The Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association, in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Standardbred Breeders' Association, and the Michigan Association of Fairs, is pleased to announce its 2013 fair racing program. In addition to the Colt Stakes, this summer's program will, for the first time, offer dual-eligibility and give horsemen another avenue to race and prove their out-of-state horses. Michigan is also bringing back its popular fair condition races as part of the 10-week program.
The 2013 Great Lakes Championship Series for 2 year olds will be open to horses that are Michigan sired, Michigan bred, or wholly or partially owned by Michigan residents. With this announcement, Michigan owners who have ventured elsewhere in recent years to breed will also have the option to race their horses back home this summer. The opening of the series, though born out of necessity, is expected to breathe new life into Michigan's fair racing program.
Estimated purses for the Great Lakes Championship Series, expected to consist of seven $8,000 preliminary legs and a $20,000 final, are based on forty horse divisions. Luring horses from richer programs might seem a tall order but, according to MHHA president Brett Boyd, "This series offers horsemen more opportunities to race, because eligible two-year-olds can stake elsewhere and participate in Michigan too.”
The 2013 Colt Stakes for 3 year olds boasts a 10-week two-circuit program. The Silver circuit will race for estimated $8,000 purses and the Bronze circuit is expected to race for $4,000.
Following a several year hiatus, we are also excited to announce that many participating fairs will once again offer condition races (overnights) during the 2013 fair racing season. The 10-week state-supported program is open to Michigan sired, Michigan bred, or Michigan wholly- or partially-owned horses.
During the 10-week overnight program, sixteen fairs will be offering 76 condition races for a total of $76,000 in purses ($1,000 purses with a $35 entry fee). Overnight action will begin in Charlotte during early July and continue through late September. The overnight schedule is ramped up during the last three weeks of September (weeks 8-10) when there is no pari-mutuel racing in Michigan/
Nominations for the 2013 Colt Stakes and Great Lakes Championship Series are due on Feb. 15, 2013. Conditions and nomination form are available in the File Downloads section of the MHHA website (http://www.mhha-online.com/). Mail your nomination form and payment to: MHHA, P.O. Box 349, Okemos, Mich. 48805. (MHHA)