Northville Downs

On Monday, July 27, 2015, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”) announced that live Standardbred racing will resume at Northville Downs in August and continue through November 2015. Northville Downs hosted Standardbred races from February to mid-July 2015. In the July 27, 2015 Order, the MGCB permitted the track to host such races on Fridays and Saturdays from August 14 through November 14, and thus the Order allows the track to offer 28 additional days of live racing this year.

“Today’s actions update a June 16 order allowing Northville Downs to race Wednesdays and Thursdays and switch to weekends once Hazel Park Raceway completed its meet,” said MGCB Executive Director Rick Kalm.

Hazel Park Raceway

On Wednesday, July 22, 2015, the MGCB announced that it has issued an order, at Hazel Park Raceway’s request, to halt the 2015 live thoroughbred race meeting after August 8, 2015. Hazel Park will fulfill 30 of its 40 thoroughbred race dates granted for 2015, which originally were to conclude on September 12.

“Hazel Park Raceway requested 40 days of live racing, which we granted,” stated Mr. Kalm. “We were disappointed to learn there are insufficient funds available to race beyond August 8. This is an unfortunate and serious matter.”

The MGCB does not suspect malfeasance or misspending on the part of Hazel Park Raceway, but is likely a result of overspending by the track. The MGCB notes that it is investigating the situation.

“The MGCB remains willing to work with Hazel Park Raceway management if it can find a solution to its financial challenges,” Mr. Kalm stated. “However, the MGCB must work within the framework of state law. We encourage all of the parties involved in the horse racing industry, including the tracks and the horsemen’s associations, to cooperate to best meet the challenges faced by the industry.”

Jackson County Receives License

On Tuesday, July 28, 2015, Jackson County received a horse racing track license for its fairgrounds from the MGCB. This is the first step required for horse racing to return to the county. Notably, the Jackson County fiargournds closed in 2009.

“If the county finds an operator with sufficient financial resources, the MGCB  will consider a horse race meeting license for the track,” said Mr. Kalm. “We must approve both licenses before racing can begin.”

A track license is valid for two years.


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