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Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Tale of Two States

Well, not quite two states, but a state and a province.  In Quebec, pari-mutuel wagering has resumed thanks to a group of harness horsemen, ironically called the Jockey Club of Quebec, getting a permit to conduct a ten day harness racing meet in Quebec.  With the approval of their permit, the JCQ has partnered with WEG to offer account wagering over the Internet.  Once the JCQ obtains their permit for an additional 50 day meet, they will be able to resume wagering at the shuttered OTW locations.  Revenue from account wagering and the OTW locations will be used to fund the purses to be offered at the Quebec race meets.  It seems harness racing in the Belle Province will be rising like a Phoenix. 

Meanwhile, in Michigan, horse racing of all breeds appears to be in danger of extinction with a severe revision downward of racing dates in the state.  The flagship track, Hazel Park has had their race meet reduced from sixty-two days to just twenty-nine; racing Fridays and Sundays from April 30 thru August 6.  Northville Downs, which is currently racing will offer only thirteen more days of racing this year; eleven days now and September 24 and 25.  The pain is being shared equally with the thoroughbred and quarter horse interests as well..  Pinnacle Race Course which races thoroughbreds will race only thirty-one of eighty-four days originally assigned and Mount Pleasant Meadows, a mixed breed track, has been reduced to an eleven day meet.  At the present time, the MHHA and MHBPA are working together to come up with a funding method to restore the number of race dates back to the original number.    Horsemen in Michigan are involved in a real fight for their survival.  I realize Michigan is suffering severly economically, but it seems the Governor is bent on destroying the racing industry there.

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