order to qualify to obtain the live horse racing license from the Idaho Racing Commission. The live racing license is needed in order to qualify for the simulcast license but live racing is a money loser. The simulcast racing provides necessary revenue to support purses, the Idaho Racing Commission, and operation of the facility.

Someone needs to step up and offer to mediate an agreement between the two sides. Ideally, that would be a member of the Idaho Racing Commission, but alas that apparently has not happened.

In the interest of facilitating better communication and resolving the differences between the two sides, I would be willing to attempt to facilitate communication so an agreement can be reached and racing can resume again as soon as possible.

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2 thoughts on “Lotsa Luck

  • Alan Peterson

    As an Oregon horseman who occasionally runs horses in Boise I think your real problem is Ken Elison of the HBPA. If you go back to the Statesman Journal and read his comments you'll realize this man has no tact or diplomacy in him. Here's a quote when talking about a shortened 46 day meet…

    "That ain't going to work for us at all," Elison said. "He can lock the gates on Boise. We don't care."

    Mr. Elison may not leave Idaho much but he must be aware that many racetracks run meets shorter than 46 days—including the greatest racetrack of all, Saratoga.

    If I were the prospective leaseholders I wouldn't even try to deal with such a crude S.O.B.

    Al Peterson

  • Sharon Ullman

    Al ~ Thank you for taking the time to provide your perspective on the situation at Idaho Downs.