Horsemen, racetracks react to cuts

Yesterday’s announcement from the Office of Racing Commissioner cutting a combined 101 race dates from Michigan’s five Thoroughbred, Mixed Breed and Standardbred racetracks has, not surprisingly, drawn response from the various factions of the racing industry.

This came out today from the Michigan HBPA…

INCORRECT REPORTS: June 2nd offered several incorrect reports on the restoration of days. The governor has not approved an additional 15 days. The restoration of days depends on an agreement between the HBPA and MTOBA. A meeting between the groups and Pinnacle will take place Thurs. June 4th to develop a proposal for each board of directors to approve respectively.

The number of days restored will depend on how many overnight races are eliminated to offer revenue to the ORC for staffing additional days. Senator Brown has indicated he will not support any transfer until an agreement is reached.

I guess this would qualify as the “actual days still under negotiation” mentioned in yesterday’s press release. What this means in terms of how many dates will actually be run at Pinnacle, I am not sure. It seems we may find out by the end of tomorrow.

Either way, this situation is becoming frustratingly tangled. I am starting to run out of fingers counting the times I have heard one group say something then having another group say the exact opposite. While it is understood that everyone has their money and interests to protect, at the rate things are going, they may find themselves left with nothing to defend.

Would it kill the racing industry and Lansing to come together with one straight unified answer as to what is going on here? Because not doing so is killing both. 

Here are a few more stories on the situation…

Pinnacle Race Course General Manager Mike Mackey told the Detroit Free Press he would fight to restore the dates lost by the cuts. With cards already starting to draw in Detroit, he will have to act quickly.

Here is a Morning Sun article on the local reaction at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

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2 Comments

Filed under Commentary, Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pinnacle Race Course, Politics

2 responses to “Horsemen, racetracks react to cuts

  1. I find this back and forth between the State and the horsemen very frustrating. After a ten year absence from the Detroit area you would think that every effort would be made to get the fans back. With internet wagering available at the best tracks in the country, I may take my wagering dollars elsewhere.

  2. mibredclaimer

    Bill,
    That’s what I fear a lot of people will end up doing because of this whole mess. Right now, there is a desire from the public to be informed about what is going on with the race dates, and that is a priceless commodity. Look at all the exposure Michigan racing has gotten in the last few weeks. The problem is, the public is also very finicky and has a short attention span. If they don’t get what they want, they’ll move on and this issue will be forgotten.

    When every faction of the Michigan racing industry is contradicting the others, it confuses people and gives them a reason to leave. If they lose that public interest, this whole thing is going to get a lot harder for everyone involved.

    By the way, thanks for the link and name drop on your blog. Much obliged.

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