SASKATOON -- A group headed by a Canadian investor says they are no longer seeking to lease track facilities from Prairieland Park for the upcoming horse racing season.

In a news release, Pan Am Horse Racing says uncertainty around the pandemic will provide difficult challenges.

“After much analysis, legalities and consideration, Pan Am has concluded that due to the unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances primarily related to the pandemic, thoroughbred racing will have challenges in the upcoming 2021 season that cannot be easily overcome at this time.”

Earlier this month, Carol Reynolds, speaking on behalf of Pan Am Horse Racing, said the group had inquired about leasing Marquis Downs for horse racing this year. However, she could not identify who the investor was.

Pan Am Horse Racing says it will provide support for the future of horseracing and First Nations by creating a equine school.

“As a testament of its commitment to the future of horseracing in Saskatchewan and Canada, Pan Am will provide support through the establishment of a First Nations Equine School. The school’s aim is to revitalize Saskatchewan’s horse racing industry by providing the necessary future workforce expertise, reflecting our shared heritage and supporting Indigenous youth, culture and identity to benefit us all.” Pan Am Horse Racing said in a news release Thursday.

Pan Am also says they are working with Indigenous people and groups in the province to plan host meets at Marquis Downs in the future.