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New Era of Thoroughbred Racing in Michigan Begins as Pinnacle Race Course Launches Inaugural Season

July 17, 2008     E-mail this page to a friend!

“Horsepower Returns to the Motor City,” Bringing Jobs, Investment, and an Exciting New Family Entertainment Option

The first horses sprinting out of the gate for Friday’s opening race at Pinnacle Race Course will be charging around the one-mile dirt oval for the winner’s share of a $50,000 purse—and that’s just a small measure of the excitement, entertainment and economic benefits to be generated by the new track. Under the theme “Horsepower Returns to the Motor City,” Pinnacle Race Course launches a new era of thoroughbred racing in Michigan when it opens it doors on Friday, July 18.

“We have received great support from everyone involved in the project,” said Pinnacle Race Course Founder Jerry Campbell. “Particularly important in helping us build this tremendous facility is Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, who shared our vision of what Pinnacle Race Course could offer to the local community and to state of Michigan. I also want to recognize the Office of the Racing Commissioner and the local Huron Township government team, without their commitment, responsiveness and assistance, we wouldn’t be here today.”

The inaugural season includes 63 days of racing through November 2, with racing beginning at 2:30 p.m. every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, and at 4 p.m. on Sunday. In the fall, Sunday racing will be replaced by Monday racing, also beginning at 2:30 p.m. Parking and admission are free for the inaugural season.

“Even though we have completed construction of the first phase of this beautiful race course, construction will continue this season as we add grandstands, new restaurants, and additional barns and stalls for more horses,” said Campbell. “This facility is designed to compete with best race tracks in North America. We will provide high quality service with a focus on the overall entertainment experience in a family-friendly environment—encouraging picnics and tailgating, as well as equine education and programs for schools and young people.”

The inaugural season features $1,520,000 in stakes races, including the $720,000 Michigan Sires Stakes series on Saturday, October 18. The schedule provides opportunities for Michigan-bred thoroughbreds in a variety of divisions—the first race of the inaugural season is the $50,000 Lansing Stakes for three-year-old Michigan bred colts and geldings.

When completed, Pinnacle Race Course will feature a four-story 60,000 sq. ft. clubhouse that includes private suites and boxes; 4,000-seat grandstand; 12,000 sq. ft. corporate pavilion (events, sports bar, simulcasting and group sales venue), 8,000 sq. ft. covered patio; 30 barns; a 100-room grooms’ quarters; jockey quarters; and, 1,200 horse stalls.

Pinnacle Race Course will feature two tracks, a one-mile dirt track and 7/8-mile turf (grass) track, created by world-renowned track designer Joe King. King has been involved in the design and construction of many of the major new or rebuilt racing facilities in North America during the last 30 years, including Pimlico Race Course, Emerald Downs, and North Dakota Horse Park.

The initial phase of construction will include completion of the dirt track, corporate pavilion and 600-900 horse stalls. Premium temporary seats and deluxe tents, similar to those used at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Ryder Cup and Super Bowl XL, will allow racing to continue this summer while construction of the new grandstand, remaining horse stalls and ancillary facilities, and turf track are completed.

Pinnacle Race Course ( is being developed by the “best of the best” in both track design and guest services, and will join an elite group of modern day race courses in the nation. Once completed, it will include state-of-the-art facilities for guests, jockeys, track employees and horses, and is designed as a family-friendly entertainment environment with areas for picnics and tailgating, equestrian and horse-jumping events, and other opportunities to see the horses up close. It offers opportunities for community schools and organizations to encourage school field trips and special tours to widen equine and agri-business appreciation, as well as educational seminars and classes. Pinnacle Race Course is located on 320 acres near Detroit Metro Airport in Huron Township, Michigan, where it will be a major employer and community citizen.

Pinnacle Race Course Joins NTRA

Pinnacle Race Course, the new Thoroughbred racetrack located in Huron Township, Michigan, has become a member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) pending final NTRA Board approval, it was announced today. Pinnacle Race Course will open its inaugural meeting this Friday, July 18.

“We are delighted to have Pinnacle Race Course as the newest NTRA-member racetrack,” said Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the NTRA. “It is a very positive development for our industry to have Thoroughbred racing back in a sports market as vibrant as that of Metro Detroit, and we look forward to working with Jerry Campbell and his team at Pinnacle.”

“Pinnacle Race Course is proud to join the NTRA,” said Jerry Campbell, majority owner of Pinnacle Race Course, “and we look forward to working with it to promote racing in Michigan.”

Pinnacle Race Course will have a 63-day live-racing meeting that concludes on November 2, and it will be open year-round for simulcasting. Set on 320 acres near Detroit’s Metropolitan Airport southwest of the city, Pinnacle features a one-mile dirt track designed by renowned track designer Joe King, and next year it will add a seven-furlong turf course, also designed by King.

On opening day, the only permanent building completed will be the 500-seat Corporate Pavilion. A temporary, 1,000-seat outdoor grandstand will be the only additional seating. Upon full completion in 2009, Pinnacle will have a three-story, 60,000 square foot clubhouse, a 4,000-seat grandstand and 1,200 horse stalls. It already boasts 600 horse stalls and a 12,000 square foot corporate pavilion with an 8,000 square foot covered patio.