Another North American Track Shuttered for Good

After announcing in February that the upcoming Thoroughbred meet at Marquis Downs in Saskatchewan would be canceled (again) because of covid, Prairieland Park, owner of the property, went one better Friday. From a press release:

“Prairieland Park is excited to be a part of the discussion/negotiation with the Canadian Premier Soccer League (CPL) and Living Sky Sports and Entertainment to bring Saskatchewan’s first, and only, professional soccer league to Saskatoon.

“At the same time the Board of Directors of Prairieland Park has come to the difficult decision to permanently cancel Thoroughbred racing at Marquis Downs after a 50-year relationship with the sport.

“The decision to end Thoroughbred Horse racing was not come to lightly, however, the opportunity presented by CPL and Living Sky Sports will help lead Prairieland into the future, and the board felt it was the time to transition the track space at Marquis Downs to accommodate this new venture.” (emphasis added)

Hear, hear. I particularly like this photo from the website CanadianThoroughbred. Though I’m sure it wasn’t their intention (they are, after all, pro-racing), the juxtaposition – the future, the past; a real sport and a lie – couldn’t be any more trenchant. Marquis Downs: good riddance to bad rubbish.

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  1. What a perfect idea to pitch to the higher ups and take all the prime real estate (the killing fields of racing) and sell to sports teams. Problem solved…betting,tons of great jobs, high revenue for the state. All the excuses for keeping racing going down the sewer system!!!

  2. GOOD GOOD GOOD — what sweet music to my ears — I pray more and more tracks will see an end to cruelty and misery and convert their properties for non-violent, respectable purposes.

  3. Just look at those horses struggling to stay balanced so as not to go down (racing tight) trying to manoeuvre that sharp turn when being forced, along with the whip, to a fast gallop. That poor horse in yellow head gear 😪. One only has to look at the faces of ALL of these horses to see that they are racing for their lives. The blatant abusive and brutal riding by these jockeys makes me sick to the stomach.
    Very much an appropriate photo to put up beside the soccer one. I suspect not a difficult decision by Praireland Park to turn to soccer.

    • Even if you can’t see the faces of the horses to know that the horses are literally racing for their lives, we know from so much information available already that horses racing for their lives is a fact. From the Horseracing Wrongs blog to videos available on YouTube, it is well-documented that racehorses are born to be used, abused and killed one way or another. It’s the profit first, factory farming mentality of so-called horsemen who threw the Horsemanship Manual out the window centuries ago!

      Racing for their Lives: An In-Depth Look at Doping in the U.S. Horse Racing Industry (from 2012) on YouTube and the ongoing callous exploitation of horses for racing documented more or less daily here on Horseracing Wrongs is evidence that proves people involved in horseracing don’t care about true horsemanship.

    • Carolyn, exactly – my same thoughts. Additionally, the blinkers that restrict their field of vision – two of the horses are doing what they can just to SEE what they need to see! – put them at even a higher risk of injury! Can you imagine? – being made to run at break-neck speed in such tight quarters and having your vision restricted? I’m actually surprised more racehorses don’t go down clipping heels.

      Oh but…racing is JUST LIKE when my own horses run in their pastures (which is nearly never – and insert eye roll).

  4. Sayonara, another bad li’ track. I was on the backstretch just for a day a long time ago, and UGH. Seedy place not fit for man or BEAST. Canada has lost one of it’s awful ‘bullring’ tracks, yay. I like the Prairieland concept, particularly the idea of First Nations involvement; I would hope they carry through with that. From a former resident of Saskatoon…

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