Category Archives: Mount Pleasant Meadows

Labor Day pig roast at Mount Pleasant Meadows

From the Michigan HBPA website…

LABOR DAY PIG ROAST AT MT. PLEASANT MEADOWS

2:00 PM UNTIL ??? MUSIC After 5:00

Pig Roast !
Chicken!
Corn-on-the-Cob!
Hot Dogs, Soda,MORE

Brought to you by:
Mount Pleasant Meadows
Michigan HBPA
Great Lakes Quarter Horse Assn.

Info call (989) 772-2725

According to the MPM condition book, the Labor Day card is also scheduled to feature the Don Boyd Memorial Challenge for Quarter Horses and an additional mixed challenge race open to Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses carded for 550 yards.

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Handicapping Mount Pleasant Meadows: August 14, 2011

Just for a lark, and partially because I refuse to let go of the track despite my move to Lexington, I decided to break down this Sunday’s card at Mount Pleasant Meadows and give out my selections.

I analyzed each race horse-by-horse, included comments on each entry and made my top four picks. If my top four includes an alternate entry or both parts of a paired entry, I picked down to fifth place in case of scratches.

Hope you find it interesting, entertaining or useful. If my picks bomb, let’s try to lean toward “entertaining”. What do you want from me? I’m 500 miles away.

Best of luck to everyone at MPM on Sunday. I wish I could be there myself.

To view my analysis and picks for the August 14, 2011 card, click here.

 

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Opening day 2011 at Mount Pleasant Meadows

Opening day at Mount Pleasant Meadows was the climax of a roller coaster year for the central Michigan track. Porsche Pink is led to the winner's circle with Nate Alcala aboard.

On the track’s Aug. 1 closing day last year, the idea of Mount Pleasant Meadows hosting Michigan’s lone Thoroughbred meet seemed outlandish.

A lot can happen in a year.

The central Michigan racetrack’s July 24 opening day was last stop of a roller coaster offseason that included the shuttering of Pinnacle Race Course and months of “Will they? Won’t they?” tension as the state, the track and the horsemen all worked to get on the same page.

The pressure went down to the wire, as the Michigan Gaming Control Board balked on approving Mount Pleasant’s live meet until just days before it was scheduled to commence. Once the paperwork got signed, the gears got turning – and with little time to spare, they got turning fast.

Since Mount Pleasant called it a meet last year, I have been to more racetracks around the country than I can count on two hands. At no point was I more genuinely excited for a day of racing than I was for this year’s opening day.

By the time the horses came over for the first race, I could hardly contain my giddiness, and it lasted throughout the card. The tension that built up with every event that made it look like the place would never host another race had finally come uncoiled. This feeling could have also been due in no small part to mild dehydration, but it was still pretty amazing, nonetheless.

I have been watching and playing the races at Mount Pleasant for years, but for the first time since I first picked up a program, I had absolutely no idea how the races were going to shake out. Would the native horses and riders have a home-track advantage until the new ones figured out the four furlong bullring? Would class prevail regardless of the racing surface? Would horses and bloodlines that succeeded at five-furlong Great Lakes Downs recapture the magic? Would the horses bred for Pinnacle be able to adapt? As it turns out, the answer for just about all of these questions was “yes.” Every bettor on the grounds was on a level playing field, and it was an exciting time.

The best thing about opening day was, without a doubt, getting to see everyone in the same place – Thoroughbred people, Quarter Horse people, Arabian people and other fellow racing enthusiasts. Mount Pleasant is a very communal track, and that spirit was not lost on its new residents. I was glad to see this.

The crowd was robust – easily double the average attendance, if not more. I have never been good at eyeball estimating a crowd, so whenever I want to gauge the attendance at Mount Pleasant, I look out at the parking lot. On a normal day, the cars usually make two rows. On this day, they made four very long rows. It was kind of beautiful.

But enough talk, lets look at some pictures…

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It’s On: Mount Pleasant Meadows approved for 2011 meet

After almost a year of uncertainty, Mount Pleasant Meadows will kick off its 2011 live meet this weekend.

Mount Pleasant Meadows has met the requirements set by the Michigan Gaming Control Board and will conduct a live meet in 2011.

The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon, before the races drew for the Sunday, July 24 opening card. Saturday’s races were canceled after entries were ordered by the state to cease Tuesday morning.

To make up for the cancelled day, some of the races from Saturday’s card were combined with Sunday’s to produce the opening program. A total of 82 horses were entered in the day’s 12 races – 11 Thoroughbred and one Quarter Horse.

Here is the revised schedule from the Michigan HBPA website…

Sunday Post Time 1pm

2011 Amended race dates:
Sunday July 24 and 31
Sunday August 14 (County Fair no racing 6th, 7th  or 13th)
Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 21
Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28
Saturday Sept. 3, Sunday Sept. 4 and Monday Sept. 5
Saturday Sept. 10, Sunday Sept. 11
Saturday Sept. 17, Sunday Sept. 18
Saturday Sept. 24, Sunday Sept. 25
Saturday Oct. 1, Sunday Oct. 2
Saturday Oct. 8, Sunday Oct. 9
Saturday Oct. 15, Sunday 16
Friday Oct. 21, Saturday Oct. 22 and Sunday October 23
Friday Oct. 28, Saturday Oct. 29 and Sunday October 30

 An updated condition book will be posted as soon as it is made available.

One of the major stalling points in the process of getting approved by the state was the use of purse pool funds to offset operating expenses. To alleviate the problem, the track will charge a $400-per horse, per-entry starter fee. The fee is refunded if the horse does not start.

The Michigan HBPA will cover the ship-in costs for the first 200 Thoroughbreds to ship-in during the meet. Mount Pleasant has 55 ship-in stalls.

To read the Gaming Control Board’s executive order regarding Mount Pleasant Meadows, click here.

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Michigan Gaming Control Board issues statement on Mount Pleasant Meadows

From the Michigan HBPA website…

MGCB ISSUES DECISION TO YESTERDAY’S ATTENDEES, rec’d at 4:19pm July 15, 2011:

“Gentlemen,

Based upon our discussion yesterday, there exist some outstanding matters that need resolution prior to any live racing at Mt. Pleasant Meadows.

Foremost, as discussed, the outstanding breakage needs to be paid and all aspects of the race meet application that require modification need to be amended, including details of capital improvements as discussed in our meeting.

The legality of the use of the purse pool to fund track operations was brought up last year by the HBPA and the MGCB was asked to look into the matter. In doing so, the advice from the Attorney General’s office was that purse pool funds could not be used for track operations, thus the purse pool order was issued earlier this year. Additionally, audits of the purse pool were conducted to further identify its usage.

Based upon review and internal discussion of the information from yesterday’s meeting and contracts recently provided between the associations and the track, the contracts denote that the purse pool remains to be used to fund operations through the use of assessments. Although this may have been prior practice by the tracks, it is by no way an “industry standard” and based upon advise from the Attorney General’s office we cannot find it to be a viable use of the purse pool funds. The track must find alternative methods to fund operations outside of deriving money from the purse pool, even if indirectly through a horsemen’s account. The MGCB is not opposed to the use of fees prior to a race, such as a starter fee, which are not derived from the purse pool.

Until the aforementioned information is addressed and we are provided contracts which adhere to the racing act and purse pool order, live racing cannot commerce at Mt. Pleasant Meadows.”

Thank You
Erik Pedersen, Deputy Director
Division of Horse Racing, Audit & Gaming Technology

With a week to go before Mount Pleasant’s scheduled opening day, and just days before the races draw, this is not promising news. One can only hope the situation is promptly rectified and racing in Michigan can finally get off the ground as planned.

UPDATE: The Michigan HBPA has put out a response to the Gaming Control Board’s ruling…

MT PLEASANT MEADOWS: Efforts are currently underway to address and comply with ALL request made in Erik Pedersen’s letter.

The MI-HBPA, GLQHA and MPM are amending contracts to meet requirements to permit entries to be taken Tues. and continue for plans for opening day Saturday July 23, 2011. A meeting is scheduled for Sat. and the MGCB will be available as the process continues.

Information will be updated ASAP.

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Mount Pleasant Meadows releases first 2011 condition book

The groundwork for Mount Pleasant Meadows’ upcoming meet was revealed Wednesday when the track released its first condition book.

Aside from laying out the conditions from Mount Pleasant’s opening day on July 23 to Aug. 24, the document provides an interesting preview of what to expect during what will be an unprecedented meet.

Thoroughbred races will make up the bulk of the cards. The claiming ranks will range from $2,500 to $8,000, along with allowance and starter allowance contests. No stakes races are listed for any breed.

Mount Pleasant’s Thoroughbred purse structure will be regionally competitive, and even better than some tracks in surrounding states. For example, here is how Mount Pleasant will stack up against other regional tracks running at the same time at the open maiden special weight class…

Presque Isle Downs* – $39,000 (Plus up to 30% PA-Bred bonus)
Hoosier Park* – $35,000 (Plus 40% State-bred Supplement)
Arlington Park – $28,000 (Plus $10,080 Illinois Registered Owner Award for ICF)
Mountaineer* – $17,600
Mount Pleasant Meadows – $10,000 (Plus $2,080 for T.A.F)
Thistledown – $7,200 (Plus $5,000 if winner is OH-bred)
River Downs – $6,400 (Plus $5,000 if winner is OH-bred)
Fairmount Park –  $5,600 (Plus $2,016 Illinois Registered Owner Award)

(Purse information gathered from condition books or entries available on Equibase or track websites)
*Tracks with expanded gaming or “Racinos”. 

The meet’s first half will be heavy on sprint races. A vast majority of the Thoroughbred races written in the first book are carded between two and six furlongs, with races at a mile or longer dispensed sparingly. However, because of the track’s four-furlong oval setup, featuring a six-furlong chute, any race contested at four furlongs or longer will include at least two turns.

Quarter Horse, Paint Horse and Arabian races will fill out the remainder of the cards. Purses appear consistent across the breeds and classes, with a base of $3,000 plus up to an additional $2,333 from other sources.

The track, and Michigan’s racing industry, still await a final endorsement by the Michigan Gaming Control Board before the meet is set in stone. Until then, the track continues to prepare for the live meet as scheduled.

If all goes to plan, Mount Pleasant Meadows is expected to race Saturdays and Sundays from July 23 to Oct. 30. A few three-day weeks are being planned for the second half of the meet to make up for the dates lost to the Isabella County Fair in early August.

To download the condition book, click here.

UPDATE: There have been some tweaks made to the condition book to account for actions taken by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The above version is no longer current. For an updated version of Mount Pleasant’s condition book, please contact the track or the Michigan HBPA.

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Michigan Thoroughbred live meet contract moves to Gaming Control Board

The Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Mount Pleasant Meadows have reached an agreement on a live Thoroughbred meet for 2011 and sent the contract to the Michigan Gaming Control Board for approval.

From the Michigan HBPA website…

MT. PLEASANT MEADOWS: The contract between the HBPA and Mt. Pleasant Meadows has been signed and sent to the MGCB for review and approval of the assessment fee and additional race dates. In addition, the contract requires a policy to cover jockeys, efforts are underway to secure a policy prior to opening day.

Race dates: 30 days starting July 23, 2011 – October 30,2011, Saturday and Sunday

Stewards are available Wednesday and Sunday mornings for clocking and licenses.

Condition Book will be available soon.

The meet’s 30-day schedule was leaked a few weeks ago, but this is the first time the HBPA has come out with a statement on its website regarding the details of the proposed meet.

Once the contract passes the state’s final hurdle, the meet ought to become official. Details on the meet’s schedule, including first post times and whether or not races will be run during the Isabella County Fair (Aug. 6-14) should be made available at that point.

As always, keep it here for further updates.

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