Portland Meadows received approval from the Oregon Racing Commission to greatly alter its traditional racing schedule by switching from winter to summer racing.
Live racing in 2012 will commence July 15 and continue until closing day Dec. 8, officials said Dec. 21. Portland Meadows has traditionally run from early October to March or April, so the new license makes a dramatic shift in scheduling that will also include weekend and night racing every week.
“We are very excited to be entering this new era and are thankful for the support of the entire horse racing industry in Oregon, in particular the horsepeople and the Oregon Racing Commission,” Portland Meadows general manager William Alempijevic said. “Without the support of our partners in racing, summer and fall racing would not have been possible.
"Our collective goal of having live racing when the weather is at its best and by running on nights and weekends is to reinvigorate the local and statewide market by introducing people to the wonderful sport of horse racing.”
The first two months of the meet will go up against Emerald Downs in neighboring Washington State. The two tracks have formed a circuit of year-round racing in the Northwest.
The summer meet will feature racing on a Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday schedule in July, August, and September. Racing on Wednesdays and Fridays will begin at 6 p.m. PDT. First post time on Sundays will be 1 p.m.
The fall meet will begin Oct. 3, and racing will shift to a Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday schedule with post time each day at 1 p.m.
There will be a special day of live racing Monday, Sept. 3, the Labor Day holiday, at 1 p.m. There will be no live racing at Portland Meadows Aug. 8, Aug. 10, Sept. 7, and Sept. 9 to accommodate live racing at the Tillamook County Fair and Harney County Fair.
The daily purse distribution will be about $40,000 per day for the 2012 summer and fall meets. The highlight of the yet-to-be finalized stakes schedule will be the 47th running of the Portland Mile.