For Immediate Release
December 22, 2009
Public Information Officer
Montana Department ofLivestock
Board of Horse Racing Approves Added Race Dates for 2010
HELENA - The Montana Board of Horse Racing has approved 18 days of racing for 2010 at its three racetracks throughout the state.
The board in November approved requests for four days of racing at the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale, up from three days of racing the past few years; six days of racing at Montana Downs in Great Falls, up from five last year; and eight days at Yellowstone Downs in Billings, unchanged from 2009.
Ryan Sherman, executive secretary for the Board of Horseracing, said 2009 was a good year for horse racing in Montana.
“The live racing product as a whole in Montana saw a lot of positives in 2009," Sherman said. "With the national racing scene seeing double-digit declines in handle, two of Montana’s tracks saw double-digit increases. Having tracks to apply for added dates is also a positive, considering that the current trend is to cut dates. We're excited about last year's results and are optimistic that the live product will continue to grow in 2010."
For years, Miles City ran three days of racing: A day of racing a week prior to Bucking Horse Sale, plus the Saturday and Sunday of the sale. But based on the success of last year's racing program, event organizers decided to add an extra day in 2010.
“The world famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale continues to improve, and our goal is making the horse racing event bigger each year," said Don Richard, Bucking Horse Sale director of racing. "We feel it’s time to parlay the success our racing program has experienced the past couple of years into an extra day of racing."
Miles City will race on May 9 and May 14-16.
Great Falls again will host live Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse racing action in July. Dates approved for the State Fair include July 23-25 and July 30-31 and August 1. Cascade County was awarded the dates and is in negotiations with an operator for the racing facility and racing product for 2010.
Yellowstone Downs, fresh off of a record-breaking year of racing, will again run eight days of racing. Last year, Yellowstone Downs saw increases of more than 50 percent in attendance and nearly 20 percent in total wagering. The Billings track, located at MetraPark and privately operated by Yellowstone Horse Racing Alliance, was awarded raced dates of August 28-29, September 5-6, September 11-12, and September 18-19.
For more information on the Board of Horse Racing and racing in Montana, see the board's web site at http://liv.mt.gov/liv/HR/index.asp