Don Giovanni Establishes New Track Record at Hoosier Park

DON GIOVANNI INVITE 5-4

Don Giovanni, with Benny Christensen at the lines, shattered a fifteen-year-old track record for older horses on the trot when he powered home a winner in 1:54 in the featured event of the evening, a $24,000 Invitational trot. The previous record of 1:54.3 was established by Sonoran Sunrise and driver, trainer Mark O’Mara in 1998.

 Leaving from post five as the publics’ choice, Christensen left no room for error as he sent Don Giovanni to the front through an opening quarter in : 27.0. The eight-year-old gelding relaxed nicely from the point position as he led the gapped out field of ten down the backside through a second panel in :56.2. Solvent and Jason Dillander benefitted from a pocket trip while Rick Farrington had CJ’s Rascal well placed in third. M T Ur Pockets and Andy Shetler were the first to commit to the outer flow as Ed Hensley and Foggy Lane K followed suit.

 As the field rounded the final turn, Don Giovanni began to put his talent on display and trot away from the field through a three-quarter clocking in 1:25.4. The eight-year-old gelding appeared to be on cruise control as he crossed the wire ten lengths in front of his closest competitor. Solvent trotted evenly to finish second while M T Ur Pockets rallied from off the pace to round out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Don Giovanni returned $4.80 to his backers.

 With over $155,000 in purse earnings to his credit, Don Giovanni notched his 12th career victory in 58 outings. Owned by Ely Rishaug Iverson of Oslo, NO, Don Giovanni recorded his first victory of the 2013 season.

 “When you try to win the race before the race, it never works that way, but I knew this horse would be good tonight,” Christensen noted. “It’s a new track so I didn’t know exactly what to expect and I have all the respect for the other horses in this race, but this horse is a special horse. He does his own thing sometimes out there, but he’s crazy, I’m crazy, we make a good team.”

The fifteen year old record for older horses on the trot was established by Sonoran Sunrise on August 7, 1998. Sired by Royal  Prestige, Sonoran Sunrise was five-years-old when he set the track record over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval with Mark O’Mara in the sulky. With over $540,000 in lifetime earnings, Sonoran Sunrise went on to set a lifetime best mark of 1:54 at nine years of age and retired with 42 trips the winner’s circle.

Don Giovanni, with Benny Christensen at the lines, shattered a fifteen-year-old track record for older horses on the trot when he powered home a winner in 1:54 in the featured event of the evening, a $24,000 Invitational trot. The previous record of 1:54.3 was established by Sonoran Sunrise and driver, trainer Mark O’Mara in 1998.

 

Leaving from post five as the publics’ choice, Christensen left no room for error as he sent Don Giovanni to the front through an opening quarter in : 27.0. The eight-year-old gelding relaxed nicely from the point position as he led the gapped out field of ten down the backside through a second panel in :56.2. Solvent and Jason Dillander benefitted from a pocket trip while Rick Farrington had CJ’s Rascal well placed in third. M T Ur Pockets and Andy Shetler were the first to commit to the outer flow as Ed Hensley and Foggy Lane K followed suit.

 

As the field rounded the final turn, Don Giovanni began to put his talent on display and trot away from the field through a three-quarter clocking in 1:25.4. The eight-year-old gelding appeared to be on cruise control as he crossed the wire ten lengths in front of his closest competitor. Solvent trotted evenly to finish second while M T Ur Pockets rallied from off the pace to round out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Don Giovanni returned $4.80 to his backers.

 

With over $155,000 in purse earnings to his credit, Don Giovanni notched his 12th career victory in 58 outings. Owned by Ely Rishaug Iverson of Oslo, NO, Don Giovanni recorded his first victory of the 2013 season.

 

“When you try to win the race before the race, it never works that way, but I knew this horse would be good tonight,” Christensen noted. “It’s a new track so I didn’t know exactly what to expect and I have all the respect for the other horses in this race, but this horse is a special horse. He does his own thing sometimes out there, but he’s crazy, I’m crazy, we make a good team.”

 

The fifteen year old record for older horses on the trot was established by Sonoran Sunrise on August 7, 1998. Sired by Royal  Prestige, Sonoran Sunrise was five-years-old when he set the track record over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval with Mark O’Mara in the sulky. With over $540,000 in lifetime earnings, Sonoran Sunrise went on to set a lifetime best mark of 1:54 at nine years of age and retired with 42 trips the winner’s circle.

DERBY DAY FESTIVITIES MARK SIGNATURE WEEKEND FOR SPORT OF HORSE RACING

Derby Fashion, Dining and Entertainment on display at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

A once-in-a-lifetime $10,000 Kentucky Derby mega-bet will culminate two of the biggest days in the sport of horse racing on Saturday, May 4 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Hoosier Park will welcome guests with extended hours, wagering promotions, and dining specials to take in the excitement of the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. Thousands are expected to be in attendance to wager on and watch, via simulcast, the Kentucky Derby at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Hoosier Park’s Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille and OTB in Downtown Indianapolis and at two additional off-track betting locations in Fort Wayne and Merrillville.

Racing fans can enjoy convenient wagering for all races held at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Day, a full simulcast race schedule, official Derby merchandise, live Standardbred racing and entertainment throughout the day at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Derby fashion, dining and entertainment that will be on display at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will culminate the biggest weekend in the sport of horse racing.

“Our goal is to bring the pomp and ceremony of Derby weekend to our fans at Hoosier Park,” said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park’s 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.”

One lucky Hoosier Park guest will win the chance to place a $10,000 bet on the horse he or she believes will win the Kentucky Derby.  The $10,000 mega-bet promotion, for invited guests only, will be televised throughout the Hoosier Park facility and on more than 500 simulcast feeds throughout the nation. The winner must wager the entire $10,000 sum on the horse they believe will place first in the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.  The exclusive mega-bet drawing will take place at approximately 5:15 p.m., with the bet being placed prior to the 6:24 p.m. Kentucky Derby post time.  Previous Hoosier Park mega-bet promotions have produced large payouts for guests.

The precursor to the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks, will begin the weekend of horse racing festivities on Friday, May 3, with the Kentucky Derby running the night of Saturday, May 4.  Derby weekend will include property-wide dining specials, expanded beverage options, and official Kentucky Derby merchandise sales. Patrons will also have the opportunity to receive a free Kentucky Derby wager if they wear a Derby hat.

Racing fans can avoid long lines by taking advantage of the FastBet Mobile Wagering system. The FastBet Mobile system offers guests the ability to wager directly from a smart phone or tablet device. Guests can access the FastBet Mobile system by connecting to the FastBet wireless network.  Once connected, guests log in to the FastBet application site to access their account and start wagering. Once finished, guests can choose to keep their account balance or cash out at any teller window. Each account is unique to each guest and protected through encryption technology. Guests who sign up for a new FastBet Mobile account will receive $10 in race wagering and be entered to win an iPhone 5. One lucky FastBet user will win a new iPhone 5 on May 24 at Hoosier Park.

Advanced wagering will also be available at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for both the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby. Kentucky Oaks advanced wagering began on Thursday, May 2 and Kentucky Derby advanced wagering on Friday, May 3.

Hoosier Park’s ‘Family Fun’ Saturday, May 4 will also offer bounce house activities, face painting, and various other entertainment geared toward the younger racing fans. Live Standardbred racing will begin at its regularly scheduled post of 5:30 p.m.  Additionally, Churchill Downs’ full racing card will be shown throughout the Hoosier Park property. Admission is free and open to the public.

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.

Betterluvnexttime Battles Gamely in Featured Event

BETTERLUVNEXTTIME INVITE 4-12

Betterluvnexttime and Pete Wrenn made amends for their second place finish last time out as they pulled off a sharp front running effort in the featured event at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, May 3. Betterluvnexttime made a late surge at the wire to notch her 20th career victory.

Leaving from post nine, Wrenn sent Betterluvnexttime to the front as Ricky Macomber Jr. and Montenegro followed suit from post six. Betterluvnexttime won the early battle, reaching the front through a brisk opening panel in :27.1, and continued to call the shots down the backside. The field of nine remained in single file lane as they reached the half in a leisurely second split of :56.1. Montenegro continued to benefit from a pocket trip while Winning It and Ed Hensley followed intently in third. Unable to find a spot along the rail, Gimme A Brake and Sam Widger were pushed to the outer flow as the field reached the final turn. Gran Gabriel and Terry Cullipher were well placed second over as they passed the three-quarter clocking in 1:25.4. Montenegro exploded from the pocket seat and looked to be home free as the field neared the finish line.

Montenegro put a nose in front but Betterluvnexttime dug in gamely and found a: 28.2 final panel to finish a neck in front of Montenegro, stopping the clock in 1:54.1. Montenegro finished second as Gran Gabriel and Terry Cullipher rallied from well off the place to finish third. As the heavy betting favorite, Betterluvnexttime returned $3.40 to her backers.

“She raced tough,” Wrenn noted. “We had to work a little to get out of there, but once I had her on the front, she relaxed and did everything I asked of her. She raced well last time out and was just nosed out at the wire, but tonight she was not letting that mare get by her. She fought that all the way to the wire.”

Trained by Al Tomlinson, Betterluvnexttime notched her eighth win of the season in ten starts. The victory sent her career bankroll over the $240,000 mark for owner Daniel Mitchell of Nova, MI. Sired by American Ideal, the five-year-old mare has banked over $50,000 this season.

Live racing resumes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 4 with a 5:30 post. The 160-day all harness racing meet will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule and run through November 9.

Local Man Finds Answer to Age-Old $64,000 Question at Hoosier Park; It’s Orb

10000_MEGA_BET_KDThe question is; what is Orb? While it may be a play on the sire’s name, Malibu Moon, or the circumference of the moon, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino it is the name of the Kentucky Derby winning horse that Stuart Silvers placed a $10,000 win bet upon and won over $60,000 on Saturday, May 4. At odds of 5-1, Silvers’ answer to the age-old $64,000 question was Orb. The three-year-old gelding used a late surge down the homestretch to coast home a winner in the 139th running of horse racing’s signature event.

After reading an edition of his local newspaper that named Orb as the early favorite, Silvers decided that was the horse for him. Silvers, 82, is a retired Butler University professor who walked through the doors of Hoosier Park on Saturday, May 4 and walked out $64,000 richer after he won the signature Derby Day promotion at Hoosier Park.

Hoosier Park provided invited guests a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to place a $10,000 Kentucky Derby win bet on the horse of their choice. The winner had to wager the entire $10,000 sum on the horse they believed would win first place honors. Silvers was randomly selected and without hesitation, chose Orb as his horse. Thousands walked in to Hoosier Park to watch and wager on the Kentucky Derby, but it was Silvers that walked out with the thousands, 64 to be exact.

The $10,000 mega-bet promotion culminated two of the biggest days in the sport of horse racing as Hoosier Park also welcomed guests with extended hours, wagering promotions, and property wide dining specials. Silvers, a frequent visitor of Hoosier Park, occasionally tries his luck wagering on horse racing, but never misses an opportunity to bet the Kentucky Derby.

“I’ve been betting on the Derby for awhile now,” Silvers noted. “But I’ve never won, at least not compared to what I won today. I came here today wishing for the best and I just got lucky. I didn’t expect this year to be any different than years’ past, but it hasn’t hit me that I won just yet.”

Derby weekend included property-wide dining specials, expanded beverage options, and official Kentucky Derby merchandise sales at Hoosier Park. Patrons that sported a Kentucky Derby hat also had the opportunity to receive a free Kentucky Derby win wager. While many other promotions were taking place throughout the facility none culminated the adrenaline of a horse race quite like the one experienced by Silvers.

Live racing resumes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, May 7 with a 5:30 post. The 160-day all harness racing meet will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule and run through November 9.

Thunder Steeler Steals The Show

_thunder_steeler

Thunder Steeler Wins $24,000 Invitational Pace

 

Thunder Steeler made his presence felt in the late stages of the $24,000 Invitational pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as he rallied sharply to take home top honors in the featured event on Saturday (Apr 27). Shipping in from Balmoral Park, the four-year-old gelding’s 1:50.1 victory marks the fastest mile over Hoosier Park’s oval thus far into the 2013 meet.

 

As the gate closed, Ricky Macomber Jr. and I Trust You attempted to get a quick jump on their rivals as they left alertly from post six, however, Paco Labrook and Brad Hanners had the same idea from post nine. The front end was the coveted spot as the early fractions of :27.0 and :55.1 saw much movement. Unable to find position along the rail, Thunder Steeler and Dillander pressed on to the front and reached the top spot as the tightly knit field of ten continued down the backside. Thunder Steeler sprinted to a 1:22.1 third quarter spilt and waited for the cavalry charge from behind as they turned for home. Uncle Smoothie and Sam Widger were in the outer flow with Sammy’s Cool Win and Trace Tetrick in tow. Dillander asked Thunder Steeler for more and he responded with a  :28.0 final panel to hold off a hard charging Paco Labrook. Sammy’ s Cool Win rallied from off the pace to get up for the third place finish. As the publics’ choice, I Trust You overcame traffic trouble to finish fourth. Thunder Steeler returned $6.60 to his backers for the victory.

 

Sired by Lis Mara, Thunder Steeler has now won six of ten seasonal starts with over $40,000 on his card in 2013. Owned by Uncirculated Stable and Frank Smyth, the four-year-old gelding is trained by Donna Lee Ozment. Bred by Concord Stud Farm, Thunder Steeler has now won nine of 30 lifetime starts while amassing over $120,000 lifetime.

 

On the trotting side of things, Abc Mercedes continued his winning ways in the $24,000 Invitational trot with a sharp, front running effort for driver, trainer Trace Tetrick.

 

Abc Mercedes notched his third consecutive victory for the season as he pushed his seasonal earnings over $30,000. The eight-year-old gelding has amassed over $1 million in earnings for owner Larry Miller of Springport, IN. Sired by Abc Garland, Abc Mercedes has won a remarkable 59 times in 106 lifetime outings. With over $1 million in purse earnings, the Indiana standout finds himself in elite company as he ranks as the richest trotter in Indiana history.

 

The season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues to trend in a positive direction with all-sources handle showing a 17% increase for the first 20 days of the meet. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. With a daily post time of 5:30 p.m., the 160-day, all harness racing meet will be conducted through November 9.

Mystic Karissa Rebounds Nicely in Bill Thompson Series

MYSTIC KARISSA BILL THOMPSONMystic 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

Konkle Harnesses Passion to Educate Hoosier Park Patrons

Tim Konkle Named Racing Scholar at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

By: Zach Groth

TIM KONKLE

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 Scores the Upset in Hoosier Park Feature

BLUERIDGE DOC INVITE 4-20

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 Sweeps Jerry Landess Series

NIGHT PRO JERRY LANDESS 4-17Night 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.

New Era of Harness Racing in Indiana

candid #1Anderson, 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.

« old entrysnew entrys »