HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 19Issue 33Thoroughbred Racing Possibly Returning to Detroit-area

On Monday, December 2, 2013, the Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (“MIHBPA”) announced that it has entered into an agreement for live thoroughbred/mixed breed racing at Hazel Park and Northville Downs. The applications and plans have been submitted to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”) for review and approval.

As noted in Volume 19, Issue 31 of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter, MGCBExecutive Director Kalm originally awarded a total of 124 live racing dates, as well as approved simulcast wagering permits for each of Michigan’s tracks. In their original applications, Hazel Park Raceway and Northville Downs sought authorization to conduct only standardbred races, however, it expressed an interest in running thoroughbred and mixed breed races in an amended filing. As a condition on the license award, the track was required to provide additional details on the breeds that it intends to run and how the track will accommodate these changes by December 1, 2013.

Although exact dates and schedules have not been announced, the plans include formatting an abbreviated race meet at Mount Pleasant Meadows in Spring of 2014, followed by a Summer meet at Hazel Park and a proposed Fall meet at Northville Downs. According to reports, track conversions will need to take place at both facilities to accommodate the thoroughbred and mixed breed racing.

“This is a significant event for the racetracks and the thoroughbred/mixed breed owners, trainers, breeders and fans,” stated George Kutlenios, MIHBPA President. “This entirely new format for horse racing in Michigan is an important first step in finding the right combination of cooperative and willing participants to move our industry forward.”


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