SASKATOON -- Prairieland Park has announced the cancellation of the 2021 Thoroughbred racing season at Marquis Downs.

“This is the second year in a row that Prairieland has had to make this difficult decision,” the group said in a news release.

“Given the ongoing restrictions surrounding COVID-19, including logistical issues related to the ability to get jockeys into Canada given travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, visa approvals, and extremely limited airline scheduling to the Caribbean, meant that Prairieland could not commit to a race meet this year.”

Prairieland Park says 76 per cent of its professional jockeys come from the Caribbean.

Prairieland Park also says it has seen a 90 per cent reduction in its overall operations. Net profit declined by 82 per cent in 2020 and projected losses from this year will exceed $2 million.

“Prairieland’s revenue is derived from trade shows, banquets, agricultural exhibitions, and the Exhibition itself. All of these business units have been unable to open due to COVID-19 and the effect of that has been a significant reduction in revenues,” the release said.

“As other public health restrictions are more clearly known, Prairieland will make further announcements, including the status of the Saskatoon EX.”