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.
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.
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.
This Veteran’s Day Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will be doing more than ever to pay tribute to our U.S. armed forces. With many employees and friends of the company having served in the military, Hoosier Park plans to give back throughout the holiday weekend. A proud supporter of Indiana veterans and national soldiers alike, Hoosier Park will be offering discounts, free food opportunities and a very special all-day trip to the Veteran’s Day Memorial Service and Parade in Downtown Indianapolis.
With a military ID, our esteemed veterans can enjoy $5 in free slot play deposited on their Club Centaur account as well as 25% off at the Big Deli and Prime Harvest Buffet all holiday weekend. Then on Sunday, November 11th, a complimentary breakfast will be offered in the Big Deli from 7 to 10 am. Hoosier Park will then host a special Veterans Day Tribute on the casino floor at 11 am following breakfast.
The annual Veteran’s Day Memorial Service and Parade in Downtown Indianapolis is on Saturday, November 10th. The event begins at 10:30 am on the north steps of the Indiana War Memorial with a Musical Prelude by the 38th Division Band of the Indiana National Guard. This display of patriotism will include music from World War I, II, and the Korean War eras. To conclude the Memorial Service, the Indiana Air National Guard will perform a fly-over display just above the Indiana War Memorial. At 11:45 am, the Veteran’s Day Memorial Parade will commence. More than 80 military units will parade through Downtown Indianapolis from Michigan and Pennsylvania Streets to Meridian and North Streets. This Veteran’s Day event is sure to be one to remember and Hoosier Park aims to make sure no soldier misses the day’s great events.
At 8:30 am Saturday, a bus will be stationed outside of the casino to provide roundtrip transportation for those wishing to enjoy the service. With a military ID, Hoosier Park will provide the transportation and a free box lunch for each veteran and their guest. After the conclusion of the parade, the bus will be waiting to return the group back to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson. There is no purchase necessary and there are no costs associated with this half-day event. Pay respects to our fallen soldiers and give thanks to our enlisted with this all-inclusive trip to the Veteran’s Day memorial Service and Parade this November.
It was a good day in Indiana for jockey Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. as the multiple Graded Stakes winning jockey captured the Grade II $200,000 added Indiana Oaks and the Grade II $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Oct. 6. It was the third consecutive year a jockey has won both of Hoosier Park’s signature Thoroughbred events.
Grace Hall under Brian Hernandez, Jr. dazzled fans with an impressive five and three-quarter length win in the 17th running of the Indiana Oaks. The duo covered the one and one-sixteenth mile race in 1:41.85 over a track that was upgraded to good after a muddy start for the day.
Grace Hall wasted little time getting control of the petite field of five, breaking alertly to secure a stalking position on the outside of early pace-setters, Eden’s Moon and Rafael Bejarano. Wine Princess and Shaun Bridgmohan stalked the pace from the inside in third as they hit the first quarter mark in :23.67. Eden’s Moon continued to call the shots down the backside as the tightly packed field reached the second station in :47.31. Grace Hall was given the green light by Hernandez around the final turn as she ranged up to take the lead. The three-year-old Empire Maker filly put her raw talent on display as she began to open up on the field in the stretch. Grace Hall continued on to the wire to finish five and three-quarter lengths in front of Wine Princess. Eden’s Moon held on for the third place finish. As the heavy betting favorite, Grace Hall returned $3.80 for the victory.
“I was just the passenger today,” Hernandez, Jr. noted after the race. “This was all her. When I called on her down the stretch she went on pretty easily. I’m very thankful to have picked up this mount, she is just a really great filly and I think she showed that here today.”
Trained by Tony Dutrow, Grace Hall notched the third win of her 2012 campaign as she sent her seasonal bankroll over $600,000. Owned by Michael Dubb, Stuart Grant, and Bethlehem Stables, LLC, Grace Hall has now won six of her ten lifetime outings while bankrolling over $1.2 million in purse earnings for her connections. The multiple graded stakes winning filly was rebounding off a fifth place finish in the Grade I Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 18.
Hernandez Jr. followed suit in the very next race as he got Neck’N Neck home a winner in the 18th running of the Grade II $500,000 Indiana Derby for trainer Ian Wilkes. Far back early, the three-year-old colt unleashed a powerful move around the final turn and continued on to win by three-quarters of a length with a final time of 1:42.71.
Unhurried out of the gate, Neck’N Neck got away a worrisome tenth in the eleven horse field. The heavy betting favorite, Fed Biz and Rafael Bejarano broke alertly from post four to get the first call. Junebugred also broke alertly under Terry Thompson to duel for the early advantage along the inside through a first quarter in :23.60. Tritap and Shaun Bridgmohan stalked the pace from three wide as Second City and Marlon St. Julien also ranged up to press the pace down the backside. Fed Biz and Junebugred continued to exchange for the lead through the second quarter in :48.32. The pace began to quicken as the tightly knit field negotiated the final turn while Neck ‘N Neck began to make his move, rallying five wide on the outside. Fed Biz continued to led as the field turned for home in the one and one-sixteenth mile contest.
With the Fed Biz tiring on the front, Neck’ N Neck accelerated coming off the final turn and pressed on to the wire to finish in front of late charging Bourbon Courage. Fed Biz held on gamely for the third place finish. Neck ‘N Neck returned $11.20 to his backers.
“I talked to Ian before the race and he said he wanted to see him off the pace,” winning rider Hernandez, Jr. noted. “I was a little worried because we were hung kind of wide, but turning for home I was pretty confident in my horse. Every time I asked him for more he went on, once he got the lead he waited for them a little bit but he took back off and felt really good at the wire.”
The Flower Alley colt was looking to bounce back and did after a sixth-place finish in the GI Travers Stake at Saratoga on Aug.25. Owned and bred by A. Steven Miles, Jr., Neck ‘N Neck notched his third win of the season in nine starts as he pushed his seasonal bankroll over $387,000. The homebred colt has now four of 13 lifetime starts and over $420,000 in purse earnings.
A full field of twelve is set to go to post in the 18th edition of Hoosier Park’s signature Thoroughbred event, the grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. In what may be one of the most competitive fields ever assembled, the Derby is slated as the 12th race on the program and has an approximate post time of 6:15 p.m. Purses for the 12-race card top the $1.4 million mark, making it the richest day of Thoroughbred racing in the state of Indiana.
World renowned trainer, Bob Baffert is no stranger to the Indiana Derby winner’s circle as he boasts two wins in the history of the race and looks to take aim at his third victory with the Giant’s Causeway colt, Fed Biz. With two wins in two starts this season, Fed Biz returned to the races after an eight month layoff to win the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 31. Installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite, the three-year-old colt has won three of four lifetime starts and will begin from post four under jockey Rafael Bejarano.
Also headlining the list of three-year-old colts is the grade II $500,000 Louisiana Super Derby winner, Bourbon Courage. The Kellyn Gorder-trained colt has now won three of six starts in 2012 while bankrolling over $520,000 and is the morning line second choice at 7-2. Gorder has once again called on Hoosier Park’s leading jockey, Leandro Goncalves, to ride the son of Lion Heart from post eight.
The 2012 Indiana Derby field is as follows: horse/jockey/trainer/morning line odds
- Easter Gift (Kendrick Carmouche/Nicholas Zito) 8-1
- Morgan’s Guerrilla (Victor Lebron/Michael J. Maker) 20-1
- Junebugred (Terry Thompson/Steve Hobby) 30-1
- Fed Biz (Rafael Bejarano/Bob Baffert) 5-2
- O’Prado Again (Corey Lanerie/Dale L. Romans) 15-1
- Tritap (Shaun Bridgmohan/Steven M. Asmussen) 12-1
- Afford (Florent Geroux/Greg Geire) 30-1
- Bourbon Courage (Leandro Goncalves/Kellyn Gorder) 7-2
- Stealcase (Jermaine Bridgmohan/Mark E. Casse) 6-1
- Second City (Mario Gutierrez/ Ben D. A. Cecil) 20-1
- Neck ‘N Neck (Brain Joseph Hernandez, Jr./ Ian R. Wilkes) 9-2
- Adirondack King (Stewart Elliot/John C. Servis) 30-1.
The odds aren’t always with the favorites in the Indiana Derby. Out of 17 previous races, only three favorites have crossed the wire as winners. Those winners include Forty One Carats (1999), Zanjero (2007), and Lookin At Lucky (2010).
“Once again Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is welcoming some of the top trainers, jockeys and horses in the sport of Thoroughbred racing to Indiana,” said Brian Elmore, Hoosier Park’s vice president and general manager of racing. “Each year the level of competition continues to grow providing fans a day full of fast paced, thrilling horse racing action.”
Several horses that have competed in the Indiana Derby have also competed and won legs of the Triple Crown series. Previous Indiana Derby competitors have also gone on to win Breeders’ Cup events. The race increased in national exposure in 2010 when Lookin At Lucky, that year’s Preakness winner, started and won the event.
In addition to the open events, several Indiana Stakes will compliment the stellar afternoon card beginning at 12:30 p.m. The $84,000 Hillsdale Stakes, the $84,000 added City of Anderson, the $84,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes, the $84,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes “Filly Division”, the $84,000 Gus Grissom Stakes and the $84,000 Richmond Stakes are all included on the day.
About Centaur Gaming and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Indianapolis-based, Centaur Gaming, owns and operates Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the second 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 and simulcast Standardbred, Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing each year. Simulcast wagering is also offered year-round at the Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and two off-track betting properties located in Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Indiana.
From color commentator to purist handicapper and everything in between, Racing Rachel McLaughlin is a shining star amongst a new generation of horse racing enthusiasts. Here at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino we pride ourselves on going above and beyond the standard. Rachel is no exception. Horsemanship is steeped in tradition and race presentations have remained relatively unchanged throughout history. While many facets of the sport are here to stay, Hoosier Park aims to facilitate a new generation of horsemen. The focal point of our efforts lies with Rachel McLaughlin and her trackside reporting. Rachel is no stranger to the horseman culture. As an avid rider and horse owner herself, she has been involved with horsemanship for many years. Rachel began western style riding at an early age with her spotted saddle horse named Adidas. With her love of riding and knowledge of all things equine, she soon found her way to Hoosier Park in 2010 as a racing intern.
As an intern Rachel excelled under the pressure of live reporting and her comfortability on camera ultimately landed her the position of lead commentator. Since her debut here at Hoosier Park, she has left no stone unturned in her endeavor to learn the sports betting side of both Standardbred and Thoroughbred horseracing. There are very few tracks across the nation that host both Thoroughbred and Standardbred competition. Each sport has an entirely different set of guidelines and knowledge of one does not equate to success in the other. McLaughlin makes the annual transition from Standardbred to Thoroughbred without missing a beat. With each passing year she has been able to build upon her solid foundation of racing knowledge and continues to grow to this day. Her unique ability to effectively cycle between the two forms of racing and her unmistakable presence on camera has brought her national attention as well. At only twenty four years of age, Racing Rachel is off to a notable start with features on both ESPN and HRTV. With a background in Sports Marketing and her unforgettable style, it seems Racing Rachel has only just begun.
Rachel is currently hosting her fifth meet at Hoosier Park and her experience is evident as she transitions into an even broader role. Racing Rachel has developed into an excellent handicapper. In her first handicapping season she has already begun making a name for herself as her picks continue to hit the board. Coming off a successful Standardbred season, she has transitioned back to her roots with Thoroughbred. Her growing knowledge of the sport has landed her multiple roles as a handicapper, analyst, and commentator. Rachel also assists with marketing efforts and holds the title of Marketing Coordinator. When she is not in front of the camera she spends her time planning promotions and giveaways to make our events enjoyable for guests of all experience levels. If you have been to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino you have undoubtedly taken part in one of her many daily activities and most likely went home with something to show for it. Rachel’s presence on camera is second to none and has an uncanny ability to make even the most mundane of tasks exciting and fun. Rachel’s role at Hoosier Park has increased the family fun aspect as well with daily games and giveaways that cater to individuals of all age groups. Racing Rachel’s personality exemplifies our mission here at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and we look forward to ushering in a new era of racing experience alongside her.
If you are a fan of horseracing or would like to learn more about the woman behind the microphone, check out the Racing Rachel Facebook fan page or follow @HP_RacingRachel on Twitter. Also, be sure to stop in at 5:00 pm on weekdays to watch Rachel and Steve Cross kick off daily racing events with their live pre-race show in the Terrace.