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Michigan Racing Commissioner cuts race days


June 3, 2009     E-mail this page to a friend!

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Executive Order of May 5, 2009, which slashed $1.4 million from the $3.8 million budgeted for the Office of the Racing Commissioner (ORC), today forced Commissioner Christine C. White to eliminate 101 live race dates from the remaining racing schedule at the state’s horse race tracks.

“This was the last thing we wanted to do,” Commissioner White said, “but our hands are tied. There is insufficient funding to get us through the fiscal year.”

Because the ORC was already more than seven months into its fiscal year, which ends on September 30, it had already spent approximately $1.8 million of its budget when the Executive Order came down. The Executive Order amounted to an effective 70% cut in the remaining budget within the month before Michigan’s two major Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse tracks—Pinnacle Race Course and Mount Pleasant Meadows—were to open.

While the actual days to be axed are still in negotiation, Pinnacle Race Course will see a reduction of 42 days out of its original 82 days, while Mount Pleasant Meadows will lose 18 of its 37 days.

The harness industry will see reductions in two tracks. Hazel Park will lose 38 days and Northville Racing Corporation will be cut the only three days scheduled for the fiscal year.

The Office of Racing Commissioner is the official state agency charged with regulating, promoting and serving the horse racing industry in Michigan. For more information about Michigan’s five pari-mutuel horse race tracks, including racing schedules, upcoming events, and licensing, visit www.michigan.gov/horseracing.