EVANSTON — Not too long ago, the stampeding sound of horses battling it out toward the finish line could be heard ringing throughout Wyoming Downs in Evanston. However, races at the 5,000-seat grandstand became fewer and farther in between and by 2010, there were no races at all.
And that is how Wyoming Downs has remained for the last few years — dead quiet except for the wild animals and stray livestock that called it home.
The streak of silence will soon come to an end, though, as Wyoming Downs will open its doors once again for two scheduled dates in 2013, Saturday, Sept. 14, and Sunday, Sept. 15.
Four years ago, in 2009, was the last time Wyoming Downs held a sanctioned race. In 2011, Las Vegas investor Eric Nelson purchased the track in an auction and started getting the track ready and able to fully function again.
Nelson was granted a license by state racing regulators in July to begin holding the events. The plan is to have a full schedule of race dates for the 2014 season. In order for the state to allow simulcast betting — also known as off-track betting — on the races, the Downs must hold at least 16 races during a season.
“We are pleased to bring a weekend of races back to the sport of kings to bring together the community and those who love the sport,” Nelson said. “It is going to be a great way to end the summer and we are looking forward to a full season of racing in 2014.”
Wyoming Downs General Manager Joan Ramos said the track is in the process of applying for the rights to hold simulcast bets but that it will not be available for the races this September.
Crews have been working on the Downs nonstop for the past couple months to ensure the track’s readiness come September.
On Tuesday, Aug. 13, a crew started working on getting the horse track itself ready for competition, Ramos said. They will continue to work on it for the next several days.
In addition, updates are being made to the grandstands and electrical systems.
Ramos said they are still looking for more horses to fill out the stable of competition for the upcoming weekend dates.
The gates will open on Sept. 14 at 11:30 a.m. and first post will be at 1:05 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door and will cost between $5-$10.
Attendees will be able to place bets for as little as $2 and will be able to choose from a full array of bets including: win, place, show, exacta, quinella, triple and daily double.
More information on the event or betting procedures can be found at www.wydowns.com or by calling the track at (307) 789-7223. Wyoming Downs is located north of Evanston at 10180 Highway 89.
For the complete article see the 08-16-2013 issue.
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