11/06/2014 7:01PM

Hazel Park granted 2015 dates for Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds


Hazel Park Raceway will continue hosting both Thoroughbred and harness racing in 2015, as approved by the Michigan Gaming Control Board on Oct. 31.

The Detroit-area racetrack was approved for 40 Thoroughbred and mixed breed dates in 2015, running Fridays and Saturdays from May 1 to Sept. 12. Hazel Park hosted 38 flat dates in 2014, adding six cards to the end of the meet when Northville Downs surrendered its license.

Hazel Park was also allocated 16 Standardbred dates, to be held Fridays and Saturdays from Oct. 2 to Nov. 21. The track held 10 live harness dates in April and May after adjusting its request for 2014 race dates down from 44 to account for a primarily Thoroughbred calendar.

Northville Downs was approved for a 44-day Standardbred meet from Feb. 6 to July 2. Live racing will be held on Fridays and Saturdays until April 28 when the schedule moves to Wednesdays and Thursdays through the remainder of the meet.

Northville applied for a Thoroughbred and mixed meet license for the second straight year, but the gaming board denied the request, citing a lack of sufficient financial resources or purse pool for a Thoroughbred meet. The board’s executive order also noted that Northville did not have support from a certified horsemen’s organization for a Thoroughbred meet, and provided no track conversion plan.

After initially being denied in its pursuit to host Thoroughbred racing, Northville was granted a conditional license for 2014, but the track surrendered its dates in September shortly before the 16-day meet was scheduled to begin.

Sports Creek Raceway was approved for a 10-day harness meet from Nov. 27 to Dec. 31. The track also submitted an application for a flat meet, but was denied by the state for the same reasons given for Northville Downs.

The overlap of flat and harness meets in the metro Detroit area will enact a state law that requires Thoroughbred racing to be completed before 6:45 p.m. on any day except Sunday without prior approval from gaming board executive director Richard Kalm. Subsequently, harness racing cannot be held before that time. First post at Hazel Park was typically 7:30 p.m. during the track’s 2014 Thoroughbred meet.

Jackson Harness Raceway, shuttered since 2008, was denied in its application for a 28-day harness meet and simulcast license.


kelly More than 1 year ago
the lady who sells programs is a grouch
kelly More than 1 year ago
she is whats wrong with the old place
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Northville is a dump...they don't even run the vacuum cleaner. I dare you to drop your pen under a table...that's how I know. I knew when they applied for racing dates that it wasn't going to happen. You have a 1/2 mile oval...at least at Mount Pleasant they built a chute so that they could at least host 5 1/2 furlong races. Northville would have had to remove some of what remains of their scarce barn area as well as install a rail (which they removed a long time ago). Runners at Northville would have been a joke...imagine a 4 furlong race around 2 turns with a short run to the first turn...yikes! Also, Northville management will not even clean the place let alone invest in it. They are just waiting for slots so that they can sell out...but I hope they aren't holding their breath. Northville...if you want some patrons, clean the place up. I have some marketing ideas that may interest you. Inquiries may be made through my LinkedIn account.
Matthew Hood More than 1 year ago
To be honest I never even knew Hazel ran TB's.
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Au contrare...only after Ladroke purchased the Detroit Race Course back in the 1980's did Hazel Park give up hosting runners. Prior to that, each venue traded meets where one track would hold a standardbred meet while the other track hosted runners...then they would switch. However, you will not find me wagering on this circus...especially not harness racing. I don't know what became of the RICO investigation that was started a few years ago on the harness industry. I don't really care either, because I won't bet on such nonsense. As far as the runners...they need to come a long way back before I even consider them. The cards are inundated with 4 furlong events and that is not the kind of racing that I will bet on. Even back in the "glory" years...cards were characterized by an overabundance of 4 furlong (and 4 1/2 furlong at DRC) races for the first 7 or 8 weeks until the horses could get into shape. An associate of mine used to joke that the racing secretary could just write conditions for "8-year-olds and up" and allow 80% of the horse flesh to enter races. No...not the kind of product I will wager on...not me...
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Have not made many bets since this debacle .actually for some one who placed a bet every day before I have only gone racing one time and feel pretty good about it...I might be back for the derby.
Freddy Oakes More than 1 year ago
will one you guys buy pinacle by the airport and run the troters there nortville looks like a dump plus its nice to see harness on a mile track
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Northville is a dump...they don't even run the vacuum cleaner. I dare you to drop your pen under a table...that's how I know.