Continuing upon the successes of the second edition in 2015, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is proud to announce the third annual All-Star Drivers Series for the 2016 harness racing season. The 2016 All-Star Drivers Series will pit the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge not once, but twice, throughout the season with the champion driver winning a dream prize of their choice, a $10,000 cash prize, an exotic vacation, or their favorite “always wanted to have” toy.
“When we embarked upon the Drivers Challenge two years ago we knew we were going down a road that had yet to be traveled,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore said. “Would the format that we chose work or would we need to rethink the way drivers drafted their horses?”
“Well, the answer to that question was that the format was a resounding success as witnessed by the wild and unpredictable outcome of the last two years of competition. We appreciate all of our drivers at Hoosier Park and are excited that the 2016 All-Star Drivers Challenge will not only highlight their talents but also give them a chance to win a dream prize.”
In the first of the two challenges, the top ten drivers will compete in a five-race competition on Saturday, July 23 for their share of $5,000. The winning driver will take home a check for $3,000 for top honors while the second place driver will earn $1,500 and the third place driver earning $500. The rankings will be based on number of wins at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as of Saturday, July 16, 2016. The drivers will pick their horses via a draft system to be held in the following order:
1st race: Number 1 ranked driver picks first, number 2 picks second, etc.
2nd race: Number 10 ranked driver picks first, number 9 picks second, etc.
3rd race: Same as first race
4th race: Same as second race
5th race: same as first
The top eight finishers from Round 1 will return for Round 2 on Saturday, October 22 with the final two positions being determined by the official Hoosier Park standings at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, October 15.
While the second go-round will be conducted in the same manner as the first, the winner of the final challenge will not only be crowned the champion of the 2016 All-Star Drivers series but also have their choice of a dream prize.
Jason Dillander took home top honors in last year’s edition of the All-Star Drivers series. Dillander won the final round of the challenge by a narrow margin and was awarded a Hawaiian vacation for four, a prize valued at $15,000
“I’m definitely excited,” Dillander said. “I thought it would be hard to top a vacation but giving the drivers a chance to choose their prize is really cool. We have a lot of fun with this every year and kudos to everyone at Hoosier Park for bringing it back again this year. Of course, I hope I win it.”
Qualifying for the 2016 All-Star Drivers Series began on Friday, April 1 and continued through Saturday, July 16 for Round 1. Each of the drafts will take place at a community luncheon to be held at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. For more information on the 2016 All-Star Drivers Series, please visit Hoosier Park’s website.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the meet. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing will be conducted through November 12, 2016. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com .
First Turn Stable members visit the Hoosier Park winner’s circle with Boogie Nights
ANDERSON, Ind.—July 2, 2016—On an evening stacked with stakes races, it was a $12,500 claiming event that stole the show at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 2 as Boogie Nights made his racing debut for First Turn Stable, Hoosier Park’s first fractional ownership opportunity, a winning one. In near gate-to-wire fashion, Boogie Nights and Jason Dillander crossed the wire nearly two lengths in front of the next closest competitor and stopping the timer in 1:51.4, a new lifetime best performance.
Boogie Nights was sent away from the gate firing from post eight and grabbed the early lead through an opening quarter in :26.3. Henry Blue Chip ranged up to take the lead at the half mile station in :55.4 but Boogie Nights was back out for more and grabbed the lead approaching the final turn.
As the field turned for home, Boogie Nights was on top and used a :27.1 final quarter to get the victory. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, Boogie Nights notched his second victory of the season and 13th lifetime victory. Several members from the stable were on hand and excitedly joined in the winner’s circle, many visiting the winner’s circle for the first time.
“That was very exciting,” Quincy Cunningham, member of First Turn Stable, noted in the winner’s circle. “I’ve watched a number of horse races in my life but it’s definitely more exciting when you own part of one.”
Unfortunately as the claiming game goes, Boogie Nights was claimed for $12,500 out of the race tonight. Cullipher will start the process of finding another horse for First Turn Stable immediately.
“It’s a great feeling to see so many people in the winner’s circle,” Cullipher noted after the race. “The horse raced great and it is unfortunate he got claimed but that’s part of the game. We’re glad he could get the win for them tonight, it’s a pleasure to be a part of an opportunity like this.”
The first of its kind in the state of Indiana, First Turn Stable was recently launched at Hoosier Park and designed to provide fans an easy and affordable way to experience the excitement of horse ownership for a one-time, $250 buy-in.
Updates for First Turn Stable will be posted weekly and via e-mail so members can follow along with the racing action throughout the season. Along with interactive social media pages, monthly financials will be shared with the group to provide a transparent and behind-the-scenes look into the real costs of owning a racehorse. On-site teaching tools and other resources will also be made available to the members.
Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 5 at 5:45 p.m. Following a Tuesday through Saturday schedule, live racing at Hoosier Park will be conducted through November 12, 2016. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com .
ANDERSON, Ind.—June 30, 2016—On Saturday, July 2 the dream of being a Standardbred race horse owner will come true for 50 people, courtesy of First Turn Stable at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. While much of the harness racing world will be focused on the numerous stakes races around the country on Saturday, 50 first time horse owners will have their attention directed to the seventh race of the program at Hoosier Park as Boogie Nights makes his debut appearance for Hoosier Park’s new ownership club.
Boogie Nights is a six-year-old gelded pacer who has made $74,949 in lifetime purse earnings. Sired by one of Indiana’s leading pacing sires, Always A Virgin, Boogie Nights has won 12 of his 83 lifetime starts and took his lifetime mark of 1:52 at the age of four. The brown gelding has had 13 starts while earning $10,010 in 2016.
Claimed out of a $10,000 race last Saturday at Hoosier Park, the brown gelding has now been entrusted to trainer Jeff Cullipher who has been assigned the training duties for First Turn Stable. With Jason Dillander in the bike, Boogie Nights will start from post eight in the field of nine and has been tabbed 6-1 on the morning line.
“First Turn Stable’s 50 new owners are about to experience something probably to a person they never dreamed of; that being the thrill of watching their very own horse race,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “Best of luck to all of them!”
The first of its kind in the state of Indiana, First Turn Stable was recently launched at Hoosier Park and designed to provide fans an easy and affordable way to experience the excitement of horse ownership for a one-time, $250 buy-in.
Members of First Turn Stable will be treated to the on-track perks of racehorse ownership while experiencing firsthand the economics of what it takes to own a Standardbred racehorse. Updates for First Turn Stable will be posted weekly on the social media sites and via e-mail so members can follow along with the racing action throughout the season. Members are encouraged to like First Turn Stable on Facebook to stay updated with the daily happenings of the stable.
Along with interactive social media pages, monthly financials will be shared with the group to provide a transparent and behind-the-scenes look into the real costs of owning a racehorse. On-site teaching tools and other resources will also be made available to the members.
Hoosier Park’s 14-race card on Saturday will also feature a $21,000 Invitational Pace and three divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for three-year-old pacing colts. The first race will line up behind the gate at 5:45 p.m.
For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com .
SHELBYVILLE and ANDERSON, Ind. – June 22, 2016 – Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will host two free Independence Day weekend celebrations, complete with professional fireworks shows comprised of more than 20,000 shells and running for 35 minutes. The two celebrations will take place at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino on Sunday, July 3 beginning at 6 p.m. and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Monday, July 4 beginning at 7 p.m. Both locations will offer free concerts and culminate at dusk with a high-energy, professionally produced fireworks spectacular set to music.
Each evening, licensed pyrotechnicians will send more than 10,000 shells and effects into the night’s sky in both locations, 1,000 of which will be fired in a finale culminating Indiana’s two largest fireworks spectaculars. Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park’s shows will once again feature nearly 100 8-inch and 10-inch shells, producing the largest and loudest fireworks displays in Indiana. In addition to the over-sized shells will be the use of a water firework effect in which multiple floating fireworks ignite and send streams of fire up from the lakes encircled by both of the locations’ racetracks.
Both 35-minute fireworks shows will feature a soundtrack that includes a series of hits from the likes of Willie Nelson, Pitbull, ZZ Top, Prince, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Justin Timberlake, Kid Rock and Stevie Wonder.
This marks the fourth year the two racetrack casinos have teamed up to offer Indiana residents and visitors a unique experience for Independence Day entertainment. Family-friendly entertainment options leading up to the fireworks shows will include live horse racing, patriotic bead giveaways as well as games and activities. Multiple dining options, offering all-American classics, will be available at both locations.
The free concert lineup for each location is as follows:
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino – Sunday, July 3
- The Hootz – beginning at 7:30 p.m.
- Devonshires (Covering hits by The Beatles, The Monkees, and more.)– beginning at 8:30 p.m.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino – Monday, July 4
- Haley Jonay – 7 p.m.
- The Hootz – beginning at 7:30 p.m.
- Bruce in the USA (Nationally touring Bruce Springsteen tribute act) – beginning at 8:45 p.m.
For the fourth year, the American Fireworks Company from Hudson, Ohio will produce the fireworks shows. The family-owned pyrotechnics company, in its seventh generation, has been in business since 1902 and holds the distinction of participating in the record-setting fireworks show in Dubai on New Year’s Eve 2013.
Chairs and picnic tables will be available throughout both venues for convenience. Outside food and drinks are prohibited. Guests are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets for additional comfort. Family-friendly entrances are available through the racetrack main entrances of both properties.
About Indiana Grand Racing & Casino: Indiana Grand Racing & Casino holds multiple awards from industry publications for customer service, entertainment, gaming and dining. Located in Shelbyville, Ind., Indiana Grand features 2,200 of the latest slots and electronic table games in addition to a one-mile oval race course offering live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing each year. Simulcast wagering is also offered year-round at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino as well as an off-track betting facility located in Clarksville, Indiana. For more information, please visit www.IndianaGrand.com.
About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino 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 Winner’s Circle OTB and VooDoo BBQ & Grill in New Haven/Fort Wayne, Ind. For more information, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
In a first-of-its-kind agreement, the United States Harness Writers Association announced Monday (June 27) that Centaur Gaming-owned Hoosier Park will be the lead title sponsor of next year’s Dan Patch Awards banquet in Las Vegas. The event, to be held at Planet Hollywood on Feb. 26, will be named “The 2017 Dan Patch Awards presented by Hoosier Park.”
The Dan Patch Awards are for top equine and human performers, Harness Horse of the Year honors, as well as the first introduction of the newest member(s) to the Hall of Fame.
The spotlight will shine on Hoosier Park in the fall of 2017 when the Breeders Crown makes its first visit to the Indiana racetrack. But several months prior to that big event, Hoosier Park will help direct the limelight toward harness racing’s equine and human stars thanks to a new partnership with another of the sport’s premier festivities.
The awards, first presented in 1947, are named in honor of one of the great stars of the early 20th century — in any sport — the Indiana-born pacer Dan Patch. Born in 1896 in Oxford, Ind., Dan Patch attracted huge crowds wherever he traveled and set numerous world records. His mark of 1:55-1/4 set at age 9 in 1905 stood for more than three decades and his name and image endorsed products from breakfast cereals to washing machines.
Indiana-sired horses have also garnered national attention more recently, with the most notable examples including 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and Breeders Crown champions Always B Miki, Color’s A Virgin, and Freaky Feet Pete, all hailing from the Hoosier State.
“Hoosier Park and Centaur could not be more honored to serve as the first title sponsor for these prestigious awards,” said Jim Brown, president and COO of Centaur Gaming. “Considering Dan Patch was an Indiana-bred made the opportunity feel even more appropriate.
“Indiana harness racing is being recognized nationally, with some of the top horses and racing in the country, and sponsoring the 2017 USHWA awards and hosting the 2017 Breeders Crown races should both contribute to making this a year to remember for Indiana racing.”
The 2017 Dan Patch Awards will honor this season’s top performers, including divisional champions plus Trotter, Pacer, and Horse of the Year.
“This is a great opportunity for USHWA to team up with an outstanding racing organization like Hoosier Park to present our 2017 Dan Patch Awards banquet,” said Tim Bojarski, president of the U.S. Harness Writers Association. “We believe the synergy of this partnership will better enhance the promotion of harness racing and its stars throughout the upcoming year and hope it will lead the way for other entities of the sport to work together for the same reason.
“I can promise everyone a night to remember at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Feb. 26, 2017.”
For more information on the Dan Patch Awards presented by Hoosier Park, log onto www.ushwa.org, where all the latest news and announcements will be available throughout the year.
ANDERSON, Ind.—June 15, 2016—In an effort to take harness racing fans from the grandstand to the winner’s circle, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is excited to announce the launch of a new, fractional ownership program for the 2016 harness racing season. The first of its kind in the state of Indiana, the program is designed to provide fans an easy and affordable way to experience the excitement of horse ownership and educate for future ownership endeavors.
The new program, working under the name First Turn Stables, will allow harness racing fans the chance to experience horse ownership first-hand. For a one-time, $250 buy-in, racing fans can buy a membership into the First Turn Stable and get an insider’s look at what it is like to own and race a Standardbred currently racing at Hoosier Park during the 2016 season. Membership will be limited to 50 people and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“This new concept in horse ownership is being introduced with hopes of attracting new owners to the sport at a very low cost while still providing the thrills and excitement of owning a racehorse,” said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park’s vice president and general manager of racing. “Members of the First Turn Stable will be treated to the on-track perks of racehorse ownership while experiencing firsthand the economics of what it takes to own a Standardbred racehorse.”
Updates for the First Turn Stable will be posted weekly and via e-mail so members can follow along with the racing action throughout the season. Members of the stable will also have the opportunity to watch morning training routines and also interact with the trainer and driver after each race.
Along with interactive social media pages, monthly financials will be shared with the group to provide a transparent and behind-the-scenes look into the real costs of owning a racehorse. On-site teaching tools and other resources will also be made available to the members. Members of the stable are encouraged to ‘Like’ the First Turn Stable page on Facebook to stay up to date with the daily happenings of the stable, find the page here: https://www.facebook.com/firstturnstable/ .
At the end of the racing season, the horse’s winnings and costs will be calculated and any profit will be split amongst the 50 owners. If the season were to result in a financial loss, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will offset the figure to bring the season to a breakeven for the participants.
Racing fans interested in joining First Turn Stables can find more information at www.hoosierpark.com or by calling Nicole Frankowski at 765-609-4831. The First Turn Stable will be open to the public and accepting memberships on Thursday, June 16.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:45 p.m. The 160-day all harness racing season will be conducted through November 12, 2016.
About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a Centaur Gaming destination, 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 the Winner’s Circle OTB and VooDoo BBQ & Grill in New Haven. For more information, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino highlighted the early stages of the 2016 harness racing season with the annual Hoosier Champions night in front of a packed house on Saturday, June 4. The evening’s 14-race card featured the first of five rounds of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the three-year-old divisions. With heavy rain in the area earlier in the day, the track was rated sloppy for the first seven races but was upgraded to good just before the stakes action got underway in the evening’s eighth race.
The action-packed night opened with the first $75,000 final for three-year-old trotting fillies and Oh La La La made a clean sweep of the opening round of the stakes action as she overcame the outside post eight to score in 1:56.1. Driven by Tyler Smith, Oh La La La took advantage of a second-over trip and used a :27.4 final quarter to score her second consecutive victory by two lengths.
Nothing But Nice and Ricky Macomber Jr. dictated fractions of :28, and :58.0 before Fawn De Savage and Dan Shetler were applying pressure to the outside. Smith had Oh La La La were well placed second-over and when he tipped his mount to the outside, she responded gamely. Just Jess and Doug Rideout, who were sent off as the heavy betting favorite, rallied gamely in the lane but had to settle for second place honors. Fawn De Savage maintained her position to round out the trifecta. Oh La La La returned $10.60 to her backers at the betting windows.
Oh La La La captures the $75,000 ISS final for three-year-old trotting fillies.
“She’s had a couple issues,” trainer Jeff Smith noted in the winner’s circle. “We’ve worked on those and she has really come around. We were really happy with her last week but she proved tonight she is a really nice filly.”
Oh La La La has now won 5 of 14 lifetime starts and sports a career bankroll of $81,210. The daughter of Here Comes Herbie-Dandelion Dust has won two of her three starts as a sophomore and is owned by Tdtrot LLC.
Fresh off a win in his elimination last week, Bridge To Jesse’s turned in another dominant performance to score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting colts with driver John DeLong. With a final time of 1:55.1, Bridge To Jesse’s scored his second consecutive victory and established a new lifetime best in the process.
DeLong sent Bridge To Jesse’s away from the gate firing from post nine to grab the lead through an opening panel in :28.4. Their lead would be short lived as Trace Tetrick gave Fly Jesse Fly the green light and they took control just before the half to set :57.4 and 1:27.2 middle fractions.
As the field turned for home, the stage was set for the stretch battle. DeLong tipped Bridge To Jesse’s to the outside from the pocket and the Roger Welch trainee did the rest. Using a :27.3 final quarter, Bridge To Jesse’s trotted to the wire to finish four lengths in front of Fly Jesse Fly. Ktl’s Lucky Strike and Robert Taylor rallied late in the lane to round out the trifecta.
“Well, I knew we had to go forward off the gate from post nine,” driver John DeLong noted in the winner’s circle. “He’s very versatile and is very well mannered. He’s great racing off a helmet so the trip couldn’t have worked out any better for us.”
With the win, Bridge To Jesse’s scored his 12th lifetime victory from 14 lifetime outings. The gelded son of Jailhouse Jesse-Bridge To Nowhere was Indiana’s two-year-old trotting colt champion and has now pushed his lifetime bankroll to $356,593 for owners W. DeLong, W. DeLong, R. DeLong, and R. Welch.
On the pacing side of things, DeLong found the winner’s circle once again, this time with Seventimesavirgin in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing fillies. With a final time of 1:53.1, Seventimesavirgin staged a big rally late in the lane to remain undefeated in three starts in her sophomore campaign.
DeLong left aggressively from post four and was able to grab the lead through an opening panel in :27.3. Rick Plano and Diamondtequilashot were the first to take aim at the leader and DeLong yielded command at the second station in :57.1. Diamondtequilashot continued to call the shots at the three-quarter mark in 1:25 but the rest of the field was closing in.
While most of the challengers moved to the outside, DeLong moved Seventimesavirgin up the passing lane and she employed a :27.2 final quarter to finish two lengths to the good. Shady Caroline and Ricky Macomber Jr. closed evenly to finish second while Au D Lox Bluegrass and Trace Tetrick were third.
Seventimesavirgin scored her third consecutive victory in 2016.
“She’s a pretty special horse to us,” DeLong noted of the homebred filly after the victory. “She’s been perfect. We put her away on a good note last season so she is really fresh and sharp right now.”
“She’s a big strong mare,” he continued. “This weather changing all the time can be hard on her and she didn’t have the best week this week but she raced awesome tonight. She is pretty special to us, my dad bred her and she was raised right in our backyard. She’s as good as they come for us.”
Trained by John DeLong, Seventimesavirgin has now won eight of 15 lifetime starts. The daughter of Always A Virgin-Mrs Grant Seven has now accumulated $132,190 in lifetime purse earnings for owner Jesse DeLong.
In the very next race, Matrix of Luck and Mike Peterson delivered as the even money favorite in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings with a final time of 1:51. Driven by Mike Peterson, Matrix of Luck made their game winning move down the backside to score their second consecutive victory at Hoosier Park.
Uncmprmising Z Tam and LeWayne Miller were the first to get a call through the opening quarter in :26.1. Peterson gave Matrix of Luck the green light down the backside and he reached the front at the half in :55.3 and then on to the third station in 1:23.1. As the rest of the field started to close in turning for home, Matrix of Luck found another gear. Utilizing a :27.4 final kick, Matrix of Luck cruised to the wire three lengths in front of a hard charging Duel of Truth and John DeLong. Ville Valo and Ricky Macomber Jr. rounded out the trifecta.
“Last week was the first time I drove him and he was awesome,” Peterson noted in the winner’s circle. “He was pretty aggressive last week but he relaxed tonight and really raced liked a professional.”
“I knew everyone would be leaving for position so we settled off the gate but I also didn’t want to get him in trouble so I had to move down the backside. He let me do what I want with him and really raced great. I’d like to thank his connections for the opportunity to drive him.”
Trained by Roger Cullipher, Matrix of Luck notched the second win of his three-year-old season from just three outings. Owned by Brian Carsey, John Mcgill, and Debbie Cullipher, the son of Rockin Image-My Taylor’s Maid was the two-year-old pacing colt champion in the state of Indiana and pushed his lifetime bankroll to $$292,500 with the victory tonight.
Live racing will return to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, June 7 with a 13-race card. The 160-day, all harness racing meet will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:45 p.m. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com .
ANDERSON, Ind.; – June 7, 2016 – An incident during a regularly scheduled training session at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino today resulted in the drowning fatality of a Standardbred racehorse.
After a preliminary review, it is believed that Just Dance With Me, a three-year-old Standardbred racehorse driven by Brett Wilfong and owned by the Wilfong family, veered left off the racetrack at 11:45 a.m. as a result of a broken bit and loss of control. The racehorse went through the inner racetrack fence, and into the infield pond. The driver was unharmed and did not require additional medical care.
“Our condolences go out to the Wilfong family for their loss,” said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park’s vice president and general manger of racing. “In the sport of horse racing, racehorses are very much part of the family and are cared for as such.”
The local Anderson Fire Department responded to the incident. The Indiana Horse Racing Commission has been notified.
Moore added, “This unfortunate event is the first of its kind in the more than 20 years of racing at Hoosier Park and we will conduct a full investigation of the incident. Horse racing, much like any other racing sport, has its inherent risks that we must continue to keep in mind.”
Nitro, with John DeLong at the lines, made amends for last week’s second place finish and rolled home a winner in the featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 21. Scoring in gate to wire fashion, Nitro stopped the timer in 1:50.3 and gave driver John DeLong one of his six wins on the 13-race card.
DeLong took no chances and sent Nitro to the front from post five in an abbreviated field of six to grab the top spot through the opening panel in :27.3. Bluehourpower and Ricky Macomber Jr. left just enough to grab a pocket seat while If I Lose and Brian Carpenter were next in line third. The field remained in single file order down the backside as Nitro clicked off fractions of :55.3 and 1:23.4 before ever feeling a threat.
As the field turned for home, Jason Dillander had Shooter’s Dream pointed to the front in the outer flow while Color’s A Virgin and Tyler Smith grabbed the cover second-over. As the rest of the field closed in, DeLong asked his mount for more and Nitro dug in gamely. Using a :26.4 closing quarter, Nitro finished a length and a half in front of the pocket-sitting Bluehourpower. As the only mare in the field, Color’s A Virgin rallied gamely for third place honors. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Nitro returned $4.20 at the betting windows.
Traiend by Ron Burke, the six-year-old son of Charley-Barley-Deferred Comp notched his second seasonal victory from 14 outings. Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and C. Hecht, Nitro has now won 20 of 107 lifetime starts and amassed $347,934 lifetime.
In the very next race, John DeLong found the winner’s circle in a conditioned pace with JL Dontwastemytime in 1:52.1 for trainer Trent Stohler. Stohler and Delong also teamed up to get ER Zach Attack home a winner in a claiming event earlier on the card.
Driving in each and every race on the program, DeLong found the winner’s circle for the first time in the third race of the evening with Hot N Shooting for trainer Grant Wilfong and then scored in the very next race with Ok Ferrari for trainer Dylan Davis.
In the $20,000 Steve Gray Memorial Pace, it was Four Socks who turned in a gate to wire effort to score in a new lifetime best of 1:50.1. It was the third victory of the season for the six-year-old son of I Scoot Hanover-Well Hello Dolly who is trained by Mike Murphy.
DeLong is currently second on the leading driver standings at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with 61 wins on the season through 35 nights of live racing. Hoosier Park’s 2015 leading driver, Trace Tetrick, leads all drivers with 82 wins on the season.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, May 24 with a 14-race card and a daily post time of 5:45 p.m. The 160-day harness racing meet will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12.
For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
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The 2016 Indiana Sires Stakes season is set to get underway at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, May 25 with four divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes elimination races showcasing the top three-year-old trotting fillies in the state. A total of 36 sophomore trotting fillies were entered in the opening round of the stakes action.
In addition to the stakes races, racing fans are reminded of two signature wagering opportunities for Wednesday’s 14-race card at Hoosier Park. A $20,000 Guaranteed Trifecta has been added to the wagering menu and will be offered in the opening leg of the pick-5 wager every Wednesday night. In addition, Hoosier Park will offer a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 pool in races 3-6.
In partnership with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering program and the Indiana Standardbred Association, Hoosier Park will offer these signature wagers on Wednesday nights throughout the live racing season. Free past performances for the Pick-4 races will be available on Hoosier Park’s website. Expert selections and handicapping tools are also available on Hoosier Park’s website.
The three-year-old trotting fillies will kick off the Indiana Sires Stakes action on Wednesday with the three-year-old trotting colts highlighting the 14-race card schedule for Thursday, May 26. The three-year-old pacing fillies will take to the track on Friday, May 27 and the three-year-old pacing colts will follow suit on Saturday, May 28.
The 2016 Indiana Sires Stakes program will feature five legs throughout the season, and from each leg, the top 20 horses will return to compete in a final and consolation. The stakes program will culminate with the top ten horses from each of the previous $75,000 finals returning to compete in a $200,000 Super Final on Saturday, October 15 at Hoosier Park.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:45 p.m. The 160-day harness racing season will be conducted through November 12. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com .