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Officials At Odds Over Sports Creek

Published: February 5, 2015 4:35 pm ET

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It has been reported that officials from both the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association and Sports Creek Raceway are at odds over the track’s alleged interest in being a possible venue for live racing going forward.

On January 6 officials with Sports Creek announced that the track would be shutting down and looking for potential buyers. In late December of 2014, the Michigan Gaming Control Board issued a cease and desist order that instructed Sports Creek Raceway to cease all live and simulcast pari-mutuel wagering effective January 1. The order was issued in anticipation of Sports Creek not having a 2015 contract with a certified horsemen’s organization by the December 31 deadline specified in law.

On January 7, MHHA Executive Director Phil Stommen has said that his organization had “never been in a position where we've had to fully vet that question,” speaking about whether the MHHA would be interested in buying the raceway.

According to comments in a February 4 report by The Flint Journal, MHHA President Phil Stommen has stated that his group approached the owners of the raceway inquiring about the possibility of the horsemen’s group purchasing the track. According to Stommen, Sports Creek’s owners showed “no interest” in the MHHA doing some due diligence and exploring possibilities for the horsemen’s group to purchase the track.

Sports Creek General Manager Chris Locking has told The Flint Journal that Stommen’s claims are “totally false.” Locking went on to say that having Sports Creek utilized as a racetrack would “probably be one of the ways of maximizing the return on it." He also went on to say, "We'd love to see it utilized as a racing facility."

(With files from the The Flint Journal)

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