Horse racing is returning to the Cochise County Fairgrounds this weekend.
Dominique Valenzuela, general manager for the fairgrounds, said gates will open at 11 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday with post time scheduled for 1 p.m. Each day will begin with a moment of silence in memory of Richard Elzy, a local horseman who passed away last week.
Valenzuela says the number of races that will be held each day is yet to be determined. Saturday’s races will be drawn on Wednesday; Sunday’s races will be drawn on Thursday.
Admission will be $5 with those 6 and under being admitted free.
The beer booth will be open and Valenzuela anticipates having six different food vendors on the grounds as well. Southern Arizona Auto will also be on hand showing off some of their latest trucks.
Following the last race on Saturday there will be a dance. JJ y Su Grupo Intimidantes, a local band, will take the stage and perform until midnight.
After announcing in March, the races were returning following a two-year hiatus Valenzuela said getting everything ready in such a short period has been pretty hectic.
“It’s been a lot of work but we’re going to make it,” she said. “We have a lot of horseman and a lot of riders coming down. We’re really excited to bring horse racing back to Douglas.”
Valenzuela said several memorial races are planned for this weekend. There will also be stick races for the kids on Saturday after the third race. Prizes will be given out to the winners in that race.
The races this weekend follow two weeks of horse racing in Sonoita. After Douglas they move to northern Arizona.
“We would like to see the community show up and support these races so we can keep doing this,” she said. “We need all the support we can get.”