Live racing returns to Les Bois May 1

The live horse racing season at Ada County's Les Bois Park begins May 1, 2013 as owners continue their quest to make the track the "center of racing in the northwest."

Gearing up for the second full season of racing at Les Bois since 2008 means hitting the road for Treasure Valley Racing LLC member and local horseman Harry Bettis.

"I'm going to miss opening day, I'll be in Kentucky," Bettis said with a smile.

Les Bois opens May 1, and the Kentucky Derby is May 4. Bettis says he'll visit parks in Arkansas and Kentucky to dig up ideas on how to increase wagering income at Les Bois.

"We've got to generate a little more purse money," he told KBOI-TV Wednesday.

The park averaged about $81,000 of wagering income per live racing day in 2012, short of the racing association's $100,000 goal said racing secretary Tim Thibert.

"We'll survive with that," Thibert said, noting the impact of the economy on the group's goal. "If we get to $100,000, we'll be very happy."

Increasing purses means better competition and maybe more days at the track for racing fans.

"It means better horses, better jockeys," Bettis said.

"I'm the one person that's hoping we get a few more days!"

The 2013 live racing schedule remains on Wednesdays and Saturdays May 1 through the Idaho Cup on August 10.

Regular post time is 5:30 p.m.

On May 4, a special post time of 2 p.m. begins Les Bois' Kentucky Derby day celebration. Live racing will sandwich the approximate 4:25 p.m. MST broadcast of the Kentucky Derby.

Special holiday live racing days will be Monday May 27 (Memorial Day) and Thursday, July 4.

Adult admission is $5, ladies get in free on Wednesdays.