Lady Blitz Pulls Stunning Upset in Featured Event at Hoosier Park

Lady Blitz and James Yoder Capture Featured Trot at Hoosier Park

Lady Blitz and James Yoder Capture Featured Trot at Hoosier Park

As one of only two mares in a talented field of seven, Lady Blitz pulled a stunning upset over her male counterparts in the featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational trot, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, April 18. At odds of 39-1, Lady Blitz and James Yoder were able to wear down stablemate and the overwhelming favorite, Natural Herbie and Verlin Yoder, late in the lane to win in 1:54.4.

Leaving from post 4, Lady Blitz eased from the gate to find a spot along the rail in fourth. Penn and Darrel Wright would be the first to get a call through a leisurely opening panel in :29 but their lead was short lived as the other Yoder, Verlin Yoder, had Natural Herbie on a mission to the front. Natural Herbie reluctantly took command down the backside at the second station in :57.3.

The battle on the front continued as Rose Run Parker, with a three-race winning streak on the line, was aggressively sent to the front by Ricky Macomber Jr. Rose Run Parker reached the front approaching the three-quarter mark in 1:26.4 but took himself out of the race after he made a costly break around the final turn.

The race appeared to be over turning for home as Natural Herbie involuntarily inherited the lead but Lady Blitz loomed large in the background. Penn re-arrived on the scene late in the lane and began to wear down the tiring leader.

With the damage being done on the front, Lady Blitz used a :27.2 final panel to find the wire first. Princess Pablano, the other mare in the field, used a ground-saving trip and rallied gamely to finish second for driver Tyler Smith. Natural Herbie held on for third place honors. As the second longest shot on the board, Lady Blitz returned $81.20 at the windows.

“I didn’t think I would get a trip like that,” James Yoder noted after the race. “When Rose Run Parker made a break it really opened things up. Dad (Verlin Yoder) told me to stay on a helmet and wait until the lane to move. That’s what I did and it just worked out for us tonight.”

“Of course, I was glad we won the race but I would have liked to see Natural Herbie race a little better,” he continued. “It was just the first start for him though so hopefully he will back to himself with a few more races. My mare really showed up tonight, she’s a great mare to drive.”

Trained and owned by Verlin Yoder, Lady Blitz scored her first win from two seasonal starts and 18th career victory. The daughter of Keystone Blitz-Oriental Lady is a multiple Indiana Sires Stakes champion who now sports a lifetime bankroll of $421, 801.

 

Twitter Contest to Name Final Foal from Ultimate Velocity

Help Name the final foal from Ultimate Velocity, sired by Bettor's Delight

Help Name the final foal from Ultimate Velocity, sired by Bettor’s Delight

ANDERSON, Ind.—April 14, 2015—Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and The Trent Stohler Stable have announced “The Ultimate Name Game”, a Twitter competition to name the final foal from the standout open pacing mare Ultimate Velocity p,3,1:53; 4,1:51.1 ($254,373). The contestant that submits the winning name will win a VIP Certificate to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino compliments of the connections of Ultimate Velocity.

Ultimate Velocity tragically passed away following complications from surgery after delivering her second foal only one day earlier. Ultimate Velocity’s second foal, sired by Bettor’s Delight, arrived healthy and full of life on March 18, 2015. The competition will honor the legacy of his dam and her prolific racing career.

Ultimate Velocity raced 33 times, resulting in 19 wins, four seconds, and two thirds. While she did earn victories in multiple stakes, she was most known for her gritty efforts in the open mare events on the Indiana racing circuit. Sired by Western Ideal, Ultimate Velocity’s lifetime mark was only one fifth of a second off of the track record at the time. She was also race timed in 1:49.2.

Bred by brothers Kenneth “Dave” Stohler and Merrill Stohler, Ultimate Velocity was the second filly from their homebred mare, Extreme Velocity p,4,1:50.3 ($856,070). Among the highlights on her dam’s resume was a victory in the $288,000 Breeders Crown for older pacing mares in 1998.

“We thought this would be a fun, unique way to remember Ultimate (Velocity),” trainer, driver Trent Stohler noted. “She was a great mare so this foal is going to need a great name. I would like the name to include the word velocity in some way, but I am looking forward to seeing all the names submitted.”

All are welcomed to enter the contest. Contestants are encouraged to submit their name suggestions from now until 11:59 p.m. on April 24 via Twitter. Using #NameGame, contestants will send their submissions to Trent Stohler on twitter, @TrentStohler. Stohler, along with his father Dave, will select their favorite name for the colt on Saturday, April 25.

All names must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on April 24. Names must be USTA eligible, 18 characters or less, and not currently in use. Multiple submissions of the same name will be credited to the first person to submit the name.

Color’s A Virgin Romps in Seasonal Debut; Tetrick Wins Six

Color's A Virgin gives Trace Tetrick one of six wins on the 13-race card.

Color’s A Virgin gives Trace Tetrick one of six wins on the 13-race card.

ANDERSON, Ind.—April 10, 2015—The reigning three-year-old pacing filly of the year, Color’s A Virgin, returned to action on Friday, April 10 and made her 2015 debut a winning one as she captured the featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Overcoming a tough, first-over trip, Color’s A Virgin scored her first victory against older mares in 1:53.3 and gave driver Trace Tetrick one of his six wins on the 13-race card.

Leaving from post four in a talented field of six, Color’s A Virgin and Tetrick resumed their previous racing tactics and raced from off the pace early, to secure a spot along the rail in fourth. Tim Curtain sent Wings away from the gate firing and the duo reached the first quarter in :27.4. Stable Eyes and Tim Clevenger benefitted from a pocket trip while Miss Millie and Peter Wrenn were next in line, third. Pertty Music and Ed Hensley, back to back winners at this level, sat at the back of the pack for much of the mile.

Wrenn gave Miss Millie the go-ahead down the backside and she secured the lead just past the half in :57. Unable to wait any longer, Color’s A Virgin began her first-over bid approaching the final turn with American Girl and Sam Widger in tow.

As the field reached the third station in 1:25.3, Color’s A Virgin had worn down the tiring leader and began to put her talent on display as she paced away from the field. Using a :28 final panel, Color’s A Virgin coasted on to the wire under a hand drive from Tetrick to finish a length in front of American Girl who was a game second.

Miss Millie rounded out the trifecta while Pertty Music had too much ground to make up at the end of the mile and had to settle for fourth. As the heavy betting favorite, the Dan Patch award-winning mare returned $3.60 at the windows.

“The race didn’t work out exactly like I thought,” Tetrick noted after the race. “I didn’t want to be first-up for her first start back but that’s the way it worked out and she overcame it. She did everything I asked and was well within herself at the wire.”

“Brian (Brown) told me she came back well,” he continued. “Tonight, I could tell she’s matured and handled the lay-off well. She’s just a great, great mare.”

Color’s A Virgin won 13 of 18 starts in 2014 and earned $532,622 for her connections at Emerald Highlands Farm. She captured seven of her last eight starts, including the $178,862 Juggette on September 17 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

Trained by Brian Brown, the four-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color now sports a lifetime bankroll of $754,822. The winner of 19 career outings has been nominated to races such as the TVG Mares Pace, The Lady Liberty and The Golden Girls for her four-year-old campaign. Tetrick noted she would likely make her next start at Hoosier Park before heading to Miami Valley Raceway.

The victory was one of six wins for Hoosier Park’s current leading driver, Trace Tetrick and four training wins for Brian Brown. Brown and Tetrick also teamed up to score with Fits Well and Win The Gold early in the card. Tetrick also found the winner’s circle with Landonfitz for trainer Charlie Stewart and Pleasing Paisley for trainer Tyler George. The Brown, Tetrick combination would strike once more with Do U Mind in the last race of the evening for the Emerald Highlands Farm.

Repeat Trend Continues in Hoosier Park Features

Night Pro and driver Peter Wrenn capture the $21,000 Invitational Pace

Night Pro and driver Peter Wrenn capture the $21,000 Invitational Pace

ANDERSON, Ind.—April 4, 2015—On a chilly night in Indiana, odds-on favorites were hot at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as both of the heavy favorites delivered in the $21,000 featured trot and pace on Saturday, April 4. Each of the featured events saw familiar faces in the winner’s circle as both races produced repeat winners from the previous week.

Kicking things off for the evening, Rose Run Parker and Ricky Macomber Jr. extended their winning streak as they easily handled an abbreviated field of six in the $21,000 Invitational trot in 1:55. Unhurried from the gate, Rose Run Parker sat patiently along the rail in fourth through fractions of :28, :56.3, and 1:26.2 set by Lady Blitz and Verlin Yoder before making a move.

Using a :27.4 final panel, Rose Run Parker set his sights on the wire and wore down Lady Blitz late in the lane. Ed Hensley and Bloodstockshalltab staged a late rally but had to settle for second place honors. Escuela and Jason Dillander rallied nicely for third. As the heavy betting favorite, Rose Run Parker returned $2.40 to his backers.

Trained by Ron Burke, Rose Run Parker remains undefeated in 2015 from three starts. The gelded son of Jailhouse Jesse-Centergy pushed his lifetime bankroll over the $600,000 mark for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and W. Haas Jr.

On the pacing side of things, Night Pro and Peter Wrenn scored their second consecutive Hoosier Park victory with a final time of 1:51.4 in the $21,000 Invitational pace.

Using the same front-running tactics as the previous week, Night Pro dictated fractions of :27.1, and :56.2 before ever feeling a threat. Let’s Drink On It and Tyler Smith were the first to commit to the outer flow as they began their first-over bid approaching the final turn.

With a three-quarter clocking in 1:24.3, Night Pro began to put his talent on display as the field turned for home. As the rest of the field struggled to stay within striking distance, Night Pro cruised home with a :27.1 final quarter to finish two lengths in front of Let’s Drink On It. Latest Desire and Ross Leonard rounded out the trifecta ticket. As the public’s choice, Night Pro returned $3.00 at the betting windows.

“This is going to be a great summer with this group of horses,” Peter Wrenn noted in the winner’s circle. “My horse has had a few starts and he’s really sharp right now. He did that tonight just like it was a training mile. He was well within himself at the wire and did everything like he was supposed to. He’s a great, great horse.”

Trained and owned by Dale Decker, Night Pro remains undefeated in four starts in 2015. With the win, the five-year-old son of Pro Bono Best-Midnight Jewel pushed his career earnings to $473, 512.

 

Peter Lurie joins broadcast team at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Nationally acclaimed horse racing analyst and commentator Peter Lurie has joined the broadcast teams at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. Lurie will make more than one dozen appearances throughout 2015 with the first appearance this weekend at Hoosier Park beginning Friday, April 3.

“We are beyond excited to have someone of Peter’s stature joining our team in Indiana,” said Jim Brown, president and chief operating officer of Centaur Gaming and general manager of Indiana Grand. “Peter is well respected all over the world in horse racing and having his insight into our racing product on a regular basis is phenomenal.”

Lurie brings in more than three decades of experience in both the television and horse racing fields. He has been on the sidelines covering many major races, from the prestigious Saratoga meet to the Florida Derby. Lurie has interviewed racing’s finest participants over the years, including Tom Durkin, Bob Baffert, Kent Desormeaux and more recently the team behind 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome. He also served as a host for HRTV’s syndicated weekly show, “Across the Board,” which had viewership all over the world, including Dubai and Europe.

Lurie has covered both the Indiana Derby and the Dan Patch Invitational at Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park, respectively, for the past four years and is very familiar with racing in the Hoosier State. He has also provided past support to some of the major Quarter Horse stakes in the state of Indiana, showing his immense versatility and expertise in racing.

“Being able to continue my love of horse racing at two great facilities in the Midwest is wonderful,” said Lurie. “I believe Centaur Gaming is on the cusp of something truly special and I feel very fortunate to be asked to be part of its growth. I’m looking forward to assisting them in taking their racing signals to the next level in the Thoroughbred and the Quarter Horse racing industry as well as in the harness racing world.”

In addition to special appearances throughout the racing season, Lurie will provide daily handicapping for the live production at Indiana Grand. His selections may be found in both the live racing program as well as Indiana Grand’s website. In addition, he will provide frequent call-ins and video to both facilities as well as conduct interviews and additional television coverage while on property during the season.

“Adding Peter to our team is a great way to kick off our 2015 racing season,” said Rod Ratcliff, chairman and chief executive officer of Centaur Gaming. “Peter (Lurie) will enhance our current broadcast by expanding our on-air coverage of our racing programs, something we continue to strive for at both locations. This is another example of our commitment to racing in the state of Indiana.”

Lurie will provide support to the current broadcast team of Emily Gaskin, racing personality and on-track analyst, and Steve Cross, announcer, at Hoosier Park. He will also bring his expertise to the broadcast team at Indiana Grand, which consists of Bill Downes, announcer, Rachel McLaughlin, racing personality and on-track analyst, and Nancy Ury-Holthus, paddock analyst.

In addition to his work in horse racing, the multi-talented Lurie will continue to lend his voice to numerous projects including animated series, commercials and video games in the Los Angeles area. He has served as an actor for more than 30 years and brings characters to life with his voice over work, including Leatherhead from the popular “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” television series.

Live harness racing is now underway at Hoosier Park through Saturday, Nov. 14. Racing is conducted Tuesday through Saturday with a first post of 5:15 p.m. EST.

Live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing returns to Indiana Grand Tuesday, April 21. The 120-day race meet will be conducted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:05 p.m. with first post for Saturdays set at 6:05 p.m. Thursday racing will be added Sept. 17.

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 Brewpub & OTB in New Haven. For more information, please visit www.hoosierpark.com or www.centaurgaming.net.

About Indiana Grand Racing & Casino: Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, a Centaur Gaming destination, 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, Ind. For more information, please visit www.IndianaGrand.com or www.CentaurGaming.net.

 

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Pertty Music Captures First Feature of the Season at Hoosier Park

Pertty Music and Ed Hensley capture the first featured event for the 2015 season

Pertty Music and Ed Hensley capture the first featured event for the 2015 season

Pertty Music Captures First Feature of the Season at Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, Ind.—March 27, 2015—Pertty Music and Ed Hensley returned to their winning ways at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as they captured the featured event, a $21,000 Invitational pace for fillies and mares, on Friday, March 27. Using a powerful rally late in the lane, the five-year-old mare bested her rivals with a final time of 1:54.2 to reach the winner’s circle in front of a packed house that turned out for the opening night of the harness racing season.

Leaving from post five in the field of eight, Pertty Music was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in sixth as the rest of the field battled for early position. Tyler Smith had The Bomb Dottie forwardly place and they were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.2. The pace slowed just a touch as Hensley gave Pertty Music the green light and the duo reached the top spot at the half mile mark in :57.4.

Their lead would be short-lived as Peter Wrenn and Miss Millie were out and firing approaching the final turn with the rest of the field closing in. With a three-quarter clocking in 1:26.3., the field was tightly packed and the race appeared to be wide open turning for home.

Using a :27.2 final panel, Pertty Music exploded from the pocket and was able to hold off a late charge from Blisfful Romance and Ricky Macomber Jr. to score the win. American Girl and Sam Widger overcame a tough, first over trip to round out the trifecta as the heavy betting favorite. Pertty Music returned $7.00 to her backers at the window.

“I was a little unsure how the trip would work out for us,” owner, trainer, driver Ed Hensley noted after the victory. “She’s a great mare to drive and the trip ended up working out in our favor. I wasn’t sure if we were going to hold them off down the lane but she fought all the way to the wire.”

The 5-year-old daughter of Jereme’s Jet-My Metallica notched her fourth win from just eight seasonal outings. With the victory, Pertty Music pushed her seasonal earnings to $35,235.

Live harness racing will return to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, March 28 with a 14-race card that is set to begin at 5:15 p.m. This Saturday night at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will feature drink specials, give-aways and live music at the conclusion of  the live racing card.

For more information on the live racing season and the upcoming events at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.

Hoosier Park Set to Open for 22nd Season of Live Racing

ANDERSON, Ind.—March 26, 2015—The stage is set for the 22nd season of live harness racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as the 160-day meet will kick off with a 14-race card on Friday, March 27. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the evening will be highlighted by the $21,000 featured event for fillies and mares.

“I could not be more pleased with the response of the horsemen in the number of entries for opening weekend,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “Being able to offer full 14-race cards on both Friday and Saturday will provide a great positive start to our 2015 meet. This season promises to be action packed!”

The beginning of the live racing season marks not only the start of a variety of new promotions but also marks the unveiling of a number of facility enhancements as well.

Racing fans will have the opportunity to enjoy several new dining options for the 2015 racing season. Along with updated menu items in both of the Homestretch restaurants, Hoosier Park has added three new dining offerings in the lower level of the Grandstand.

Dog n Suds is an American, Midwest classic famous for their Coney dogs, burgers and root beer floats. Tommy J’s Pizza Café will feature made-from-scratch Italian breads, salads, calzones, pizzas and savory pasta dishes.  Additionally, The Shoe will feature light snacks, soft drinks and a full assortment of beers, wines and liquors.

Fridays at Hoosier Park, dubbed “Fan-tastic Fridays”, will once again 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 $750. At the conclusion of live racing, guests can also enjoy a free, live performance by Corey Cox in the Terrace Showroom at 10 p.m.

Hoosier Park has once again partnered with Twinspires.com and will be pulling out all the stops for its opening weekend, Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28. Hoosier Park is offering TwinSpires.com players the opportunity to compete for their share of 2 million elite points and one of two seats to the World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC).

Both Friday and Saturday night, 1 million points and a WHHC seat will be on the line in separate contests. Racing fans are encouraged to visit www.twinspires.com for more information.

Hoosier Park is also excited to announce a partnership with Derby Wars for the 2015 harness racing season. Racing fans will now have an opportunity to play for $500 on Friday, March 27 through www.derbywars.com.

Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Friday and Saturday schedule the opening week, a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday schedule the second week and then resume a Tuesday through Saturday schedule through the end of the meet on Nov. 14, 2015.

 

Hoosier Park Announces New Format for 2015 Dan Patch

danpatchANDERSON, Ind.—February 9, 2015—Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is set to begin the 22nd season of live harness racing on Friday, March 27 with several new and important changes to the stakes schedule. One of the most highly anticipated days on the 2015 harness racing calendar will take place on Friday, August 14 as the Dan Patch takes center stage once again. Boasting an increased purse for the 2015 edition, the Dan Patch will serve as Indiana’s richest harness race but will take on a new format beginning in 2015.

Historically, the Dan Patch has been an invitational race with Hoosier Park’s racing secretary, inheriting the responsibility of recruiting the best horses to compete in the event every year. However, when the Dan Patch returns for its 22nd edition in 2015, it will be raced under a new and improved format.

In conjunction with the Hambletonian Society, The Dan Patch will now be raced as an early closer, which requires a nomination and sustaining payment the same year in which the race will be contested. By making the switch and increasing the purse, Hoosier Park is hoping to attract the top pacers in the country that may not have previously considered racing in the Dan Patch.

To begin, a nomination fee of $500 is due on February 15, 2015 for all horses wishing to compete in the 2015 Dan Patch. After the initial fee, the nominated horses will be eligible to be sustained to the 2015 edition of the race by making a $2,000 payment on March 15.

The purse for the 2015 Dan Patch is estimated to be $300,000 with the field being comprised of the top ten highest lifetime money earners. Once the field is established, an entrance fee of $2,500 will be required.

“By making the Dan Patch a paid-in event, Hoosier Park is taking the next step in elevating what is already a great race and increasing it in purse and stature,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “We feel the race will now reach a point where it will stand side by side with the Canadian Pacing Derby and the William Haughton Memorial Pace as the elite races for aged pacers.”

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

The Dan Patch race was established at Hoosier Park in 1994 with Ready To Rumble and driver Trevor Ritchie winning the inaugural edition 21 years ago. The list of all-star horses that have made their way to Hoosier Park over the years includes Jenna’s Beach Boy, Maltese Artist and former seven-eighths mile world record holder, the late Pacific Fella.

In 2014, racing fans watched Sweet Lou, driven by Ron Pierce, pace the fastest mile in Hoosier Park history with a 1:47.2 score in the 21st edition of the Dan Patch Invitational. The previous track record of 1:48.1, a mark that stood for four years, was established by Shark Gesture and George Brennan in the 2010 Dan Patch Invitational.

For the second consecutive year, the winner of the 2015 Dan Patch Invitational will get an automatic nomination to the 2015 edition of the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby slated for Friday, October 30 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. All nomination fees will be waived but in the event the winner of the Dan Patch Invitational has already been nominated to the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, a refund of all fees will be given upon declaration.

 

In addition to the changes to the Dan Patch, Hoosier Park will once again host the Jenna’s Beach Boy Pace for three-year-old colt pacers but feature an increased purse of an estimated $100,000 for the 2015 edition. Slated for Saturday, September 26, the field will be comprised of the top ten lifetime money earners. A $20,000 consolation will also be contested on Saturday, September 26.

Keep It Real Retires in Winning Fashion

KEEP IT REAL THE POLAR VORTEX

Keep It Real winning the Polar Vortex Pacing Series with driver Ross Leonard

Keep It Real made the final start of his racing career a winning one as he scored with driver Ross Leonard in the featured event, the $15,000 Polar Vortex pacing series final, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, April 22. Using a well-timed rally late in the lane, Keep It Real scored in a seasonal best time of  1:54.1 to score the second win of his 2014 campaign and final win of his career.

Trained by Ross Leonard, the eight-year-old horse swept the Polar Vortex Pacing Series as he scored his second consecutive win at Hoosier Park.

“He was a terrific horse to have in the barn,” Leonard noted. “We wanted him to go out in a winning way and we had our eye on this series once we found out about it.”

“He is a classy horse, everything about him,” he continued. “He was a pleasure to be around and a pleasure to drive. He is the type of horse you like to have in the barn and I’m glad to see him get the retirement he so very much deserves.”

Keep It Real will retire from the racing scene with 23 career victories from 75 starts, finishing on the board in 68% of his lifetime outings. While earning $562,615 throughout his career, Keep It Real established his lifetime mark of 1:49 as a four-year-old at Harrah’s Philadelphia.

The veteran pacer, who was unraced as a 2-year-old because of a foot injury, raced amongst the likes of champions Shark Gesture, Well Said, If I Can Dream and harness racing’s richest pacer, Foiled Again, throughout his eight-year-career. Keep It Real also raced in some of harness racing’s biggest races including the 2010 installment of Hoosier Park’s signature race, the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational.
A $45,000 yearling purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale, Keep It Real is a son of Real Artist. His mother, Magical Leah, was the 2002 New York Sire Stakes champion for 3-year-old filly pacers. His great-grandmother, Goddess Supreme, was the mother of Dignatarian, who won the 1984 Champlain Stakes and earned just shy of $1 million in his career.

Hoosier Park Drivers Looking to Secure Ultimate Ride

photoHoosier Park Racing & Casino is excited to unveil a driver challenge like never seen before in the sport of harness racing. The 2014 Champion Driver 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 driving away in a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

“Unparalleled and unprecedented–That is the only way I can describe the 2014 Hoosier Park Racing and Casino Driver’s Challenge,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “While there have been many driver’s contests and challenges at many tracks, none has captured the uniqueness with the ultimate grand prize associated with this competition.”

In the first of the two challenges, the top ten drivers will compete in a five-race competition on Saturday, July 19 for their share of $5,000. The rankings will be based on number of wins at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as of Saturday, July 12, 2014. 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 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 go-round 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’ve never seen anything like it,” driver Jason Dillander noted after seeing the car he could potentially win. “Who wouldn’t love a new car, especially one that looks like that? Hoosier Park does a great job of supporting the horsemen and the drivers, and they really make it fun to race here. I am just hoping to get off to a good start this season.”

Qualifying for the 2014 Champion Driver Series began on Friday, March 28 and will continue through Saturday, July 19 for the first challenge. Each of the drafts will take place at a community luncheon held at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. For more information on the 2014 Champion Driver Series, please visit Hoosier Park’s website or click here.

Now in its’ 21st season of live racing, Hoosier Park began live racing on Friday, March 28, with a new, daily post time of 5:15 p.m. EST. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule this week and then resume a Tuesday through Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the meet. With an extended stakes scheduled offered for the first time, the live racing season will be conducted through November 15, 2014.

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