Missing Les Bois Park
The first time I logged into my face book account the other day there was a memory from three years ago. It was nice to recall the memory but my first impression was simply, are you kidding me has it be three years already?
Today as a read a story about the Kentucky Derby coming up on Saturday I began to remember the days when I anchored the sports and what a big week this was every year. Not so much because of the Derby but because Les Bois park always opened the Wednesday before Derby day and the place was packed.
It was a no brainer, the sportscast would be done live from les Bois and it was a party atmosphere. Then Saturday another packed house watched live racing and then the Kentucky Derby. It was a Boise tradition that newcomers it appears will never experience.
It's funny I have never betted more than 2-dollars on a race, I am not a gambler I simply loved to watch the horses run and having covered the sport for many years I grew to know and love so many people involved in the sport.
Many years ago when I was a sportscaster in Nebraska they had a track called Aksarben (Nebraska backwards) and it was huge and we did a half hour weekly racing show on KETV Omaha. Our show was nominated for an Eclipse Award and one particular segment we aired that followed a colt from birth to breaking it's maiden was honored. The video of the colt and mare running in a Nebraska pasture was thrilling and when the colt finished 2nd by a nose in it's first race that was just gravy.
The colt was from a farm owned by Jack Van Berg, a hall of fame trainer. Then in Boise I was lucky to cover and interview Gary Stevens a Hall of Fame jockey and Idaho native.
So you can see why I feel there is something missing on Derby week. In fact summers aren't the same in Boise without the call of horse racing.
There was a glimmer of hope the sport would return to Les Bois this year but that glimmer faded quickly and the track remains dark.
I know most people think of gambling when they think of horse racing and yes that does fund the sport but horse racing is way more than gambling and that's the part I miss.
That and ladies night, sorry it was always a great people watching night except when the ponies were headed down the home stretch!