The Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association has agreed to move Thoroughbred and mixed-breed racing next year to Detroit-area harness tracks Hazel Park Harness Raceway and Northville Downs, making them both permanent Thoroughbred racing sites, pending state approval. The five-year agreement was reached on Dec. 1, a deadline set by the Michigan Gaming Control Board after the tracks earlier this year proposed amendments to their live dates applications to include Thoroughbred and mixed-breed licenses. The contracts have been sent to the board’s office and await approval. The Michigan HBPA has been in talks with both tracks, as well as Flint-area harness venue Sports Creek Raceway, to host Thoroughbred racing since the closure of Pinnacle Race Course in southern Detroit at the end of 2010. Since Pinnacle’s closure, the state’s Thoroughbred meet has been conducted at Mount Pleasant Meadows, a mixed-breed track in rural central Michigan. To read the rest of this story click here.
Ronnie Wrenn Jr never really wanted to follow his family into harness racing. In fact the 26-year-old studied criminal law for three years and it was only in his late teens the Michigan native decided to shadow his Grandfather, Father and Uncles into our great sport.
Harness racing driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. had a monster night on Friday (Feb. 22) at Northville Downs as he made 10 trips to the winner's circle on the 14-race card.
A bill aimed at boosting Michigan's horse racing industry will not be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, who considers the plan likely to be unconstitutional without the approval of voters at statewide and local levels.
There are several bills passed by the Michigan legislature that are still sitting on the governor's desk. One of them may hold the fate of Michigan's horse racing industry.
Michigan's horse racing industry is betting that it can get a boost with a bet on its past. Legislation in Lansing would allow horse track managers to introduce additional and innovative horse race betting games, like wagering on past races. The proposal has passed the House, and is in a Senate committee.
As many of you know, it's been a busy couple of weeks in Lansing and tremendous progress has been made in the fight to save harness racing in Michigan. On Wednesday (April 25), the House Agriculture Committee, chaired by Rep. Kevin Daley, passed HB5546 out of committee and on Thursday (April 26), the Senate Agriculture Committee, chaired by Sen. Joe Hune, passed SB1075 out of committee.
This video depicts a typical early spring night of harness racing at Northville Downs. 'The Downs' has been a fixture in Northville at Seven Mile and Centre Street for decades.
A lot of water has passed under the harness racing bridge since the 1920s when John Boring used to race his fellow milk vendors on their milk routes in Indianapolis in Indiana. Boring used to deliver his milk with a horse and trailer. His horses gradually got faster as he tried to out-deliver his mates. In fact when his standardbreds got so fast he decided to race them.
Michigan harness racing trainer Travis Alexander was all set to follow his late father, Mark's footsteps and become a veterinarian. He even undertook a pre-vet course at College - but at the age of 18 he received news that would change his life forever - doctors had diagnosed him with leukemia.
Each Friday and Saturday night at Northville Downs, one lucky harness racing patron is selected to play one of two exciting games where the contestants can win up to $100,000 in cash. Friday nights are Royal Flush Fridays where contestants choose five cards from a game board and try to match a royal flush for $100,000 or four of a kind worth $25,000, or a full house worth $1,000.
Eric Carlson got a late start to driving racehorses on a regular basis, but he has quickly risen to the top of the sport's standings. Last year, the Detroit resident won 603 races and ranked No. 6 among all harness racing drivers in North America. This season, Carlson sits in the top spot with 205 victories, holding a 12-win edge over second-place Scott Zeron.
The drought has ended. In November, 2010, the then 12 year-old gelding, Tattler's Jet, visited the harness racing winner's circle at Windsor Raceway after winning for the 99th time in his career.
Eric Carlson wowed Northville Downs harness racing fans on Saturday night (March 5), winning 8 of the night's 15 races. Challenging track conditions, including blinding snow at times, didn't faze Carlson who won the fifth (Vt`s Gold Key), sixth (Armbro Billow), 7th (Abes Little Blacky), 8th (Suit Yourself), 10th (Dr Major), 11th (Starry Lady), 13th (Fully Loaded Gun), and 14th (Irish Toddy).
The Michigan Gaming Control Board is seeking witnesses to what it alleges is a conspiracy among 30 drivers, trainers, owners and gamblers to fix races at the state's three pari-mutuel harness racing tracks.
NORTHVILLE, Mi. Perennial championship driver Art Mc Ilmurray, hit the winner's circle for the 3,000 time Friday night at Northville Downs and joined the elite club of all time North American harness drivers.