Horse race officials wagering on big Bucking Horse Sale crowds

With one successful day of horse racing completed, those who enjoy making $2 wagers (or more) will have more opportunities both Saturday and Sunday at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds.

Last Sunday’s nine-race program attracted an estimated 2,750 enthusiasts, including a number of females on Mother’s Day.

Whether or not they grace the grandstand area at this weekend’s two programs, starting at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday, remains to be seen. After all, the horse racing is mingled with several other events both days.

And don”t forget the Preakness, the second leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown that you can make wagers on Saturday afternoon. Always Dreaming won the Kentucky Derby and is among the favorites in the Preakness.

Don Richard, a Miles City radio personality who heads up the horse racing programs, said the Preakness betting has been a fixture for 26 years and figures to be popular again. And if Always Dreaming wins again, local bettors can say they picked the Triple Crown winner if he goes on to take the Belmont Stakes in three weeks.

The races bring people like Arnold and Vivian Pinnow of Baker to Miles City. He said he didn’t know a thing about the sport when he got into it about 30 years ago.

Asked how exciting it was when he watched his horses run, he said, “The first race that you win is exciting.”

Today, at age 77, he only owns two horses including Tricky Finn, a 3-year-old.

But his enjoyment last Sunday was “meeting a lot of people I know.” That included other owners and trainers who brought horses to Miles City, many of whom he’s known for several decades.

That would include J.D. Anderson of Froid, who was here to watch Jess Chromed run in the third race. Anderson owned the stud (Jess Jones) that sired Jess Chromed, who finished fourth, almost five lengths behind winner Jr Kaweahs Mountain.

The opening race card didn’t produce a lot of monster payoffs, but the lone superfecta paid $613.60 in the sixth race. One trifecta paid almost $400 and two others topped the $200 mark. 

(Contact Abe Winter at starcity@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)