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  Quad City !     

Ladies Day Anticipating a crowd of 10,000, East Moline Downs optimistically opened for harness racing on May 2nd, 1973. The actual attendance was listed at 4,000 on a stormy night. The short meet ended June 9th and the much anticipated thoroughbred season was kicking off a week later. what could be better than that.

On the first night of the thoroughbred season an early evening thunder shower rolled in on the 90 degree evening drenching the track. During the second race a jockey was unseated during the race, the track ambulance went to get him then got stuck in the mud and had to be pulled out with a tractor. Track management at that point cancelled the remaining races a portent of things to come. A short two months later track management was forced to cancelled the season a month early due to financial problems. For some reason the track was allowed to re-open for a twelve day Quarter Horse meet, less than a month after closing. The quarter horse races were the first pari-mutual events for their breed in Illinois. It seems that thoroughbreds or quarter horses ever returned to the East Moline oval.

 Harness racing managed to return in 1974 and 1975 under the dark financial cloud that blanketed the track. Then in 1976 with new enthusiasm and a new name, Quad City Downs re-opened under new ownership. This time around it did a little better but was finally sunk in 1993 when it couldn't compete with riverboat gambling, that was springing up like weeds along the Mississippi.

The track is still intact sitting like a museum, just waiting for something to happen. In 2011 something did happen, Quad City's application for harness racing with a racino format was denied. So it's unclear if this could spell the end of the facility that is still used as an OTB for the Churchill Downs Corporation.

After not seeing a race for almost twenty years, there once again was optimism in 2012 at the East Moline plant. The state of Illinois has approved a limited number of gaming sites around the state, and the Quad City folks are hopeful they are in the running.