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  Big Payroll Heist!     

Portland Meadows Surviving since the mid-forties Portland Meadows now survives as a three day early week bridge track. Having few natural enemies left and alternating horses with Emerald Downs it's purse value index of 7 probably means little to patrons there.

Portland Meadows  Portland Meadows was the first American track to run under the lights way back in 1946. The track has also survived floods and fire and most of all the lack of a racino format.

 Hall of fame jockey Gary Stevens won two riding titles here in the early 1980's. Portland Meadows was also part of the Magna Corporation around 2001. 

It made the papers on April 1st, 1976 but it was no April fools day joke, the Portland Meadows payroll was hijacked. On that day the head of security was on his way to the jockeys room, with the weekly payroll for track employees, when he was knocked unconscious and the payroll stolen. I guess if it had been Hollywood Park or Santa Anita, they would have made a movie about it.

In 2013 Portland Meadows tried to attract new customers, moving to a summer schedule, while attendance did go up, wagering went down. It seems most of the money bet at Portland Meadows came from on-line wagering and OTB facilities and since they moved away from their winter meet, horseplayers moved on to other tracks that were now running. They also ran head to head with Emerald Downs which affected the horse population.

In another attempt to stay solvent, Portland Meadows petitioned the State to allow them to bring in Instant Racing, electronic gaming devices where patrons bet on previously run races. This form of gambling was invented at Oaklawn Park, and is also in use in Kentucky. It appears it was passed by the Senate, but it may not have gotten passed the Governor since there is no sign it ever was used.