GARDEN CITY, Idaho (KBOI) - More than 6,200 people turned out for Les Bois Park's opening day, where they watched horse races in front of them and the Kentucky Derby on TV.
"It's always really exciting to see people interested in the sport because, you know, it had gone kind of away for a while, and to see people back, excited about it, it makes me so happy," said Jennifer Stickles, a horse groom at the track.
Nadiah Deboard grew up in Louisville but now lives in Nampa. She said the energy at Les Bois is on par with the Kentucky Derby.
"Compared to Louisville and the race day, being at the track at Churchill Downs, it's almost like being at home," Deboard said.
Thirty days of racing began Saturday. Duayne Diderickson, general manager of Les Bois Park, said you'll see new horses this season and more of them.
"Looks to me like everybody's having a good time even though it's fairly crowded, and that's important to us," Diderickson said.
Friends and families packed the grandstand and the areas around it.
"My grandma, she put a bet on this horse a couple races back, and it came in second," said Wylie Foss of Boise. "It would've paid out 17 to 1 if it would have won, so we were yelling at that horse quite a bit, and it almost came through for us."
A Turf Club chef described business as "rocking." Race days are Wednesdays and Saturdays from now until Aug. 9.