COVID-19 STATEMENT FROM THE PRESIDENT OF GRANTS PASS DOWNS

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COVID-19 STATEMENT FROM THE PRESIDENT OF GRANTS PASS DOWNS

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Grants Pass Downs Out of the Gate for Fall Meet

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – September 21, 2020Grants Pass Downs

Oregon’s premier horse racing track, kicks off its fall racing season today at 4:00 p.m. with an 8-race program. The highlight of the opening day card comes in the seventh race, the Applegate Stakes. The five-furlong event features a full field of 10 thoroughbreds competing for a purse of $13,000. Originally scheduled to begin September 14, the meet was delayed a week due to the hazardous air quality from Oregon’s historic wildfires. The Fall 2020 meet will now span eight weeks of racing across 16 dates – every Monday and Tuesday through November 10 – and pay out more than $1 million in total purses for an average of over $60,000 each racing day.

Other highlights of the meet includes the exclusive Luckii Sprint Series, a three-race event that will be held October 5, 19 and November 3 with a $15,000 added purse on the line, and the Oregon Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association (OTOBA)-sponsored Oregon Championship Day on November 2. OCD 2020 will feature a full day of Oregon-bred Stakes races. In total, 20 stakes races are scheduled during the fall meet – 16 thoroughbred and four quarter horse.

In accordance with recommendations from public health officials, COVID-19 protocols are once again in effect for the fall meet. A limited amount of fans will be permitted on-site on racing days, and are encouraged to purchase their tickets online via the Grants Pass Downs website to secure a seat in the grandstands. All spectators will need to check in at the front gate when they arrive so track staff can ensure attendance numbers are kept in compliance with health and safety regulations.  

“We’re beyond excited to be able to welcome a limited number of fans back into the grandstands this fall for live racing action, and look forward to building on a highly successful summer meet,” said Randy Evers, president of Grants Pass Downs. “Our team has worked incredibly hard to create a safe environment for fans, our athletes, the horsemen and staff, and we’re ready to kick off another outstanding season of racing.”

Fans unable to attend the meet in person are encouraged to watch and wager through TVG Network and other advance-deposit wagering (ADW) websites, as well as participating off-track betting locations around the state. A list of participating ADW sites is available on Grants Pass Downs’ website at https://gpdowns.com/wagering/.

ABOUT GRANTS PASS DOWNS

Located at the Josephine County Fairgrounds, Grants Pass Downs has hosted live pari-mutuel horse racing since 1968 and is now home to the largest race meet in the state of Oregon. More information about Grants Pass Downs can be found at www.gpdowns.com.

Media Contact:

Pete Johnson, Finn Partners

pete.johnson@finnpartners.com

(503) 546-7880

Grants Pass Downs - Opening Weekend Cancellation Statement

Fall 2020 Meet – Smoke from Oregon Wildfires – Opening Weekend Cancellation Statement

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Sept 13, 2020

“Due to the unhealthy air quality as a result of the smoke from the unprecedented fires in Oregon, we have made the decision to cancel opening week racing activities at Grants Pass Downs.

We are committed to protecting to the health and safety of our guests, human and equine athletes, community of horsemen and women, and Grants Pass Downs staff. Until the smoke from the fires decreases to a safe level, we will not conduct training nor racing.

Our hearts are with the members of our community who have been impacted by these historic fires, and our sincere gratitude goes out to the firefighters battling the blazes and first responders working to keep our communities safe.”

– Randy Evers, President, Grants Pass Downs

Grants Pass Downs Announces Fall 2020 Race Meet Dates

Oregon’s premier horse racing track to host 18 race dates from Sept. 14 through Nov. 10

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Aug 28, 2020Grants Pass Downs, Oregon’s premier horse racing track, has announced dates for its Fall 2020 Race Meet, with opening day set for Monday, September 14. The meet will feature 18 dates, with race days scheduled every Monday and Tuesday through November 10. Building on the momentum of Grants Pass Downs’ successful summer racing season, the total purses for the Fall Meet will exceed $1 million at an average of $60,000 per race day. First post each day will be at 4 p.m. PST. The track will officially open for training on August 31.

 

To ensure the health and safety of all participants during the meet, COVID procedures and protocols will be in effect. All Grants Pass Downs employees will be required to wear a mask or facial covering, and masks will be strongly encouraged for everyone on premises. There will also be a 200-person limit on the number of patrons admitted on racing days.

 

In advance of the summer meet, Grants Pass Downs made key adjustments to ensure racing operations could be conducted with public safety top of mind, and it will continue to prioritize the protocols recommended by the CDC and Oregon public health officials. Physical spaces have been adjusted to promote social distancing standards, hand sanitizers are readily available throughout the facility, and staff will conduct temperature checks and COVID screening for attendees.

 

“Grants Pass Downs is building on a successful Summer Meet, and we look forward to continued growth this fall,” said Randy Evers, president of Grants Pass Downs. “Our teams have been focused on improving our facilities to ensure our fall racing program runs safely and efficiently for all our horsemen, spectators and horses. We’re ready and excited to host another outstanding season of racing.”

 

Grants Pass Downs welcomes Luckii, which will sponsor this fall’s Sprint Series. The Luckii.com Sprint Series will consist of three races, to be held October 5, 19 and November 3, and will feature three-year olds and upward with $15,000 in added purse money on the line.

 

Veteran race caller Jason Beem is set to return as track announcer for all 18 fall dates. Racing fans will be able to hear him and tune into the simulcast of each race at ten off-track betting locations around Oregon, as well as connect and play through TVG Network and other advance-deposit wagering (ADW) websites. A list of participating ADW sites is available on Grants Pass Downs’ website at https://gpdowns.com/wagering/.

Grants Pass Downs Reports Record-Setting Summer Meet

Track overcame COVID-19 related challenges and crowd-size restrictions thanks to robust online betting and expanded national television exposure

Grants Pass, Ore. – July. 29, 2020  Grants Pass Downs, Oregon’s premier horse racing track, concluded its second commercial meet on July 8, following a four-week run of Tuesday and Wednesday racing. The summer meet, which began June 16, carded 78 races over nine dates and handled a total of $2,235,303, nearly quadruple the total amount from last year’s non-commercial summer meet. The meet saw a dramatic jump in online and off-track betting, with nearly 94% of the meet’s handle being driven by off-site betting – representing an astounding 859% increase from last summer’s meet.

The horsemen and horsewomen received $619,511 in purse money on the season at an average of $68,835 per race day and $7,942 per race. Compared to summer 2019, average race day purses saw an increase of $38,863 – up 130%. Additionally, the track’s field size jumped to an average 7.94 horses per race over last summer’s 5.34 horses per race.

“This record-breaking meet shows that racing is alive and well in spite of COVID-19, and our success is a testament to the hard work put in by track staff, operations and facilities teams and the wonderful community of horsemen and women whose efforts made the meet possible,” said Randy Evers, President of Grants Pass Downs. “We are proud to be one of the few live sporting events on television while supporting the local Grants Pass economy.”

Once again, the meet’s leading jockey was Kassie Guglielmino with 14 wins in 58 starts. Guglielmino, who also finished the 2019 fall commercial meet as Grants Pass Downs’ top jockey, was followed by Taylor E. Smith (11 wins in 50 starts). Jorge Rosales was the meet’s leading trainer with 12 wins and ten second place finishes in 37 starts, and Marjorie Avery finished atop the owner rankings with five wins and six second place finishes in 16 starts.

The meet’s record handles were achieved despite limited crowd sizes. In response to the pandemic, Grants Pass Downs complied with the Governor’s order to limit the number of nonessential people on site at 250 on racing days during the summer meet. It also made significant operational changes to align with guidance from the CDC and Oregon public health officials to ensure the safety of staff, participating horsemen, athletes, and stakeholders. Dates for the upcoming fall race meet will be announced soon.

For questions about meet details, terms, training schedules, or fees and regulations, please visit https://gpdowns.com/.

Grants Pass Downs rides into summer meet

Oregon’s premier horse racing track gears up to resume commercial racing this week

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – June 15, 2020  Grants Pass Downs will kick off its summer racing season tomorrow, Tuesday, June 16. The 8-race opening day program will feature the Shady Cove Stakes, with a full field of 10 thoroughbreds competing for a purse of $12,000 at a distance of five furlongs. The meet will boast more than 80 races scheduled over nine dates – June 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and July 1, 6, 7 and 8 – with $60,000 available in purses each day. Post time is set for 4:00 p.m.

Lighting was installed this spring to facilitate twilight racing, and the track was widened to support bigger fields. Thanks to a grant from the Oregon Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (OTOBA), Grants Pass Downs was also able to complete a number of other safety-focused projects including the installation of a new retaining wall, fencing, breakaway distance markers and additional sand to improve the track surface. The stall area was also expanded to accommodate up to 450 horses to meet growing demand. Those stalls are now nearly full as hundreds of horsemen and women from around Oregon and across the West have come to Grants Pass to participate in the meet.

“The uncertainty of these times hasn’t dampened any of the enthusiasm we’ve felt from our partners in the racing community since commercial racing came to Grants Pass last year,” said John Everly, racing secretary at Grants Pass Downs. “Demand remains very high, and even with the addition of more stalls in the barn area and fields expanding from eight to 10 horses with the widened track and an expanded starting gate, races should be pretty full throughout the meet.”

In accordance with current Oregon state health guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the meet will be held without fans in attendance. Racing fans unable to attend due to the current public health guidelines are encouraged to watch and wager at TVG.com and other advance-deposit wagering (ADW) websites, as well as at participating off-track betting (OTB) locations around the state. Grants Pass Downs has also expanded its wagering menu and will offer two new bets during the Summer Meet—a fifty cent Jackpot Pick Five with a $5,000 guaranteed pool and a 15% takeout rate, and a one dollar early Pick Four. For a list of participating ADW sites and OTB locations, visit https://gpdowns.com/wagering/.

“The health and safety of our athletes, staff, partners and guests is our highest priority, and we have put new protocols in place to ensure a safe, fun environment for all as we resume racing operations,” said Rod Lowe, director of racing and chief operating officer at Grants Pass Downs. “We’ll be encouraging the use of masks or face coverings by all guests. Additionally, hand sanitizer stations have been set up in high traffic areas throughout the premises, and social distancing reminders – like signage and floor markings – have been posted throughout the premises.”

Grants Pass Downs will allow a maximum of 250 nonessential people on site on racing days, including owners and their guests, sponsors and corporate partners, and members of the media.

Grants Pass Downs Names Jason Beem as Track Announcer for 2020 Racing Dates

Oregon’s premier horse racing track hires seasoned race caller for summer and fall commercial meets GRANTS PASS, Ore. – June 8, 2020 – Grants Pass Downs has named veteran race caller Jason Beem as track announcer for its 2020 commercial race meets. Beem will call all nine days of summer racing, beginning Tuesday, June 16 through closing day, Wednesday, July 8, as well as the track’s fall meet. Final dates for fall racing have yet to be determined. A seasoned track announcer, social media personality, podcast host and author, Beem brings over 15 years of experience calling races to Grants Pass Downs. He has experience calling meets around the country, at Colonial Downs, Louisiana Downs, Monmouth Park, Portland Meadows and River Downs, among others. He hosts a daily horse racing podcast called The Jason Beem Horse Racing Podcast, and is known for his annual “Beemie Awards,” held each December to celebrate the best moments in horse racing social media. “We are excited to add Jason’s talent and vast experience in horse racing to the upcoming summer meet,” said Randy Evers, president of Grants Pass Downs. “His infectious enthusiasm for our sport is the perfect fit for calling our races, and he is certain to inject an extra wow factor in an unusual time. Our summer race dates will be held without spectators to maintain health and safety during the pandemic, but we are confident that Jason’s unique voice will help accurately reflect the excitement we’ve felt from the Grants Pass community.” Beem, a Pacific Northwest native who grew up attending races at Longacres and Portland Meadows, is eager to lend his talents to the track for the first commercial races in Oregon this year. “I’m honored to join the team at Grants Pass Downs as they continue to build on Oregon’s long and storied horse racing legacy,” said Beem. “The leadership and staff at Grants Pass Downs are doing an excellent job driving the next era of horse racing in the state while keeping hundreds of horsemen and women at work in Southern Oregon. I consider Oregon a second home and am thrilled to be a part of this team for the summer and fall meets.” The summer race meet at Grants Pass Downs will kick off without spectators on Tuesday, June 16. Post time is set for 4 p.m. each day. Races will be available for spectators to watch and wager on TVG Network and other advance deposit wagering sites, and carried by Oregon’s off track betting sites. A full list of participating ADW sites and open off track betting sites are available on the Wagering page.
Jason Beem

Photo Credit: Penelope Miller

Condition Book Now Available

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – May 27, 2020  ATTN: HORSEMEN! Our condition book is live on the website for downloading. Please visit https://gpdowns.com/horsemen and click the button that says DOWNLOAD next to Condition Book. On behalf of our racing office, thank you for your patience. We are looking forward to an exciting race meet.

Official Press Release: Grants Pass Downs to Begin Racing June 16th

Oregon’s premier horse racing track to host the Adequan Derby Challenge; all summer races will be open to athletes and staff only GRANTS PASS, Ore. – May 18, 2020 – Grants Pass Downs, Oregon’s premier horse racing track, will hold its summer meet without spectators, with racing beginning June 16. The decision comes as the state of Oregon eases coronavirus-related shutdown restrictions and as most racetracks reopen across the nation. The meet will take place over nine days –June 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and July 1, 6, 7 and 8, post time at 4 p.m.– and includes between 80 to 100 races and $60,000 in purses each race day. The track opens for training ahead of the meet today, May 18. One of the featured races in the meet is the prestigious American Quarter Horse Association’s Adequan Derby Challenge. The 400-yard quarter horse race offers a total purse of $35,000. The track is implementing strict COVID-19 health protocols to ensure the safety of all participants during the meet. All Grants Pass Downs employees will be required to wear masks, and the Oregon Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association will provide masks to participating horsemen and women, trainers and support staff. Additionally, the track has set up racing operations to be conducted in compliance with social distancing standards and is implementing two checkpoints with COVID-19 screening equipment to check temperatures and look for symptoms. Any person exhibiting an above-average body temperature or COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed into the venue. “Since we opened our track for training on May 18, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that we can safely run races while complying with Oregon’s COVID-19 public health regulations,” said Randy Evers, president of Grants Pass Downs. “Although we are disappointed that we cannot allow spectators at the summer meet, we are committed to doing our part to help keep our community safe and healthy. We are pleased to take this first step of opening up the track for races again, and we know our fans will be following the action closely on TVG Network and other participating ADW sites.” The track is operating in full compliance with plans from the Oregon governor’s office to safely re-open the state and provide jobs for the local Grants Pass economy. The races will generate between 150 to 200 jobs, even without fans, as Grants Pass Downs staff, horse trainers, veterinarians, pony riders, gate crew and others are going back to work to safely put on the summer meet for racing fans around the world. Grants Pass Downs’ summer meet is available for spectators to watch and wager at TVG Network and other advance-deposit wagering (ADW) websites. A list of participating ADW sites is available on this page.

Summer Race Dates Announcement

5/15/2020 | Grants Pass, Oregon

We regret that we are unable to host spectators during our summer meet but we hope you will tune in to TVG for all of the live action from the track. That being said, there’s a new schedule for Grants Pass Downs. Our nine day meet will run every Tuesday and Wednesday (and one Monday)! Post Time is 4pm. The dates are: June 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and July 1, 6, 7, 8.

Safety Grant Announcement

5/6/2020 | Grants Pass, Oregon We are honored to have received a safety grant in the amount of $165,200 from the Oregon Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association! This grant will allow us to integrate new chain-link fencing, Styrofoam break away distance markers, sand for racing surfaces and a 10-foot safety buffer. We’ll also be acquiring a telescopic boom for safety mitigation along the chute! We are really excited for these changes and for the opportunity to further our mission of safety first, for both horse and rider. Read more about the changes here.

Backside Opening Announcement

5/4/2020 | Grants Pass, Oregon

Grants Pass Downs is opening on the backside May 15th; first day of training May 18th.

Attention horsemen:
We are excited to announce that we will be open on the backside starting May 15th! The first day of training is May 18th; we hope to see some familiar faces on the track. While we’re eager to open, we also want to ensure the safety of all involved, so please click here to read the in-depth protocols for backside attendees. Adherence to this protocol is mandatory.

DOWNLOAD THE COVID-19 PROTOCOL STATEMENT

We know you probably know what it means that the backside is open, but we just want to clarify that we are not yet open to the public. This announcement is specific to the horsemen that train at our track.

Thank you for your attention and we can’t wait to see you soon!
-The team at Grants Pass Downs

Covid-19 Spring Meet Cancellation Statement

3/26/2020 | Grants Pass, Oregon

Grants Pass Downs has made the difficult decision to cancel the upcoming spring race meet, which was scheduled to begin on May 10, due to health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.

As a result, the backside will not open for training in April.

Although this was a difficult decision to make, we are certain it is the right one.

Our management team saw no possible avenue to continue with our planned schedule in a way that meets aligns with our mission and meets our commitment to the health and safety of our staff, our athletes, the horsemen and women, racing fans and the community of Grants Pass.

We wish you good health and encourage you to take care of yourself, your families, friends and neighbors.

We are all in this fight together, and we will come through these difficult times stronger.

-Randy Evers, President of Grants Pass Downs

Bar and Restaurant Closure Statement

3/16/20 | Grants Pass, Oregon

To our fans and partners in the community:

Given Governor Brown’s order to close all bars and restaurants in Oregon in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, our OTB network will be unavailable for wagering until further notice. We know this is a difficult time for all, and we are grateful to all our partners in the restaurant industry for doing their part as state and federal health officials work to get a handle on this.

We are monitoring this situation closely and will share additional updates as available, but if you have any questions, please reach out to pr@gpdowns.com.

Randy Evers, President of Grants Pass Downs

A Statement From The President Re: Covid-19

3/17/2020 | Grants Pass, Oregon

To our fans and partners in the community:

Grants Pass Downs is committed to ensuring the safety, health and wellbeing of our guests, athletes, horsemen and staff, as well as the Grants Pass community.

We are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19. As of today, we have made no changes to our spring schedule – the backside is still slated to open April 5, with the start of the spring race meet set for May 10.

We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as it evolves in the weeks ahead and will follow the recommendations and guidelines put forward by local, state and federal public health officials.

In the meantime, please continue to take the necessary precautions in your daily lives. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly or to pr@gpdowns.com.

Wishing you all good health while we navigate this situation together.

-Randy Evers, President of Grants Pass Downs

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