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Michigan’s Last Horse Track To Close For Good, Maybe

Northville Downs seeks new life a few miles away in Plymouth Township, but hurdles remain




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It’s finally official: Michigan’s last remaining horse track, 80-year-old Northville Downs, will host its last day of racing at its original site on Feb. 3. Plans for a move to neighboring Plymouth Township continue apace — sort of.

The harness track, dating to 1944 and owned by the Carlo family, has a parcel in Plymouth that would accommodate a new facility. But it’s been met harshly, both by a vocal group of residents and, somewhat bizarrely, by the track’s owners, who recently accused the jurisdiction of extortion —  a claim that’s been vehemently denied.

What will be will be, but for now, condolences are in order.

“The Michigan Gaming Control Board expresses our deepest gratitude to all of the Northville Downs patrons who have made each race day memorable and thrilling,” said Henry Williams, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. “We appreciate the support of those who have kept Northville Downs going for 80 years and look forward to the next chapter of horse racing in Michigan at a new location.”

While Feb. 3 will be the last day of live racing at the suburban Detroit track, simulcast wagers will be accepted through Feb. 10. After that, horse bettors across Michigan will have to rely on ADW platforms like Churchill Downs/TwinSpires, NYRA Bets, Xpressbet, and FanDuel Racing.

Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images