EVANSTON, Wyo. (ABC4 News) – Did you know that Utah sort of has a horse racetrack?
It’s just 10 miles down the road just outside Evanston. While its physically in Wyoming, it was built for Utahns and Utah horses.
Here’s a behind the scenes look at what it’s like at Wyoming Downs when it’s not race day.
“These people have been here since 5 this morning. They come and feed the horses at five and let ’em have a little eat and then the action starts at 5:30 or 6,” said Frank Lamb, manager of Wyoming Down. “And that’s seven days a week as well. You can’t just park a horse and take the key out.”
Frank Lamb is a man who knows horses and horse racing.
“My dad was training horses when I was born. I went to my first race rack when I was 2 weeks old. They tell me – I don’t remember it.”
He came out west in the 80s from Oklahoma and made this his home.
“You’re not going to find an environment like this anywhere else – where you have this combination of God’s creatures and the people who take care of them,” said Lamb.
He says racing horses is one aspect; caring for the horses is the other.
“Everything is so important to everyone – the care of these horses is what is on everyone’s mind. And it’s just a special place to be.”
Lamb says there are usually about 500 horses stabled during the seven- or eight-week race season. Some are ready to roar down the track. Others are still learning how to race.
“Every day they do something whether it be the hot walker or go to the track and gallop or go to the track with a pony,” said Lamb.
Although they train and learn and work, Lamb says these are well cared for.
“These horses are treated like royalty – every day their groomed and brushed.”
Owners from all over the region bring their quarter horses and thoroughbreds to Wyoming Downs for the summer race season.
Lamb says the season can bring incredible joy and incredible disappointment.
“There’s a lot of highs – the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and you might experience that in one day. Or maybe one hour.”
Lamb says most people think of this massive facility as Evanston’s horse track, but he says it’s really Utah’s horse track.
“They chose this spot – Evanston, Wyoming – because of its proximity to Salt Lake and Ogden. And it’s reflected in our crowds – we get 80 percent of our crowd comes from Utah. This is Utah’s racetrack in Wyoming.”
About 80 of the horses come from Utah as well. Race season is underway with races every Saturday and Sunday until August 18.
Wyoming Downs is the largest and only privately-owned racetrack in Wyoming. About 2,000 spectators hit the track every race day.