Sweetwater Opens With Gains

Wyoming track sees double-digit gains on opening weekend.

Q-Racing Journal
August 21, 2012

Sweetwater downs

Sweetwater Downs in Rock Springs, Wyoming, opened its 2012 meet on August 18 with significant gains over 2011 numbers. The track, which will race four days this year, saw its opening weekend entries up 40 percent, while handle and attendance for the two days both jumped about 30 percent over last year.

The track hosted four days of live racing in 2011, but prior to that hadn’t held live racing since 1993.

“(This year) we had a lot more opportunity to get the word out to customers and hustle horses,” said managing partner Eugene Joyce. “Horses bring the people, and we had a good effort by our race office staff that went out and hustled those horses.”

The majority of the weekend’s races were trials for the $50,000-est. Sweetwater Downs Futurity, $30,000-est. Sweetwater Downs Derby, $20,000-est. Wyoming Bred Futurity, $15,000-est. Wyoming Bred Derby, $15,000-est. Wyoming Bred Maturity, $40,000-est. 89-and-Under Stakes (not an official stakes).

Joyce said handle on opening weekend was roughly $76,000, while attendance was close to 3,000 people.

“The local community was excited about it,” he said.

The track also hosted a “good old-fashioned Wyoming steak fry” cookout for horsemen on Saturday night.

The finals for the stakes races will be held on Sweetwater’s closing weekend, September 1-2. Post time is 12:30 p.m.

“A lot of people appreciated our efforts to get horse racing up and rolling here in Wyoming,” noted Joyce. “I’ve been getting calls from horsemen, the guys who shipped horses in all the way from California, owners who are flying in to watch the finals. It’s getting people excited about our closing weekend, and that’s always good news.”