There will be no horse races at Rillito Racetrack for the first part of the new year.

The decision was made today by the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

In a letter sent to the racing organization the county cited overdue financial audits as the reason they would not approve racing this year.

A board member says the track has turned in the paperwork to their accounting firm but the process is taking a long time.

The infrastructure of getting it done takes a long timeits very complicated. Its like an IRS audit,” Ed Ackerley said.

More than just the missing audits would make racing difficult right now.

Turf Paradise, a horse track in Maricopa County is running a season that would conflict with Rillitos schedule.

If theyre racing in Phoenix until Thursday it doesnt give them that time to get down here, transfer the horse, practice on the track, go through the equine wellness program, and then race on Saturday,” Ackerley said. “Its unsafe for the jockey and horse.

Since they have submitted the paperwork he said he and the board are hopeful racing at Rillito can take place later this year.

Were enthusiastic about the prospects for the future. Weve done a lot over the last dozen years to keep racing alive at Rillito and save the historic facility, and we look forward to keeping it running,” Ackerley said.