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Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. – Playfair Race Course, a century-old icon in east Spokane, has closed after its license to operate was revoked.

The Washington Horse Racing Commission confirmed its earlier decision to revoke the track’s license after the group that runs Playfair failed to come up with additional operating revenue by a Wednesday deadline.

There will be no live horse racing meet this fall. Year-round wagering televised from major tracks across the country ended Wednesday.

“I think it’s the saddest thing that has happened to Playfair,” said Bruce Wagar, president of Lilac City Racing Association, which operated the track east of downtown.

On July 5, the state commission ordered Lilac City Racing to meet a number of conditions if it was to continue operation, including an infusion of $300,000 in cash.

Lilac City Racing filed a petition Friday asking the commission to reconsider and to allow simulcast wagering through the end of the year.

The petition “contained no new facts or circumstances that would substantially change the status of Lilac’s operations,” the commission said Wednesday.

Commission Executive Secretary Bruce Batson said it is too late to rescue this year’s racing season – scheduled to begin Sept. 16 and run four days a week through Dec. 2 – even if new money is found for the track.

Financial troubles have shut the track down in the past, most recently in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

In addition to horse racing, in recent years the track has been used for motorcycle races, while its infield has been used for concerts and flooded for sprint boat races.

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