Michigan Thoroughbred owner and banking executive Jerry Campbell announced Oct. 8 plans for a new racetrack and retail complex to be located near Detroit Metro Airport.
According to a press release, Post It Stables Inc., which is led by Campbell, will apply for a license to build and operate Pinnacle Race Course. According to the announcement, the 10,000-seat track and 200,000-square-foot retail development would cost an estimated $142 million.
Tentative date for the opening the track, which would conduct live racing an estimated 165 days a year, is September 2008. The track would have stable capacity of 1,080 stalls.
The release stated the project has the support of both the Huron Township board of trustees and the Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.
Currently, the sole Thoroughbred facility in Michigan is Great Lakes Downs, formerly owned by Campbell and now owned by Magna Entertainment Corp. MEC has announced it will cease live racing at Great Lakes Downs as of Nov. 6.
“It will be a devastating blow to the state’s agriculture business in the state of Michigan when Great Lakes Downs closes,” said a statement from Campbell, Post It Stable’s chairman and CEO and a MEC board member. “If another Thoroughbred racing facility is not open in the state, the economic benefit to the state leaves the state or vanishes altogether.”
Campbell’s announcement said the track would operate a live meet annually between March and November that would be highlighted by the Michigan Derby. The $500,000 race for 3-year-olds would be held at Pinnacle Race Course in early April and would include a $5-million bonus for any horse that won the Michigan Derby and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The president of Post It Stables is Campbell’s wife, Felicia Campbell, who is also a licensed owner and trainer and a board member of the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
Jerry Campbell, who owns approximately 125 Thoroughbreds, is the founder and former chairman of Republic Bancorp and current chairman of Citizens Republic Bancorp.
According to the announcement, Thayer Communications and Consulting, operated by former Breeders’ Cup executive Damon Thayer, a Kentucky senator, will serve as consultant on the Michigan track project.