09/06/2005 11:00PM

Great Lakes Downs track report


Track owner Magna Entertainment Corp. has requested 105 dates for Great Lakes for 2006, similar to this year's schedule. The season started late this year, beginning on May 16, but next year's request includes an opening day of May 6, Kentucky Derby Day. The track is expected to race Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays until Nov. 8.

The state racing commission will have a hearing in mid-October for Michigan's seven racetracks, and will grant dates by Nov. 1.

Christine White, the interim racing commissioner since January, has been named racing commissioner by Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Her term will expire at the end of 2008.

* Heza Hemi motored past the leaders in the stretch to win his maiden in Sunday's $50,000 Little Ones Stakes. Trained by Larry Penner and owned by Lindali Racing, Heza Hemi was ridden by Ricky Knott.

* The jockey colony took a double hit Tuesday night. Veteran Luis Martinez, seventh in the local standings, suffered a separated shoulder in a first-race paddock mishap and should miss two weeks of riding, according to his brother, trainer Pedro Martinez.

In the next race, jockey Natividad Alcala, aboard Deuce Binalong, was taken to the hospital with a broken leg after a gate incident.

* Great Lakes will hold "Dog Days" on Sept. 10. The fund-raiser for area animal rescue shelters will feature clinics, information booths, a petting zoo, and other children's activities. The event runs from 11 a.m until 5 p.m., with live racing starting at 6:30.