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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sports Creek Raceway Says "We're out of Here"

As suspected, Sports Creek Raceway is heading for the dust heap.  The track has announced it is permanently closing and seeking suitors to purchase the property.  This leaves Michigan with a limited number of days racing at Hazel Park where they play second fiddle to the thoroughbred and mixed breeds and Northville Downs; accounting for 60 days of racing.

My suspicion is it was pre-determined that Sports Creek was closing, regardless of whatever offer the MHHA may have made.  Sports Creek's attempt to get thoroughbred racing dates was denied by officials and it may have been a case continuing on as a pure harness track was not a viable option for management, at least no more.  This would explain why the horsemen were left waiting for a response from management.

Look once again for Jackson Raceway to seek licensure, either this year, or more likely 2016.  The MGCB turned them down before for lack of finances to pay for purses; one would not be surprised to see the standardbred horsemen guarantee the purse account for the first season.  Of course, the purse account at Sports Creek will need to be transferred elsewhere for the benefit of standardbred horsemen so perhaps those funds will seed the purse account at Jackson.

Good bye Sports Creek.  We hardly knew ye.

While not of importance at this time, the model rules of the ARCI now permits the carryover of Pentafecta pools from one track to another track operated by the same racing association.  As a result, when racing shifts in the late spring from Woodbine to Mohawk, (and possibly back), there will no longer be a mandatory payout as a result of the end of the race meet at the track; the pool will be able to shift over.  This allows for the potential of even bigger pools and payoffs when the Jackpot Super High-5 is hit.

For those of you who prefer the now mundane Pick-4, Cal Expo has raised it's guarantee for the balance of the month of January to $30,000; a $10,000 increase over the regular $20,000 guarantee.

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