May 30, 2009 at 1:00 am

29th Mackinac Policy Conference

Pinnacle may see track dates saved

Up to commissioner if restored funds can cover full schedule

Mackinac Island -- A plan to restore some funding to the state Racing Commission could add events at the Pinnacle Race Course, state officials said Friday.

Racing Commissioner Christine White, who saw her budget cut to $1.4 million from $3.4 million this spring, is set to decide Monday if the additional money will be enough to restore the races that had been eliminated, her spokeswoman, Liana Bennett, said. Bennett declined further comment.

Earlier, White reduced the 82 days of racing, which begin June 5 at the New Boston track, to just 25 days. The season would have ended in July instead of running through September.

On Mackinac, track owner Jerry Campbell met with Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and got some funding restored, which would be used to test and monitor the horses.

Attempts Friday to contact Campbell or other track officials were not successful.

The Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and Pinnacle Race Course have been pursuing a legal opinion as to whether White has the authority to reduce the number of race dates.

Pinnacle cost $142 million.

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