Greetings Horsewomen and Horsemen,
It is a new day for racing in Oregon with many changes occurring over the past few months.
After decades of horse racing at Portland Meadows the track will now be closed. The Stronach Group, owners of Portland Meadows, did not apply for a race meet license for the 2019-2020 race season. The property is also up for sale with a serious buyer in place to convert the property to a warehouse and trucking operation. That is very sad for so many people who have raced there for all these years. However, when one door closes another one opens and we have a great new opportunity with a company called TMBRacing Inc. TMB is owned by Mr. Travis Boersma who is a co-founder and CEO of Dutch Brothers Coffee Company. TMB approached the Oregon HBPA Board of Directors several months ago and we are pleased that we recently signed a contract with TMB and welcome them as our new commercial race meet operator and partner.
The TMB commercial race meet will begin this fall at Grants Pass Downs. Racing will be on Saturdays and Sundays beginning September 21st and concluding on November 3rd. Purses are guaranteed to average $60,000 per day with plans to run four quarter horses each weekend and up to sixteen thoroughbred races. Of course that will depend on the number of horses and the opportunity to fill races with full fields. We are busy working with TMB on a condition book and hope to have one out in the next two weeks. Thank you for your patience as with any new endeavor there are always lots of new and emerging issues to tackle.
There are some exciting plans for Grants Pass Downs this fall. As I write this email a new safety rail is being installed at the track. Sand was added to the race track before the summer meet and more sand will be added before the fall meet to provide a safe racing surface. To improve the safety of the race surface even further new equipment has been ordered. A new tote/audio board is being constructed and I hear it is quite impressive. New stalls have been ordered to provide a safe environment for our race horses. TMB is in the process of creating a website where all racing information can be found. And a new announcer and racing secretary are being hired with some exciting news to come in the near future.
There are long term plans to widen the track, build new barns, improve the grandstand, create a beautiful new winners circle and build a new jockeys room. You may have also heard the Churchill Downs has entered the picture and is partnering with TMB. They have a strong interest in bringing historical racing machines, similar to the Instant Racing machines previously at Portland Meadows, to Oregon to increase revenues for racing. These are exciting and interesting times.
As we look forward to 2020 the Oregon horse race season will begin with a TMB spring race meet in April and May. Union will run the first part of June followed by the TMB summer meet in mid-June through early July. Prineville will then take center stage in mid-July followed by the Tillamook County Fair race meet in early August. The summer fair season concludes with a race meet in Burns in early September. And finally we end our race season with the TMB fall meet in mid-September through early November. The purse structure at the fair meets will be similar to 2019 with the purses at the three TMB meets again guaranteed to average $60,000 per day. Stay tuned for more specific details as we get closer to the actual race meets.
I hope you are all having a great summer. Good luck at the races!!
Oregon Racing Commission EIA (Coggins) Policy
ALL horses entering into the grounds of a fair meet race track in Oregon are required to have a valid negative Coggins within 6 months of entering the fairgrounds. For horses racing at the meet, the racing secretary shall be in charge of compliance and shall verify and photocopy the ORIGINAL color owner NCR Coggins and record the data with InCompass when possible. Horses not racing but on the grounds will be required to produce the same documentation as horses racing at the meet. Stewards, Investigators, Association representatives, and the State Veterinarian will walk shed rows and review and collect the papers to ensure compliance with the policy.
To read the complete policy from the Oregon Racing Commission, click here.
Dedicated to Oregon’s Thoroughbred Industry
From encouraging a greater level of public acceptance of the Thoroughbred industry to protecting the safety of all members, their stable personnel and their horses, the Oregon H.B.P.A. is committed to the health and improvement of the state’s Thoroughbred industry. Our mission includes:
- improvement of working conditions
- information and education
- represent members to local, state, and federal governments