HomeMichigan Online Horse BettingHorse Race Tracks in Michigan

Horse race tracks in Michigan

On this page, you’ll learn about the ins-and-outs of the various horse race tracks scattered throughout Michigan. From their exact locations, to how you can place bets at these tracks, this article will have you covered.

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Michigan is home to a rich tradition of horse racing, with several tracks that have hosted both thoroughbred and harness racing events over the years. These venues not only offer exciting races but also serve as gathering spots where racing enthusiasts can enjoy the sport in action. Whether nestled in bustling cities or spread across quieter rural areas, Michigan's race tracks contribute significantly to the local economy and the broader racing community in the state.

Horse race tracks in Michigan

Michigan boasts three horse race tracks that cater to both thoroughbred and harness racing. These facilities provide a platform for racing enthusiasts to converge and experience love horse racing, while also playing a significant role in the state's economy and cultural landscape. Each venue offers a unique racing experience, reflecting the rich heritage of horse racing in the region.

Michigan Race Track


Northville Downs

301 South Center Street, Northville, MI 48167

Sports Creek Raceway

4290 Morrish Rd, Swartz Creek, MI 48473

Hazel Park Raceway

1650 E 10 Mile Rd, Hazel Park, MI 48030

Yes, horse race betting is legal in Michigan. The state has a longstanding tradition of legalized pari-mutuel betting, which was first introduced in 1933. Pari-mutuel betting is a system where all bets of a particular type are pooled together, with the payout odds determined by the amount of total bets made. This form of betting is available at licensed race tracks and through off-track betting facilities.

Additionally, Michigan has embraced modern betting practices by legalizing online gambling, including MI online horse race betting. This allows residents to place bets via websites and apps that are regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The expansion to online platforms provides a convenient option for bettors and reflects Michigan's progressive approach to gambling, offering broader access while ensuring regulatory oversight to maintain fairness and integrity in the sport.

How to bet at a Michigan race track

Betting at a Michigan race track is a straightforward process, accessible for both seasoned bettors and newcomers to the world of horse racing. Here are the steps to place your bet:

  1. Choose a Race and Horse: First, select the race you want to bet on and the horse you believe will win. Use the race program, which provides details about each horse's past performances, odds, and the jockeys. This information can be crucial for making an informed decision. Consider factors like the horse's recent races, training, and any changes in jockey or equipment.
  2. Decide on the Type of Bet: Decide what type of bet you want to place. Common types include: Win: Betting your horse will finish first; Place: Betting your horse will finish first or second; Show: Betting your horse will finish in the top three; Exotic Bets: These include exactas, trifectas, and superfectas, where you bet on multiple horses to finish in a specific order. Understand each type's potential payouts and risks. Beginners might start with simpler bets like win, place, or show.
  3. Place Your Bet: Go to the betting window or an automated kiosk at the track. Tell the teller the race number, the amount of your bet, the type of bet, and the number of the horse as listed in the program. For example, "Race 3, $2 to win on number 5." After placing your bet, you'll receive a ticket; keep this safe as you'll need it to collect any winnings.
  4. Collect Winnings: If your horse places according to your bet, return to the betting window with your ticket to collect your winnings. Payouts are based on the final odds and the type of your bet. It's important to verify the amount before leaving the window.

Things to keep in mind when betting at a race track in Michigan

Betting at a Michigan race track can be an exhilarating experience, but it's important to approach it with knowledge and caution. Here are some essential tips and common pitfalls to avoid:

  • Set a Budget: Before you even enter the track, decide how much money you are willing to lose. Stick to this budget strictly to avoid financial strain. Betting can be addictive, and it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the races. By setting a limit, you can enjoy the day regardless of the outcomes.
  • Understand the Bets: Familiarize yourself with the different types of bets available. From simple 'win' bets to more complex 'exotic' bets, knowing how each works can significantly enhance your betting strategy. Misunderstanding these can lead to unexpected losses, so take some time to learn or ask for advice from more experienced bettors at the track.
  • Study the Odds and Horse Histories: Odds are not just numbers; they reflect the chances a horse has to win, as set by experts. Studying past performance charts, the condition of the track, and even the weather can influence a race's outcome. Ignoring these factors might lead to betting on less favorable horses.
  • Keep Emotions in Check: It's easy to be swayed by favorite names or personal feelings towards a horse. However, successful betting relies on logical and informed decision-making rather than emotions. Betting impulsively on a gut feeling without solid data to back it up is a common pitfall to avoid.
  • Claiming Winnings: If you win, make sure to claim your winnings as soon as the race results are declared. Holding onto your betting ticket and verifying the race results are crucial steps before heading to the payout window. Unclaimed tickets can lead to missed winnings.


Are there any race tracks near Detroit?

Yes, there are race tracks near Detroit. Northville Downs, located at 301 S Center St, Northville, MI, is the closest, approximately 30 minutes away by car. It offers harness racing and is a popular destination for racing enthusiasts in the Detroit area.

Which is the oldest race track in Michigan?

The oldest race track in Michigan is Northville Downs, which opened in 1944. Located in Northville, Michigan, it has a storied history of hosting harness racing and continues to operate, offering both live and simulcast racing to enthusiasts.

Is there sports betting at Michigan horse race tracks?

Yes, sports betting is available at Michigan horse race tracks. Since the legalization of Michigan sports betting in 2019, several tracks have incorporated sportsbooks, allowing patrons to place bets on a variety of sports in addition to horse racing.

What amenities and services are available at Michigan race tracks?

Michigan race tracks offer a variety of amenities and services, including comfortable seating areas, dining options ranging from casual snacks to full-service restaurants, and bars serving a selection of beverages. Patrons can also find betting kiosks, live race broadcasts, and sometimes family-friendly activities or special event hosting. These facilities are designed to enhance the race day experience for all visitors.

Are there any dining options at Michigan race tracks?

Yes, Michigan race tracks typically offer a variety of dining options, ranging from casual snack bars and concession stands to more formal dining areas where you can enjoy a meal while watching the races. Some tracks may also feature upscale restaurants and bars, providing a complete entertainment experience for visitors.

What is the minimum age for betting on horse races in Michigan?

In Michigan, the minimum age for betting on horse races is 18 years old. Individuals must be at least this age to legally place bets at race tracks or through any online betting platforms that are licensed and regulated in the state.

Are there any responsible gambling resources available at race tracks in Michigan?

Yes, Michigan race tracks typically offer resources for responsible gambling. These include informational brochures, on-site signs with helpline numbers, and trained staff available to assist with gambling concerns. Additionally, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services provides resources and support services for those seeking help with gambling issues.

Are there any handicapping resources for bettors at Michigan race tracks?

Yes, bettors at Michigan race tracks can access various handicapping resources to assist with their betting decisions. These include race programs with detailed horse and jockey histories, online betting sites that offer expert analyses and predictions, and often tipsheets available at the tracks. These tools can provide valuable insights into the factors likely to influence the outcomes of races.