Thoroughbreds ‘Hung Out To Dry’: Hazel Park Closure ‘Blindsided’ Horsemen

The shocking, last-minute closure of Michigan’s Hazel Park Raceway has left a number of Thoroughbreds in limbo, stalled on the backside with nowhere to train or stretch their legs. reports the Detroit Free Press. The horsemen had begun shipping in on April 4, expecting the racetrack to open for training the following morning. News trickled down to Hazel’s racing secretary Mary Anne Barron, who started making phone calls in earnest, hoping to keep trainers from shipping in.

Of course, several were already at the stable gate.

“They kind of blindsided everybody,” Barron said. “Nobody had any inkling this was coming. They have left the horsemen out to dry to the tune of thousands of dollars.

“I don’t think there is any way to recover,” she continued. “This was pretty much our last stop. The thoroughbreds were hung out to dry.”

Trainer James Jackson, 72, has been involved with Michigan racing since he was just 18. He has 20 horses stuck on the grounds, and has been forced to use the now-abandoned shed rows for “training,” usually just jogging around under a rider.

“It’s the worst thing I’ve seen done to horsemen in my entire life,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this. You don’t do people like this.”

Read more at the Detroit Free Press.

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