With Arlington’s closing, the updated list…

The following racetracks have closed since 2000. In this same period, only two new tracks have opened: Pinnacle in Michigan – which, as you’ll see, closed after only two years – and Presque Isle in Pennsylvania. It must be noted, however, that Presque Isle is a racino, meaning it never could have opened without subsidization from taxpayers. Clearly, the demand for the racing product itself is going in one direction. Progress.

(Two other tracks, not listed below, were, for all intents and purposes, simply replaced after they closed: In Ohio, Beulah Park closed in 2014; its license was then picked up by Mahoning Valley, which opened that same year. In Kentucky, Thunder Ridge closed in 2017; its license was eventually transferred to Oak Grove, which opened in 2019. Of course, both Mahoning and Oak Grove are racinos.)

The shuttered tracks (40, and counting):

Arlington Park, Illinois, closed 2021 after 94 years of abusing horses

Calder Race Course, Florida, closed 2020 after 49 years of abusing horses

Scarborough Downs, Maine, closed 2020 after 70 years of abusing horses

Bluegrass Downs, Kentucky, closed 2019 after 35 years of abusing horses

Suffolk Downs, Massachusetts, closed 2019 after 84 years of abusing horses

Portland Meadows, Oregon, closed 2019 after 73 years of abusing horses

Hazel Park, Michigan, closed 2018 after 69 years of abusing horses

Les Bois Park, Idaho, closed 2016 after 46 years of abusing horses

Atlantic City Race Course, New Jersey, closed 2015 after 69 years of abusing horses

Balmoral Park, Illinois, closed 2015 after 89 years of abusing horses

Maywood Park, Illinois, closed 2015 after 69 years of abusing horses

Sports Creek Raceway, Michigan, closed 2015 after 28 years of abusing horses

Hollywood Park, California, closed 2013 after 75 years of abusing horses

Mount Pleasant Meadows, Michigan, closed 2013 after 28 years of abusing horses

Eureka Downs, Kansas, closed 2011 after 108 years of abusing horses

Atokad Downs, Nebraska, closed 2011 after 55 years of abusing horses

Northwest Montana Fair, closed 2011 after unknown number of years abusing horses

Yellowstone Downs, Montana, closed 2011 after 65 years of abusing horses

Blue Ribbon Downs, Oklahoma, closed 2010 after 47 years of abusing horses

Dayton Days, Washington, closed 2010 after 122 years of abusing horses

Manor Downs, Texas, closed 2010 after 20 years of abusing horses

Pinnacle Race Course, Michigan, closed 2010 after 2 years of abusing horses

Waitsburg, Washington, closed 2010 after 99 years of abusing horses

Walla Walla Fair, Washington, closed 2010 after 144 years of abusing horses

Western Montana Fair, closed 2010 after 96 years of abusing horses

Anthony Downs, Kansas, closed 2009 after 105 years of abusing horses

Rockingham Park, New Hampshire, closed 2009 after 103 years of abusing horses

Solano Fair, California, closed 2009 after 58 years of abusing horses

Bay Meadows, California, closed 2008 after 74 years of abusing horses

Jackson Harness Raceway, Michigan, closed 2008 after 60 years of abusing horses

Great Lakes Downs, Michigan, closed 2007 after 18 years of abusing horses

Rochester Fair, New Hampshire, closed 2007 after 73 years of abusing horses

Woodlands Racecourse, Kansas, closed 2007 after 17 years of abusing horses

Northampton Fair, Massachusetts, closed 2005 after 62 years of abusing horses

Saginaw Valley Downs, Michigan, closed 2005 after 25 years of abusing horses

Sportsman’s Park, Illinois, closed 2002 after 70 years of abusing horses

Brockton Fair, Massachusetts, closed 2001 after 60 years of abusing horses

Garden State Park Racetrack, New Jersey, closed 2001 after 59 years of abusing horses

Playfair Race Course, Washington, closed 2001 after 100 years of abusing horses

Lone Oak Park, Oregon, closed 2000 after 67 years of abusing horses

In the 6th at Parx yesterday, there were four entrants. One, Heroic Officer, “returned lame and was vanned off.” Two of the other three, Aussie Mist and Zensational Dixie, were “claimed” (bought), with ownership set to change at the race’s conclusion. One problem, though: Those claims, plus that of Heroic (yes, she too was sold), were voided by the track vet for undisclosed injuries. So, that’s 3/4 of the “field” returning (probably racing) injured.

Two years ago, Parx (along with Gulfstream) led the nation in kills with 59. This year, through just the first six months – 33 kills. In the past four-plus years, 212 horses (that we know about) have perished at Parx. This is about as bad as it gets, folks. And all of it, the abuse, the killing, is subsidized by the good taxpayers of Pennsylvania.

Governor Wolf: phone/contact/social media
Lt. Governor Fetterman: 717-787-3300; twitter; facebook
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

change petition

After almost 100 years of abusing and killing horses, Arlington International Racecourse outside Chicago was permanently shuttered after the final race Saturday. While the exploiters and apologists wax poetic about the track, I thought ‘twould be a good time to remember some of its victims, from just the past few years:

Westyn Go Home, training – “broken shoulder at neck of scapula, severe hemorrhage”
Charlie’s Heir, racing – “horse went down, had a few spasms, and died”
Rio Seco, racing – “sudden death, obvious cause not identified”
yet-to-be-named 2-year-old, training – “fractured shoulder…humanely destroyed”
Canary Islands, racing – “pelvic trauma”
Louie’s Kingdom, training – “horse collapsed and died”
unidentified 2-year-old, stall – “flipped repeatedly – comminuted fractures of pelvis”
All Call, stall – “found dead – ruptured stomach”
Muffins Revenge, racing – “unrecoverable injury – euthanized on track”
Nuttinholdinmeback, training – “tibia shattered into [numerous] fragments”
Cook Memories, racing – “collapsed on track, unresponsive”
Flash for Corona, stall – “found dead – severe, gangrenous pleuropneumonia”
She’s So Needy, racing – “rear limb laminitis, rotated P3”
Jersey’s Heat, racing – “comminuted carpal fracture”
Chis Conquest, training – “collapsed – comminuted fracture of scapula”
Amazon Nellie, training – “open, disarticulated fetlock”
Prue, training – “horse dropped dead training”
Winning Homer, training – “laminitis”
New Dancer, training – “[multiple] fractures”
Buck Snort, racing – “sesamoid fractures with DSL rupture”
Stand With Honor, racing – “open fractures, DSL rupture”
Neuqua, racing – “sesamoid fractures”
Lost Creek, training – “fractured tibia…euthanized on track”
Big O’s Tavern, racing – “[multiple] fractures, [multiple] ruptures”
Sully’s Dream, racing – “complete basilar fracture of sesamoid”
Ask Alex, training – “comminuted P1 fractures”
Larry Rocks, racing – “femur fracture”
Star Quest, racing – “[found dead next morning], suspect pelvic fractures”
Intrepid Humor, training – “fracture with lacerated femoral artery”
Half Ready, training – “suspensory failure [of previous surgery with screws]”
Giant Breeze, racing – “severe heat stroke”
Triple Dog Dare, training – “spiral comminuted MCIII fracture”
First Attempt, training – “compound fracture, ruptured ligaments”
Ava Atticus, racing – “radial carpal fracture”
Hurricane Hank, racing – “multiple fractures”
G P’s Girl, racing – “collapsed on track, stopped breathing within seconds of arrival”
Altai, training – “bilateral sesamoid fractures”
Black Angel, stall – “possible electrocution”
Jackieboy, racing – “complete rupture of ligaments, disarticulation”
Medalquest, racing – “complete rupture of ligaments”
Stanley’s Friend, racing – “broke down at 3/8”
Sistriot, racing – “flipped in the paddock; found dead in the am”
Permian, racing – “open MCIII fracture, bilateral sesamoid fractures”
Just Zip It, racing – “collapsed after crossing finish line – dead upon exam”
Thirsty Girl, training – “horse became wobbly…collapsed and died”
Mongolian Eagle, stall – “eight weeks of ataxia” (two years old, yet-to-be-raced)
Dark Humorista, stall – “cellulitis of foreleg”
Striking Hight, training – “torn tendon, probably broken femur”
Vasilisa the Wise, training – “collapsed on track – dead”
Le Dimanche, racing – “open, comminuted condylar fracture”
The Minister, racing – “fractured carpus”
Notta, training – “lacerated tendons, extensive degloving, cannon bone exposed”
Uno Pecador, racing – “collapsed – bleeding episode or cardiac event” (89th race)
Jicote, racing – “sesamoid and condylar fractures”
Super Nova, racing – “collapsed dead”
Wind Warrior, racing – “[multiple] fractures, [multiple] ruptures, bone exposed”
Quittin Time, stall – “laminitis…coffin bone rotated out the bottom of its foot”
unidentified, stall – “expired suddenly, most likely distended or ruptured bowel”
A Real Ladies Man, stall – “died of natural causes” (three years old)
Broome Street, stall – “severe laminitis [in] three feet”
Super Service, training
So So Worth It, racing
Wollemi, training
Affirmed Once More, training
Bluegrass Dan, racing
Jaye’s Moondust, training
State Scholar, training
Broken In, racing
King’s Fortune, racing
Eyema Delight, racing
Static Kill, racing
Permit, racing
Chief Barker, racing
Peters Rock, racing
Imperial Lad, racing
Mop, racing
Ancient Kingj, training
Apropos, training
Brillar, training
Lord’s Messenger, training
Last Nouncer, training
Razman, training
Smokey Places, training
No Apologizes, training

As for the jobs lost with the track’s passing, sorry, no sympathy here. First, with labor shortages across myriad U.S. industries, finding new employment should not prove challenging. Second, and far more important, in light of the above any talk of jobs is downright obscene. Arlington was a house of cruelty; I don’t care about paychecks.