Michigan HBPA to consider Thoroughbred meet at Mount Pleasant Meadows

Mixed breed track Mount Pleasant Meadows could play host to Michigan's Thoroughbred meet in 2011.

The Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association intends to “pursue the possibility” of conducting its 2011 Thoroughbred meet at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

From the Michigan HBPA website

HBPA BOARD LOOKS TO 2011 SEASON: With the 2011 live racing season at Pinnacle Race Course looking more dismal everyday, the Michigan HBPA Board of Directors approved a motion, during a Dec. 29 conference call, to pursue the possibility of racing at Mt. Pleasant Meadows during the 2011 season. The board feels it very important to attempt pursuing the issue now, rather than being faced with the same circumstances that faced our horsemen last spring, when Pinnacle did not open for training, as provided in our contract.

Of course, there are many questions that need to be answered, but the possibility needs to be addressed now.

Mount Pleasant Meadows is a mixed breed track in central Michigan. While it plays host to Thoroughbred racing at its lower levels, along with Quarter Horses and Arabians, the track has never hosted a meet of this caliber.

Mt. Pleasant is a four furlong sandy loam oval with a six furlong chute for quarter horse races. The grandstand consists largely of aluminum bleachers, which are plentiful and offer adequate sight lines, with a few reserved sections for tables. It was built to host various county fair-related events on top of racing; including demolition derbies, rodeos and concerts.

Located on the Isabella County Fairgrounds north of Mount Pleasant, the track became a home for pari-mutuel racing in 1985 after previously serving as a fair circuit track. The move was also done to help replace racing lost by the shuttering of Glendale Downs in southern Michigan, which offered a similar level of racing.

Any updates on this story will be posted as they become available.

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8 Comments

Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pinnacle Race Course

8 responses to “Michigan HBPA to consider Thoroughbred meet at Mount Pleasant Meadows

  1. Derek

    I sure understand the need to continue Thoroughbred racing here in Michigan but Mount Pleasant?

    In my humble (sometimes misdirected) opinion this will accelerate the downward spiral of Michigan racing. Revenue is generated on simulcast signals….who will want to watch and wager races on a half-mile track? Couldn’t a better deal be made with Sports Creek or dreaded Hazel Park?

    If we are talking a half-mile track…why not Northville? The signal and closeness to a major metro area would only help.

    Ultimately Pinnacle is where we should race. Michigan has too many racetracks. Consolidation and teamwork would substantially cut cost and improve our racing product. (This means MHHA and MIHBPA will need to work together to get this done)

    For the welfare of our horses, racing on a small track like this could be hard on our horses.

    I feel bad for our horseman and our industry but only we can fix this in the most intelligent and efficient manner. We can do better.

  2. I addressed this issue in an e-mail to the HBPA on Dec. 22. ( Too much to edit )

    Half mile track a lot of broke down and dead horses. The reason why the Horsemen/Women would of rathered go clear across the State to Muskegon after DRC went down was to avoid M.P. because this was not a feasible venue for the T.B.s

    These people are like scared little mice scrambling and don’t think the Harness isn’t loving it. I was told Dan Adkins suggested Sports Creek for us.

    FOR US, the Thoroughbreds. Why in the F’ is anybody even still listening to a word from this JOKE.

    Michigan Horsemen could take a few lessons from Maryland’s Horsemen, that’s all I can say. They stood completely and totally unified. The told Stronach to take a flying leap then told the State the same. They weren’t going to stand for the hand that was dealt to them and stood there ground knowing it could of shut them down. Yet they stuck together and stated Enough is Enough. We have to put a stop to this unacceptable mess. And did just that.

    The word was NO, NO, and NO again.

    The next thing done was Stronach relinquishing his control over his own damn company. MID

    Then the Maryland Horsemen struck the deal THEY WANTED.

    Yes I know Michigan isn’t Maryland. Our State here wants us dead. But it’s about time these people either get on the same page together as one and FIGHT. Or they will forever be slaves for the likes of everyone in this State.

    The Horsemen here are literally their own worst enemies because they’ve never stuck together on one damn single thing. That is why they continue to find themselves in a constant compromising stance, caving into the demands of everyone.

    Nobody is coming to Mt. P. to bet on these horses, there will be no track willing to take a signal from this track nor Sports Creek and the next time Dan Adkins opens his mouth with any suggestions of where the Thoroughbreds should race, I’d jam my fist down his throat.

    But why is the HBPA still even letting him speak? And why are they actually listening.

    Fools one and all.

    Panicked people make very bad decisions. I know what’s at stake and the costs of owning Horses and nowhere in-which to race them. But the time is long overdue. Have the Balls to take a stand, scramble nowhere and fight. If Campbell wants his track to go down, let it. And I wouldn’t give Hazel Park the time of day.

    Thoroughbred Horsemen set themselves up to take a hard fall. It seems it forever will be the Blind leading the Blind and it’s sad and pathetic. Continued repeated mistakes not year after year but Decades after Decades. They refuse to stick together and fight.

    They’d rather scatter and cry. If Maryland would of done this they’d be running a 40 day meet. They stood together and fought. They got their 146 Day Meet without the concessions and conditions the MJC offered.

    “Having only a 40-day meet is unacceptable,” Foreman said. “It will destroy racing in Maryland. We’re trying to keep the 2010 schedule in place for 2011 so we can all take a deep breath and figure out where we go from here.

    “To dramatically cut back to 40 days and have everyone relocate is the worst of all worlds.”

    Read more: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/59991/maryland-horsemen-fighting-for-race-dates#ixzz19eJUhpZu

    MJC Plan Rejected; Laurel, Pimlico in Limbo
    http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/60123/mjc-plan-rejected-laurel-pimlico-in-limbo

    Next thing that happened
    http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/60429/report-stronach-to-give-up-mid-real-estate#ixzz18ptc80VA

    But this last sentence said it all.

    “Maryland racing is now owned by a dysfunctional entity that can’t make decisions,” Foreman said. “We’re not going to stand for it anymore. (The MJC plan) was totally unacceptable to horsemen. They understand they may be shut out,

    “”” but there has never been a greater show of unanimity.”

    If the Michigan Horsemen only had the testicles to stand up and do the same. They may be shocked at what can be accomplished. But they are unwilling.

    They are their own CHAOS.

  3. ragman

    Hazel Park hosted thoroughbreds for over 30 years and many of the name trainers of the era had no qualms with running their horses there. A half mile race at GLD had the horses hitting the turn at a pretty good clip. Was that a problem?

    If it wasn’t for simulcast at Northville, Sports Creek and HP where would the purse money come from for a thoroughbred meet at anywhere in 2011?

    Maybe Campbell had a Ray Kinsella moment when he decided to build Pinnacle in New Boston but he certainly doesn’t appear to have a Plan B. Horrible location and as we all know now, no business plan. The only hope for Pinnacle is for someone buy them out and bring in Mike Weiss to get the place off the ground. Maybe the horesmen could take an equity position in the place. Get settled up with all the vendors, simulcast accounts squared away, fund a 90 day meet and figure a way to overcome the public’s apathy to horseracing.

    To me the only solution that has a chance(I apologize to anyone who takes offense) is working out a deal to run at HP. If it requires up front money to rework the track and barn area, so be it. In this economy the public doesn’t have the will or the means to fund racing and I don’t think they are impressed with the “it’s all about jobs” bit. And just maybe Dan Adkins doesn’t even want the hassle.

    Again, Happy New Year and best of luck in 2011.

  4. GLD Half Mile track was EXTENDED with 7/8 mile chute , Thank You.
    http://www.horseracing.com/tracks/michigan/great-lakes-downs/

    Ad If it wasn’t for the use of the Thoroughbred Signal we give H.P., NVD and S.C. for them to use where would they be?

    CLOSED DOWN that’s where. 95% of Saturday & Sunday afternoons are bet on the T.B.s. 75% of the evenings when LIVE racing is taking place at these Harness tracks, people are still betting the T.B.s.
    And we hold that signal in the palms of our Thoroughbred Hands. Now Hit the road Harness Guy or educate yourself.

    And if T.B. Horsemen really want to think of another Venue. Why not go to where it all started at the Fairgrounds. With this new Governor maybe pitching how Thoroughbreds can help save and re-open the Mi. State Fairgrounds would be a proposal worthy of a good look and listen to.

    We don’t need to spend our money fixing Hartman & Tyner’s broken Racetrack. We don’t need Hazel Park.
    Our Thoroughbred signal has kept them alive long enough. We go so does our Signal and the Harness tracks close the same day.

    If it wasn’t for??? Better find out what you’re talking about.

  5. ragman

    Longshot
    Fairgrounds is a great idea. I’ll go for that. One problem might be explaining to Rick Snyder how horseracing is going resurrect the Fairgrounds if Pinnacle has failed and is sitting empty. I go for returning horseracing to the birthplace of the Michigan Mile. If I may correct you and many others on when thoroughbreds started racing in Michigan. Not at the Fairgrounds in the 30s but at the Highland Park Club in 1905. The track was located at Woodward and Manchester in Highland Park and was torn down after the 1905 meet and the site became the location of the Ford plant. So really thoroughbreds have over a 100 year history in Michigan. Standardbreds a little longer.

    Just my opinion..I don’t think the industry gets the time of day from Snyder or his point guard Dick Posthumus.

  6. Pari-Mutual law was signed into law in 1933. So they could of been racing horses in the 1700s when the french got here for all we know. But it wasn’t until 1933 that people could actually bet on the races. And the Fairgrounds was the only track then in-which to do this.

    http://www.michigan.gov/mgcb/0,1607,7-120-55140_46521-182959–,00.html

    1930’s

    On June 28, 1933 Governor William A. Comstock signs the law legalizing horse racing with wagering.
    On September 2, 1933 the Governor and over 20,000 racing fans are at opening day at the Detroit Fair Grounds track located at the State Fairgrounds.

    “Mayco” wins the first race and pari-mutuel horse racing in Michigan is made ‘Official’ when the 10-1 longshot pays $22 to winning ticket holders.
    At the close of the 31 day meet in 1933 over 100,000 fans had bet more than $3.5 million on the Thoroughbred races at the Detroit Fair Grounds.

    Through the 1930’s the Detroit Fair Grounds track was the ‘only show in town’ when it came to holding extended race meetings.

    The great Seabiscuit turned his career around at the Detroit Fair Grounds, with a new owner, trainer and jockey he won 2 Detroit handicaps. He went on to beat War Admiral in a two-horse match race, called by many “the greatest race ever” and then became a national hero.

    And has Pinnacle Failed?

  7. ahorseofadifferentcolor

    Pinnacle is a done deal. The only thing left to bet on at that track is what will be the last nail in the coffin. Longshot couldn’t be more correct when stating that running at Mount Pleasant would have catastrophic results for horses and riders alike. People do make bad choices out of desperation and we can only hope that the Michigan horsemen/women do not settle for less than they should. The harness horsemen/women have three tracks from which to choose to run. All the throughbreds have left is a dream and a prayer unless they stand united and hold their ground.

  8. MPM is not that bad with some money and work it would be great.

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