The Michigan HBPA reports the horsemen’s organization, the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and Pinnacle Race Course have asked Brighton-based attorney Paul Burns, one of authors of Michigan’s Horse Racing Law of 1995, to offer an opinion on the Office of Racing Commissioner’s cut in race dates.
The former MI-HBPA lawyer sent a letter to Racing Commissioner Christine White May 27 outlining why he thinks the proposed reduction in race dates, including a 63% drop at Pinnacle, lacked legal grounds.
In the letter, Burns said the cuts were “not legally permissible and contrary to the purpose to the Act.” Burns also opined there is “no legal basis for a suspension or revocation of a portion of the race meeting license.”
Also, the method in which the notice was issued, Burns said, “violated due process” and caused “irreparable harm to the horsemen.”
The HBPA’s announcement did not specify what exactly made the cuts “not legally permissible,” so after reading this, I printed out a copy of the Horse Racing Law of 1995 to get a better feel for the ground rules of this situation and see what exactly the recent cuts violate, if anything, regarding the law (yes, I have a lot of time on my hands). I did not notice anything in the document or the state’s “Rules of Racing” specifically mentioning a scenario like this or whether it was a legal move. Then again, my legal expertise is miniscule and I am not the one who helped write up the law, so there is more than a good chance I missed something.
As always, I’ll keep my eyes open and my ears to the ground for new developments.
Until then, have a look at this news segment on Mount Pleasant Meadows by Channel 9 news out of Cadillac. I’m a little upset no one bothered to interview me (couldn’t get the media’s attention on Great Lakes Downs’ last day either), but it does a pretty good job of getting the story across, and at the very least reminds people that there is a track there.
Here is the latest from the Blood Horse as well.