Portland Meadows Historical Timeline
Construction of Portland Meadows on November 20, under the direction of William P. Kyne. Kyne is also known as the founder of Bay Meadows Racecourse and he was largely responsible for the passage of the 1933 law which legalized pari-mutuel wagering in California.
Opening Day - September 14. With over 10,000 people in attendance, Portland Meadows made history as the first thoroughbred track in the nation to offer night time racing. This was made possible by use of a lighting system designed by General Electric which has been said has enough power "to light a four-lane superhighway from Portland to Salem, a distance of 40 miles."
Closed due to the Vanport Flood. This flood destroyed the town of Vanport, OR and resulted in roughly $250,000 worth of damage to the track.
April 25 - Fire burns the Grandstand to the ground. Fortunately the blaze took no lives, human or equine, but it did end the meet.
Facilities rebuilt and track reopened to a record crowd of 12,635.
Gary Stevens begins a two season streak as the leading rider at Portland Meadows. Gary would go on to capture three Kentucky Derby victories, eight Breeder's Cup titles, entrance into the Hall of Fame and would play a significant role in the motion picture "Seabiscuit."
The Coors Portland Meadows Mile becomes the first $100,000 stakes race in Oregon history. Present Value, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey William Shoemaker, captured the race and went on to retire with $1,153,853 in career earnings. Present Value still holds distinction as the richest horse to ever compete at Portland Meadows.
Two-year-old champion Jumron begins to draw fans from across the Pacific Northwest. He went on to become the first horse to begin his career at Portland Meadows that raced in the Kentucky Derby.
Magna Entertainment aquires the racing license for Portland Meadows. Prior to the 2001-2002 meet, the racing surface was completely renovated. The Clubhouse level and Turf Club Restaurant were also refurbished and a new simulcast center was opened on the mainline level.
Portland Meadows undergoes a series of improvements including the construction of a children's play area, upgrades in the paddock, gallons upon gallons of new paint throughout the building, new fencing and the inclusion of a grass apron. Among additional changes of significance are the live race days and an increase in handle. Since dropping Sunday racing and adding Monday matinees, there's been an increase of over 100 new simulcast outlets taking the Portland Meadows signal.
With the inception of Monday afternoon racing, it was on December 22, Portland Meadows boasted a handle in excess of half a million dollars for the first time in over 10 years. With that, the attention, interest and handle continue to rise.
Chris Dragone takes the helm as the new General Manager.
Dwayne Yuzik is named General Manager of Portland Meadows; Chris Dragone takes over as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club.
2007, March 6
Joe Crispin breaks Gary Stevens 25 year old record for wins in a single season when he boots home his 127th winner of the year aboard Lady Boswell. Crispin finished the season with 162 victories.
2007, November 5
Lethal Grande, the all-time richest Oregon-bred runner passed away due to an injury sustained during a race. He finished his career with $409,788 in career earnings.
Portland Meadows begins a promotion called ‘The People’s Horse’ where fans get the opportunity to experience the thrills of owning a real thoroughbred racehorse at none of the cost. Mystacallie was tabbed as the People’s horse for the 2008/09 season and goes on to win 7 out of 11 starts and racks up $30,574. Portland Meadows matches Mystacallie’s earnings for the season and donates that amount to the Oregon National Guard Emergency Relief Fund. The donation was the single largest private donation the state Guard has ever received.
2009, January 7
Portland Meadows celebrated the start of Wednesday racing with the first ever Portland Meadows vs. Golden Gate Fields Jockey Challenge brought to you by Xpressbet. The challenge pitted the top four riders at Portland Meadows versus the top four riders from Golden Gate Fields including horse racing’s all time winningest rider Russell Baze. Portland Meadows jockeys took home the trophy winning three of the four races with that season’s leading jockey Debbie Hoonan-Trujillo taking home the top riding honor.
2009, March 23
Portland Mile Day sees two long time track records fall as Salt Water broke a 32 year old track record winning a five furlong allowance race in 57.13 seconds. Later that day in the Mile, Crafty Power broke a 33 year old record for the one mile distance stopping the clock in 1:35.94.
Sports Radio superstar Jim Rome visits Portland Meadows for a VIP party and day at the races. In the day’s sixth race, dubbed ‘The Jim Rome VIP Party purse’ a horse named, ironically, Smart As Jim takes the victory.
2010, January 13
Trainer Jonathan Nance sets a new Portland Meadows record when he sends out six winners in one card.
2010, February 10
Portland Meadows set an all-time single day handle record with $1,557,830 bet on the nine race program.
2010, May 1
Portland Meadows plays host to a massive crowd for Oregon Derby Day and Kentucky Derby Day. Portland Meadows presents a check for $10,265 to the Oregon National Guard Emergency Relief Fund on behalf of the People’s Horse for 2009/10 Maria Margarita, who earned that amount with 3 victories and 8 in the money finishes.
2010, November 17
Jockey Joe Crispin once again ties his own record with seven wins on a single card
2011, January 29
Alec's Moon cruises to a six length win in the $80,000 Portland Meadows Oaks, the richest race run at Portland Meadows in over two decades since the $100,000 Coors Portland Meadows Mile in 1989. The race was a first step in the Black-Eyed Susan 2.2 program.
2011, July 3
The Stronach Group acquires all of MI Developments racing and gaming assets and assumes ownership of Portland Meadows.
2011, October 26
Trainer Felimon Alvarado has a perfect week, winning with all six of his starters for the race week of 10/24 to 10/26.
2011, December 7
Colonel Courtney takes home the Inaugural Final of the McFadden Memorial Sprint Claiming Series.
2012, March 14
Swiss Exploit takes home the Inaugural Final of the Route Claiming Series
2012, July 15
Portland Meadows opens up for the Inaugural Summer Race Meet
2012, September 4
Deacon Speakin' wins the Portland Mile for the 2nd consecutive time. He becomes the second horse ever to win the race twice, joining Tall Ben who accomplished the feat in 1971 and 1972.
2013, July 20
Portland Meadows and Archetypes Creative partner up to create Gate To Wire, a weekly magazine style television show that airs throughout the summer on Comcast SportsNet Northwest.
2013, August 14
Portland Meadows adds a new wager, a $0.25 Pick 5 that covers the final five races on every card. The wager features a low 15% takeout rate.
2013, September 2
Crew Leader wins the Portland Mile, recording a 99 Beyer Speed Figure in the win. The infield was opened up for the huge day and hosted the $5,000 Portland Meadows BBQ Cook Off, an officially sanctioned BBQ Contest in association with the PNWBA.
2013, December 4
For the second straight season, Swiss Exploit wins the O.H.B.P.A. Route Claiming Series Final.
2014, August 17
Portland Meadows runs a special one day summer meet and hosts the second annual Portland Meadows BBQ Championship.
2015, January 25
Sportive wins the 47th running of the Portland Mile. He leads all horses in earnings for the 2014-15 season with $26,811 earned for owner/trainer Jacqueline Smith.