Michigan horsemen to help fund meet


Pinnacle Race Course | Posted 4/10/2010, 3:26 pm
By Tom Schram

Michigan’s Thoroughbred horsemen’s group has approved the transfer of more than $170,000 from its overnight purse pool to fund 29 days of racing at Pinnacle Race Course during the state government’s 2009-10 fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

In March, the Thoroughbred racing season was reduced to three days by the state Gaming and Control Board, which said it was uanble to fund regulators at the track due to budget constraints.

Last week’s action by the Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association requires approval by the state legislature, which reconvenes following an Easter recess on April 12. Approval is expected to be a formality, and representatives of the HBPA are working with Pinnacle management to determine a racing schedule.

Additional 2010 racing days in the new fiscal year beginning in Oct. 1 remain a possibility.


In essence the Horsemen will have to PAY to have their own horses entered. While the owner of Pinnacle cries broke. I think it’s about time to start asking some questions here.

First our totally brain-dead Governor who now I’m hearing may be a candidate for our Country’s President to appoint to the SUPREME COURT!

Goes and dissolves our Office of Racing Commissioner and throws us to the wolves by forcing us under the Michigan Gaming Control Board, who up until now has had only one focus here. CASINO’S.

They don’t give a rats ass about Horse Racing of any kind. And I wouldn’t appoint Jennifer Granholm as a DOG CATCHER, let alone bring her to the Supreme Court. This dizzy 100 faced broad can’t even run the State who elected her. She takes an entity that has always generated and brought Revenue into this State of Michigan since it began over 76 years ago, and in essence tells all in this State. WE DON’T NEED ANY EXTRA MONEY.


Stupidity at it’s finest.

Let us cater to the Indian Owned Casino’s who can tell everyone to go to hell. But let us take an Industry where 12,000 jobs are connected to and tell them to Flip off. Patricia Lockwood gave us a total of 84 days for 2010. ORC was dissolved.

MGCB knocked us to 31 days, to 8 days then In reality 3 days.

Now we have to have the Horsemen PAY through their noses to enter and run their own horses. Well hell, hey that makes sense. By time the pay for Bute, Lasix along with the entry fee. If they hit the board they will have LOST MONEY. OH YES, ONLY IN MICHIGAN!

And Jerry Campbell sits and vegetates singing that oldie but goody I’ve got the broke man’s blues.

Why haven’t you contacted DTE as of yet ( I mean the track has now only been operating since July of 08 )??? Or do you like paying for the oil that runs all the generators running Pinnacle. WTF?

I mean the homes around the track have electricity, why doesn’t Pinnacle Race Course?

Why have you dropped most of the Thoroughbred Signals at night?
I mean there is only maybe ONE T.B. track simulcasting in the evenings. Strange for a T.B. track not to be simulcasting any T.B. tracks don’t you think?

When people have to go to the Harness tracks to bet on the Thoroughbreds. THERE IS SOMETHING DETRIMENTALLY WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE.

Why does Pinnacle not have KENO running every 5 minutes like the other Mi. tracks? That certainly would bring in some extra money. Why have you not spent one thin dime on any advertisement of this track since it opened?

OH BUT THEN STUPID ME. When you don’t even want to pay for the signals from other tracks to be simulcasted, and refuse to have State run Keno for extra $$$. Or have one single shred of anything that could produce any funds. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO ADVERTISE?

In Essence what is there really to Advertise.

HEY Y’ALL COME ON OUT TO OUR TRACK AND BET ON OUR USUAL 3 no name tracks running. Hey, y’all can watch other really good tracks on our TVG station at the tables. YOU JUST WON’T BE ABLE TO BET ON ANY OF THEM.


You built a track, we rejoiced. But now…..

Yes, Michigan along with many other states our struggling. Many Race Tracks throughout the country are suffering. But they are FIGHTING BACK.

Not here in Mi. though. Here we VEGETATE. Our beloved couple who got our hopes high that built Pinnacle are now doing the POOR MAN’S STOMP.

And the Horsemen are now going to have to scramble to find the money to run their own show.
In 08 Jerry Campbell had money to invest in Greektown.

That was two months before Pinnacle Opened. So where is that money?

Nothing else got built at Pinnacle. Not even a bathroom for the stable area. They are still using nasty Port-a-potties. No track kitchen was built. Hell in 09 they took the temporary bleachers out. What fun it is NOT to be able to watch the horses run down the stretch.

Come on Jerry. Where the $$$

Look, if I was the HBPA I’d tell you to blow it out your ass. Let the T.B. funds go into escrow and be giving to everyone else. Because NOBODY is going to come here for a 29 day meet anyway. And if I was an owner I sure as hell wouldn’t be paying you to enter my own horse to run at YOUR TRACK.

Bad enough we have a stupid Governor, an Asinine group of Harness Horsemen that are doing their best to kill themselves instead of aligning themselves with us instead of against us. Fighting the State, Fighting the Harness. But to have to be put into a corner by our own THOROUGHBRED HORSEMEN OWNER OF PINNACLE RACE COURSE IS APPALLING AND ABSURD.

It’s like Wall Street who wanted and got a bailout only to turn around and shit in everyone’s face by announcing multi-million $$$ payouts to the CEO’s.

And BTW Jerry how much does your CEO get paid? While you want the Horsemen to pay for the privilege to run their own horses?

Governor Granholm should be run out of this State, The Harness Track Owners and Horsemen should get their asses beat raw. Richarl Kalm and the MGCB should get off the peyote Indian peace pipe and see a real vision instead of a drug induced one of only dancing slot machines at the Casino’s. My God the money that could be drawn into this State of Mi. if they were allowed to be dancing at the tracks as well. And the HBPA should tell Pinnacle Race Course’s owner to go straight to hell.

Help to fund the 29 day meet. YEAH RIGHT.

While the track owner does NOTHING to drum up any kind of business of any kind for his own stinking track. Starting with the basics of Electricity and Bathrooms for the stable area.

Contact the State for the Keno every other place in Michigan seems to have to generate money for themselves. And start paying for signals for more Thoroughbred tracks at night so people will have something to come to Pinnacle for.

When you do all this and promote and advertise it to the max. Then we’ll talk about helping to fund our own cause. Because Jerry Campbell’s cause seems to be for himself and nothing else.


If the HBPA and it’s members go along with this bull they are FOOLS.

We have been consessioned to death enough already. What else more can we give to you?

If you had $$$ to invest in Greektown as of two years ago. What else do you want from us. Because it is the Horsemen that are the true BROKE ONES.


Filed under Horse Racing, Politics

3 responses to “Mi. Horsemen TO FUND PINNACLE RACE COURSE MEET

  1. megiste

    There probably isn’t a horseman in Michigan that doesn’t agree with you, but what choice do the horsemen have?? When the dates were promised, the horsemen started planning the year, bought feed, put up their stock for the winter, trained where and when they could and (as always) waited for the Michigan meet to open. Sure, there’s a few horsemen that can travel and go to Florida or Arizona or West Virginia for the winter but NONE of them make enough money out of state to justify maintaining a Michigan presence unless the dates that are promised are delivered.

    Then, eight weeks before the meet is scheduled to open, the State and the track throw the proverbial curveball to the horsemen and issue their ultimatums. “Buy your dates or don’t race. Fund the track or don’t race.”

    Sure, we can tell the MGCB and the racetrack to kiss our collective asses but how does that help the horsemen? We sure can march around and prove to everyone that we are hard-hitting, but try paying a vet bill with your black belt in toughness. The racetrack and the State of Michigan know (or think) that the horsemen will cave in and make every effort to “hold on” until the next savior rides into town, like adding slot machines or electing a governor that cares or a legislature that can think on their own beyond the lobbyists’ lunchroom.

    And why shouldn’t they? The horsemen did it when they left Detroit and went to GLD. The State says “jump” and we say “how high?” The media loves to expose one or two crooked horsemen but won’t mention the trainers or owners that fund, employ and promote our industry. We cave in at every turn from almost any pressure.

    Where is any semblance of a united front? We can’t get harness horsemen and thoroughbred horsemen to join forces on almost ANY topic or issue in our industry. There’s no cohesion with ballot proposals, race date schedules, joint meets or almost any other topic that ALL of the horsemen could benefit from if they worked together.

    Where is the outrage? Pissed off at the Pinnacle for not advertising? EVERYONE that is involved with racing should be involved in promoting and advertising our industry or, if nothing else, bring these issues up at meetings or in blogs or in discussions with Pinnacle. I’ve heard more complaining from horsemen about racetrack background music at Pinnacle and the consistency of their Ranch salad dressing than I have about the lack of promotion and advertising.

    Every horseman that I know can identify the problems but very little has been said about how to CORRECT the problems. We SHOULD be asking the hard questions and we MUST find some common ground to move our industry forward. Until we do, we’ll continue to be their whipping post.

  2. Longshot

    Well I can tell you one thing fellow Horsemen or Women. The entire backside can start by showing up at the damn HBPA general membership meetings. Do you know how many actually showed up in July 09 in that tent?

    I counted 41 people. And that is it. The majority of the OWNERS & TRAINERS were completely ABSENT. That how much they truly give a shit about their OWN DAMN BUSINESS. Yet every single morning and afternoon ALL constantly bitch & moan of what’s wrong. But when a meeting takes place, most say the hell with it. We have a long drive to get home, don’t want to stick around for some stupid meeting that won’t solve or produce anything anyway.

    Thus you have yourselves to blame for everyone using us as a whipping post. When the MHHA had a meeting at Northville a month ago. PLACE WAS FILLED TO THE CEILING with their horsemen.

    We can’t get 50 people to show up at Pinnacle. Jimmy Jackson and Me did the most talking from our minute crowd of horsemen AND I’M A GROOM.

    But what I did say went in one ear out the other. In essence said WE DO NOT NEED DAN ADKINS. WE DO NOT NEED THE HARNESS PEOPLE. Have our own lawyer Paul Burns draw up our own petition to have submitted to the State Board of Canvassers. With the language covering all our provisions to protect Live Racing. We sat and let Dan Adkins play us for months. Gets to the State Board first and submits his own petition on behalf of Hazel Parks owners. With no language what so ever to protect anything concerning LIVE RACING, SIMULCASTING, CONTRACTS, OR PURSE REVENUES for US.


    Then MHHA contacts us and say’s HEY WAIT. We want to align with you and submit a petition together. Wait again, only to have Brett Boyd at the last second ( and I call it the last second ) put some language in THEIR petition that certainly would be the death to us. As we don’t have the funds that the Casino’s would fight us with.

    In essence I never believed the MHHA had ant attention to align themselves with us. And through MANY, MANY communications with the HBPA stated so. I cannot count the e-mails sent warning them that these people have never been able to trust and will NEVER be able to trust.

    YET WE STILL WAITED. Now many of the Board are just NOW speaking up that we should of never got involved with the Harness.

    REALLY??? How many times I tried to tell them.

    The Harness industry in this State from the very beginning of time, 76 years ago. Has fought us in every single thing they thought they could throw into the road to block us. And that has stood true to this day. This wasn’t a secret for God’s sake. We’ve known this about them for decades and decades. Now why did the HBPA ever think for one second all of a sudden that would change?


    We don’t even show up at the meetings. Now you ask what else can we do? If we had the turnout at the July meeting the Harness had at Northville a month ago. A lot of this bullshit could of been avoided. If another 100 of me would of also voiced that we didn’t need Hazel Parks BOY Adkins to submit a petition, and another 100 screamed DO NOT TRUST the Harness people. Maybe and only maybe THEN the HBPA board might of took notice and agreed. And we would of been the first one to strike and get our petition approved always gaining signatures. As of yet we still haven’t had our date with the State Board of Canvassers. BUT I SUGGEST WE DON’T SHOW UP EMPTY HANDED. Because the MHHA plan on dumping their idiotic petition on that table for approval.

    You don’t have to tell me about the Vet bills, Grain Bills, Hay & Straw bills etc… I started at DRC in 1976. I’m no fool. But why are we in this present position as of right now?


    And when there are General Membership meetings. THE HORSEMEN DON’T EVEN BOTHER TO SHOW UP. They in essence flip their own noses at the very Industry that they pay all these bills for.


    Now what can we do? PLEASE

  3. Longshot

    And how can we promote a Track and Business when the owner of that track has almost ceased ALL signals for Thoroughbreds tracks running in the evening. There’s not 30 people there in the evenings Sunday through Thursday. People are going to Northville and Hazel Park to bet THE THOROUGHBRED TRACKS.

    Dan Adkins blasted Jerry Campbell in the Bloodhorse. Jerry’s response?


    So we can stand on a corner with signs shouting & directing people to Pinnacle. BUT WHAT IS THERE AT PRESENT TO PROMOTE?

    NVD & H.P. have the State’s Keno running. Hell bars and bowling alley’s have it running every 5 minutes ALL NIGHT LONG. It brings in $$$ for the business. Why doesn’t Pinnacle have it???

    We all need to advertise and promote and inform everyone?

    But there has to be able to be something to ADVERTISE. That is the Track Owners duty.

    To pay for T.B. signals and get the State Keno. DO SOMETHING TO DRAW PEOPLE TO COME TO PINNACLE. Because as if right now THERE IS NOTHING for them to come in for.

    We knew last Oct. of 09 that this Governor of ours was dissolving the ORC. We should of all stormed into Lansing to vocalize our opposition to this move. BUT WE DIDN’T. In our fine horsemen fashion we sat and said TO OURSELVES well this isn’t a good thing???


    When they announced over the loud speakers on one morning at DRC that the track had been sold. I went to every single meeting Livonia held on that track. The planning commission had TURNED down the zoning for that shopping center. Ladbroke and Millenium went to work on the council. Had we worked even harder and showed up at the meetings there that were for the public maybe the council would of seen a different side to things. All that showed was Me, the Retelle’s, Mike and Patty Vance, Fred Berry, Mitch Housey and maybe 2 or 3 others. THAT WAS IT.

    I had the same suggestion as Fred Berry, let’s picket along Middlebelt & Schoolcraft and make as much noise as possible. THE HORSEMEN DECIDED TO RATHER LAY DOWN AND DIE.


    If the Livonia council had also turned that zoning down, Ladbroke would of either had to sit on that property forever pay taxes on it or be forced to sell that track AS A TRACK again.


    We knew in Oct. of 09 throwing us to the MGCB that something like this would happen. CUT DAYS.
    WE DID NOTHING. You’ve had a hell of a lot more time than 8 weeks my friend. I put this in an e-mail and sent this out to the MGCB before their very next meeting upon the announcement that we were now under their jurisdiction. It obviously did know good, but maybe if a 1,000 more had been sent?

    BTW this is how Brett Boyd got his POWERPOINT presentation that now sits on the MHHA site. Along with my blogs. I’m glad my writings could be of assistence to that BOY.

    Now that our fate is in your hands
    Monday, October 12, 2009 11:20 PMFrom:

    View contact detailsTo: MGCBweb@michigan.gov
    MGCB Executive Director Richard Kalm
    Chairman Damian Kassab
    Judge Benjamin Friedman
    Barbara Rom
    Michael J. Watza

    In the events that have taking place over the last week, and now knowing that the MGCB is now our Governing body that will make any decisions on our fate. And also knowing that Tuesday Oct. 13, 2009 is your next board meeting, that I personally felt the need to contact all of you on behalf of the Industry in which I’ve spent my life working in.

    Thoroughbred Racing.

    I can only ask that you read a blog ( bottom of page ) that I posted on several sites last year, a day before Pinnacle Race Course was to open. The picture at the bottom of the blog was edited in the day after. It is from the heart. I don’t know that I can elaborate any more feelings on the importance of the subject matter. It’s pretty self explanatory. And I think from reading it, you will all gain all the insight you need to understand how I and my fellow horsemen/women feel about not only continuing Thoroughbred Horse Racing in this state. But to allow any further gaming to Pinnacle to not only help our track to continue to exist, but to bring in $ Millions of more dollars to the state of Michigan. I read in an article published by both the Detroit News & Free Press, that someone wants to spend $20k for a study to see if more gaming at the Tracks would bring in more revenue?

    Please save the $20k and valuable time and just contact all the States who implemented gaming to their Horse Tracks. Get their years Revenue statements prior to Tracks getting gaming, slots, then the following year Revenue statement after gaming was given. It will speak for itself.

    The Horse Racing industry is the only entity that has always made money for the state, not took from. And if allowed to continue it always will. And with further gaming including slots, this state will have a mighty powerhouse to bring in much more needed revenue to Michigan.The only thing that can be gained from it, is a WIN WIN position for all.

    All of us will benefit. We got our throats cut in 1998 when an English corporation by the name of Ladbroke was allowed to destroy the only Thoroughbred track in the state. The Detroit Race Course was just more than a racing surface, buildings & barns. It was our livelihoods crashing to the ground by those bulldozers. Our jobs and souls thrown to the wind. We grasped on to a thin thread of straw hanging on at Great Lakes Down. We finally get somebody to put again in place a track that could be one of the most Prestigious Tracks in the country if allowed. Then a entire country financial disaster strikes. And our Governor cuts funding to our Industry already hanging on for dear life.

    Please, I ask of you to look at us as very viable individuals within an Industry that we love and work hard at. And would be more than worthy to save. If seen hard enough you will realize that not only will the track, but the people involved can indeed bring more wealth to this State. Needless to say we were more than just a little nervous & concerned when the announcement was made that the ORC had been dissolved, and we would now be under your jurisdiction. In reality the Casino’s have been your only focus. We just want a fare shot, and to let all of you know and have you fully understand that our fate is now in your hands. The casino’s spent a lot of money to get Proposal 1 on the ballot. Had tables with 4,5 people at all times gathering signatures. But i cannot express how many of those people signed those petitions not even knowing what they were even signing. Most thought that it was to Expand gaming to the tracks, not Prevent them from obtaining it. So this is the disheartening part.

    There is a saying, believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see. To me that is what that Proposal was about. Like I said I just hope we get a fair shot. Some feel with the decision to dissolve the ORC, it is in fact one hair shy of burying us for good. I ask from the bottom of our hearts, please take a good look at us. We are real. It is a business with as many connections as the auto industry has. From farms that supply the straw & hay to the businesses that supply everything within a horses needs. It’s thousands of people. And with your help, Pinnacle can be a bigger asset to this state than the casino’s. Just please don’t dismiss us without really seeing us, what we do and how we can continue to contribute to this state. We do bring in Revenue and will bring in even more with whatever you can also allow us to implement at the Horse Tracks. Please do not allow us once again to be bulldozed, because this time there will be no coming back. It will indeed be our final death. And I promise you we are so much more worthy than that.

    Most Sincere,
    ******** ************


    MGCB, I cannot add any more to these sediments. I wrote it from my Heart, Gut & Soul.

    Other blogs wrote on this site:




    There is another 7 or 8 other Blogs wrote on our Industry here.

    What did the rest of you do?

    And you only NOW ask What else can we do but be a whipping post?

    A LOT. But you DIDN’T. The Horsemen don’t even show up at the HBPA meetings.


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