Category: Horse Racing
Thunder Steeler Wins $24,000 Invitational Pace
Thunder Steeler made his presence felt in the late stages of the $24,000 Invitational pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as he rallied sharply to take home top honors in the featured event on Saturday (Apr 27). Shipping in from Balmoral Park, the four-year-old gelding’s 1:50.1 victory marks the fastest mile over Hoosier Park’s oval thus far into the 2013 meet.
As the gate closed, Ricky Macomber Jr. and I Trust You attempted to get a quick jump on their rivals as they left alertly from post six, however, Paco Labrook and Brad Hanners had the same idea from post nine. The front end was the coveted spot as the early fractions of :27.0 and :55.1 saw much movement. Unable to find position along the rail, Thunder Steeler and Dillander pressed on to the front and reached the top spot as the tightly knit field of ten continued down the backside. Thunder Steeler sprinted to a 1:22.1 third quarter spilt and waited for the cavalry charge from behind as they turned for home. Uncle Smoothie and Sam Widger were in the outer flow with Sammy’s Cool Win and Trace Tetrick in tow. Dillander asked Thunder Steeler for more and he responded with a :28.0 final panel to hold off a hard charging Paco Labrook. Sammy’ s Cool Win rallied from off the pace to get up for the third place finish. As the publics’ choice, I Trust You overcame traffic trouble to finish fourth. Thunder Steeler returned $6.60 to his backers for the victory.
Sired by Lis Mara, Thunder Steeler has now won six of ten seasonal starts with over $40,000 on his card in 2013. Owned by Uncirculated Stable and Frank Smyth, the four-year-old gelding is trained by Donna Lee Ozment. Bred by Concord Stud Farm, Thunder Steeler has now won nine of 30 lifetime starts while amassing over $120,000 lifetime.
On the trotting side of things, Abc Mercedes continued his winning ways in the $24,000 Invitational trot with a sharp, front running effort for driver, trainer Trace Tetrick.
Abc Mercedes notched his third consecutive victory for the season as he pushed his seasonal earnings over $30,000. The eight-year-old gelding has amassed over $1 million in earnings for owner Larry Miller of Springport, IN. Sired by Abc Garland, Abc Mercedes has won a remarkable 59 times in 106 lifetime outings. With over $1 million in purse earnings, the Indiana standout finds himself in elite company as he ranks as the richest trotter in Indiana history.
The season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues to trend in a positive direction with all-sources handle showing a 17% increase for the first 20 days of the meet. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. With a daily post time of 5:30 p.m., the 160-day, all harness racing meet will be conducted through November 9.
Mystic Karissa made amends for her first loss of the season last week as she captured the fastest division of the Bill Thompson series, a late closing event open to Indiana sired, three-year-old and older fillies and mares that are non-winners of $30,000 lifetime, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, April 25. The three-year-old filly notched her fifth win in six lifetime performances in career best fashion, scoring in 1:53.3.
With Ricky Macomber Jr. at the lines once again, the heavily favored duo showed no hesitation as they left the gate alertly from post five to reach the front through an opening panel of :27.3. Fritzie Chic and Trace Tetrick benefitted from a pocket trip as the public’s second choice while Thunder Flight and Tyler Smith were well placed along the rail in third. The field remained in single file order down the backside through a leisurely second panel in :57.2. Always As Fast was the first to commit to the outer flow as driver Jason Dillander had her out and firing approaching the final turn. Mystic Karissa remained untouched through the three-quarter clocking in 1:26.1 and when Macomber asked for more, she responded with a :27.2 final clip to reach the wire four lengths in front. Fritzie Chic paced evenly to finish second while Thunder Flight took home third place honors. At even money odds, Mystic Karissa returned $4.00 for the victory.
Unraced at two, Mystic Karissa has now earned over $15,000 in career earnings for her connections of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and L. Karr. Sired by Always A Virgin, the brown filly is conditioned by Hoosier Park’s 2012 leading trainer, Ron Burke.
In the opening leg of the late closing action on the evening’s fourteen race card, Virgin Girl and driver Ross Leonard were able to edge out their rivals late in the lane to reach the winner’s circle in 1:56.2. It was the first win of the season for Virgin Girl as she equaled her lifetime mark set at two.
Leaving from post seven in the nine horse field, Leonard sent the filly from the gate quickly but would have to work for the top spot as Charlie Conrad also sent Two Green Peppers to the front. Two Green Peppers reached the first quarter mark in :27.1 but yielded the lead and opted for a pocket trip. Virgin Girl reached the front at the half mile mark in :58.3 but was quickly challenged on the outside by Always Handi and Don Eash. With a three-quarter clocking in 1:27.1, the top duo continued to battle it out as the field turned for home. It was Virgin Girl who was able to find a :29.0 final quarter to best her rivals by three-parts of a length. Always Handi held on gamely to finish second while Jd’s Infinite Lady and Ed Hensley rounded out the trifecta.
Trained by Katie Dircksen, Virgin Girl has now won two of 13 career starts as she sent her lifetime bankroll over $20,000 for owners Scott and Kimberly Rudnick of Greenville, OH. Sired by Always A Virgin, the three-year-old filly was victorious in a leg of the Indiana Silver Sire Stakes at two.
Virgin Girl returned $6.40 for the win but the biggest payout of the night was found just four races later when Go Gaspy Go crossed the wire. The superfecta ticket that included Go Gaspy Go, Leanto Scarlet, Justice For Belle, and JS Foxy Lady returned $4,633.55.
The Bill Thompson series continues with a second, $10,000 leg on May 2. The $20,000 series final is slated for Thursday, May 9 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Live racing will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule at Hoosier Park with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m.
For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit www.hoosierpark.com
Tim Konkle Named Racing Scholar at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino
By: Zach Groth
Tim Konkle, 53, has a professional goal to promote and help grow the Indiana harness racing industry; plain and simple. With more than 50 years of horse racing experience, 15 years at Hoosier Park alone, Konkle brings a level of professionalism and expertise that is unparalleled in the greater Indiana region. For this reason, Hoosier Park has transitioned Konkle from backside maintenance manager and recently declared Konkle as Hoosier Park’s first racing scholar. In this new role, Konkle will educate racing fans, answer racing questions, and give professional insight into the sport.
Konkle currently offers brief sessions to groups that visit Hoosier Park to expand their knowledge of harness racing and to give patrons tips on how to go through the wagering process. Konkle offers insight into the new FastBet Mobile way of wagering as well as offering advice on how to efficiently read the programs distributed nightly. Although there are racing fans at Hoosier Park that do not need professional tips, they can still be found asking Konkle for an answer to the potential million dollar question – “Who would you pick to win?”.
Another substantial part of Konkle’s position involves the sports media and race marketing industry. Reaching out to sports reporters in the local and regional areas and getting them more involved in harness racing is one of Konkle’s favorite parts of the job. Walking the journalist through the industry and teaching them what the sport is all about is extremely rewarding Konkle noted.
Many journalists are able to ride along in a two-seated jog cart when they visit Hoosier Park. Konkle believes this is one of the easiest ways to allow journalists to effectively write about harness racing. Along with the experience of a lifetime, journalists also have the opportunity to videotape the experience so they can go back and watch it at a later date.
“They can feel the power of the horse,” Konkle explained. “The speed and the passion that the drivers have for these animals when they are right there next to them is something that can only be felt first-hand.”
After all is said and done, Konkle does not believe that his expertise is any different than any other racing professional out there; instead his passion for the sport and his deep involvement in the success of Hoosier Park is something unique and different.
A decade and a half ago, Hoosier Park welcomed Tim Konkle for the first time and from that moment on Konkle, who has been to most race tracks in the country, knew that he could confidently call Hoosier Park his home.
“Harness racing is an exciting sport with deep tradition in Indiana,” Konkle said. “I am extremely fortunate that I get to come to work every day and do something that I love. If I can create new racing fans through my experience and knowledge in the horse racing industry, I feel that I have done my job.”
Konkle can be found at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino during every night of live racing with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The all-harness racing meet will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule and commence on Nov. 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live race meet at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
Blueridge Doc, driven by Andy Shetler, got up in the final strides of the mile to pull a 20-1 upset in the co-featured $24,000 Invitational pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, April 20. With a final time of 1:52.2, Blueridge Doc was able to take advantage of a pocket trip to notch his second win of the season.
It was a cavalry charge for early position as Pete Wrenn sent Sunday Poker out alertly from post five with Ed Hensley and Willy Mucha following suit. Leaving from post two, Shetler sent Blueridge Doc out from the gate and maintained their position along the rail in second. With a brisk opening panel in :26.0, it was Sunday Poker calling the shots on the front. Hensley wrestled Willy Mucha to settle along the rail in third while Casey’s Lil’ Harry and Ross Leonard followed intently in third. As the public’s choice, Sammy’s Cool Win and Trace Tetrick opted for a trip off the pace and were eighth along the rail through the opening fractions. Sunday Poker continued to call the shots down the backside as the field of ten began to tighten. Reaching the three-quarter mark in 1:25.2, Sunday Poker looked down a long Hoosier Park stretch. Shetler gave Blueridge Doc the green light and the seven-year-old gelding responded with a 26.4 final panel down the homestretch to get the win. Sammy’s Cool Win rallied late in the lane to get up for the second place finish while I Trust You and Ricky Macomber Jr. marched home in :26.3 to finish third. Blueridge Doc returned $42.80 to his backers for the victory.
“He raced really tough tonight,” Andy Shetler noted. “I knew there was going to be a lot of speed in the race so I wanted to get in good position. He is a tough horse that tries hard every time and tonight he showed that.”
With over $230,000 amassed in career earnings, Blueridge Doc captured his 25th lifetime victory in 118 outings. Andy Shetler trains Blueridge Doc and also co-owns the son of Mattnamaras Band with Joe Lemmon of Goshen, IN.
On the trotting side of things, Abc Mercedes continued his winning ways in the $24,000 Invitational trot with a sharp, front running effort for driver, trainer Trace Tetrick. With a field of ten going postward, Tetrick sent ABC Mercedes to the front from the assigned post nine and remained unchallenged through opening splits of :27.0 and :57.1. Jessejo and Ed Hensley made a costly break around the first turn while Cantab Lindy and Pete Wrenn avoided trouble sitting second. Solvent and Jason Dillander were well placed in third as the field remained in single file order down the backside. Reaching the three-quarter mark in 1:26.1, Abc Mercedes put his talent on display as he began to trot away from the field. Solvent took aim at the leader as they headed for home but could not catch the four-time Indiana trotter of the year who stopped the clock in 1:55.1 five lengths in front of his closest competitor. Solvent finished second as Celebrity Hercules rounded out the trifecta. As the heavy favorite, Abc Mercedes returned $3.20 for the victory.
Abc Mercedes notched his second consecutive victory for the season as he pushed his seasonal earnings over $20,000. The eight-year-old gelding has amassed over $1 million in earnings for owner Larry Miller of Springport, IN. Sired by Abc Garland, Abc Mercedes has won 58 of 105 lifetime starts.
The season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues to trend in a positive direction with all-sources handle showing a 20% increase for the first 15 days of the meet. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. With a daily post time of 5:30 p.m., the 160-day, all harness racing meet will be conducted through November 9.
Night Pro made his third consecutive trip to Hoosier Park’s winner circle as he completed the Jerry Landess series sweep winning the $15,000 final of the late closing event open to three and four-year-old Indiana sired colts and geldings that are non-winners of $7,500 lifetime at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, April 17.
The three-year-old colt notched his fourth consecutive victory in a lifetime best effort of 1:53.1 as he pushed his career earnings over $15,000.
Barley Pop and Trace Tetrick left the gate alertly from post three to control the early fractions through a first quarter clocking in :28.0. Using much the same strategy as weeks past, Night Pro and Pete Wrenn were content to sit along the rail in third before making their move to the front down the backside. Bullwinkle and Kayne Kauffman benefitted from a pocket trip as the field remained in single file line through the half mile time in :56.4. Barley Pop continued to lead the field of ten as Pete Wrenn gave Night Pro the green light approaching the final turn. Shooters Dream and Roger Cullipher were well placed second over as they reached the three-quarter mark in 1:25.3. Pete Wrenn urged Night Pro to the front, and the son of Pro Bono Best responded with a :27.3 final panel to win going away by nine lengths. Shooters Dream was able to take advantage of a perfect trip to finish second while Endeavors King and Tony Hall rallied from off the pace to finish third. Heavily backed at the windows, Night Pro returned $2.80 for the win.
“I didn’t want to rush him tonight,” Pete Wrenn noted. “I just wanted to float out of there and stay out of trouble. He relaxed down the backside and was able to get a breather before I ever had to ask him to do anything. He’s an extremely smart colt and looks like he has a future ahead of him.”
Unraced at two, Night Pro is trained and owned by Dale Decker of Temperance, MI. A $14,000 yearling purchase, the black colt is the first foal from the multiple stakes winning mare, Midnight Jewel.
“He’s an extremely smart colt,” Decker said. “People ask me why I’m not driving him and I tell them it’s because Pete (Wrenn) has about 8,000 more wins than me. He is the one that should be driving a colt like him.”
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. With a daily post time of 5:30 p.m., the 160-day, all harness racing meet will be conducted through November 9.
Betterluvnexttime made her Hoosier Park debut a winning one as she captured the featured $24,000 fillies and mares Invitational pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, April 5 with driver Pete Wrenn at the lines.
Leaving from post eight, Wrenn sent Betterluvnexttime to the front but Trace Tetrick and Aqua Artist had the same idea. Aqua Artist made the front and remained uncontested through first half fractions of :26.1 and :54.2. Sectionline Yankee and Andy Shetler benefitted from a pocket trip as Betterluvnexttime followed intently in third. Queenie’s Alibi and Tyler Smith were along the rail in fourth in a badly gapped field. After the half, the field began to tighten as Queenie’s Alibi was out and firing first over with Wrenn and Betterluvnexttime in tow. As the battle began to unfold around the three-quarter mark in 1:23.4, Betterluvnexttime saved her best for last as she began to sprint away from the field. With a final quarter clocking in :28.1, the five-year-old mare cruised to a three length victory. Winning It and Ed Hensley came from off the pace and rallied late in the lane to get up for the second place finish. Queenie’s Alibi rounded out the trifecta. Betterluvnexttime paid $2.90 for the win as the bettor’s choice.
“This mare raced really great tonight,” Wrenn noted. “With the eight spot in this group of mares I knew we had to be close to the front. I was able to leave a little bit and not use her too hard. Around the last turn she felt great and once I was able to get out I knew she was going to be good. She cleared all the other mares pretty easily and raced all the way to wire. “
Trained by Al Tomlinson, Betterluvnexttime notched her sixth win of the season in eight starts. The victory sent her career bankroll over the $200,000 mark for owner Daniel Mitchell of Nova, MI. Sired by American Ideal, Betterluvnexttime has banked over $50,000 this season.
Live racing resumes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, April 6 with a 5:30 post. The 160-day all harness racing meet will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule and run through November 9.
Anderson, Ind.—April 6, 2013—The opening week of live harness racing action at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino saw measurable success on all fronts. Excitement pervaded throughout the grandstand as large, enthusiastic crowds welcomed the 20th season of harness racing back to the seven-eighths mile oval.
On the racing front, Abc Mercedes and driver Trace Tetrick both returned to their winning ways as they wired the field in the co-featured event, a $24,000 Invitational trot. The eight-year-old gelding reached the front and never looked back before stopping the clock in 1:55.4. Ricky Macomber Jr. and I Trust You followed suit on the pacing side of things and benefitted from fast early fractions to capture the $24,000 Invitational pace in 1:52.4. Trained by Ron Burke, I Trust You brushed home in :28.4 to post the first win of his 2013 season.
Hoosier Park’s track surface, with the addition of a brown limestone material, proved to be in mint condition for the opening week of live racing. The track, now a noticeably darker color, has been meticulously groomed by Hoosier Park’s track superintendent, Jimmy Shelton, and received rave reviews from all who encountered it.
“The track is in great shape right now considering the weather we’ve had lately,” Trace Tetrick noted. “I think it will only continue to get better and I look for it to be extremely fast and very durable throughout the meet. The entire track crew has done a great job with all of their improvements to the surface.”
The wagering front also saw much success and offered remarkable value to the horseplayer with the introduction of a signature Pick-4 wager and an improved racing product. The bettors came out in full force through the first week of wagering as the handle increases were felt both on track and through export wagering.
Through the first five nights of racing, Hoosier Park has seen an overall increase of 33 percent in all sources wagering over the corresponding week in 2012.
“Through the first week, I am genuinely excited about the progress we are seeing on most fronts,” said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park’s general manager of racing. “The reality is that one week doesn’t make an entire meet, but if this opening week is any indication of the season to come, we are hopeful for a very successful meet.”
“The prolonged winter has made it difficult for horseman to get ready,” he continued. “But, we are grateful to the horsemen who have supported us thus far and hope they will continue to support our efforts at the entry box as we continually work to improve our racing product for the racing fans.”
Live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule, with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day all harness racing meet will be conducted through November 9.
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.
The buzz and excitement of opening week at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues with the announcement of a guaranteed $10,000 Pick-4 pool offered on Thursday nights. In partnership with the Unites States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering program and the Indiana Standardbred Association, Hoosier Park will offer this signature wager beginning on Thursday, April 4.
The Pick-4, which offers a 50-cent minimum wager, begins in the third race and will continue through the sixth race. Approximate post time for the first leg of the wager, the third race, is 6:10 p.m. (est.). Free past performances for the Pick 4 races will be available on the USTA website. Expert selections and handicapping tools are also available on Hoosier Park’s website. The Pick-4 wager on Thursday nights will offer a carryover if no one correctly selects four of four winners.
“Hoosier Park is very excited for this partnership to offer racing fans this unique wagering opportunity,” Hoosier Park’s general manager of racing Rick Moore noted. “Building on the success of last year, we’ve jumped the guarantee from $5,000 to $10,000 with hopes that’s the first of many increases to come. The pick-4 has now become the in-wager as far as the racing industry is concerned and we’re proud to offer here at Hoosier Park.”
The start of the meet also marks the start of many exciting promotions geared to the casual and serious racing fans. The opening week of live racing, labeled “fan appreciation week, is all about the fans. Hoosier Park, in partnership with the ISA, will be offering dining specials, wagering vouchers, and winner’s circle giveaways. Patrons are also encouraged to enter the handicapping contests that will be taking place weekly throughout the entirety of the meet.
Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday live racing schedule through November 9, with a 5:30, eastern post time daily.
The stage is set for a whole new chapter in Hoosier Park racing with the advent of one breed, one track. The 20th season of live racing consists of 160 days of all harness racing and will commence with an action-packed twelve race card.
With more than 120 entries flooding the box for opening night, the card will feature four legs of the Miss Windfall Series. With three $7,500 legs and a $15,000 final, the series is open to three and four-year-old, Indiana-sired, fillies and mares that are non-winners of $7,500, lifetime.
The start of the meet marks the commencement of many exciting promotions geared to both casual and serious racing fans. The opening week of live racing, labeled “fan appreciation week”, is all about the fans. Hoosier Park, in partnership with the Indiana Standardbred Association, will be offering dining specials, wagering vouchers, and an iPad mini giveaway. Patrons are also encouraged to enter the handicapping contests that will be taking place weekly throughout the entirety of the meet.
Fridays at Hoosier Park, dubbed “Fan-tastic Fridays”, will feature $1 beers, $1 hot dogs and $1 live racing programs starting at 5 p.m. In addition, guests will be welcomed to enter the ‘Beat the Big Guy’ promotion for a chance to win up to $500.
Building on the successful “Family-Fun” themed activities and events started last season, Hoosier Park will continue “Family Fun Saturdays”. Activities will include a bounce house, face painting, jugglers, live entertainment, games and winner’s circle giveaways. The official Hoosier Park mascot, Hoosier Buddy, will be on hand to entertain and excite.
On the track, the racing competition is starting to take shape with the return of 2012’s leading driver champion, Trace Tetrick. Tetrick took home top honors at Hoosier Park in 2012 with 153 trips to the winner’s circle and is back seeking his second leading title. Hoosier Park’s two time leading trainer and North America’s current leading trainer, Ron Burke has also returned to Indiana with a powerhouse stable headed by assistant trainer, Jamie Rucker. The Burke stable amassed over $655,000 in purse earnings in 2012 with 46 wins, twice his closest competitor.
North America’s fastest pacers will return to the Anderson track on Saturday, May 25th for the 20th installment of the Dan Patch Invitational Pace. Hoosier Park’s signature event touts a purse of $250,000 and will be accompanied by many exciting promotions for racing fans.
“I can’t wait to get this season kicked off,” said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park’s general manager of racing. “Here at Hoosier Park we pride ourselves on bringing our guests the best in entertainment we can offer. Our dedicated team has worked hard in the off season to “set a new standard”. I hope our guests will enjoy all the excitement as much as we enjoy bringing it to them.”
Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday live racing schedule through November 9, with a 5:30, eastern post time daily.
ANDERSON, IND. – March 6, 2013 –Final preparations are underway on the backstretch at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in anticipation of the return of live Standardbred racing. Now in its’ 20th season, the Standardbred meet will begin on April 2 and offer five days of racing per week through November 9, with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. EST.
Horseman who have been granted stalls for the meet may begin moving in equipment and setting up stalls on Saturday, March 9th and Sunday, March 10th. Horses will be permitted on the grounds on Monday, March 11th. All horses entering the grounds must have all valid paperwork available before being allowed entry to the grounds. Dormitories will also be available for occupancy on Monday, March 11th as well.
The racetrack will open for training on Thursday, March 14th, pending the weather conditions. The first round of qualifiers are slated for Saturday, March 16th and will be conducted on a Wednesday and Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the meet. The entry box closes for qualifiers one day prior at 1 p.m. Condition sheets and stakes schedules will be posted as soon as they become available.