Category: Hoosier Park

Hoosier Park Celebrates Twenty Years of Racing

Twenty years of racing history will come alive on Friday, August 29 when the doors open at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in honor of the tracks’ 20th anniversary of live racing. Hoosier Park hosted the first live racing meet on September 1, 1994 and will invite guests to enjoy all that Hoosier Park has to offer with four big days of fan appreciation – free offers, exciting giveaways, great discounts, and much more in a weekend-long celebration.

“Not only is it our 20th anniversary of live racing but it is also our 20th anniversary of being involved in the Madison County community,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “The fans are a major part of our success here at Hoosier Park and what better way to celebrate than with numerous festivities dedicated to them. We hope everyone will come out and enjoy our four days of celebration.”

The fan appreciation festivities will kick-off on Friday, August 29 with a free Hoosier Park beach towel give-away starting at noon for the first 500 guests. Racing fans will also receive a free mystery voucher with the purchase of a live Hoosier Park racing program that could be worth up to $250. Fan-tastic Fridays will continue and feature $1 dogs, $1 programs, $1 drafts & $1 bets through the end of live racing. With a post time of 5:15 p.m., Friday’s 14-race card will feature Indiana Sires Stakes action for three-year-old pacing fillies and two-year-old trotting fillies. The night will end with a free performance by First Impression Band in the Terrace Showroom starting at 10 p.m.

On Saturday, August 30, racing fans can pick-up a free Superfecta wager for the live Hoosier Park racing card from 2 to 6 p.m. at Trackside Club Centaur. Hoosier Park’s ‘Family Fun Days’ return this Saturday and will continue each weekend throughout the entirety of the harness racing meet. Activities will include a bounce house, face painting, jugglers, live entertainment, games and winner’s circle giveaways.

With a special racing post time of 4 p.m. on Saturday, Hoosier Park will host a 14-race card highlighted by two divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes action for three-year-old pacing colts. At the conclusion of live racing, the four-time Grammy-winning Doobie Brothers will take center stage at approximately 8:30 p.m. as part of Hoosier Park’s 2014 Summer Concert Series.

Sunday, August 31 will include $5 burger and fries at the Big Deli from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the first 1,000 guests that visit Club Centaur in the casino, starting at noon, will receive a free Hoosier Park hat, while supplies last.

Monday, September 1 will offer a $5.95 buffet from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the “Labor Day Play Day” promotion. With a winner every 15 minutes, Club Centaur members playing with their club card will have a chance to win $100 that will be sent directly to their Club Centaur account from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the casino, guests can enjoy free popcorn and $1 Dogs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be live entertainment in the casino.

Offering an extended stakes schedule for the 2014 harness racing season, live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the 160-day meet will be conducted through November 15.

Don’t Spank Me Repeats in Fillies and Mares Feature

DONT SPANK ME INVITE 8-22Don’t Spank Me, driven by Andy Shetler, utilized her customary late charge to prevail in the featured event of the evening, a $22,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 22. The 1:51.2 victory was a new lifetime best and the third win at this level in the last four outings for Don’t Spank Me.

Leaving from post seven in the talented field of nine, Don’t Spank Me was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in eighth while a host of others left alertly. Latenite Rendevous and Ross Leonard were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :26.3 while Nutmegs Yankee and Terry Cullipher were well placed in the pocket second.

Peter Wrenn had Miss Millie out and firing early down the backside and the duo found the front through the second panel in :55.2. Miss Millie continued to call the shots around the third station in 1:23.3 but Blissful Romance and Ricky Macomber Jr. were applying pressure to their outside with the rest of the field also closing in.

As the field turned for home, Don’t Spank Me was perfectly placed second over and had her sights set on the leader. Just as Miss Millie began to tire on the front, Don’t Spank Me found another gear and exploded past her rivals halfway down the stretch.

Using a :27.1 final panel, Don’t Spank Me finished four lengths in front of American Girl and Sam Widger who closed gamely to finish second. Latenite Rendezvous also rallied late in the lane to round out the trifecta. As the 8-5 favorite, Don’t Spank Me returned $5.20 to her backers at the window.

“She’s a fun mare to drive,” Shetler noted in the winner’s circle. “She’s the type of mare that if you put her in position to win, she will do the rest. She raced big again tonight.”

Trained, owned and bred by Wayne Carter, Don’t Spank Me notched fifth first win of the season from 15 starts. The four-year-old daughter of Capital Request-Catalog has now won 13 of 36 lifetime outings while amassing $170,337.

Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, August 23 with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. The 14-race card will be highlighted by the $22,000 Invitational pace. With an extended stakes scheduled offered for the 2014 live racing season, the live racing season will be conducted through November 15, 2014.

Spots Solidified in East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge

John Campbell

John Campbell

Ten of the best drivers in the sport of harness racing will take to the track at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for the inaugural $20,000 East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge on Friday, August 8. The first of its kind at Hoosier Park, the challenge will pit the top-five drivers, based upon wins, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize.
Harness racings’ all time leading money winning driver and Hall of Famer, John Campbell returns to Indiana and will headline “Team East”. Campbell far exceeds any driver when it comes to purse earnings with over $287 million in the bike and victories in nearly every major stake to date. He is a member of both the Canadian and United States Hall of Fame and is one of only 10 drivers in North America with more than 10,000 career wins.
Campbell will be joined by the nation’s current leading dash-winning driver, Aaron Merriman who leads North America in wins with 464 victories to date. Also included on the stellar cast of entrants for “Team East” are Ron Pierce, Corey Callahan, and Tyler Buter.

Hoosier Park’s leading driver Trace Tetrick will lead “Team Midwest” after he secured his number one position with 170 victories. “Team Midwest” will also include Tyler Smith, Sam Widger, Peter Wrenn and Ricky Macomber Jr.

“This is going to be a lot of fun,” driver Peter Wrenn said of the challenge. “They are going to be tough to beat that is for sure, but it’s going to be a great night of racing the entire night. I know we are all looking forward to it.”

Each team will have five participants in three consecutive races of the challenge and will be awarded points based upon their placings. At the conclusion of the final race of the challenge, race nine, the points will be tallied and one team will be crowned the winner.

The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will compliment one of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational slated as the twelfth race of the evening with a post time of 9:30 p.m.

Racing fans will also have the opportunity to participate in a special wager offered for the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge with a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 Pool. The wager will offer a minimum bet of 50 cents, and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, and the Indiana Standardbred Association.

All of the drivers competing in the East Meets Midwest challenge will kick-off the evening with an autograph session near Hoosier Park’s winner circle beginning at 4 p.m.

In what is being called the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”, Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, a fireworks display, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park’s summer concert series line-up.

Field Established for 2014 Dan Patch Invitational

danpatchA field of nine will be sent post-ward in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 8. In what may be the most accomplished field ever assembled, the 21st installment of Hoosier Park’s signature event will highlight the 14-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m.

The race will be part of a special weekend tagged as “Dan Patch Festival Weekend” and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The evening will also be complimented by Indiana Sires Stakes finals, sending the purse money to be distributed throughout the evening over the $500,000 mark.

The 2014 Dan Patch field boasts combined career purse earnings over $10 million and includes four millionaires, three previous Dan Patch winning drivers, two Hall of Fame drivers, and one Hall of Fame trainer. Bettor’s Edge, Heston Blue Chip, Sweet Lou, and Thinking Out Loud will make their way to Indiana boasting career earnings over the $1 million mark. Ricky Macomber Jr., who visited the Dan Patch winner’s circle in 2000 and 2002, will drive Bettor’s Edge from post seven while Peter Wrenn, who won the 2012 installment of the Dan Patch, will start from post three behind Night Pro.

Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce, who was victorious in the 2005 Dan Patch Invitational with Maltese Artist, has been enlisted to drive the 4-5 morning line favorite, Sweet Lou from post five for North America’s leading money-winning trainer, Ron Burke. With over $2.9 million in career earnings, the five-year-old horse is the richest horse in the field and is currently riding an eight race win streak, most recently victorious in 1:47.2 in the US Pacing Championship at the Meadowlands.

Harness racings’ all time leading money winning driver and Hall of Famer, John Campbell, will make his way to Hoosier Park to compete in his second Dan Patch Invitational and has been enlisted to drive Thinking Out Loud for Hall of Fame trainer, Robert McIntosh from post two. Throughout his career, Thinking Out Loud has amassed more than $1.5 million with a record of 44-14-7-10.

Also joining the stellar cast of entrants as a main contender for the 2014 Dan Patch title is State Treasurer, with Jody Jamieson at the lines from post eight. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee has been tabbed as the 4-1 morning line second choice. A winner of over $750,000 lifetime, the five-year-old horse recently set a 1:48.1 Canadian seasons record at Mohawk and is the 2014 Molson Pace Champion.

Night Pro will play the role of local favorite from three for trainer Dale Decker. Night Pro, a former Indiana Sires Stakes champion, enters Saturday’s race after posting seven consecutive wins in the Invitational pace at Hoosier Park. The four-year-old gelding has won 22 of 30 career starts and has amassed over $350,000 in career earnings.

The 2014 Dan Patch field, in post-position order with named driver and trainer includes:
1. Dancin Yankee Tr: Amber Buter Dr: Tyler Buter 8-1
2. Thinking Out Loud Tr: Robert McIntosh Dr: John Campbell 6-1
3. Night Pro Tr: Dale Decker Dr: Peter Wrenn 20-1
4. Carol’s Comet Tr: Ron Potter Dr: Aaron Merriman 15-1
5. Sweet Lou Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Ron Pierce 4-5
6. Heston Blue Chip Tr: Linda Toscano Dr: Corey Callahan 15-1
7. Bettor’s Edge Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Ricky Macomber Jr. 10-1
8. State Treasurer Tr: Ian Moore Dr: Jody Jamieson 4-1
9. Our Lucky Chip Tr: Jason Miller Dr: Trace Tetrick 30-1

Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagers offered for the Dan Patch Invitational card. A $25,000 Guaranteed Dan Patch Superfecta pool will be available as part of the Strategic Wagering Program. The wager will have a minimum bet of 10 cents and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association. Slated as the twelfth race on the card, estimated post time for Hoosier Park’s signature event is 9:30 p.m.

A $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 will also be made available to racing fans in races seven through nine as part of the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge. The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East driving for “Team East”.

In what is being called the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”, Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park’s summer concert series line-up.

Hoosier Park Hosts East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge

The best in the sport of harness racing will once again take to the racetrack at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 8. However, for the first time, not only will some of the best horses in the country go to post in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational but the best drivers will be in the spotlight in the inaugural $20,000 East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge.

The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East driving for “Team East”.

Each team will have five participants in three consecutive races of the challenge and will be awarded points based upon their placings. At the conclusion of the third race of the challenge, the points will be tallied and one team will be crowned the winner.

Scott Peine, Hoosier Park’s racing secretary, has inherited the responsibility of recruiting the best drivers to compete in the inaugural edition of the event.
The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will compliment one of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational.

All of the drivers competing in the East Meets Midwest challenge will kick off the evening with an autograph session near Hoosier Park’s winner circle beginning at 4 p.m. Hoosier Park will provide fans with a commemorative poster featuring the drivers of the challenge while supplies last.

Racing fans will also have the opportunity to participate in a special wager offered for the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge with a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 Pool. The wager will offer a minimum bet of 50 cents, and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, and the Indiana Standardbred Association

In what is being called the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”, Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park’s summer concert series line-up.

About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the fourth 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 www.hoosierpark.com.

Hoosier Park and HRTV Partner for Dan Patch

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is proud to announce a renewed partnership with HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, to provide exclusive coverage for the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 8.

Now in its’ 21st edition, the Dan Patch Invitational pace sets the stage for the top rated pacers in North America to convene on Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval seeking a lucrative $250,000 purse and a spot in Hoosier Park’s history.

HRTV will be on property throughout the weekend to provide racing fans with exclusive coverage of all the festivities happening on and off the race track. Racing fans can also catch exclusive interviews on the HRTV programming from drivers and trainers racing at Hoosier Park.

HRTV’s national on-air host, Peter Lurie, will return to Hoosier Park for the fifth consecutive year to cover another Hoosier Park signature event. For the last four years Lurie has not only covered the Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park but also the Indiana Derby at Indiana Downs. Lurie will provide commentary and handicapping throughout the Friday program alongside Hoosier Park’s Racing Commentator, Emily Gaskin.

Hoosier Park’s signature harness racing event has become a tradition that is close to the hearts of Hoosiers. The Dan Patch, an invitational race, not only highlights some of the best athletes in the sport of harness racing, but is deeply rooted throughout Indiana soil.

Hoosier Park’s headline event is part of a special weekend tagged “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”. The entire weekend will be filled with extreme racing, extreme entertainment, extreme wagers, giveaways and fun throughout the Hoosier Park property.

The ‘extreme’ theme will take center stage on the track as ten of North America’s fastest Standardbreds go to post for the Dan Patch Invitational, slated as the twelfth race on the program with an estimated post time of 9:30 p.m.

In what may be the most competitive field ever assembled, the 21st installment of Hoosier Park’s featured event will highlight the 14-race program that will boast lofty purses. The 2014 installment has no shortage of talent as racing fans can expect to see not only the sport’s top rated older pacers but the best drivers in the sport of harness racing.

The weekend will also be complimented by The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge which will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East making up “Team East”.

Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagers offered exclusively for the Dan Patch Festival weekend. A $25,000 Guaranteed Dan Patch Superfecta pool will be available as part of a special Strategic Wagering Program introduced through the United States Trotting Association. The wager will have a minimum bet of 10 cents, and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association.

A $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 pool will also be available to racing fans for the three races of the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge. The Pick-3, which offers a 50-cent minimum wager, will begin in the seventh race and will continue through the ninth race. Post time for the first race on the 14 race card is 5:15 p.m.

About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the fourth 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 www.hoosierpark.com.

Hoosier Park Unveils New Horsemen’s Lounge

GRAND OPENNING HOPRSEMAN LOUNGE 7-29In the midst of their 21st season of live harness racing, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino proudly unveiled a new, state-of-the art horsemen’s lounge on Tuesday, July 29.

The 3,600-square-foot facility is located on Hoosier Park’s backside, directly across from the race paddock, and will serve many different purposes for horsemen racing at Hoosier Park. Development of the new facility began in the spring of 2014 and was completed just in time for Hoosier Park’s signature event, the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational, on Friday, August 8.

Half of the facility has been made accessible to any licensed Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) member and will provide numerous amenities including computer work stations, restrooms, flat screen televisions, a lounge area, and wi-fi access. The one-story structure also houses two offices for the Indiana Standardbred Association representatives.

The remaining half of the facility will serve as a locker room and lounge for the full-time drivers at Hoosier Park. Featuring both a men and women’s locker room, this section of the facility features individual lockers, showers, washing machines and a lounge area equipped with flat screen televisions.

“It’s second to none,” driver Trent Stohler noted after a tour of the building. “I don’t think we could have designed it better ourselves and I think I speak for everyone on the backside when I say we really appreciate what Hoosier Park has done with this.”

The doors of the building were officially opened at a lunch ceremony on Hoosier Park’s backside attended by both Hoosier Park team members and horsemen. Rick Moore, Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, led the ceremony and welcomed guests to tour the new facility.

“The opening of this facility not only signifies our commitment to all the people that make Hoosier Park a great place to race but Hoosier Park’s commitment to racing in the state of Indiana,” Moore noted. “This lounge is a place for everyone racing at Hoosier Park to call their own and a place we are proud of. I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this facility possible.”

The horsemen’s lounge will be maintained by Hoosier Park employees and available to horsemen during the live racing schedule.

Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the 160-day meet will offer an extended stakes schedule be conducted through November 15.

About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the fourth 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 www.hoosierpark.com.

Special JJ Remains Flawless in Indiana Stakes Action

SPECIAL JJ Special JJ kept her flawless freshman record intact using a perfectly timed rally late in the stretch to score in the featured attraction, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 23. With a final time of 1:57, it was a lifetime best performance and third victory of the season for Special JJ.

Leaving from post two in the field of ten, Special JJ and driver Trent Stohler were away a worrisome seventh while the heavily favored Crunchess Finale and Darrell Wright made their customary move to the front. Crunchess Finale made an uncharacteristic break through the opening panel in :27.2 leaving Diamond Dagger and Thomas Russell to inherit the lead. Peter Wrenn sent Sloane Elise to the front through the half-mile time in :58.2 but would quickly yield the top spot to Churita and Trace Tetrick.

Churita continued to call the shots as the field approached the final turn but was feeling pressure from Golden Big Stick and Brad Hanners on the outside. As the field hit the third station in 1:28.1, the top pair was stride for stride turning for home.

Churita was able to put away Golden Big Stick halfway down the stretch but her biggest threat was still behind her. Just as Stohler found late racing room, Special JJ found another gear. Using a :28 final panel, Special JJ powered home to get the win by a head. Churita made a costly break just before the wire and was placed third leaving Golden Big Stick to inherit the second place honors. Slightly dismissed by the betting public at 5-1, Special JJ returned $13.60 at the betting window.

“She’s done everything we’ve asked of her so far,” Stohler noted after the victory. “We’ve taken our time getting her ready. She’s still learning and figuring things out but does know how to win.”

Trained by Trent Stohler, who also co-owns the filly with The Kales Company, Special JJ now sports a lifetime bankroll of $52,100 for her connections. The daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Rhonda T was also victorious in the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes elimination just last week at Hoosier Park.

With the win, Special JJ also earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for October 18 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate with the top ten point earners from the previous $75,000 finals in each division returning to compete in the super finals.

Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 24 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the two-year-old pacing colt division. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule.

Miller Marvels in Hoosier Park’s Champion Driver Series

Stylish Rocket and Lewayne Miller coming home for a win!

Stylish Rocket and Lewayne Miller coming home for a win!

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s 2014 Champion Driver Series highlighted the 14-race card on Saturday, July 19 and it was LeWayne Miller who was crowned the winner to take home his share of the $5,000 prize. In its’ inaugural edition, the 2014 Champion Driver Series pitted the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge with the ten coveted spots being based upon wins at Hoosier Park.

As the youngest driver in the group of ten, Miller was able to overcome his sixth place rankings in the standings to accumulate the most points in the five races of the challenge and secure the win. In just his second full season a driver, Miller has recorded 238 career victories and proved a force to be reckoned with in the bike.

The 27-year-old, Indiana native earned two wins, one third, one fourth, and one ninth place finish during the five-race competition for a total of 47 points, beating out nine other Hoosier Park driving stars. Sam Widger finished second with 38 points followed by Andy Shetler finishing third with 37.5 points.
Miller kicked off the challenge with a fourth place finish with Rocknroll Special from post eight earning seven points while Brad Hanners and Lady’s Man notched a victory for 15 points. 

In the very next race of the challenge, Miller was able to utilize the long Hoosier Park stretch to get Pam Mater Mark home a winner at 12-1 in a lifetime best performance of 1:55.2. Hanners had Velocity Chip Shot well placed to finish second and earned 9 points. After the second race of the challenge, Hanners continued to lead all drivers with 24 points but Miller was closing in with 22 points.

With a third place finish behind Lyons Frank in the third leg of the challenge, Miller accumulated 8 more points and moved into the lead. Although he failed to hit the board in the fourth leg with Flight Request, Miller earned two points for his ninth place finish and was still atop the leader board, by a narrow margin, with 32 points.  Ross Leonard moved into second place with 31 points after a win with Henry Blue Chip.

Miller clinched the trophy by turning a pocket trip into a victory in the final race of the challenge with Mike Wilson’s Stylish Rocket in 1:52.2. It was the fourth win of the season and a lifetime best performance for Stylish Rocket.

“I had some nice horses and I got really lucky,” Miller noted after the victory. “I felt confident about my picks coming into tonight but wasn’t sure what to expect. I picked 6th in the draft and I was happy with that because I felt like I had a decent shot of getting some live horses rather than picking last in some of the races.”

“The trips worked out and the horses showed up,” he continued. “I’d like to thank the trainers and Hoosier Park for this opportunity, it feels great.”

Miller will now aim to defend his title in the second series of the challenge slated for September 27 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. While the second challenge will be conducted in the same manner as the first challenge, the winner of the final challenge will be awarded a one-year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

“I think I would look pretty good driving that car,” Miller noted with a smile. “Hopefully, things go my way and I have another night like I did tonight.”

Spots Solidified in Hoosier Park’s 2014 Champion Driver Series

Malosi N and Ed Hensley

Malosi N and Ed Hensley

The drivers for the 2014 Champion Driver Series at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino have been solidified with Ed Hensley securing the last spot in the competition after a victory on the 14-race card on Saturday, July 12. The first of two rounds in the 2014 Champion Driver Series will kick off on Saturday, July 19th and will pit the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge for their share of a $5,000 prize.
Qualifying for the 2014 Champion Driver Series began on Friday, March 28 and ended at the conclusion of the live racing card on Saturday. Heading into the weekend, just one win separated Ed Hensley and Mike Micallef for the tenth spot in the win standings. Scoring a victory on Saturday’s card and pushing his meet total to 28, Hensley managed to secure a spot in the top ten standings even after being sidelined for nearly two months due to an injury.
“I’m excited,” Hensley noted at the conclusion of the evening’s card. “I didn’t know if I would be able to get back into it after being out for so long. This is a really great thing Hoosier Park is doing for the drivers and for the fans and I am glad I get to be a part of it, hopefully I can win it too.”
Hensley will join meet leader Trace Tetrick who has secured his number one position with 147 victories. The other drivers, listed by position in the standings, are as follows: Tyler Smith (118 wins), Peter Wrenn (94), Sam Widger (91), Ricky Macomber Jr. (64), Andy Shetler (59), Brad Hanners (59), LeWayne Miller (58), and Ross Leonard (32).
In each of the challenges, the drivers will be picking the horses they will drive via a draft system for all five of the races in the challenge. In the first race of the challenge, the top driver, Trace Tetrick, will get first pick of the horse he wants to drive. Next the No. 2 driver, Tyler Smith, will pick and then continue through all 10 drivers.
For the second race of the challenge, the selection order will be inverted and the No. 10 driver, Ed Hensley, will pick first. This drafting system will continue through all five races of the challenge. Points will be awarded in each of the five races ranging from 15 points for the winners down to 1 point for the 10th-place finisher.
The challenge races will be five consecutive races and compliment the 14-race card slated for Saturday, July 19. After the dust settles and the points have been tallied from each of the five races, one driver will be walking away with his share of $5,000 and a secured spot in the second round of the series.
The top eight finishers from the first challenge will return for round two on Saturday, September 27 with the final two positions being determined by the official Hoosier Park standings at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, September 20.While the second challenge will be conducted in the same manner as the first challenge, the winner of the final challenge will be awarded a one-year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

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