The Golden Gate Fields horse racing track near Berkeley is shutting down after its current 2023 season, the company that owns the track announced this week.

The Stronach Group in its announcement of the decision said Golden Gate Fields’ closure is meant to “double down on its prestigious racing and training venues at Santa Anita Park and San Luis Rey Downs,” both in Southern California.

Direct Action Everywhere, a group that advocates for the end of horse racing, celebrated the news of Golden Gate Fields’ announced closure.

“We recognize that the decision will have profound effects on our valued employees as well as the owners, trainers, jockeys and stable personnel at Golden Gate Fields. The Stronach Group is committed to honoring labor obligations and developing a meaningful transition plan,” the company said in its announcement.

The move is meant to allow adding an extra day of races to the weekly calendar at Santa Anita Park and larger fields of horses, according to the company.

Golden Gate Fields, located by the Bay along the border of Berkeley and Albany, has drawn protests recently from animal rights activists in the wake of the deaths of racehorses there.

The calendar on Golden Gate Fields’ website shows races planned through Oct. 2. No other details were immediately available for when the track will close.

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.