SWEETWATER COUNTY – Horse racing at Sweetwater Downs at the Sweetwater Events Complex returns for another run the next couple of weekends at the Sweetwater Events Complex Rodeo Grandstand.
Races will take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 20-21 and again the following weekend, August 27-28. Racing starts at 12:30 p.m. each day and continues for approximately four hours, event organizer Eugene Joyce said. Admission is $5 per spectator, which includes a racing program.
“There’ll be eight or nine races each day,” Joyce added. “The typical purse that we offer is about $5,000, with the winner getting 60 percent of that, then 20 percent and then 10 percent for the next finishers. It’s what we call flat track racing,” Joyce explained, with jockeys riding on horseback.
There are no races at Sweetwater Downs involving jockeys riding small carts attached to and behind the horses. Safety for horses and the jockeys who ride them is paramount. The racetrack, which extends the length of the dirt track in front of the Grandstand, is harrowed out and watered after each race, Joyce said. Thus, spectators will have plenty of time between races to post their bets.
Joyce encouraged people who have not yet experienced the thrill of horse racing to give it a try.
“I think people enjoy watching the cooperation between man and horse. I’ve always said that if you can’t get excited about the end of a horse race, you better check that you have a pulse,” Joyce said.
The jockeys will be riding quarter horses and thoroughbreds. The horses will be arriving from states throughout the West, including Utah, Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, California and even some entrants from Canada, Joyce added. The jockeys will also be coming from similar far-flung locations.
Further information about horse racing in Wyoming is available by going online to www.horsepalace.win (note: no “.com”). Wyoming horse races are also held on different days and times in Evanston, Cheyenne, Mills (near Casper), Riverton, Gillette and Sheridan.