Category: Entertainment

Thunder Rises Establishes New Dash Record at Hoosier Park

THUNDER RISES NEW TRACK RECORD 7-8 MILEFifth Track Record Lowered at Hoosier Park in 2013 

ANDERSON, Ind.—July 9, 2013— Thunder Rises, with Dan Shetler at the lines, shattered a 16-year-old record for the seventh-eighths mile dash on the pace when he powered home a winner in 1:39.2 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 9. As part of a four horse blanket finish, Thunder Rises got up in the final strides to notch his fourth win of the season for trainer, Andy Shetler. The previous record of 1:41.3 was established by Ima Noble Son and driver D.R. Ackerman for trainer Homer Hochstetler on July 23, 1997. The 1:39.2 victory marked the fifth track record that has been lowered over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval in 2013.


Leaving from post seven in the ten horse field, Thunder Rises was away a worrisome ninth while the rest of the field battled for early position. Fox Valley Griffin and Trace Tetrick defended their rail position and were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.2. Captain Mark and Brad Hanners benefitted from a pocket trip while the publics’ choice, JJ’s Gazette, was hard pressed to find a spot along the rail and was parked to the outside in third. Fox Valley Griffin continued to call the shots down the backside and reached the half mile mark in :55.0. JJ’s Gazette was the first to reach the leader’s wheel through a three-quarter clocking in 1:23.4 with King Me and Trent Stohler in tow. As Fox Valley Griffin tired on the front, the rest of the field closed in. After sitting eighth through much of the mile, Thunder Rises found another gear in the stretch to reel in the leaders and reach the wire first. Captain Mark found late racing room to get up for the second place finish while JJ’s Gazette held on gamely to finish third. Dismissed at 24-1, Thunder Rises returned $49.80 to his backers. The trifecta including Thunder Rises, Captain Mark, and JJ’s Gazette paid $795.25.


Sired by His Mattjesty, Thunder Rises sent his seasonal bankroll over $15,000 for his connections of Ervin Wickey and Dixie Shetler. The six-year-old gelding has now won 19 of 105 lifetime outings while bankrolling over $85,000 in purse earnings.


Tyler Smith enjoyed a noteworthy evening as he piloted five winners on the 13-race card. Smith scored wins in the early double with Desperado Alibi for trainer, Melissa Essig and then with Curmudgeon for trainer Steve Boroff. Smith followed suit in the third race with Dale Peterson’s Round About Fame and was home a winner again with Fox Valley Swift for trainer Nick Giberson in the seventh race. He ended the night with a win in the ninth race for trainer, Melissa Essig once again, only this time with her three-year-old pacing gelding, Ralph.


Live racing resumes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 10 with two divisions of $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies.  Live racing will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m.


Photo: Thunder Rises and Dan Shetler. Photo Courtesy of Linscott Photography.

Willie Nelson, The Beach Boys Highlight Hoosier Park Summer Concerts


Coors Light Concert Series Presents the ‘Summer’s Greatest Hits’ Lineup

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino announced Friday its official Summer’s Greatest Hits lineup, presented by Coors Light.  In its third year, Hoosier Park’s summer stage will welcome a series of four national headlining acts to the Hoosier Park outdoor music center. The three-month long summer series will run from Saturday, June 8 through Saturday, Aug. 31.
Known for such hits as “The Heart of Rock and Roll” and “I Want a New Drug”, Huey Lewis & the News will kick off the summer concert series on Saturday, June 8 with their “Sports” Anniversary Tour, named after their seven-time platinum 1983 album. Fellow 1980s rockers, The B-52s and The Go-Go’s, will bring their new-wave brand of rock to the stage on Saturday, June 29 playing their respective hits that include “Love Shack” and “We Got the Beat.”


On Friday, July 12 country music legend Willie Nelson will treat country music fans to the classics that built his storied career such as “On the Road Again” and “Always on My Mind.” Alongside his series of fan favorites, Willie Nelson and Family will play songs from their April 16 forthcoming album, “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” that is being described as a collection of American standards and country classics.

The smooth, surfer-inspired harmonies of The Beach Boys will once again grace the Hoosier Park summer stage on Saturday, Aug. 31, since last performing at the Anderson racetrack and casino in July 2009. The Beach Boys, recently coming off their 50th anniversary international tour, released a new studio album that represents a new harmonic blending from a super group with such hits as “Good Vibrations,” “Surfin’ U.S.A,” and “Kokomo.”

The Summer’s Greatest Hits concerts are scheduled to begin at approximately 8 p.m.  The complete list of shows is as follows:


  • Saturday, June 8, Huey Lewis & the News
  • Saturday, June 29, The B-52s and The Go-Go’s
  • Friday, July 12, Willie Nelson and Family
  • Saturday, Aug. 31, The Beach Boys


The Hoosier Park outdoor music center accommodates up to 4,500 reserved ticket seats. The music center features a wide variety of ticket options, including premium VIP seating and private party decks complete with personal beverage service.


Tickets will go on sale Saturday, April 6 at 10 a.m. Ticket prices range from $23 to $67. Special VIP seating is available for an additional charge.  Tickets for the Coors Light Summer Concert Series can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 800-745-3000 or by visiting  Concertgoers may also purchase directly from the box offices located in Shelby’s Gifts at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino or in Hoosier Park’s Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB located in downtown Indianapolis. Club Centaur members will receive a 20 percent discount on tickets purchased at both Hoosier Park box offices.


Loyal sponsors Coors Light, Modern Trailer Sales, Deem Mechanical & Electric Company, and Piazza Produce will once again additionally support the Summer’s Greatest Hits lineup.


About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the third year in a row by the Indianapolis Business Journal and holds multiple awards from industry publications for customer service, entertainment, gaming and dining. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a fully integrated gaming and racing facility, features 2,000 of the latest slots and electronic table games and a 7/8 mile oval horse track offering live harness racing each year.  Simulcast wagering is offered year-round at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and two off-track betting facilities located in Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Ind. For more information, please visit


About Centaur Gaming: Founded in 1993, Indianapolis-based Centaur Gaming’s mission is to bring the entertainment and economic benefits of casino gaming and horse racing to communities across Indiana. Centaur, a privately held company, employs more than 2,000 Indiana residents through the award-winning entertainment destinations of Indiana Grand Casino and Indiana Downs in Shelbyville, Ind. and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind. In addition to the two racetrack and casino properties, Centaur’s operations extend to nearly every corner of the state with Hoosier Park’s Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and Off-Track Betting facilities in Clarksville, Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Ind.

Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr. Captures Indiana Oaks and Derby Double

It was a good day in Indiana for jockey Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. as the multiple Graded Stakes winning jockey captured the Grade II $200,000 added Indiana Oaks and the Grade II $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Oct. 6. It was the third consecutive year a jockey has won both of Hoosier Park’s signature Thoroughbred events.

Grace Hall under Brian Hernandez, Jr. dazzled fans with an impressive five and three-quarter length win in the 17th running of the Indiana Oaks. The duo covered the one and one-sixteenth mile race in 1:41.85 over a track that was upgraded to good after a muddy start for the day.

Grace Hall wasted little time getting control of the petite field of five, breaking alertly to secure a stalking position on the outside of early pace-setters, Eden’s Moon and Rafael Bejarano. Wine Princess and Shaun Bridgmohan stalked the pace from the inside in third as they hit the first quarter mark in :23.67. Eden’s Moon continued to call the shots down the backside as the tightly packed field reached the second station in :47.31. Grace Hall was given the green light by Hernandez around the final turn as she ranged up to take the lead. The three-year-old Empire Maker filly put her raw talent on display as she began to open up on the field in the stretch. Grace Hall continued on to the wire to finish five and three-quarter lengths in front of Wine Princess. Eden’s Moon held on for the third place finish. As the heavy betting favorite, Grace Hall returned $3.80 for the victory.

“I was just the passenger today,” Hernandez, Jr. noted after the race. “This was all her. When I called on her down the stretch she went on pretty easily. I’m very thankful to have picked up this mount, she is just a really great filly and I think she showed that here today.”

Trained by Tony Dutrow, Grace Hall notched the third win of her 2012 campaign as she sent her seasonal bankroll over $600,000. Owned by Michael Dubb, Stuart Grant, and Bethlehem Stables, LLC, Grace Hall has now won six of her ten lifetime outings while bankrolling over $1.2 million in purse earnings for her connections. The multiple graded stakes winning filly was rebounding off a fifth place finish in the Grade I Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 18.

Hernandez Jr. followed suit in the very next race as he got Neck’N Neck home a winner in the 18th running of the Grade II $500,000 Indiana Derby for trainer Ian Wilkes.  Far back early, the three-year-old colt unleashed a powerful move around the final turn and continued on to win by three-quarters of a length with a final time of 1:42.71.

Unhurried out of the gate, Neck’N Neck got away a worrisome tenth in the eleven horse field. The heavy betting favorite, Fed Biz and Rafael Bejarano broke alertly from post four to get the first call. Junebugred also broke alertly under Terry Thompson to duel for the early advantage along the inside through a first quarter in :23.60. Tritap and Shaun Bridgmohan stalked the pace from three wide as Second City and Marlon St. Julien also ranged up to press the pace down the backside. Fed Biz and Junebugred continued to exchange for the lead through the second quarter in :48.32. The pace began to quicken as the tightly knit field negotiated the final turn while Neck ‘N Neck began to make his move, rallying five wide on the outside. Fed Biz continued to led as the field turned for home in the one and one-sixteenth mile contest.

With the Fed Biz tiring on the front, Neck’ N Neck accelerated coming off the final turn and pressed on to the wire to finish in front of late charging Bourbon Courage. Fed Biz held on gamely for the third place finish. Neck ‘N Neck returned $11.20 to his backers.

“I talked to Ian before the race and he said he wanted to see him off the pace,” winning rider Hernandez, Jr. noted. “I was a little worried because we were hung kind of wide, but turning for home I was pretty confident in my horse. Every time I asked him for more he went on, once he got the lead he waited for them a little bit but he took back off and felt really good at the wire.”

The Flower Alley colt was looking to bounce back and did after a sixth-place finish in the GI Travers Stake at Saratoga on Aug.25. Owned and bred by A. Steven Miles, Jr., Neck ‘N Neck notched his third win of the season in nine starts as he pushed his seasonal bankroll over $387,000. The homebred colt has now four of 13 lifetime starts and over $420,000 in purse earnings.

Meet Racing Rachel

Racing RachelFrom color commentator to purist handicapper and everything in between, Racing Rachel McLaughlin is a shining star amongst a new generation of horse racing enthusiasts. Here at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino we pride ourselves on going above and beyond the standard. Rachel is no exception. Horsemanship is steeped in tradition and race presentations have remained relatively unchanged throughout history. While many facets of the sport are here to stay, Hoosier Park aims to facilitate a new generation of horsemen. The focal point of our efforts lies with Rachel McLaughlin and her trackside reporting. Rachel is no stranger to the horseman culture. As an avid rider and horse owner herself, she has been involved with horsemanship for many years. Rachel began western style riding at an early age with her spotted saddle horse named Adidas. With her love of riding and knowledge of all things equine, she soon found her way to Hoosier Park in 2010 as a racing intern. 

As an intern Rachel excelled under the pressure of live reporting and her comfortability on camera ultimately landed her the position of lead commentator. Since her debut here at Hoosier Park, she has left no stone unturned in her endeavor to learn the sports betting side of both Standardbred and Thoroughbred horseracing. There are very few tracks across the nation that host both Thoroughbred and Standardbred competition. Each sport has an entirely different set of guidelines and knowledge of one does not equate to success in the other. McLaughlin makes the annual transition from Standardbred to Thoroughbred without missing a beat. With each passing year she has been able to build upon her solid foundation of racing knowledge and continues to grow to this day. Her unique ability to effectively cycle between the two forms of racing and her unmistakable presence on camera has brought her national attention as well. At only twenty four years of age, Racing Rachel is off to a notable start with features on both ESPN and HRTV. With a background in Sports Marketing and her unforgettable style, it seems Racing Rachel has only just begun. 

Rachel is currently hosting her fifth meet at Hoosier Park and her experience is evident as she transitions into an even broader role. Racing Rachel has developed into an excellent handicapper. In her first handicapping season she has already begun making a name for herself as her picks continue to hit the board. Coming off a successful Standardbred season, she has transitioned back to her roots with Thoroughbred. Her growing knowledge of the sport has landed her multiple roles as a handicapper, analyst, and commentator. Rachel also assists with marketing efforts  and holds the title of Marketing Coordinator. When she is not in front of the camera she spends her time planning promotions and giveaways to make our events enjoyable for guests of all experience levels. If you have been to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino you have undoubtedly taken part in one of her many daily activities and most likely went home with something to show for it. Rachel’s presence on camera is second to none and has an uncanny ability to make even the most mundane of tasks exciting and fun. Rachel’s role at Hoosier Park has increased the family fun aspect as well with daily games and giveaways that cater to individuals of all age groups. Racing Rachel’s personality exemplifies our mission here at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and we look forward to ushering in a new era of racing experience alongside her.

 If you are a fan of horseracing or would like to learn more about the woman behind the microphone, check out the Racing Rachel Facebook fan page or follow @HP_RacingRachel on Twitter. Also, be sure to stop in at 5:00 pm on weekdays to watch Rachel and Steve Cross kick off daily racing events with their live pre-race show in the Terrace.

Check Out What is Going on in September!

Indianapolis Colts Fan Appreciation Days

On July 29th, our Indy Boys in Blue descended on Anderson University’s campus. Along with the one hundred man roster, coaches, staff and trainers took up temporary residency here in Anderson. With the many companies in the area showing their support, there was a sense of excitement in the air as you drove down Scatterfield to the playing field.  This is the third year Hoosier Park has participated in the camp festivities and were  even selected as an Official Super Celebration Site for last year’s Big Game in February. Hoosier Park’s support of Indianapolis football is now in full swing. For this year’s camp, Hoosier Park welcomed Big Blue fans with “Fan Appreciation Days.” During camp, guests of the park enjoyed special deals on food and beverages ranging from yard long beers to half-priced buffets as well as a koozie giveaway. The camp celebration culminated with a premium season ticket giveaway on Friday, August 17th. Charles Agnew of Anderson took home the coveted prize.  At Hoosier Park, we are proud supporters of our Boys in Blue and wish them “Luck” this season.

Creedence Clearwater Revisited Rivals Revival

In recent history, there has been a trend of classic rock bands reuniting to bring the songs we all know and love back to the live stage. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is no stranger to these types of acts with bands such as Foreigner and Air Supply recently headlining our Summer Music Track Series. On August 31st, Creedence Clearwater Revisited will be here rocking the Summer Music Track II stage with a sound straight out of 1971. Though Creedence Clearwater Revisited does not have rights to the name “Revival,” they have literally revived a sound we all remember rocking out to. Many other bands have reunited with new members only to lose their unique sound in the process. Creedence Clearwater Revisited may have changed their logo, but the sound is as intact as it has ever been. The two original members, Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, are familiar with the standards they set long ago and deliver an authentic show. Concert guests can expect CCR Hall of Fame hits like “Proud Mary,” “Suzie Q” and “Born on a Bayou” to name a few. Creedence Clearwater Revisited is sure to be an unforgettable show that you won’t want to miss. Join us for a trip down memory lane as we celebrate the “Revival” of a timeless band.  Tickets are on sale now at or the Hoosier Park Box Office inside Shelby’s Gifts in the Terrace.

Angel Band Shines in Indiana Gold Sire Stakes

Angel Band captures her first Indiana Gold Sire Stakes win.

Angel Band and driver Ed Hensley planned a well timed rally to sweep by the heavy betting favorite, Sweetasmusic, late in the lane to capture the fourth leg of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday (July 5). The win notched the first Gold sire stakes victory for Angel Band and the second win of her sophomore season.

Pete Wrenn and Blueridge Abigail were the first to get a call as they led the field of nine through the opening split of :27.1 with She’s Country and Charlie Conrad at their back in second. Sweetasmusic found herself sixth along the rail after starting from the trailing post ten. Angel Band and Hensley remained off the pace for the first half fractions which saw much movement. Sweetasmusic was sent to the front down the backside by driver Walter Haynes Jr. and struck command before the three-quarter time in 1:28. Ricky Macomber Jr. and Honeyinthepine were left in outer flow first up heading into the final turn when Sweetasmusic began to show her speed. Angel Band and Hensley were well placed second over.

Sweetasmusic sprinted away to a three-length lead early in the stretch before being tracked down in the shadow of the wire by a fast closing Angel Band. Stopping the clock in 1:57.1, it was a new lifetime mark for Angel Band. JS Foxy Lady also rallied late in the race to round out the well paying trifecta. The 18-1 upset paid $39.40.

“This is a nice filly,” Hensley noted of his mount. “She raced well last week and is just now coming into herself. The race ended up working out well for us, she dug in at the wire and raced really tough tonight.”

Trained by Ron Otto, Angel Band notched her third career victory and pushed her lifetime earnings over the $30,000 mark with the win. Owned by Martin Schmucker, Angel Band is from the first crop of Gregory Pecs and is out of the Corleone mare, Anightwithnorma.

Angel Band will advance to the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday, July 14. The race will be part of Hoosier Champions Night, featuring more than $1 million in purses for the Indiana Sire Stakes. Friday, July 13 will also be part of the national harness racing promotion, “Back to the Track” night. The Indiana Standardbred Association will offer several addition promotions and giveaways throughout the weekend to mark the final night of harness racing for 2012.

Dontfusswithruss Wins Fourth ISS Leg; Tetrick Wins Eight

Dontfusswithruss was one of eight wins on the night for Tetrick

Dontfusswithruss and driver Trace Tetrick rolled home as winners in the fourth and final leg of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes Tuesday, July 3. The three-year-old reigning freshman trotting champ turned in a powerful performance to score his second consecutive win and third Indiana Sire Stakes win.

Selected as the heavy favorite, Dontfusswithruss began his journey from the inside post and moved out quickly, landing in line fifth along the rail behind early leader A Royal Peck and Ricky Macomber Jr. However, their lead was short lived as Mark O’Mara and Jolenes Pinehonker had their sights set on the front. After a costly break by Jolenes Pinehonker, Velten San Siro and Ross Leonard inherited the lead just past the half mile marker in :58.0. Tetrick had Dontfusswithruss out and moving toward the leaders as the field headed into the final turn and the duo reached the front just past the three-quarters in 1:27.4. Dontfusswithruss stopped the clock in 1:56.4 and was able to hold off a hard charging My Muscleman and Jason Dillander who rallied hard in the final strides after being off the pace for much of the race. A Royal Peck got up for the third place finish. Dontfusswithruss returned $3.40 to win.

After a sensational two-year-old campaign, the Melissa Essig trained gelding celebrated his third seasonal victory in five outings. Owned and bred by Jacalyn Beeman, Dontfusswithruss now has career earnings in excess of $250,000 after winning six of 13 starts last year, including the Indiana Sire Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting colts.

Dontfusswithruss will advance to the $200,000 final Saturday, July 14. The race will be part of Hoosier Champions Night, featuring more than $1 million in purses for the Indiana Sire Stakes. Friday, July 13 will also be part of the national harness racing promotion, “Back to the Track” night. The Indiana Standardbred Association will offer several addition promotions and giveaways throughout the weekend to mark the final night of harness racing for 2012.

The win with Dontfusswithruss was one of eight wins on the 14-race card for Tetrick, who tied the record for most wins in one night at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a record held by Don Irvine Jr. and Eric Ledford. Tetrick was victorious in the last five races on the card. He also steered Cam’s Flight and Can’t Beat This Kid for trainer Robert Taylor, and Elian’s Boy for Jim Dailey earlier on the card. Tetrick reached the winner’s circle in the night cap with the 3-year-old filly CC’s Munchkin in 1:56.3, a filly that is not only trained by Tetrick but also owned by his older brother, Tim Tetrick.

The 25-year-old reignsman is quickly approaching another milestone; Trace Tetrick is only 16 wins away from his 2000th career win. Tetrick had his best year to date in 2011 when he recorded over $4 million in purse earnings and 391 wins, almost doubling his stats in years past. Tetrick also currently leads all Hoosier Park drivers with 117 trips to the winner’s circle and over $950,000 in purse earnings.

Track Gearing Up For 2012 Standardbred Season

Final preparations are underway for the 19th season of Standardbred racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The 80-day meet begins Tuesday, March 27, offering five days of racing per week through Saturday, July 14. Post time Tuesday through Saturday is set at 5:30 p.m. EST.

 Hoosier Park will allow horsemen to ship in to use the racetrack beginning Monday, March 5. The track and paddock area will be open from 8 am until noon for ship-in training through Saturday, March 10. Track usage by horsemen during this time will be allowed weather permitting.

 Stalls have been allotted for the upcoming season by Hoosier Park Race Secretary Kevin Mack. Horsemen who have been granted stalls for the meet may begin moving in equipment and setting up stalls Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11. Horses may begin moving into the barn area beginning Monday, March 12. Dormitories will be available for occupancy at that time.

 A total of four qualifying days will be offered prior to opening night Tuesday, March 27. Qualifiers will be held each Wednesday and Saturday at 10 am. The first qualifier is set for Wednesday, March 14. A special evening qualifier is slated for Wednesday, March 21 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

 Entries for opening night will be taken in the racing office Thursday, March 22. The box will close for entries each race day at 1 p.m.

 The $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational will be the featured event Saturday, June 2. Also, the meet will conclude with Hoosier Champions, offering more than $1 million in purse money and featuring finals of the Indiana Sires Stakes. The evening will also be part of the national Back To The Track promotion organized by the U.S. Trotting Association.

 For more information on the upcoming Standardbred meet at Hoosier Park, go to



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