Horse Racing on Plastic!
Notes from the Michigan-Bred Claimer:
Racing to Save Michigan is a group petitioning to implement casino gambling and what hampers it;
--6-horse crash in harness racing;
--a few photos of the Muskegon race track and grounds. Go visit this site!
1/19 - Kentucky Democratic Governor Steve Beshear presented a 2-year budget relying on $700 milion in revenue raised from gambling machines at racetracks. Bloodhorse.com writes a comprensive article about "calling the state legislature's bluff." read it here
Can it happen here, too? Beshear acknowledged his support for racetrack gaming, which has become a political football in Kentucky. This year has been no different, with a game of cat-and-mouse between Democrats and Republicans in advance of a November election when half of the 120 legislative seats in the state will be up for grabs. We face the same situation here, with a lot of turnover seats up for grabs.
Take a look at what the casinos are STILL doing to Michigan horse racing. Great Lakes Downs becomes a Casino. Romulus - a few miles from our main race track - might be the site of an Indian-run casino. Get behind your racing brethren, speak out against casinos and support your horse industry.
Read the recent news in the Michigan Bred Claimer. http://mibredclaimer.wordpress.com/
There's a website devoted to the enterprising female jockeys in the U.S. Here's what they say:
On our site you will find interview with retired girl jockeys, girls just starting out and girls that have been riding for years. We have interviews with riders from all over the world. From the east coast to the west coast and even some from overseas! You will read about them growing up and how they became jockeys. You will read about their triumphs and tragedies and everything else in between.
Read this interview by Chris Forbes with Ohio-based Jane Magrell.
Sunday, August 23rd, 2009
MSU Pavilion, South Barn
East Lansing, MI
Show at 9:00 a.m.
Sale to follow at 1:00 p.m.
Call 231-798-7721 for more information
Click here to view online sale catalog
Kentucky's Answer? Racetrack Gaming Bill Headed to KY House
Updated: Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:08 PM
Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:08 PM
The Kentucky House Appropriations and Revenue Committee June 18 sent racetrack gaming legislation to the full House for consideration.
During a two-hour hearing that began at 1 p.m. EDT, committee members heard testimony from the bill’s sponsors. Many legislators said they believe it’s time for the issue to be voted upon by the House.
“This is a tough vote for me, but the issue is of such significance,” Democratic Rep. Mike Denham said. “I think the full House should have the opportunity to debate this issue.”
The legislation, which would devote hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to school construction, calls for video lottery terminals at licensed racetracks in the state. The sponsor, Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo, said tracks would pay a total of $510 million in up-front licensing fees over five years, and a tax rate that would vary from 28% to 38%.
The legislation mandates that tracks offer the same number of live racing dates and simulcast dates as they do this year.
“In my opinion, in this type of legislation, we need to be very careful that we preserve our racing industry,” Stumbo said. “I don’t think any of us want to see (a reduction in dates). We want to boost and preserve our live racing circuit.”
It wasn’t immediately clear when the House would take up the bill.
Magna in Financial Trouble?
from www.bloodhorse.com, March 5:
With Magna Entertainment Corp. reportedly in financial peril, the California Horse Racing Board has called an emergency meeting March 6 to determine the status of the MEC-owned tracks in the state, Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, as well as the company's licensed advance deposit wagering entity, XpressBet.com.
Rumors of a potential bankruptcy for MEC have accelerated recently following the Feb. 18 termination of a proposed spin-off of the financially-troubled horse racing entity from its parent company, MI Developments. Both companies, which are chaired by Frank Stronach, said it would be unlikely new debt financing could be arranged. more
2009 progeny to watch: those sired by The Deputy (Ire)
by Joe Nevills
"Every year, there seems to be one new or unheralded Michigan stallion whose progeny come up big and draw lots of mares to his breeding shed the following season," says Joe Nevills, author of the blog The Michigan-Bred Claimer. "In 2008, Elusive Hour's second crop produced the top two finishers in the Michigan Futurity at Pinnacle Race Course. Among them was two-year-old male of the year, Mr. Conclusive. In previous years, Equality's multiple stakes-winning freshman crop drew attention in 2007 and Island Storm's success with Weatherstorm generated similar buzz in 2006.
"With a large juvenile crop ready to hit the track this spring, the stallion with the best chance of claiming the unofficial title in 2009 could be The Deputy (Ire). The Deputy will send his first two-year-olds as a Michigan sire to the track this year, following his purchase by Hubel Farms in 2005.
"The 11-year-old Petardia horse began his stallion career at Kentucky’s Margaux Farm. There he saw moderate success, siring Panamanian champion Happy Buy and stakes winners at Hawthorne Race Course, Retama Park and Portland Meadows. He was then bought by Dexter Hubel and his son E.J. of Clare, Michigan to replace the farm’s recently sold stallion Quiet Enjoyment. Though success at the highest levels of Kentucky racing may have eluded The Deputy, the achievements of his foals at tracks of comparative class to Pinnacle could bode well for the dark bay stallion.
The Deputy will have the most tries at siring a 2009 juvenile standout, enhancing his chances for success. In his first year as a Michigan sire, The Deputy covered 55 mares, producing 30 foals. These are both state-leading totals for 2006 breeding year.
"However, strength in numbers means little if none of his foals can live up to the hype on the racetrack.
"Because none of The Deputy’s foals from his stint in Kentucky have ventured into Michigan for any serious competition (there may have been a few odd ones in the claiming ranks, but none immediately come to mind), the only measuring stick available is the sight test.
"Though I was exposed to only a small sampling of his foals, the ones sent through the ring at last September’s Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association yearling sale were among the best looking in the barn. In particular, a gray filly named Dance in Delight, purchased by Sheila Inman for $1,700, looked well-developed and could be one to watch in the coming years.
In terms of his on-track resume, The Deputy compares favorably to his contemporaries. As a 2-year old, he campaigned impressively at England’s Epsom Downs, where he was purchased by a Versailles, Kentucky-based syndicate group called Team Valor International. They sent him to California to begin the 2000 Kentucky Derby trail.
Based at Santa Anita Park, The Deputy padded his Derby resume with a strong prep campaign.
He defeated eventual Dubai World Cup winner Captain Steve in the Santa Catalina Stakes, then pushed eventual Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus to the limit in the San Felipe Stakes. The Deputy capped off his spring with a win in the track’s premier Derby prep, the Santa Anita Derby.
"The Deputy left the gates in the 2000 Kentucky Derby as the second choice behind Fusaichi Pegasus. However, he failed to fire and finished a disappointing 14th in a field of 19. It was his last race.
"The Deputy is one of two stallions standing in Michigan to have started in the Kentucky Derby. He shares this distinction with Ulises, who ran in the Derby in 1994. Owned by Pass Horse Farm, Ulises finished last in a field of 14 in the classic race. JN
Click here for The Deputy's pedigree
Visit The Michigan-Bred Claimer. It's a blog by Joe Nevills a college kid with a lifetime in Michigan racing. Look for more news from Joe here on GLHS about Michigan racing.
Ohio tracks hope to offer Thoroughbred meets in 2009 and may receive more ADW revenue. See Bloodhorse, Sept. 3 more
The head of Magna Entertainment Corp. said Aug. 6 a majority interest of Santa Anita Park could be sold to help the racetrack company reduce its debt load. 8-06-08
Magna Entertainment Corp. has announced the sale of Great Lakes Downs to The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians for $5 million cash, less customary closing adjustments.
Great Lakes Downs, which was closed by MEC last November, was offered for sale along with other tracks as part of a debt-reduction plan announced last year by the company. A one-paragraph MEC press release announcing the transaction said the $4.5 million net proceeds of the sale would be used to partially pay down the company’s bridge loan held by a subsidiary of parent company MI Developments.
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, which is based in Manistee, Mich., operates the Little River Casino Resort in that city, according to the Native American tribe's Web-site. A news release on the tribe's Web-site said it is "pursuing the establishment of a tribal casino in Muskegon and other economic development opportunities in the region."
Great Lakes Downs is located in Muskegon, Mich., about 80 miles south of Manistee. Both cities are located on the far western side of the state near Lake Michigan.
The track was listed in November for an asking price of $9 million. The property also includes 85 acres, according to the MEC release.
Other properties it said it hoped to sell are Remington Park in Oklahoma and Thistledown in Ohio.
Is today's thoroughbred as tough as yesterday's?
Blood-Horse Magazinestudy shows that foals born from 1970 through 1979 made an average of 20.42
starts. For foals born between 2000 and 2003, the average number of starts per
foal has fallen to 13.15. Among older racehorses the decline has been even more
dramatic. The starts per starter for horses 4 years old and older were 25.97 in
the 1970s and have since fallen to 12.97, a drop of 50%, for the foals born in
2000 through 2003.
know that not all racehorses are managed the same,” Eric Mitchell, executive editor for digital media of The Blood-Horse. “The graded
stakes winner is managed differently than the claimer. So to better understand
the trends, we grouped the stallions within each decade by the quality of their
best runners — sires of grade I stakes
winners, sires of a grade II or grade III
stakes winners, sires of non-graded stakes
winners, and finally sires that are not
represented by any stakes winners. Besides looking at the starts of older
horses, the study also looked at starts per starter of 2-year-olds and
3-year-olds. Among the stakes-producing sires by starts per foal and for starts
per starter in each of the age groups, the same declining trend occurs.
The study also looked at starts per starter of 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds.
Among the stakes-producing sires by starts per foal and for starts per starter
in each of the age groups, the same declining trend occurs.
A 200-page report comes out July 24 on the newstands.
Notes from a Race-Goer on Opening Day:
Patti and I smiled all Friday afternoon, July 18, opening day at the new Pinnacle Race Course on Vining and Sibley. I placed three bets worth $13 and I won $34. She placed five bets at about $20.00 total and won $65. We placed bets on horses whose owners we personally knew, such as Lauren Kramer’s mare in the 2nd race. I also bet on horses trained by people I knew from having bought so many horses off the track for eventing and jumpers. One of these was Randy Russell whose horse won the 5th race. Patti also had a modest but highly effective betting system (still secret). Just before we left, after the 5th race, my son showed up with his pals. I gave them a tip on a trainer in the 6th race, John Rupert, and Patti gave him her tip on the 7th race. I heard later that all three boys bet to win on my pick and he came in first! They also won on Patti’s horse in the 7th. What a day!
Anyhow, it was well worth the trip. Wear a hat. Take sunglasses. Maybe take an umbrella? A rain storm would catch a lot of people without cover. The food is good. You can get quite close to the horses before and after the races. The staff is still ironing out the wrinkles in their equipment handling. It took a long time for them to move the starting gate, for example. Then they had recurring trouble loading horses. When we left around 5:00, they had nearly caught up with their schedule. They were on the 6th race. That was fine as the betting lines were long down by the bleachers where we hung out and as you waited in line you could carefully read the race booklet. All the buildings, tables, chairs, windows, food service areas were spick and span and roomy. It was easy to see the races and peruse the crowd, too. And quite a crowd! I heard it was over 3,000 people. Staff and visitors were all friendly and cheerful.
Directions to Pinnacle: take 94 to I-275 and get off at Sibley, going east to Vining which is the entrance to the Course. You can also get off at Eureka and find your way south somehow to Vining. You might look at the map. An alternate route to Sibley is a good thing to have.
Pinnace Race Course opens with races at 2:30 today.
Here's the 9-race card
Also, see the new website: Pinnacle
Off I-275 and Sibley, just south of Metro Airport
Live racing: Summer schedule -- Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, through Aug. 30.
Fall -- Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 1-Nov. 1
Post time: 2:30 p.m. daily, 4 p.m. Sundays.
Information: pinnacleracecourse.com or (734) 753-2000
Pinnacle scheduled to open with live racing, July 18, 2008
with purses up to $15,000 on opening day plus the $50,000 Lansing Stakes
Barn opening postponed to July 14.
See Pinnacle website for news, forms, employment opportunites
more on the development
Thoroughbred Safety Committee recommends the elimination of steroids in race training and racing, a ban on toe
grabs, and several whip-related reforms. June 17.
In regard to steroids, the committee calls for:
--The immediate adoption by all North American racing authorities of the RCI Model Rule on Androgenic Anabolic Steroids that was based on Racing Medication and Testing Consortium recommendations, which effectively eliminate the use of all anabolic steroids in the race training and racing of Thoroughbreds.
--All North American racing authorities to implement the model rule no later than December 31, 2008.
In regard to shoes and hoof care, the committee calls for:
--An immediate ban on toe grabs other than 2-millimeter wear plates, turn downs, jar caulks, stickers and any other traction devices worn on the front shoes of Thoroughbred horses while racing or training on all racing surfaces.
--The Association of Racing Commissioners’ International (RCI) and all North American racing authorities to implement this ban by rule as soon as possible, but no later than December 31, 2008, and for all racetracks to consider immediately implementing this ban by “house rule” in the interim.
In regard to use of the whip or riding crop, the committee recommends that:
--Only riding crops approved by the RCI Model Rules Committee, in consultation with the Jockeys’ Guild, be allowed in flat racing.
--Several specifications and new rules be initiated, including one regarding mandatory shock-absorbing characteristics, as well as the prohibition of striking a horse with the arm [raised] above shoulder height.
--Horses be subject to an inspection after each race by a regulatory or track veterinarian who will report his or her findings to the stewards.
--The Association of Racing Commissioners’ International (RCI) and all North American racing authorities adopt these amendments to the RCI Model Rule on “use of the whip” as soon as possible, but no later than December 31, 2008.
Big Brown's Pedigree
2005, Boundary - Mien, by Nureyev
Breeder: Monticule (Ky.);Owner: IEAH and Paul Pompa Jr.;Trainer: Richard Dutrow Jr.Regular Rider: Kent Desormeaux
An intriguing aspect of Big Brown's pedigree, contends the Thoroughbred Times, is a same-generation cross of Round Table-Hail to Reason.
It is a combination that escapes the attention of most so-called pedigree experts, but can be found in various highly successful runners, most notably 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. It also appears in the pedigree of multiple graded stakes-winner Western Pride, who earned $1,289,929, and Grade 3 winners Miss Turkana and Phi Beta Doc.
While dosage statistics are not as accepted as they were a decade ago, his profile of 4-7-23-2-0 is very telling in that he has more points in the middle (Classic) category than the surrounding categories behind. Referred to as "dominant classicity," this bodes well for his potential at longer distances.
Sire Boundary, now pensioned, was a Grade 3 stakes winner and earner of $217,777. As of May 5 he had sired 21 stakes winners including English and Irish champion Minardi.
Dam Mien was a winner at three and her two starters to date are both winners.
Third dam Syrian Sea is a half sister to 1997 champion older female Hidden Lake.
Northern Dancer 3S x 3D
Damascus 3S x 4D
Round Table 4S x 5D
The Good and the Bad
While we might prefer higher elevations on this spot of earth (lowlands) and in the sky (low planes), spirits couldn't have been higher among the hundred people who gathered April 5 to watch the soulful shovelful from Jerry Campbell. Smiles around: commissioners, mayors, labor union reps, grooms. We all have hopes for a July opening and give thanks to the many, many people who are working to make this racetrack a reality. Right now, the land goes to the track at $1.00/acre. If the track produces the jobs it promises, all's well. If not, in 6 years, there's a big $ amount due. So put your money on your homebreds at your home tracks and email your representatives and Governor Granholm asking for their continued involvement in this project. It's been hard for regular people to find out about the track and it's job opportunities. Try Caponigro Public Relations Inc. at (248) 355-3200 or email@example.com
Most popular bid for the Pontiac Silverdome is horse racing BUT
the city of Pontiac has rejected all bids for the purchase of the Pontiac Silverdome and is seeking another round of bidders.
Seven bidders originally submitted packages, but there's only one favorite: a plan for a horse-racing track and casino.
Sources close to the negotiations, however, say the city was not pleased with the $12 million offer and long-term impact for the city.
"I am growing less and less optimistic that we are moving in the right direction," Mayor Clarence Phillips
said in a prepared statement.
The next round of bids are due in the city by 4 p.m. , Feb. 22.
Pinnacle Race Course near Detroit Metro Airport will be one of the finest in the country, boasting the best dirt track science and tradition can make. Turf to follow in 2009. Track construction, originally set to start in December, will begin in March 2008. The track, when completed in 2009, is to include 10,000 spectator seats, 20 luxury boxes, a large family picnic area and 200,000 square feet of retail space. Plans submitted to the state include a one-mile inner turf track and a 1 1/8-mile outer dirt track. According to Office of Racing Comissioner, a complete application was delivered as required on Feb. 1st by Post It Stables, Inc. So plans are still strong though there is a revised construction schedule.
The announcement made public to horse people on Sunday, November 12, 2008 by Jerry and Lisa Campbell scheduled track construction to begn December 2007. Simulcast would have begun January.First race was to be in June! A revised schedule is in effect.
Pinnacle Race Course will be a top quality thoroughbred racing track:
• Company called Post-It Stables Inc. is led by Michigan banker and thoroughbred-horse ownerJerry Campbell
They own 2008 race dates and a lease option on GLD in Muskegon, if needed.
- 1,080 stalls
• More than 2,300 temporary construction jobs
• 1,400 new jobs at the track
• 1,740 new jobs at the track’s 200,000-sq.-ft. retail center
• More than 20,000 trickle-down jobs in the horse industry affected
• Total of $142 million will be invested
• $1.5 billion in annual economic investment estimated
• 320 acres acquired from Wayne County
• Endorsed by Huron Township Board officials and supported by the Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.
Pinnacle Race Course could host an annual race in early April called The Michigan Derby. This would be a prep race prior to The Kentucky Derby with a $500,000 purse. A $5-million bonus goes to the owner of a horse that wins both the Michigan Derby and The Kentucky Derby.
more at MTOBA
John Henry was euthanized ,October 8, 2007, at 7:00 p.m at the Kentucky Horse Park.
John Nicholson, executive director of the park expressed, “The mighty heart of the great John Henry has, at long last, yielded to time. The racing industry has lost a legend, but more significantly, many people have lost a personal hero. John Henry’s true legacy was written in people’s hearts far more indelibly than his superlative racing career could ever reflect.” He continued, “John Henry was a testament to the fact that a horse’s value is far greater than the sum of his pedigree, conformation, sales price and race record. Winston Churchill said that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man, but I would add that horses like John Henry prove that the inside of a horse is even better for the inside of man.”
The sad but unanimous decision was reached by a team of people who knew him best. The park’s equine director, Kathy Hopkins stated, “After continued successful efforts to maintain the quality of John Henry's life, in the past 48 hours he did not respond to our medical intervention. Due to the loss of kidney function and muscle mass, his veterinarian, Dr. Mike Beyer, found it impossible to keep him properly hydrated and comfortable. Over the years, our goal has always been to maintain the highest quality of care and life for him, and it became evident over the weekend that this was no longer possible. Our hearts go out to all of those who so deeply cared for John during his long and charismatic life.”
He lived 32-and-a-half years, and went peacefully to sleep surrounded by a small circle of friends who were closest to him, including Cathy Roby, who has been his friend and caretaker for 16 years and his breeder, Verna Lehmann.
John Henry overcame numerous well-known obstacles throughout his career, and colic surgery in 2002. His talent, determination, tenacity and toughness inspired thousands of people who didn’t even see him race, but became aware of him many years after his retirement. Some of his fans visited him at least once a month from Toledo, Indianapolis, and other cities in the Midwest, while others made annual pilgrimages to his barn from California, Texas and around the world. When it recently became public knowledge that his health was in a state of decline, many of his fans immediately came to the park to thank their beloved champion for the memories, and to whisper their personal, final farewells to the horse who inspired great respect and ardent devotion.
John Henry’s race record included more than $6.5 million in earnings, 39 wins including 30 stakes wins (16 Grade 1 stakes wins) and seven Eclipse Awards, including two Horse of the Year titles. He equaled a world track record for 1 ½ miles in 2:23 at Santa Anita and was the only horse to win Horse of the Year more than once in nonconsecutive years, and the oldest horse ever to win that title - at age nine. John Henry was voted Racehorse of the Decade for the 1980s, and was inducted into Racing's Hall of Fame in 1990.
Sired by Ole Bob Bowers out of Once Double, by Double Jay, John Henry was foaled on March 9, 1975 at Golden Chance Farm in Paris, Kentucky.
After having passed through several owners and trainers, John Henry finally blossomed under the careful tutelage of trainer Ron McAnally, and with his owner, Sam Rubin. McAnally, who brought out the best in the horse with “carrots, apples and love,” visited John Henry many times during the horse’s retirement and had just seen him again as recently as September, and brought John’s favorite cookies and carrots to his aging protégé. Lewis Cenicola, John Henry’s exercise rider for six years, also visited the horse in September.
Tom Levinson, stepson of the late Sam Rubin said, “John always had fire in his eyes as he circled his opponents in the paddock while they pranced, his eyes glazed with the determination to win. Certainly he was the people’s hero… Sam and Dorothy loved sharing John’s victories with his adoring fans and we appreciate their devotion even to this sad day… We are sure that if Sam Rubin were here today, he and my mother Dorothy would agree that their wish would be for John Henry to be remembered as the mighty, cantankerous champion we all loved.”
Chris McCarron rode John Henry in 14 of his last races and has spent many hours with the horse during his 22 years at the park. Regarding the great horse’s passing, he observed, “What can I say about the legendary John Henry that has not already been said? John meant the world to my family and me. Everywhere he raced, his presence doubled the size of a normal race track crowd. He did so much for racing, even after he retired, that he will be impossible to replace. He will be sorely missed but forever in our hearts.”
A public memorial service will be held and will be announced by the park upon completion of the arrangements. Plans will be posted on the park’s website, www.kyhorsepark.com under News & Media and the Calendar of Events. John Henry will be buried near his paddock at the Hall of Champions. Other Thoroughbred champions buried at the park include Man o’ War, War Admiral, Forego, Bold Forbes, Allez France, Peteski and Jay Trump.
Magna Entertainment Quits Michigan Racing - but is this the end? Maybe not!
APPLICATION FILED FOR MICHIGAN RACING DATES by Greg Forde
William "Win" Cooper III, a Flint, Michigan, real estate developer on Thursday (Aug. 30th) filed an application with the Michigan Office of Racing Commissioner to conduct 80 days of live racing at Great Lakes Downs in 2008, beating the application deadline by one day.
Michigan law requires all race tracks, regardless of breed, to submit race date requests to the MORC by 5 p.m. on August 31.
Cooper, through his company Cooper Racing LLC, also is seeking to purchase the Great Lakes facility and has asked the MORC for a license to operate the track.
"I've been involved in horse racing for a number of years, and I was concerned there would not be racing in Michigan: said Cooper, who currently doesn't own any race horses.
Besides Cooper's application, Fruitport Township supervisor Ron Cooper (no relation) also has filed a letter of intent with the MORC. Commissioner Christine White, however, said she had yet to receive his application.
In a related development, a group led by Citizens Republic Bancorp Chairman and Magna Entertainment Corp. director Jerry Campbell, applied on Friday for the Metro Detroit race track license vacated by Magna Entertainment as part of the company's decision to leave Michigan racing.
By statute, the holder of the Metro Detroit license must apply for no less than 160 days of live racing.
Post It Stables Inc., a company controlled by Campbell along with his wife Lisa, and Michigan owner-breeder Henry Mast Jr. would build a track in western Wayne County, possibly on the site originally slated for Michigan Downs in the Detroit suburb of Romulus.
Campbell has been down this road before. When Ladbroke-Detroit Race Course closed abruptly in 1998, it was Campbell who stepped in and purchased the shuttered harness track, then called Muskegon Race Course, and converted it to a Thoroughbred facility, allowing racing to continue. In 2000, Campbell sold the track to Magna Entertainment and joined the Magna board as vice-chairman.
Campbell said if approved, his group would begin construction immediately with the hope of racing in 2008. He also said the group was prepared to conduct its meeting at a different location if the Wayne County facility was not ready.
"We're doing this so there is a future to this industry," Campbell said. "If someone else wants to do it, we will gladly step aside."
In early August, Magna announced they were pulling out of Michigan racing. Since then, horsemen have scrambled to fill the void and keep racing alive.
At stake is an estimated $8-million Thoroughbred purse pool that would have been left unprotected without a race-date application.
The MORC is expected to announce final race dates later this fall. Whoever receives the dates for Great Lakes then will need to negotiate a contract with the horsemen, something Michigan HBPA executive director Gary Tinkle said his group is excited about considering the bleak outlook just a month ago.
"Hopefully there are several bona fide applicants we can sit down and talk with,: he said. "The more the better."
----Courtesy of the Thoroughbred Times Greg Forde is a Michigan-based Thoroughbred Times correspondent.
2007 Thoroughbred YEARLING SHOW & SALE
Sunday August 26th
MSU Pavilion - South Barn
East Lansing, MI
Show begins at 9:00 a.m.
Sale begins at 1:00 p.m.
Catalog of Sale Horses
Governor Granhom may support "Horse Wizards," electronic gaming machines, at Great Lakes Downs, Hazel Park and Northville tracks. Magna Entertainment of Toronto, which owns Great Lakes Downs and wants to build a track in Romulus, says the machines could generate as much as $50 million a year for the needy Michigan economy. For details, see this Detroit News article. See the political page on this site for contacting the Governor's office.
MPM is the only race course east of the Mississippi that offers quality, mixed-breed racing and pari-mutual wagering options. Breeds such as Arabians, American Quarter Horses, Paints, Appaloosas and Thoroughbreds race here beginning May 5, 2007. Mount Pleasant Meadows track is at Isabella County Fairground, 500 N. Mission Road, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858. For more information, call MPM (989) 773-0012.
New Vocations - a race horse adoption program - leads the nation in race horse adoptions, placing over 300 in 2006.
With 3 offices, one is in Saline.
"Our program is different and unique compared to others that are out there. We get both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds and we primarily place thoroughbreds. But the majority of horses that I keep here in Saline are Standardbreds. With the many harness racing tracks that are in the area, most of the Standardbred trainers & owners in Michigan know alot about our program, but the Michigan Thoroughbred trainers, competitors, farms and owners need to know that we are here as well. We have three facilities, mine in Saline and two in Ohio.. It is our Hilliard, Ohio facility where most of our Thoroughbreds are located. They have 25 at all
times. I try to send most of the Thoroughbreds that come to me there because
they have a full time trainer that can ride them and help them transition to
becoming riding horses. I usually will keep one to two TB's here a month as well, if I feel I can ride them and transition them myself.
Our Standardbreds go on to do a variety of things. Just this weekend I received videos on some of our Standardbreds in their "new vocation". One had just finished his first 25 mile edurance trail ride. Another rider sent a video on the growing trend in the south, called "Speed Racking". We have a very strong following in KY, TN, and GA where our Standardbreds are turned into show horses. They compete in speed racking classes. In addition, some of our Standardbreds have gone on to be Road Horses and compete in the Road Horse to bike classes and under saddle at Saddlebred shows. They even offer these classes at the Saddlebred World Championship Horse show every year in Louisville, KY. We also have had numerous horses go on and compete in competitive driving shows and competitions.
"The majority of our Standardbreds become wonderful trail and family horses. Their laidback attitudes make them super nice horses that are fun and safe to be around.
"I just want to bring more awareness to MI about our facility and goals. I am also trying to possibly partner with a large show to do some type of charity event for New Vocations."
(Photo provided by Platinum Ridge Quarterhorses)
Winnie Nemeth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.platinumridgequarterhorses.com;
Program Manager and Thoroughbred person: email@example.com;
Executive Director, Dot Morgan in Laura, Ohio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Governor Granholm plans big cuts to equine industry -
She would like to eliminate the Equine Industry Survey funding;
cut 4h grant of $20,000, and more.
Speak out in upcoming hearing 3/1. Tell them you want the Ag money intact for equine.
Senator Cameron Brown email@example.com.(St. Joseph County);
or Senator Ron Jelinket firstname.lastname@example.org(Berrien County);
or Senator Martha Scott email@example.com (Wayne County);
or call Michigan Equine Partnership, recipient of the now in-question grant to profile the Michigan horse industry 517-372-1500.
Ballot in 2008 could seek gambling at tracks to save racing in Michigan
Owners of Hazel Park Raceway in Oakland Country want to see gambling on the 2008 ballot. "We may actually try to amend and go for full casinos at the tracks," Dan Adkins, vice president of Hartman& Tyler, Inc which owns the harness raceway. In response to Magna's announcement, Adkins wants to try again to convince voters to help racing stay alive. Opposition to amendments that allow gambling at tracks have served primarily to funnel gambling to existing casinos. Adkins says, "The Mardi Gras Race Track and Gaming Center in Florida added slot machines on December 28. Since then, employment has risen from 120 to 1,000." Adkins company runs the Gaming Center at Hollywood Greyhound Track. He says, "Not only are we going to create new jobs, we're going to save jobs."
Purchased in 1999, the Muskegon flat-racing track Great Lakes Downs has failed to turn a profit for MagnaEntertainment, the largest racetrack operator in the U.S. The thoroughbred track showed a 2005 loss of 1.6 million and Magna will post a pre-tax 2006 loss of $1.8 million. Magna, like the rest of Michigan’s racing industry, has held onto hopes that Michigan’s legislators would allow slot machines or casino-type gambling at tracks. This would have enabled racetracks to compete with the 20 casinos in Michigan. In 2002 Magna was confident enough of this legislation that it expanded its role in Michigan racing by purchasing land in Romulus with the intention to build a $200 million track there. No gambling commitments for racing have come from the state so the Romulus plans, too, are shelved.
The 100-day live meet runs from May 5 to November 6, and might be shortened. Said Gary Tinkle, Executive Director of the Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, "We were aware that they had been losing money for years on the track, and we're just appreciative that Magna made such a strong go at it."