Another Brick Falls: Hazel Park Is Shuttered

We activists are often asked, “What do you propose to do with all the horses if you get your wish and Racing ends?” It is, of course, a spurious question, a pathetic and desperate attempt to trip us up – gotcha, they hope to say, you have no plan; are you just going to let 100,000 horses starve to death? Horseracing clearly will not disappear overnight; it will (has been, actually) go brick-by-brick – until, at last, not a one remains. Yesterday, another brick fell. A sign at Hazel Park Raceway in Michigan:

Hazel had just converted back to Thoroughbred in 2014. Given that this was the only flat racing in Michigan, a top-ten population with almost 10 million people, this might seem a rather quick and shocking failure. But to those with a working knowledge of Racing, it was not unexpected at all. For you see, Michigan is not a racino state; the horseracing industry there has no slot machines to bail it out. Without the corporate welfare that is so unfortunately common in other racing-states, Hazel’s demise was inevitable – and so too is Michigan’s only remaining track, Northville Downs, a harness facility with but 59 days of racing scheduled for 2018. Progress, folks.


Shuttered tracks since 2000 (37 and counting):

Anthony Downs, Kansas, closed 2009 after 105 years of racing
Atlantic City Race Course, New Jersey, closed 2015 after 69 years of racing
Atokad Downs, Nebraska, closed 2011 after 55 years of racing
Balmoral Park, Illinois, closed 2015 after 89 years of racing
Bay Meadows, California, closed 2008 after 74 years of racing
Beulah Park, Ohio, closed 2014 after 91 years of racing
Blue Ribbon Downs, Oklahoma, closed 2010 after 47 years of racing
Brockton Fair, Massachusetts, closed 2001 after 60 years of racing
Colonial Downs, Virginia, closed 2014 after 17 years of racing
Dayton Days, Washington, closed 2010 after 122 years of racing
Eureka Downs, Kansas, closed 2011 after 108 years of racing
Garden State Park Racetrack, New Jersey, closed 2001 after 59 years of racing
Great Lakes Downs, Michigan, closed 2007 after 18 years of racing
Hazel Park, Michigan, closed 2018 after 69 years of racing
Hollywood Park, California, closed 2013 after 75 years of racing
Jackson Harness Raceway, Michigan, closed 2008 after 60 years of racing
Les Bois Park, Idaho, closed 2016 after 46 years of racing
Lone Oak Park, Oregon, closed 2000 after 67 years of racing
Manor Downs, Texas, closed 2010 after 20 years of racing
Maywood Park, Illinois, closed 2015 after 69 years of racing
Mount Pleasant Meadows, Michigan, closed 2013 after 28 years of racing
Northampton Fair, Massachusetts, closed 2005 after 62 years of racing
Northwest Montana Fair, Montana, closed 2011 after unknown number of years
Pinnacle Race Course, Michigan, closed 2010 after 2 years of racing
Playfair Race Course, Washington, closed 2001 after 100 years of racing
Rochester Fair, New Hampshire, closed 2007 after 73 years of racing
Rockingham Park, New Hampshire, closed 2009 after 103 years of racing
Saginaw Valley Downs, Michigan, closed 2005 after 25 years of racing
Solano Fair, California, closed 2009 after 58 years of racing
Sports Creek Raceway, Michigan, closed 2015 after 28 years of racing
Sportsman’s Park, Illinois, closed 2002 after 70 years of racing
Waitsburg, Washington, closed 2010 after 99 years of racing
Walla Walla Fair, Washington, closed 2010 after 144 years of racing
Western Montana Fair, Montana, closed 2010 after 96 years of racing
Woodlands Racecourse, Kansas, closed 2007 after 17 years of racing
Yavapai Downs, Arizona, closed 2010 after 50 years of racing
Yellowstone Downs, Montana, closed 2011 after 65 years of racing


Leave a Comment

  1. I celebrated last night when I got the news.
    Racetracks are not financially sustainable as Patrick mentioned.
    Therefore, it’s imperative to start a vigorous campaign to elect “animal friendly” politicians who will FINALLY end ALL financial support to this dying business, and money pit.
    There were many apologists who submitted comments to the Paulick report (you will only find apologists in the comments) because most of us posting here or holding an alternative viewpoint has been blocked.
    So much for First Amendment rights, but hell will freeze over if we violate the right to buy a semi-automatic gun to massacre children while they are being educated.
    Anyways, here’s just one of those comments:
    “It was an absolutely classless act by the track owners to drop this announcement on the heads of employees, horsemen and so many others at such a late date.” Richard C
    My response to Richard C:
    It’s an absolute classless act Richard to force non-consenting, voiceless, defenseless sentient beings into the money, maiming, dying, and corruption pit called horse racing.
    F.U Hazel Park!

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