Monthly Archives: June 2011

Mount Pleasant Meadows opens for training

Mount Pleasant Meadows is inching closer to the start of its 2011 meet.

Mixed breed racetrack Mount Pleasant Meadows opened its facilities for workouts on Wednesday in preparation for a 2011 live meet that looks more and more likely to occur.

The central Michigan oval became the destination of Michigan’s Thoroughbred meet following the voluntary surrender of Pinnacle Race Course’s racing license earlier this year. The track also features Quarter Horse, Paint Horse and Arabian racing.

Local trainers Tom Dunlap and Dave Gates filled the day’s work tab with Quarter Horse and paint breezes. To view the times for Wednesday’s workouts, click here.

Mount Pleasant briefly opened the track for workouts in mid-May, but soon closed back up following a conflict with the state. The track’s simulcast area has been unaffected by those issues and remains open.

No official dates have been announced for Mount Pleasant’s 2011 meet, but speculation from reliable sources suggests that opening day will likely be scheduled for late July. According to the Michigan HBPA website, negotiations are currently being conducted between the racetrack and all of the horsemen’s groups involved to complete a contract and get racing underway.

The Morning Sun, Mount Pleasant’s local paper, was on the scene for the day’s workouts and put together a photo slideshow featuring an interview with Dave Gates. To view the slideshow, click here.

To follow all the workouts from Mount Pleasant Meadows as they become available day-by-day, click here.

UPDATE: The Morning Sun followed through on the photo slideshow with a story on the front page of Thursday’s print edition.

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Change proposed for Michigan state-bred purse supplements

The Michigan State Senate introduced an amendment to the Michigan Horse Racing Act of 1995 on Tuesday to account for the possibility of no live Thoroughbred racing in 2011.

Senate Bill 434, introduced by Fowlerville Sen. Joe Hune, would distribute Michigan’s state-bred purse supplements to horses that win allowance or claiming races outside the state if no live racing is held within the fiscal year. Michigan’s current fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

Here is the proposed language to be added to the Act (section 6.A). The new addition is in bold…

(a) A sum to be allotted thoroughbred race meeting licensees to supplement the purses for races to be conducted exclusively for Michigan bred horses. If, during a fiscal year, live thoroughbred horse races are not conducted at a licensed race meeting in this state, the sum appropriated under this subdivision shall be paid at the end of the fiscal year to supplement the purses of Michigan bred thoroughbred horses that win allowance and claiming races at licensed horse race tracks outside of this state.

To read the bill, click here.

To follow the bill as it makes its way through the Capitol, click here.

UPDATE: A similar bill is making its way through the State House of Representatives regarding Michigan’s breeder’s award program. Here is the language that would be changed in HB 4784…

If, during a fiscal year, live Thoroughbred horse races are not conducted at a licensed race meeting in this state, a sum shall be appropriated under this subdivision to pay breeders’ awards, in amounts not to exceed 10%  of the gross purses, to the breeders of Michigan bred Thoroughbred horses that win at races conducted at licensed horse racetracks outside of this state.

The bill, introduced last Thursday by Rep. Cindy Denby, was read for a first time and referred to the House Committee on Appropriations.

To read the bill’s language, click here.

To track the bill as it makes its way through Lansing, click here.

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Michigan Gaming Control Board issues purse pool executive orders

The Michigan Gaming Control Board issued a pair of executive orders Friday addressing the status of the state’s Thoroughbred simulcast purse pool while a live meet still hangs in the balance for 2011.

The orders freeze distributions from the Thoroughbred simulcast purse pool account and place the funds in escrow until a Thoroughbred race meeting license is issued.

Gaming Board executive director Richard Kalm also issued a series of comments and reiterations in the same document to discuss the current state of the purse pool, who controls it and exactly how the funds are supposed to be used according to the Michigan Horse Racing Act of 1995.

Among the key points stated by Kalm in the order, he noted that, “at this time, excluding a mixed breed race meeting licensee, there is no race meeting licensee in the State of Michigan approved to conduct a full schedule of  thoroughbred horse racing.”

The mixed breed licensee referred to in the above statement is Mount Pleasant Meadows in central Michigan. Whether or not the state’s three harness tracks can apply for the Thoroughbred meet in the future was not clearly stated in the document.

Kalm also pointed out that the purse pool money is to be used solely for purses and administrative costs. Unauthorized use of the monies, including operating expenses, loans and obligations to maintain a race meeting, would be met with stiff penalties.

To read the Gaming Control Board’s executive orders, click here.

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The Haiku Handicapper: 2011 Belmont Stakes

#1 – Master Of Hounds
Derby trip got buzz
Transatlantic trips bring pause
Not buying the hype

#2 – Stay Thirsty
Sidekick did little
To kick Uncle Mo’s shadow
Best will come later

#3 – Ruler On Ice
Mid-tier near-misses
Give him ho-hum resume
Doesn’t inspire

#4 – Santiva
In Derby’s top half
Shows solid dirt form at three
Has wild card chops

#5 – Brilliant Speed
A turf, synth standout
Didn’t bomb in dirt return
Keep on your radar

#6 – Nehro
The Derby bridesmaid
Stricken with seconditis
Threat to hit the board

#7 – Monzon
Mid-Atlantic steed
Class jumps were a disaster
Stick to overnights

#8 – Prime Cut
Making breakthrough start
From decent second-tier tries
Deep gimmicks at best

#9 – Animal Kingdom
Crown campaign fell short
Has the tools for 12 panels
Two for three ain’t bad

#10 – Mucho Macho Man
Hard-luck campaigner
Preakness trip was traumatic
What does he have left?

#11 – Isn’t He Perfect
Preakness afterthought
Homecoming doesn’t mean much
Isn’t he a toss?

#12 – Shackleford
Held strong in Preakness
Blistering pace is rare here
Lots more ground to keep

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Who wins the Belmont?
Animal Kingdom’s a beast
Four and five follow

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