ANDERSON, Ind.—August 10, 2016—There has been plenty of ink devoted to the Indiana originations of world champions Wiggle It Jiggleit, Freaky Feet Pete and Always B Miki, but the horse that paced home in front of that trio in last Saturday’s $225,550 U.S. Pacing Championship also is indelibly linked to the Hoosier State as Shamballa’s dam resides in Shipshewana at Cornerstone Stock Farm.
Therefore, his performance in this Friday’s (Aug. 12) edition of the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes, his rise to prominence in the sport and his presence in the state’s signature harness racing event also speaks volumes for the extraordinary success of the Indiana program.
Despite competing in Canada for the majority of his career and his first breath not being drawn in Indiana, Shamballa’s connections already had targeted an appearance in the Dan Patch prior to his upset victory at 8-1 on Hambletonian day and his appearance in Anderson is yet another testimonial to the potent force of this sport within the confines of “The Land of the Indians.”
“We were still in the winner’s circle and right away it was announced he was going to the Dan Patch,” said Howard Taylor, who co-owns the horse with Rick Zeron, TAO Racing and Cool Cat Racing. “I was so thrilled with his win, it took me a minute to process. I’m just blessed I have the opportunity to be involved with this horse, so I’m not directly involved with his schedule, but I was shocked Rick would race him again with that kind of turnaround. He has always managed Shamballa very conservatively throughout his career and never really liked to race him back-to-back weeks, but he knows this horse better than anyone and everyone is just excited about him as well as the race.”
Trained by Rick Zeron, Shamballa will commence his journey from post position seven with regular reinsman, Scott Zeron in the bike in the 12th contest on Friday’s card. Although he enters this event fresh off a sublime pacing performance, he is 6-1 on the morning line behind favorite Always B Miki (8-5, post eight), Wiggle It Jigglieit (2-1, post one) and Freaky Feet Pete (5-1, post two).
“Hoosier Park should be an excellent fit for this horse,” Taylor said. “He comes with that one powerful run and the long stretch there should suit him.”
The 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere and the Life Sign mare Bolero Takara, Shamballa is the seventh foal out of his extremely prolific dam. The mare earned $516,153 while competing primarily in Canada during her two-year-career. She was a perfect 11-for-11 as a freshman and capped off that campaign with two victories at The Red Mile. As a sophomore, she was 7-2-2-0 with one of the seconds in the $764,400 Breeders Crown for her age, gait and gender.
Bolero Takara proved just as reliable in the breeding shed. Shamballa has earned the most money ($680,878) from (her 10 offspring, but the gelding’s elder half siblings Bolero Taishi (The Panderosa, $490,4047), Charles (Jenna’s Beach Boy, $563,134), Bolero Tallia (Art’s Conquest, $234,184) and Bolero Andrew (Bettor’s Delight, $291,490) set the standard long before this horse’s hooves ever hit the ground.
She was purchased by Cornerstone Stock Farm in 2011 and has produced two foals for her new owners, the unraced 3-year-old Chest Rockwell (Panspacificflight) and the 2-year-old Takara Rose (Always A Virgin, $5,525).
Unraced at age two, Shamballa was purchased privately as a yearling and began his career with conditioner Fred Grant at Pompano Park. He compiled a record of 11-5-0-0 and banked just over $53,000 in his first season of competition.
In 2014, the gelding entered Rick Zeron’s barn in June of that year when he became the property of his trainer and TAO Racing. Zeron steered and schooled the 4-year-old through a campaign which consisted of seven wins, two second place finishes, two thirds and $86,122 from 15 trips to the post for his new connections.
Last year, Shamballa served notice he was a force to be reckoned with. His seasonal slate was 16-8-3-1 and he collected $286,901 in purse money. He competed primarily in preferred company in Canada but was a swiftly closing second with a blistering final quarter panel of :26.4 in the $513,750 Canadian Pacing Derby to champion State Treasurer and second to that rival again in the $138,500 Dayton Pacing Derby.
While the gelding was enjoying his winter sojourn, Zeron contacted Taylor and offered him a piece of the horse.
“I had horses with Rick and I’ve known him a long time,” Taylor said. “When he asked me if I wanted to buy in on him, I felt fortunate. I had been watching this horse and he has a wicked brush to him. He was as fast as anything out there at the end of the race. You could always count on him to be flying at the end and I knew Rick had taken good care of him.”
Since Taylor became involved with Shamballa, the horse has amassed $272,045, composed a resume of 9-3-2-2 and lowered his lifetime mark to 1:47.1 with his U.S. Pacing Championship triumph. His connections are confident he is a player in the older pacing division, which has been dominated by what everyone in the sport has been referring to as “The Big Three” and the Dan Patch will demonstrate how substantial his bid is for divisional glory.
“I always knew this horse had ability and would demonstrate that,” Taylor said. “Did I think he could pace with those guys? I know he could be competitive because he has that kind of speed. Rick knows the horse, Scott knows how to drive him and they take great care of him. Rick said he was training great going into that race and is still doing very well. If you look at his two races before that he was right there with Always B Miki in the Haughton and in the last race at Mohawk he was locked in. Rick has him ready right now and I think he definitely belongs in the Dan Patch. Honestly, I think at this point you can throw a blanket over him with The Big Three because he’s right there. We just hope things go well for him at Hoosier and he races well.”
The Dan Patch Stakes will highlight the 14-race card on Friday, August 12 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. As part of a weekend long festival tagged “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”, Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. First post is 5:45 p.m. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino recently announced the addition of 12 overnight series and special overnight races to compliment Indiana’s most prestigious pacing race, the Dan Patch Stakes on Friday, August 12. With an estimated purse of $300,000, The Dan Patch Stakes will serve as Indiana’s richest harness race and will now be supported by an all-star, 14-race card that includes overnight series action.
“With Dan Patch weekend being the biggest racing event of the year we wanted to put together a solid undercard for our signature race,” Hoosier Park’s Director of Racing and Racing Secretary, Scott Peine noted. “In conjunction with the Dan Patch Stakes, hopefully these additional overnight series will bring the best out of some of our most competitive classes.”
All of the Dan Patch overnight series and races will be on Hoosier Park’s condition sheets and can be found on Hoosier Park’s website as soon as they are made available. To see a full list of the Dan Patch overnight series and special races, please click here.
Each of the overnight series will be comprised of a preliminary leg with the finals being contested on Friday, August 12. Also included for the Dan Patch card is a $30,000 Gregg Haston Memorial Invitational pace. The race is named in honor of driver Gregg Haston, who was killed in an automobile accident in 1996. Haston, a native of Indiana, was the track’s leading driver and trainer during the inaugural live racing season.
Once again, the Dan Patch Stakes will highlight the 2016 harness racing season as the best in the sport of harness racing will descend upon the seven-eighths mile oval seeking glory in Hoosier Park’s signature harness racing event. As part of a weekend long festival of entertainment and racing, the purse for the 2016 Dan Patch is estimated to be $300,000 with the field being comprised of the top ten highest lifetime money earners.
The race will be part of a special weekend tagged as “Dan Patch Festival Weekend” and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The evening will also be complimented by Indiana Sires Stakes action and specialty wagers. On Saturday, Hoosier Park will host “Thrillyard 200” featuring helicopter rides, zip-lining and a food truck festival for racing fans. Live racing on Saturday will be held at an adjusted post time of 4:30 p.m. to prepare for a free concert by country music legends Asleep At The Wheel in the Outdoor Music Center. The entire evening will be culminated by a free fireworks show at 10:00 p.m
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 2016 season of live harness racing will be conducted through November 12.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will celebrate two of the biggest days in horse racing, The Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 6 and the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7, by welcoming racing fans with extended operating hours, advance wagering, and dining specials all leading up to the excitement of the 142nd running of the Derby. With two $1,000 Kentucky Derby mega-bet drawings, a hat contest, live harness racing, and entertainment throughout the day, it will be a Derby party like none other.
Known as the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” since 1875, the first Saturday in May has been reserved for the greatest race in horse racing – a $2 million, one-and-a-quarter mile race featuring the very best three-year-old horses in the sport. All of Indiana’s simulcast race-wagering locations will be busy as they are the only locations in the state of Indiana to take wagers on the biggest race of the year. Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille, & OTB in Indianapolis, and the Winner’s Circle OTB and Voo Doo BBQ & Grill in New Haven will offer several reserved seating and free general admission options for racing fans to watch and wager on the Kentucky Derby live from Churchill Downs.
Guests at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will enjoy a variety of traditional Kentucky Derby weekend favorites, such as the Oaks Lily and the Kentucky Derby Mint Julep signature drinks. On Friday, The Official 142nd Kentucky Oaks Collector glass will be available with the purchase of an Oaks Lily. The Official 142nd Kentucky Derby Collector glass will be available with the purchase of a Mint Julep on Saturday. The Derby fashion, dining and entertainment that will be on display at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will suitably represent the nation’s biggest, most storied, horse race.
“Our goal is to bring the pomp and ceremony of Derby Weekend to our racing fans at Hoosier Park,” said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park’s vice president and general manager of racing. “Whether it is mint juleps or beautiful women’s hats, one will feel the excitement of racing’s greatest weekend just as though they were in the stands at Churchill Downs.
Two lucky Hoosier Park guests will get the chance to place a $1,000 win bet on the horse he or she believes will win the Kentucky Derby. The winner must wager the entire $1,000 sum on the horse they believe will place first in the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby. This exclusive mega-bet drawing will take place at approximately 5:15 p.m., with the bet being placed prior to the Kentucky Derby post time. Hoosier Park has provided guests the Kentucky Derby win bet opportunity in the previous two editions of the Kentucky Derby and for the second consecutive year, a winning bet was made.
Hoosier Park will also offer racing fans a free hat contest on Saturday, May 7. Guests are also encouraged to take part in a photo booth located near Club Centaur. All guests who post a picture or check-in at Hoosier Park on Facebook will receive a $5 win bet on the Kentucky Derby race. Racing fans can also enjoy Shelby’s Gifts merchandise, Kentucky Derby trivia, and various give-aways throughout the day on Saturday.
The precursor to the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks, will kick-off the weekend of horse racing festivities on Friday, May 6, with the Kentucky Derby running the night of Saturday, May 7. The entire Derby weekend at Hoosier Park will include property-wide dining specials, expanded beverage options, and official Kentucky Derby merchandise sales.
Advanced wagering will be available at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for both the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby on Thursday afternoon. The signature Kentucky Derby race has an estimated post time of 6:34 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, May 7.
Hoosier Park’s ‘Family Fun Days’ on Saturday will also offer kids activities, face painting, and various other entertainment geared toward the younger racing fans. Live harness racing will begin at its regularly scheduled post of 5:45 p.m. with an action-packed 14-race card. Additionally, Churchill Downs’ full racing card will be shown throughout the Hoosier Park property. Admission is free and open to the public.
With the return of live harness racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino right less than a month away, final preparations for the 2016 season are underway throughout the property. Opening day of the 160-day meet is set for Friday, April 1.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Friday, Saturday schedule the opening week, a Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule the second week and then resume a Tuesday through Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the season. With a new, daily post time of 5:45 p.m. (est.) each night, the live racing season will be conducted through Nov. 12, 2016.
Stall applications have been flowing into Hoosier Park’s racing office since January in advance of the 2016 season. This year, Hoosier Park’s Director of Racing and Racing Secretary, Scott Peine encountered a much stronger response from horsemen, both local and otherwise, as stall applications totaled nearly 900 applicants. As a result, the backstretch will be filled to capacity for the opening of this year’s season.
“Last year the Indiana harness racing industry captured national attention and that success has been felt throughout the entire program,” Peine noted. “The response we’ve had from horsemen all across the country has been excellent and it’s a reflection of the quality of racing we’ve had over the last few years. I think everyone is looking forward to the 2016 season that will showcase competition among some of the nation’s top horses, owners, trainers and drivers.”
The barn area and dormitories will officially open on Saturday, March 12 for those horsemen allotted stalls to begin moving in horses and equipment. The track will open for training on Monday, March 14 from the hours of 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Paddock and ship-in area will also be open starting March 14th for those horsemen wishing to ship-in and train. All days of training will be subject to weather permitting. All horses entering the grounds must have all valid paperwork available before being allowed entry to the grounds.
The first round of qualifiers is slated for Wednesday, March 16th with an estimated start time of 10 a.m. Qualifiers will continue to follow a Wednesday and Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the season. Condition sheets and stakes schedules will be posted on Hoosier Park’s website as soon as they are made available.
Peine also announced several overnight and late closing events to be contested in early April and May. In conjunction, Hoosier Park will offer a variety of overnight series for Indiana-sired horses. All of the overnight series will be on Hoosier Park’s condition sheets and more information can be found on Hoosier Park’s website by clicking here.
Once again, Hoosier Park’s 23rd season of live racing will offer an action-packed stakes season. Hoosier Park’s signature event, the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes, is slated for Friday, August 12. For more information on the 2016 stakes schedule, please click here.
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/Fort Wayne, Ind. For more information, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
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.
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.
ANDERSON, Ind.—February 16, 2015—Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is currently accepting applications for two internship opportunities with the Race Marketing Department for the upcoming 2015 live harness racing season at Hoosier Park. Both internships will be with the Race Marketing Department and are ideal for students pursuing careers in marketing, hospitality, communications, business, and equine related fields.
The internship program is designed to give applicable marketing experience while simultaneously discovering and learning the many facets of the harness racing industry. The Race Marketing interns will have the opportunity to work alongside industry and media professionals in an exciting, fast-paced environment.
Each intern will be expected to assist the Race Marketing Department with a variety of promotional events, racing activities, and programs in a customer-service based atmosphere. The race marketing interns will assist with the daily production of the live racing program and various group events. The interns will also be challenged to write blog entries, develop and maintain contests, along with public relations and social media assignments.
This opportunity is ideal for college students looking for an exciting internship in the horse racing industry or students seeking internship accreditation opportunities in related fields. The positions require an energetic, self-starter with strong communication skills, organizational skills, and experience in social media applications. Applicants must have reliable transportation and be willing to work weekends and some evenings.
This paid assignment will run throughout the entirety of the live racing season. Hoosier Park’s 22nd season of live harness racing will kick off on March 27 and be conducted through November 14. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule.
To apply for the Race Marketing internship at Hoosier Park, send resume and cover letter to:
4500 Dan Patch Circle
Anderson, IN 46017
The application deadline for the Race Marketing internship is March 15, 2015. For more information about Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.
ANDERSON, 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.
The 2014 live racing season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, which concluded on Saturday, November 15, produced encouraging gains on many fronts as well as sizeable gains in all-sources handle during the 160-day, all harness racing season.
Buoyed by a sensational 27% increase in all-sources handle for the 2013 season, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continued the positive trend in 2014 to report an all sources handle increase of 6.2% over the previous year’s numbers.
In a continued effort to provide the highest quality racing experience for racing fans, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continued its focus on all encompassing marketing efforts, facility enhancements and an increase in overall quality of racing.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of the 2014 racing season.” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “The positive trend in handle that we experienced during the 2013 season carried over into 2014. Beyond handle, the competition on the race track continues to get even more spirited. Together, we are buoyed by the reception we have received throughout the simulcast market and look forward to building on these successes when we open the 2015 season in late March.”
For the first time in its 21 year history, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino expanded its viewing public to include Australia in June of 2014. Through a partnership between Hoosier Park and the Australian racing broadcaster, Sky Racing, Hoosier Park harness racing became a regular morning feature on Thursday, Friday and Sunday on Sky Racing2 between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Australian time.
Hoosier Park’s signature race, the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational pace, saw marked success while placing the national spotlight on Hoosier Park, as the best in the sport of harness racing took to the racetrack on Friday, August 8. Excitement pervaded throughout the grandstand as an enthusiastic crowd 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.
On the wagering front, the Dan Patch card offered remarkable value to horseplayers with the continuation of a $25,000 Guaranteed Superfecta on the Dan Patch Invitational race. The bettors came out in full force to watch the harness racing superstars compete at Hoosier Park as the handle increases were felt both on track and through export wagering and produced the biggest handle night of the season. The total handle for the night was up 25% over the previous year’s numbers.
Hoosier Park hosted Grand Circuit racing action four different times this season and welcomed the top-rated horses in North America to compete in races like the $275,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, the $230,000 Carl Erskine, the $250,000 Monument Circle, the $193,000 Nadia Lobell and the $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby.
Trace Tetrick led all forces on the track and took home the 2014 leading driver title with 289 victories and accumulated over $3.6 million in purse earnings throughout the season. Tetrick, who led the driver standings from start to finish, earned his third leading driver title at Hoosier Park in 2014. Tetrick also earned a spot in Hoosier Park’s record books as he re-established the record for most wins in one season, a record that was previously held by Tony Morgan during the 1998 season with 262 victories.
Also new to the 2014 season, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino unveiled a driver challenge like never seen before in the sport of harness racing. The 2014 Champion Driver Series pitted 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.
It was LeWayne Miller who not only took home the $5,000 first place prize in the opening round of the series, but was crowned the ultimate champion after winning the second round of the series and drove away in a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
Weekends during the meet encouraged fans to enjoy live racing and numerous entertainment opportunities throughout the venue. Each weekend was highlighted by ‘Fan-tastic Fridays,’ live racing action that featured $1 customer specials including beer, hot dogs, wagers, and racing programs. Saturdays at the track, designated as ‘Family Fun Days,’ featured live entertainment, kid-friendly outdoor games and activities, winner’s circle giveaways, and dining specials.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continued the annual summer concert series in 2014 and welcomed a series of national headlining acts to the outdoor music center. In conjunction with the racing action on the track, fans enjoyed Grammy-Award winners, Billboard chart toppers and thrilling entertainers throughout the summer.
“We would like to thank all the horsemen and racing fans that contributed to the successful 2014 season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino,” Moore continued. “Their support, along with the hard work and dedication from the entire Hoosier Park team, made for a tremendous season and we are already looking forward to next season.”
The 22nd season of live harness racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is set to get underway on March 27, 2015. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Friday, Saturday schedule the opening week, a Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule the second week and then resume a Tuesday through Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the meet. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. each night, the live racing season will be conducted through November 14, 2015.
Dismissed at 8-1, No Respect turned in a gutsy performance to take home top honors in the featured event, a $22,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, April 18. Guided by Sam Widger, No Respect left early for position and was game in the stretch to score her fourth win of the season in 1:52.2.
Leaving from post three, No Respect was sent from the gate as soon as the wings folded but found herself in an early battle for position with the heavily favored American Girl and Peter Wrenn. No Respect was able to grab the lead at the first quarter clocking in :27.2 but her lead would be short lived. Ritascape and Frank Davis were well placed in the pocket as Wrenn sent American Girl to the front from their spot along the rail in third.
American Girl reached the top spot at the half mile mark in :56.2 and continued to call the shots approaching the final turn with a three-quarter clocking in 1:24.4. Blissful Romance and Ricky Macomber Jr. were the first to take aim at the leader with the Indiana Sire Stakes champion, Always About Katey and Tyler Smith in tow.
As the field turned for home, it was a cavalry charge to the wire. The field began to fan out across the track and American Girl appeared to be up to the task as she fought off Blissful Romance.
As the top pair battled on the front, Widger sat patiently along the rail in third but was desperately looking for racing room. Tipping three wide late in the lane, Widger asked No Respect for more and she responded gamely with a :27.2 final panel to grind out the victory.
“She was really good last week and I knew I wanted to leave out of there to get position,” Widger noted after the race. “Turning for home, I wasn’t sure if she had enough to get the job done but as soon as I asked her for more she found another gear and paced all the way to the wire. I was really impressed with her tonight.”
As the public’s fifth choice in the field of eight, No Respect returned $19.40 at the windows. Blissful Romance held on for second while Love This Place and Trace Tetrick rallied late for third.
The 1:52.2 victory was No Respect’s 17th career victory and just two ticks off her lifetime best. The daughter of Sportsmaster-Justalittlerespect notched her fourth win of the season from 10 outings while increasing her bankroll to $47,625 for the season. Trained by Nick Giberson, No Respect has now amassed $271,553 lifetime for her owner Mark Winship.