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.