ANDERSON, Ind.—July 9, 2013— Thunder Rises, with Dan Shetler at the lines, shattered a 16-year-old record for the seventh-eighths mile dash on the pace when he powered home a winner in 1:39.2 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 9. As part of a four horse blanket finish, Thunder Rises got up in the final strides to notch his fourth win of the season for trainer, Andy Shetler. The previous record of 1:41.3 was established by Ima Noble Son and driver D.R. Ackerman for trainer Homer Hochstetler on July 23, 1997. The 1:39.2 victory marked the fifth track record that has been lowered over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval in 2013.
Leaving from post seven in the ten horse field, Thunder Rises was away a worrisome ninth while the rest of the field battled for early position. Fox Valley Griffin and Trace Tetrick defended their rail position and were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.2. Captain Mark and Brad Hanners benefitted from a pocket trip while the publics’ choice, JJ’s Gazette, was hard pressed to find a spot along the rail and was parked to the outside in third. Fox Valley Griffin continued to call the shots down the backside and reached the half mile mark in :55.0. JJ’s Gazette was the first to reach the leader’s wheel through a three-quarter clocking in 1:23.4 with King Me and Trent Stohler in tow. As Fox Valley Griffin tired on the front, the rest of the field closed in. After sitting eighth through much of the mile, Thunder Rises found another gear in the stretch to reel in the leaders and reach the wire first. Captain Mark found late racing room to get up for the second place finish while JJ’s Gazette held on gamely to finish third. Dismissed at 24-1, Thunder Rises returned $49.80 to his backers. The trifecta including Thunder Rises, Captain Mark, and JJ’s Gazette paid $795.25.
Sired by His Mattjesty, Thunder Rises sent his seasonal bankroll over $15,000 for his connections of Ervin Wickey and Dixie Shetler. The six-year-old gelding has now won 19 of 105 lifetime outings while bankrolling over $85,000 in purse earnings.
Tyler Smith enjoyed a noteworthy evening as he piloted five winners on the 13-race card. Smith scored wins in the early double with Desperado Alibi for trainer, Melissa Essig and then with Curmudgeon for trainer Steve Boroff. Smith followed suit in the third race with Dale Peterson’s Round About Fame and was home a winner again with Fox Valley Swift for trainer Nick Giberson in the seventh race. He ended the night with a win in the ninth race for trainer, Melissa Essig once again, only this time with her three-year-old pacing gelding, Ralph.
Live racing resumes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 10 with two divisions of $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. Live racing will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m.
Photo: Thunder Rises and Dan Shetler. Photo Courtesy of Linscott Photography.
Bolt The Duer and driver Sam Widger used a valiant stretch drive to overtake a field of ten in the 20th installment of the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational on Saturday, May 25 at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino. With a final time of 1:49.3, Bolt The Duer was able to take advantage of a pocket trip to notch his first win of the season for trainer, Peter Foley.
Leaving from post seven, Bolt The Duer was quick off the gate but was forced to settle for the pocket as Trace Tetrick had Up The Credit out and firing from post nine. Up The Credit had to work for position but reached the front through an opening panel in :26 seconds as the field sorted itself out through the first turn. Carrying the publics’ money, Hurrikane Kingcole and driver Brett Miller opted for a trip off the pace and settled along the rail in fourth with Aracache Hanover and Doug McNair following intently in fifth. Up The Credit continued to call the shots down the backside as the tightly knit field of ten reached the half in :53.4. Fred and Ginger was the first to commit to the outer flow as Ricky Macomber Jr. had him out and firing approaching the final turn with Hurrikane Kingcole in tow.
As the field passed the three-quarter clocking in 1:22, Up The Credit looked down a long Hoosier Park stretch and braced for himself for the cavalry charge behind him. Fred and Ginger was able to put a nose in front halfway down the lane as Bolt The Duer loomed large in the background. With a :27.1 final panel, Bolt The Duer powered home to win by one and half lengths. Fred and Ginger overcame a taxing trip and battled gamely to finish second. Rockincam, last year’s Dan Patch victor, used his same off the pace tactics to charge home and finish third with Jason Dillander at the lines. Bolt The Duer returned $7.60 to his backers as the publics’ second choice.
“Pete (Foley) told me before the race that he has gate speed but does his best work off the pace,” Widger said. “I was really surprised that more horses didn’t leave, but I just wanted to coast out of there and not have to use him too hard. I felt pretty good coming around the last turn, but I’m glad I waited to pull him when I did because it couldn’t have worked out any better. The trip, the horse, I have just been extremely blessed and want to thank Pete for giving me the chance to drive this horse. It was a great race.”
Widger picked up the drive for Foley after his regular driver, Mark Macdonald, was unable to make the trek to Indiana due to unfavorable weather conditions restricting travel on the east coast.
Bolt the Duer notched his first win of the season as Widger recorded his first Dan Patch victory in the 20 year running of the race. Owned by All Star Racing Inc, the four-year-old horse has bankrolled over $1.2 million dollars throughout his illustrious racing career.
Hoosier Park’s Dan Patch Invitational saw measurable success on all fronts. Excitement pervaded throughout the grandstand as a large, enthusiastic crowd welcomed the 20th installment of Hoosier Park’s signature event to the track. The wagering front also saw much success and offered remarkable value to the horseplayer with the introduction of a signature $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 and a $25,000 Guaranteed Superfecta for the Dan Patch Invitational race. The bettors came out in full force as the handle increases were felt both on track and through export wagering. The total handle was up 44% over the previous year’s number.
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.
Coors Light Concert Series Presents the ‘Summer’s Greatest Hits’ Lineup
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino announced Friday its official Summer’s Greatest Hits lineup, presented by Coors Light. In its third year, Hoosier Park’s summer stage will welcome a series of four national headlining acts to the Hoosier Park outdoor music center. The three-month long summer series will run from Saturday, June 8 through Saturday, Aug. 31.
Known for such hits as “The Heart of Rock and Roll” and “I Want a New Drug”, Huey Lewis & the News will kick off the summer concert series on Saturday, June 8 with their “Sports” Anniversary Tour, named after their seven-time platinum 1983 album. Fellow 1980s rockers, The B-52s and The Go-Go’s, will bring their new-wave brand of rock to the stage on Saturday, June 29 playing their respective hits that include “Love Shack” and “We Got the Beat.”
On Friday, July 12 country music legend Willie Nelson will treat country music fans to the classics that built his storied career such as “On the Road Again” and “Always on My Mind.” Alongside his series of fan favorites, Willie Nelson and Family will play songs from their April 16 forthcoming album, “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” that is being described as a collection of American standards and country classics.
The smooth, surfer-inspired harmonies of The Beach Boys will once again grace the Hoosier Park summer stage on Saturday, Aug. 31, since last performing at the Anderson racetrack and casino in July 2009. The Beach Boys, recently coming off their 50th anniversary international tour, released a new studio album that represents a new harmonic blending from a super group with such hits as “Good Vibrations,” “Surfin’ U.S.A,” and “Kokomo.”
The Summer’s Greatest Hits concerts are scheduled to begin at approximately 8 p.m. The complete list of shows is as follows:
- Saturday, June 8, Huey Lewis & the News
- Saturday, June 29, The B-52s and The Go-Go’s
- Friday, July 12, Willie Nelson and Family
- Saturday, Aug. 31, The Beach Boys
The Hoosier Park outdoor music center accommodates up to 4,500 reserved ticket seats. The music center features a wide variety of ticket options, including premium VIP seating and private party decks complete with personal beverage service.
Tickets will go on sale Saturday, April 6 at 10 a.m. Ticket prices range from $23 to $67. Special VIP seating is available for an additional charge. Tickets for the Coors Light Summer Concert Series can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 800-745-3000 or by visiting Ticketmaster.com. Concertgoers may also purchase directly from the box offices located in Shelby’s Gifts at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino or in Hoosier Park’s Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB located in downtown Indianapolis. Club Centaur members will receive a 20 percent discount on tickets purchased at both Hoosier Park box offices.
Loyal sponsors Coors Light, Modern Trailer Sales, Deem Mechanical & Electric Company, and Piazza Produce will once again additionally support the Summer’s Greatest Hits lineup.
About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the third year in a row by the Indianapolis Business Journal and holds multiple awards from industry publications for customer service, entertainment, gaming and dining. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a fully integrated gaming and racing facility, features 2,000 of the latest slots and electronic table games and a 7/8 mile oval horse track offering live harness racing each year. Simulcast wagering is offered year-round at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and two off-track betting facilities located in Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Ind. For more information, please visit www.hoosierpark.com
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.
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
Emily Gaskin has joined the team at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Gaskin has assumed the duties of racing publicist and executive assistant to Brian Elmore, general manager of racing.
A resident of Pendleton, Ind., Gaskin graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in agricultural communication. During her time at UK, she worked as an intern for the Horsemen and Fair World. Most recently, Gaskin served as a reporter for Harness Racing Update.
Gaskin has an extensive background in harness racing. Her family, Ernie and Darla Gaskin, have been longtime participants in the sport and currently own and operate Crimson Lane, a training center just south of Hoosier Park.
“Emily will serve Hoosier Park in a variety of positions,” said Elmore. “In addition to her duties as racing publicist and administrative assistant for the racing department, she will assist with the race marketing and promotions. Her enthusiasm for racing, passion for the equine athlete, and overall appreciation of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will make her a great addition to the Hoosier Park Team.”
Gaskin has owned a number of Standardbreds over the years that have competed at Hoosier Park. She most recently experienced success with Jammin Joshua, an Indiana Sires Stakes winner as a two-year-old last season who won six of 11 starts.
Gaskin is preparing for the upcoming 2012 Standardbred season, which gets underway Tuesday, March 27. The 80-day race meet will run through Saturday, July 14, offering racing Tuesday through Saturday. Post time is 5:30 p.m. EST.
For more information on Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, log onto www.hoosierpark.com.