Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blue de Montreal, likely To Close for Good

It seems that casino gambling has just about put the last nail into the coffin of the west end race track that has graced it's Decarie location for over a hundred years. Racing has stopped and will probably not return. A few years ago, in an effort to belie it's English roots, the track changed it's wonderful name (Blue Bonnets) to the dreadful 'L'Hyppodrome de Montreal'. It's been downhill since.
The track was originally located in Montreal West where the Blue Bonnets regiment ran their horses in friendly competition. When the railroad came, back in 1907 and split the track in two, Blue Bonnets Raceway moved to it's present location.
Horse racing flourished up until the eighties and then tracked downward. I remember visiting the track in the age before cell phones. It was the only public space not to offer pay phones, in an effort to thwart bookies from getting timely results. Seems rather quaint now.

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