10/22/2007 12:00AM

Great Lakes date request pulled

EmailA Michigan real estate developer, Winfield Cooper III, has withdrawn a dates application to hold a race meet at Great Lakes Downs in Muskegon. Mich., for 2008, the state racing commission said Monday.

Liana Bennett, the information manager for the Michigan Office of Racing Commission, said that the commission received a fax from Cooper's attorney on Friday requesting that the dates application be withdrawn. Cooper had entered the application at a racing commission meeting early in October, contingent on reaching a deal with Magna Entertainment Corp., the owner of Great Lakes.

The withdrawal makes it unlikely that a meet will be held in 2008 at Great Lakes, Michigan's only operating Thoroughbred track. Magna announced earlier this year that it was seeking to find a buyer for the track, and that it would no longer support a race meet there after the close of the 2007 meet on Nov. 6. According to Bennett, Cooper's letter said that he had been unable to reach an agreement with Magna.

Also at the October meeting, horse owner Jerry Campbell - a former chief executive officer of Magna and a board member of the company - requested dates for a new track near Detroit. Campbell said after the meeting that he was negotiating with officials from Huron Township, where the new track would be located, for funding for the construction of the track and use of the land.