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Golden Gate Fields to close permanently

“The Stronach Group announced July 16 that it will close Golden Gate Fields at the end of the 2023 race meet.”

Yes, not good as this will mean a lot of people will be out of a job. I do know there are fewer horses at GGF than in the years prior to COVID. A friend is an exercise rider in the mornings and has been for years and years. She will be out of a job and can’t relocate. She (and others) feed groups of cats (I’m guessing it’s a TNR setup) and she is worried about them. Another friend works in a regulatory capacity on the backside, he will be out of a job.



Sadly, this will be devastating to thousands. Stronach’s flip response that people can just move to S. Cal. to run at Santa Anita is idiotic. Its over 300 miles away, and the GG horses ran at GG because they werent SA quality. Their hope is that it will bolster the deplorable fields of horses at SA. I think they are delusional. People will go out of business, breeding operations will go under.


As they have proven time and time again, the Stronach group could care less about racing. What do they care if people lose their jobs?


I just don’t get it. The Stronach Family never makes any sense to me. They build stuff up only to burn it to the ground.

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I’m not active in racing, but OTTBs have my heart and 3 of my 4 have raced at GGF, some exclusively. This is a huge hit to California racing and will substantially harm the NorCal horse community. Absolutely devastating and such a complete shame.


Terrible news.
I am wondering if it may help Emerald Downs here a bit… thank God Stronachs are not involved here!

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It is a slow decline, but horse racing has less and less resonance with an urban-based, digital-focused population. Most people don’t have connection with other animals or the natural world.


And I guess we can expect that a lot of horses will be headed to the kill pens or hopefully to sanctuaries. Adding to their burden. And those people that worked there - what about them? Where do they go? and with what job skills?

@Willesdon - I agree. Horse racing has never kept up with the times. And never really made an effort to stay in touch. I despise the fluff that has been added to the Triple Crown broadcasts but even that is not even of a band-aid to keep today’s potential audience interested.

My colleague was talking about this as maybe a possibility on Sunday when the news first broke. Hope it might work. Here in the Bay Area we have lost Bay Meadows, Tanforan and now Golden Gate Fields. Pleasanton was operating as a training track but that ceased several years ago. It would be nice if CARF could be “the knight in shining armor.”

Surprising to see the article in a golf publication. :woman_shrugging:

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I wasn’t surprised to hear it’s closing, but am very surprised it will happen so quickly. But I guess in this case the driving factor wasn’t selling the land for development (which takes years) but rather trying to bolster Santa Anita immediately. But as others have said, many GGF horses are not competitive at Santa Anita. It will be interesting to see what happens with the fair circuit.

Anyone know what will happen to Lost In The Fog & Silky Sullivan’s remains?

“Two horses are buried at Golden Gate Fields, which is sadly being closed as soon as the season ends. One is the beloved Silky Sullivan and the other is Lost in the Fog:“

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Maybe CARF will come to the “rescue.” :crossed_fingers:t2:

Its not just Stronachs. Look at Churchill.

This is what happens when corporate greed starts taking over.

the only place thats holding its own in this modern era is Saratoga. They have thousands in attendance everyday; many of them young people. Saratoga has preserved something truly special and managed to create the boutique that it does to appeal to everyone.

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Keeneland, Del Mar, and KY Downs do the same thing.

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Aren’t these fairly short meets though?

Yes. As is Saratoga. My point was that these meets are also “holding their own” and “attracting thousands in attendance every day”. Saratoga isn’t the only meet doing that.

I think Saratoga is outweighing those in historic graded stakes races, though.
5-8 Graded stakes a week

Kentucky Downs has 9 graded stakes during its meet.

Keeneland, I believe, has 18 graded stakes during its Fall meet.

Maybe these smaller tracks with boutique meets are the way of the future. Special atmosphere. Super fun family day at the track. You can picnic at Toga. Seems to be the type of atmosphere that draws the people. Meanwhile go to Churchill Downs on any given day of the week and it is a ghost town.

I personally really like Kentucky Downs set up. All turf racing. A bit reminiscent of some european style turf tracks.

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