Sophomore Trotters Highlight Hoosier Park Card

SERENES YANKEE BOY ISSS 5-30

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to four divisions of the Indiana Silver Sire Stakes for sophomore trotting colts and geldings on Thursday, May 30. Offering purses of $10,000 each, the second round of the Silver Sire Stakes action was the featured attraction on the 13-race card.

Serenes Yankee Boy and trainer, driver Ed Hensley made quick work of their ten horse field as they left the gate alertly and never looked back. Dictating middle fractions of :58.4 and 1:27.4, Serenes Yankee Boy saved the best for last as the three-year-old gelding trotted home to reach the wire first in 1:58.1, a lifetime best effort. Jailhouse Troy trotted evenly to get the second place finish for driver Ricky Macomber Jr. ER Undercover and Don Eash staged a big rally late in the stretch to round out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Serenes Yankee Boy returned $4.40 for the victory.  Sired by Yankee Valor, Serenes Yankee Boy posted his third win from seven starts this season and pushed his seasonal earnings over $20,000.

In the same gate to wire fashion, J D’s Justice and driver Dave Magee won their division of the sire stakes action with a final time of 1:59.3. The Justice Hall gelding trotted out of the gate evenly from post nine to reach the front at the half mile mark in :59.3. Bennyola and Jason Dillander benefitted from a pocket trip while Modoc followed intently in third. As the field reached the three-quarters in 1:29, J D’s Justice began to trot away from the field. Scoring his third win of the season, J D’s Justice finished five lengths in front of Bennyola. Modoc battled gamely to finish third. Owned by Leslie Bennett, J D’s Justice is trained by Aaron Bennett and has now won three of seven lifetime starts while earning over $10,000 in 2013.

Jesse’sexpress, third choice in his split of the stakes action, won going away for driver, trainer Dan Shetler in 1:59.4. In a race filled with miscues, Jesse’sexpress stayed out of harm’s way as he found the front through the opening quarter and remained uncontested throughout the mile. Notching his first win of the season, the three-year-old gelding has earned over $10,000 lifetime for his connections.

Brandon Bates found the winner’s circle in the opening round of the sire stakes action for three-year-old trotting colts as he steered DC Flashback to victory in 1:59.4. In a maiden breaking victory, DC Flashback staged a big rally late in the homestretch to get the victory over Charles VII. Trained by Brandon Bates, the Pinetucky gelding is owned by Victor Lengacher.

Indiana Silver Sire Stakes Action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, May 31 with three divisions of three-year-old pacing fillies going postward for $10,000.

 

Bolt The Duer Strikes in Dan Patch Invitational

DAN PATCH BOLT THE DUER WINCIRCLE

Bolt The Duer and driver Sam Widger used a valiant stretch drive to overtake a field of ten in the 20th installment of the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational on Saturday, May 25 at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino. With a final time of 1:49.3, Bolt The Duer was able to take advantage of a pocket trip to notch his first win of the season for trainer, Peter Foley.

Leaving from post seven, Bolt The Duer was quick off the gate but was forced to settle for the pocket as Trace Tetrick had Up The Credit out and firing from post nine. Up The Credit had to work for position but reached the front through an opening panel in :26 seconds as the field sorted itself out through the first turn. Carrying the publics’ money, Hurrikane Kingcole and driver Brett Miller opted for a trip off the pace and settled along the rail in fourth with Aracache Hanover and Doug McNair following intently in fifth.  Up The Credit continued to call the shots down the backside as the tightly knit field of ten reached the half in :53.4. Fred and Ginger was the first to commit to the outer flow as Ricky Macomber Jr. had him out and firing approaching the final turn with Hurrikane Kingcole in tow.

As the field passed the three-quarter clocking in 1:22, Up The Credit looked down a long Hoosier Park stretch and braced for himself for the cavalry charge behind him. Fred and Ginger was able to put a nose in front halfway down the lane as Bolt The Duer loomed large in the background. With a :27.1 final panel, Bolt The Duer powered home to win by one and half lengths. Fred and Ginger overcame a taxing trip and battled gamely to finish second. Rockincam, last year’s Dan Patch victor, used his same off the pace tactics to charge home and finish third with Jason Dillander at the lines. Bolt The Duer returned $7.60 to his backers as the publics’ second choice.

“Pete (Foley) told me before the race that he has gate speed but does his best work off the pace,” Widger said. “I was really surprised that more horses didn’t leave, but I just wanted to coast out of there and not have to use him too hard. I felt pretty good coming around the last turn, but I’m glad I waited to pull him when I did because it couldn’t have worked out any better. The trip, the horse, I have just been extremely blessed and want to thank Pete for giving me the chance to drive this horse. It was a great race.”

Widger picked up the drive for Foley after his regular driver, Mark Macdonald, was unable to make the trek to Indiana due to unfavorable weather conditions restricting travel on the east coast.

Bolt the Duer notched his first win of the season as Widger recorded his first Dan Patch victory in the 20 year running of the race. Owned by All Star Racing Inc, the four-year-old horse has bankrolled over $1.2 million dollars throughout his illustrious racing career.

Hoosier Park’s Dan Patch Invitational saw measurable success on all fronts. Excitement pervaded throughout the grandstand as a large, enthusiastic crowd welcomed the 20th installment of Hoosier Park’s signature event to the track. The wagering front also saw much success and offered remarkable value to the horseplayer with the introduction of a signature $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 and a $25,000 Guaranteed Superfecta for the Dan Patch Invitational race. The bettors came out in full force as the handle increases were felt both on track and through export wagering. The total handle was up 44% over the previous year’s number.

Dan Patch Invitational Highlights Hoosier Park Season

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Once again, the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational will be the highlight of the 2013 harness racing season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 25. Now in its’ 20th edition, the Dan Patch Invitational pace is the one time of the year that the top rated horses in North America convene on Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval seeking a lucrative $200,000 purse and a spot in Hoosier Park’s history.

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

Hoosier Park’s event is named after the early 1900s racehorse phenomenon, Dan Patch. Originally from Oxford, Ind., Dan Patch raced the clock rather than his inferior competitors. Drawing crowds of over 90,000 people at a single race, the free-legged equine hero was the unparalleled sports icon of his time.

The Dan Patch race was established at Hoosier Park in 1994 with Ready To Rumble and driver Trevor Ritchie winning the inaugural edition 20 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.

Kevin Mack, Hoosier Park’s racing secretary, inherits the responsibility of recruiting the best horses to compete in the event every year. Mack begins making his list of potential contenders for one of the ten coveted invitations to the Dan Patch many weeks in advance. After much consideration, ten horses, including a signature “Hometown Hero” chosen from the local area, will receive the official invitation to compete in Hoosier Park’s signature harness racing attraction.

The 2013 installment will tout some of the best horses, trainers and drivers in the sport. Patrons can potentially expect to see talents like Levy Memorial Pacing Series champion, Razzle Dazzle, Meadowlands Pace champion A Rocknroll Dance and perhaps 2012’s victor, Rockin Cam lined up behind the gate for the 2013 edition.

“We are looking at what may be the most competitive field to date in the 2013 edition of this great race,” Mack noted. “We haven’t officially decided, but the horses we are looking to invite are evenly matched and that makes for great racing. We are constantly striving to improve our harness racing product in Indiana and the Dan Patch is a race that does that by shining the spotlight on Indiana Standardbred racing on to the national scene.”

Several activities will be held trackside to complement the Dan Patch Invitational pace, including Indiana sire stakes action, property-wide dining specials, special wagering opportunities and exciting entertainment throughout the entire evening.

Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagering opportunities offered for the Dan Patch Invitational race. A $25,000 guaranteed Superfecta pool for the Dan Patch race will once again be available as part of the special Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association and Hoosier Park partnership. Hoosier Park will also offer a $10,000-guaranteed pick-4 pool that will include the Dan Patch race as a leg of the wager.

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

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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.

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