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Meadows Racing president dies

| Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, 10:15 a.m.

Even as he was looking out for the business interests of the Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Mike Jennot never forgot about the people that worked there, track announcer Roger Huston said Saturday.

“He was alaways fair in business negotiations,” Huston, announcer for 38 years, said of the president of Meadows Racing. “When he dealt with the horsemen, he always realized they had families too.”

Mike Jeannot, 61, of Moon, died Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, after suffering from liver cancer. He was 61.

Jeannot had served as Meadows Racing president since 2009, and served the track in a variety of positions since 1991. He had been the director of OTB operations, vice president of operations and vice president of government relations.

The company said he was influential in the passage of the state's 2004 gaming act, which allowed alternative gaming in the state and revitalized the horse racing industry.

Jeannot also expanded phone-account wagering and simulcast operations and introduced technology including interactive account wagering techniques, the company said.

“The entire Meadows family is saddened by the passing of Mike,” Bill Paulos, principal of Cannery Casino Resorts, which owns and operates The Meadows, said in a statement. “His enthusiasm for his work, combined with his genuine and warm personality, made him a special member of our team. Mike's presence will be sorely missed.”

Huston said that when he and Mr. Jeannot were talking one time, Mr. Jeannot learned that Huston's daughter was a Green Bay Packers fan. Mr. Jeannot called friends up in that area and had them send him a cheesehead hat to give to Huston's daughter.

“He knew everybody's family. I think it make a better way to deal with people. I think that camaraderie with the people you're dealing with really makes a big difference,” Huston said.

The Meadows began its racing card Friday with a moment of silence in his honor, with a full tribute planned for next week.

“As Mike would want it, the show goes on,” Huston said.

Mr. Jeannot is survived by his wife, Jo, and sons Christopher of Manchester, N.H., and Benjamin. Funeral arrangements were pending Saturday.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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