About Northville Downs in Michigan
Northville Downs is Detroit's last surviving racecourse. Once, the state of Michigan had nine tracks, most of them offering thoroughbred racing. Today, Northville Downs is the only one, and it is exclusively a harness racing track.
Worse still, the future is bleak. A housing developer has purchased the site and in the fall of 2022 development plans got the go-ahead from the local authority. By 2024, racing in Michigan could be no more.
The problem, in a nutshell, is a lack of attractions at racetracks. In other states, many courses have reinvented themselves as 'racinos', offering slots and sometimes table games as well as betting on the ponies. Michigan, though, has not followed suit. Northville Downs is unable to offer any sort of casino game or sports betting. The state's tribal casinos are fiercely protective of their monopoly. As recently as 2021, a proposal to allow racetracks to operate slots that pay out based on historic horse racing results was blocked following lobbying from casino operators.
Today, Northville Park is a shadow of its former self. The historic track, which opened its doors in 1944, still has plenty of atmosphere. However, it lacks many modern facilities that could turn it into a family-friendly, 21st-century venue. With the developers knocking on the door, it seems unlikely that it will ever get those upgrades now.
Horse betting at Northville Downs
Betting at Northville Downs is all about the ponies. While other racetracks have diversified into sports betting, Michigan casinos and even hotel resorts, Northville Downs keeps it old school. Visitors can wager on the live harness racing action, or bet on the simulcast markets from races up and down the USA.
Racing takes place at Northville Downs on Friday and Saturday evenings. Pari-mutuel betting is available on all evening races, although there may be some trial events for young horses ahead of the main card. Typically there might be up to 12 races on an evening's card, so there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy a few bets during your night out. The first race usually starts at 7 p.m.
Alternatively, bettors can use the simulcast suite to wager on races from anywhere in the USA. The simulcast hall has big screens with all the live action from across the country, plus betting terminals to handle your wagers. Doors open at 11 a.m. The course's Trotside Restaurant provides food and drink concessions for customers during the day's racing.
In addition, Northville Downs has a partnership with TVG. This enables betting on horses online from anywhere in Michigan.
Is there sports betting at Northville Downs?
There is no sports betting available at Northville Downs. The only gambling options are betting on the live racing or the simulcast facility. Given the imminent closure of the racetrack, there are no plans to introduce sports betting here in future either.
How do I place a bet at Northville Downs?
Betting on the horses can seem daunting at first. However, once you break it down, it's straightforward - even for a beginner. Check out our guide and you'll soon be betting like a pro.