Racing associations in Michigan have requested 734 racing dates in 2003, and among the applicants is EQTAH Group, a new concern headed by Andy Stronach.EQTAH, which proposed to build a racetrack and simulcasting facility in the Lansing area, has asked for 45 days of "mixed meet" racing--Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Arabian, Appaloosa, and Paint--from Sept. 5 to Dec. 7.Stronach just recently announced his intention to apply for a license to operate the facility. His father, Frank, who heads Magna Entertainment, plans to build a Thoroughbred and Standardbred track near the Detroit metro area, but Magna did not apply for 2003 dates, according to information released Sept. 10 from the Office of Michigan Racing Commissioner.Great Lakes Downs, the western Michigan track operated by Magna, has applied for 118 Thoroughbred dates from April 26 to Oct. 28. Mount Pleasant Meadows, a mixed-breed track in the central part of the state, has requested 60 days of racing from May 3 to Sept. 28. Mount Pleasant schedules some Thoroughbred races during its meet.As usual, Standardbred racing leads the way by far in number of requested dates with 511. Hazel Park, the state's flagship track, has asked for 140 days.
Michigan&#8217;s horseracing industry, already reeling from decreases in revenue and the possible closure of Great Lakes Downs after this season, is facing an Oct. 1 shutdown should the state legislature fail to approve a budget.