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  No Action at Jackson !     

Jackson RacewayJackson Raceway

2020 Update

Jackson Raceway was a five half mile harness track located at the Jackson Fairgrounds, a few blocks north of the town of Jackson.  It had an open air grandstand, used primarily for summer racing. The grandstand could seat 6,500. There was parking for 1,000 cars. The track featured the Sulky Lounge which could accommodate 100 diners. There was no clubhouse.       

Jackson RacewayNight Racing in Jackson

Jackson Raceway opened for business in 1948, it was the first pari mutual track in Michigan outside the greater Detroit area. The small harness track located at the Jackson Fairgrounds became a success and prospered through the seventies.

Like many other small town tracks, Jackson Raceway started to struggle by the nineteen nineties. Handle and attendance were declining yearly and the future didn't look too bright but in 2005 there was hope that things would change.

Shortly after the turn of the century it was a given that casino gaming was a lock in Michigan, race tracks across the state were preparing and Jackson was in the hunt. Feeling curtain that gaming was coming Jackson Raceway was taken over by MTR Gaming giving new hope the track would survive.

Frosty BoyThe Frosty Boy

As predicted casino gaming was legalized in Michigan, unfortunately for the race tracks they didn't invited to the table, racinos were not part of the plan. Soon after that was known MTR Gaming threw in the towel and closed the raceway. The small track with the county fair atmosphere just faded away.  

I did make one visit to Jackson, I was curious to see it because for a few years some stables showed up at my home track of Hinsdale. It was a warm June evening and it seemed like I could have been at Hinsdale, Jackson was also a half mile oval with minor league racing which featured a lot of local talent. On the way back to the Interstate I remember stopping at the Frosty Boy for a bite to eat and a soft serve.

2020 Update

After being closed for ten year, Jackson held one final day of racing to say farewell. On July 8, 2018 twelve non betting races were held on that Sunday afternoon, in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 2,000 or so fans. Soon after that the track was slated for demolition, the good news, the grandstand was spared. So if you make it to Jackson there's more than a dirt lot to see.