Progress: Dead Racetracks Since 2000

The following U.S. racetracks have closed since 2000. In this same time span, to my knowledge only two new tracks opened: Mahoning in Ohio (but that could be viewed as an even swap for the deceased Beulah) and Pinnacle in Michigan, which, as you’ll see in the list below, closed after only two years. In other words, I present progress:

Anthony Downs, Kansas, closed 2009 after 105 years of racing
Atlantic City Race Course, New Jersey, closed 2015 after 69 years of racing
Atokad Downs, Nebraska, closed 2011 after 55 years of racing
Balmoral Park, Illinois, closed 2015 after 89 years of racing
Bay Meadows, California, closed 2008 after 74 years of racing
Beulah Park, Ohio, closed 2014 after 91 years of racing
Blue Ribbon Downs, Oklahoma, closed 2010 after 47 years of racing
Brockton Fair, Massachusetts, closed 2001 after 60 years of racing
Colonial Downs, Virginia, closed 2014 after 17 years of racing
Dayton Days, Washington, closed 2010 after 122 years of racing
Eureka Downs, Kansas, closed 2011 after 108 years of racing
Garden State Park Racetrack, New Jersey, closed 2001 after 59 years of racing
Great Lakes Downs, Michigan, closed 2007 after 18 years of racing
Hollywood Park, California, closed 2013 after 75 years of racing
Jackson Harness Raceway, Michigan, closed 2008 after 60 years of racing
Les Bois Park, Idaho, closed 2016 after 46 years of racing
Lone Oak Park, Oregon, closed 2000 after 67 years of racing
Manor Downs, Texas, closed 2010 after 20 years of racing
Maywood Park, Illinois, closed 2015 after 69 years of racing
Mount Pleasant Meadows, Michigan, closed 2013 after 28 years of racing
Northampton Fair, Massachusetts, closed 2005 after 62 years of racing
Northwest Montana Fair, Montana, closed 2011 after unknown number of years
Pinnacle Race Course, Michigan, closed 2010 after 2 years of racing
Playfair Race Course, Washington, closed 2001 after 100 years of racing
Rochester Fair, New Hampshire, closed 2007 after 73 years of racing
Rockingham Park, New Hampshire, closed 2009 after 103 years of racing
Saginaw Valley Downs, Michigan, closed 2005 after 25 years of racing
Solano Fair, California, closed 2009 after 58 years of racing
Sports Creek Raceway, Michigan, closed 2015 after 28 years of racing
Sportsman’s Park, Illinois, closed 2002 after 70 years of racing
Waitsburg, Washington, closed 2010 after 99 years of racing
Walla Walla Fair, Washington, closed 2010 after 144 years of racing
Western Montana Fair, Montana, closed 2010 after 96 years of racing
Woodlands Racecourse, Kansas, closed 2007 after 17 years of racing
Yavapai Downs, Arizona, closed 2010 after 50 years of racing
Yellowstone Downs, Montana, closed 2011 after 65 years of racing


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      • I remember reading an article about a famous race mare named Glacial Princess who broke down at Beulah in 1981 and was buried in the infield of the track. When the track closed, there was a big effort to exhume her and rebury her at Old Friends. And of course, the article states that the trainer loved her. But he very literally ran her to her death into the dirt of this now defunct dump of track.

  1. Thanks for posting this.
    What a beautiful list this is.!
    Reading this post made my day!
    I hope that the next list will have plent more on it.
    So sorry for Glacial Princess and all of the others

  2. There is one more you can add, Yakima Meadows also in Washington.This extensive list does give hope that in the future, that racing will become much smaller or even disappear. Many of these smaller tracks quit operating due to the ever increasing cost of liability insurance that was required for the riders participating at these small meets.We don`t know exactly when Yakima Meadows began or ended but it stopped operating some time ago. We think in the 1990`s.

  3. This is a fantastic list.Maybe one day horses will run on open land with loving owners.Go easy on the crops,whips,boots,insanity.
    Jockeys will not abuse these animals anymore.And Vets (sorry it’s hard to believe they do the euthanization)will actually respect these awesome animals and treat them and let them

  4. Hello Patrick,

    Patrick, may God bless you. I was born and raised in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The way horses are being treated (I should say ‘mistreated’) to race is indeed deplorable. I think if we were to highlight the multitude of suicides that inevitably result of engaging in this devilish [so-called] ‘sport’ it would really sink into the conscience of the American public.

  5. I hope that Camarero Racetrack in Puerto Rico is the next one to shut down.
    It was a hell hole for horses even before the hurricane hit, but now this:
    There are extensive reports, mostly from rescue groups or entities NOT financially benefiting from horse racing, that the racehorses down there are SUFFERING greatly with absolutely NO financial assistance from the multiBILLION dollar TB sales or wagering groups.
    This should not surprise most of us since this business doesn’t give a dime for most horses standing at the kill auctions.
    Anyway, the track was damaged badly from the hurricane, and there is absolutely NO WATER NO HAY whatsoever for these poor horses with the temperatures sweltering.
    They have shipped in some oats, but that is minimal evidently.
    The horses are standing in water up to their knees (in most cases) with absolutely NO break from their intense confinement in their stalls.
    The barns are heavily damaged and they don’t know where to get the money or how they are going to continue.
    There is also a report on Paulick News, but I got my information from a rescue group:
    Now I call upon all the “good folks” of horse racing who evidently “loves and cares” for racehorses – where the HELL are you?
    Where the hell are you when racehorses are sent to kill auctions in pain, and suffering with no vet care;their last hope a kind person who digs into their pocket for $200 so that they don’t end up on the slaughterhouse floor?
    We all know the answer to these questions, and that’s why you need to stop calling yourself “good,” because you can’t possibly “love” racehorses while watching the maiming, killing, and suffering of racehorses on a daily basis.

  6. I’m told that Illinois Horse racing will shut down unless they receive government handouts of at least 11 million dollars, but the horse people are saying that it’s NOT a government handout.
    Rather, a financial opportunity.
    How stupid do they think people are, and is the government going to be stupid again by handing them this?
    Gov. Cuomo handed millions over to Finger Lakes to keep that track going.
    We are living in a time where precious taxpayers dollars can’t be wasted on this despicable business.
    At least when casino profits go to education, healthcare, or children sporting events, something good comes out of that, but not one redeemable factor comes out of horse racing – not one.

  7. A financial opportunity, they call it? – a HAND OUT is a financial opportunity? Well racing folks, I’ve got thousands of financial opportunities for you…how about you HAND OUT those millions to rescue your “athletes” from the kill pens all over this country and finance their care for the rest of their lives.

    The stupidity is astounding.

  8. Thank goodness the last active track in Detroit Michigan is shutting down!

    Patrick has stated, and we all know, that without government handouts in the form of taxpayers money, tax breaks and/or corporate welfare this vile business would have shut down a long time ago.
    Our politicians are essentially diverting BILLIONS in casino profits back into this vile business, while allegedly greasing their palms along the way.

    Please support DECOUPLING – sign the petition on the Grey2K website so that decoupling will pass in Florida, and this will hopefully begin a domino affect.

  9. Kindly join me in celebrating yet another 2 tracks closing: Fort Pierre and Aberdeen in South Dakota.
    A couple of tracks that have also shuttered in this state:
    Park Jefferson in North Sioux City, S.D., closed in 1982
    Ak-Sar-Ben in Omaha, Neb., in 1995
    The entire South Dakota horse racing circuit was heavily financed by, yours truly, taxpayers for years who can’t find the money to carry on this waste unlike many other state politicians.
    A lot of people tend to focus on the bigger tracks, but extreme pain and suffering exists on these “bush tracks.”
    All of the mangled, crippled, maimed racehorses get sent to these tracks for another round of abuse to increase wagering profits for, mostly, the HBPA.
    They also keep these tracks going just to tap into the state-funded breeding money as if we need some more unwanted racehorses – insanity!
    It’s important to note that these racehorses are shuttled around like chattels with NOT ONE doping/vet record following them!
    So highly likely that many have previous fractures with screws, major injuries and chronic issues with nobody giving a damn about that – hardly people who “care” about the racehorses they exploit.
    Nauseating sick people who continue to justify this corruption, cruelty, and death ring that belongs in First Century BC as part of the gladiator rings.

    • Yes, Gina we have seen the abuse on the bull ring bush tracks! It is our firm hope that economics will eliminate all of these crummy kinds of tracks.In the event of injury to horse or human there really is not any good medical care due to the remoteness and distances from good trauma centers.We have seen horses hooked up to a series of car batteries with electrical wiring while standing in stalls! Never did figure out or understand what kind of treatment was going on.

  10. Calder Racecourse in Miami FL on the chopping block.
    They have been trying to shut this track down for years, but Frank Stronach stepped in to save it by leasing it.
    Now people in Florida want to shut down horse racing there and transfer their gambling license to Jai Alai, which is a sport involving autonomous beings.
    Enter Florida HBPA and OBS – both entities make billions off the bones, backs, and lives of racehorses.
    They give little to nothing to racehorses when they are done maiming them.
    In the past couple of years there has been a huge increase in the number of neglected racehorses found on Florida farms all over the state.
    So HBPA OBS have joined forces to challenge this in court.
    These racehorse exploiters, slave masters, and abusers will go to no lengths to continue the exploitation.
    They are shameful, disgusting entities that need to shut down along with the tracks.
    These poor racehorses are forced to run during the extremely hot summer season there while domestic pets are kept inside the air conditioning – what a contrast.
    I hope that I can celebrate the shut down of Calder horse racing soon.

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