11/21/2013 5:07PM

Michigan approves 43-day meet for Mount Pleasant Meadows


Mount Pleasant Meadows was approved to conduct a 43-day meet in 2014, from May 3 to Sept. 28, per an executive order issued by the Michigan Gaming Control Board on Oct. 31.

The central Michigan track hosted the same number of live dates during its 2013 meet.

Mount Pleasant will host live racing on Saturdays and Sundays, with the exception of July 26-27 when the property will be used for the Isabella County Fair, from which the track’s management leases the facilities. Additionally, the track will host live racing on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1.

Mount Pleasant Meadows hosts a mixed breed meet, featuring Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Arabian, American Paint Horse, and Appaloosa racing. It became Michigan’s primary Thoroughbred venue in 2011 following the closure of Pinnacle Race Course in the Detroit area.

Also of note, all three of Michigan’s Standardbred tracks submitted amendments to their applications for race dates on Sept. 27 to include Thoroughbred and mixed breed race meeting licenses for 2014. To move forward in consideration for the licenses, the Gaming Control Board laid out a series of guidelines in its orders issuing the harness dates to be met and submitted by Dec. 1.

Each track’s management must amend its application for a 2014 race meet by answering all questions pertaining to the breeds contracted to race at that venue in the coming year. The tracks must also submit a signed contract with all certified horsemen’s organizations representing the breeds that plan to race there, and submit a business plan detailing its strategy to hold a combined meet or switch between Standardbred and flat racing.

In regards to harness dates, Hazel Park Harness Raceway in Hazel Park, Mich. was allotted 44 race dates, to be held Fridays and Saturdays from May 2 to Sept. 27.

After submitting its original proposal for a 44-day meet, the track’s management revised its application on Oct. 21 to a 10-day schedule from April 27-May 10. The move that was opposed by the state’s harness horsemen’s association, and the revision was denied by the board, which called the move “untimely” in its order.

Northville Downs will host a 26-day meet, on Fridays and Saturdays from Jan. 31 to April 26. The Northville, Mich. track also attempted to revise its schedule down to 10 days on Oct. 22, but the plan was denied and deemed “untimely” by the board.

Sports Creek Raceway in Swartz Creek, Mich. was approved for 11 race dates, from Nov. 29-Dec. 31, racing Fridays and Saturdays, with the exception of Dec. 31, which falls on a Wednesday.

For each track, the Gaming Control Board required at least nine races per live card. Since taking over the state’s Thoroughbred meet responsibilities, Mount Pleasant has traditionally divided its card into seven Thoroughbred races and two for other breeds.