The much anticipated 2013 Michigan fair racing calendar is now final and has approved by the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Despite the continued decline in industry revenues and some justifiable concern about being able to create a workable fair racing program, Michigan horsemen will enjoy an outstanding line-up of fair racing opportunities this summer. The new Great Lakes Series for 2-year-olds will be a seven week program with $8,000 total purses plus a final and the Colt Stakes program will include ten weeks of $4,000 total purse Bronze events and eight weeks of $8,000 total purse Silver events. The Wolverine, Spartan, Breeder’s, and Sire Stakes round out the summer schedule.
In total, there are 24 days of fairground events and 6 days at pari-mutuel tracks. As has been the case for a number of years, this summer’s racing schedule will begin in Charlotte with Silver circuit and overnights on Friday, July 5th. The fair schedule will conclude at Hillsdale on Thursday, Sept. 26th and the Great Lakes Series finals will be raced at Sports Creek Raceway as part of their card on Saturday, Oct. 5th. Back by popular demand, after several years absence at many fairs, are 98 overnight events spread across 20 of the summer’s fair dates. To help fill the void of no pari-mutuel racing during most of September, nearly half of those fair overnights will be raced during that month.
Charlotte – Fri., Jul. 5th (Silver & Overnights)
Big Rapids – Mon., Jul. 8th (Overnights); Tue., Jul. 9th (GLS, Bronze & Overnights)
Hastings – Sun., Jul. 14th (Silver & Overnights); Mon., Jul. 15th (GLS, Bronze)
Fowlerville – Mon., Jul. 22nd (Bronze & Overnights)
Holland – Tue., Jul. 23rd (Wolverine & Overnights)
Croswell – Sun., Jul. 28th (Silver & Overnights)
Hazel Park – Mon., Jul. 29th (GLS)
Harrison – Wed., Jul. 31st (Bronze & Overnights)
Harrison – Thu., Aug. 1st (Overnights)
Hazel Park – Sat., Aug. 3rd (Silver); Mon., Aug. 5th (GLS)
Ithaca – Wed., Aug. 7th (Overnights)
Midland – Tue., Aug. 13th (Spartan & Bronze)
Hazel Park – Mon., Aug. 19th (Breeder’s)
Hart – Wed., Aug. 21st (Bronze & Overnights)
Adrian – Sun., Aug. 25th (GLS & Silver)
Hazel Park – Mon., Aug. 26th (Sire Stake Eliminations)
Adrian – Tue., Aug. 27th (Bronze & Overnights)
Kinross – Fri., Aug. 30th (Overnights)
Hazel Park – Mon., Sep. 2nd (Sire Stake Finals)
Allegan – Mon., Sep. 9th (Silver & Bronze); Wed., Sep. 11th (Overnights), Thu., Sep. 12th (Overnights)
Centreville – Mon., Sep. 16th (Silver, Bronze & Overnights); Tue., Sep. 17th (GLS & Overnights); Wed., Sep. 18th (Overnights)
Hillsdale – Tue., Sep. 24th (Silver, Bronze & Overnights); Thu., Sep. 26th (GLS & Overnights)
Sports Creek – Sat., Oct. 5th (GLS Finals)
Among many special events planned this summer is the annual celebrity race at Big Rapids on July 9th. This annual charity fund-raiser is a huge local event and will draw many hundreds to the fairgrounds to experience harness racing on Tuesday evening. In addition to the Great Lakes Series and Bronze races scheduled for that evening, two overnight trot events are also planned. If you have horses that might make good candidates for the Big Rapids celebrity race, please contact Pat Currie (231-629-7342) or John Currie (231-629-7273) at your earliest convenience. The Currie’s and the rest of the crew in Big Rapids do a tremendous job promoting racing and your help making their annual celebrity race a success is appreciated.
The MHHA will publish a complete fair racing booklet that will be available on the MHHA website by June 10th. The booklet will include the entire racing schedule, entry details, and conditions for the fair overnights. Fairs are reminded to please provide conditions to the MHHA no later than June 1st, so that they can be included in the fair booklet.