Michigan Horseracing

Michigan Horseracing began on June 28, 1933 after Governor William A. Comstock signed the law legalizing horse racing with wagering.

Barely three months after, on September 2, had the Governor, together with more than 20,000 racing fans trooped to the opening day of the Detroit Fair Grounds track located at the State Fairgrounds.

The 1940's saw the opening of three new tracks and the start of pari-mutuel Harness racing. Northville Downs opened in September 1944; Jackson Harness Raceway opened in 1948; and Hazel Park Race Track opened in 1949.

The pari-mutuel horse racing industry continued to grow steadily and by the end of the 1960's Michigan had:

  • four tracks compared to one - up 300%
  • 415 racing days compared to 31 - up 1,240%
  • 3 million in yearly attendance compared to 101 thousand - up 2,900%
  • $260 million wagered yearly compared to $3.5 million - up 7,300%
  • $20 million in State revenue compared to $123 thousand - up 16,000%

The upward trend was sustained through 1970's with over 3.9 million fans setting the total attendance record in 1971. The year also saw the increase to 60 more thoroughbred dates and 78 more harness dates.

Throughout the years, new tracks have been built, others changed ownership, but Michigan horseracing remains strong.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board oversees horseracing in the State of Michigan.

Michigan Horseracing Tracks

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Horseracing Tracks