ANDERSON, IND. – March 6, 2013 –Final preparations are underway on the backstretch at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in anticipation of the return of live Standardbred racing. Now in its’ 20th season, the Standardbred meet will begin on April 2 and offer five days of racing per week through November 9, with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. EST.
Horseman who have been granted stalls for the meet may begin moving in equipment and setting up stalls on Saturday, March 9th and Sunday, March 10th. Horses will be permitted on the grounds on Monday, March 11th. All horses entering the grounds must have all valid paperwork available before being allowed entry to the grounds. Dormitories will also be available for occupancy on Monday, March 11th as well.
The racetrack will open for training on Thursday, March 14th, pending the weather conditions. The first round of qualifiers are slated for Saturday, March 16th and will be conducted on a Wednesday and Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the meet. The entry box closes for qualifiers one day prior at 1 p.m. Condition sheets and stakes schedules will be posted as soon as they become available.
From color commentator to purist handicapper and everything in between, Racing Rachel McLaughlin is a shining star amongst a new generation of horse racing enthusiasts. Here at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino we pride ourselves on going above and beyond the standard. Rachel is no exception. Horsemanship is steeped in tradition and race presentations have remained relatively unchanged throughout history. While many facets of the sport are here to stay, Hoosier Park aims to facilitate a new generation of horsemen. The focal point of our efforts lies with Rachel McLaughlin and her trackside reporting. Rachel is no stranger to the horseman culture. As an avid rider and horse owner herself, she has been involved with horsemanship for many years. Rachel began western style riding at an early age with her spotted saddle horse named Adidas. With her love of riding and knowledge of all things equine, she soon found her way to Hoosier Park in 2010 as a racing intern.
As an intern Rachel excelled under the pressure of live reporting and her comfortability on camera ultimately landed her the position of lead commentator. Since her debut here at Hoosier Park, she has left no stone unturned in her endeavor to learn the sports betting side of both Standardbred and Thoroughbred horseracing. There are very few tracks across the nation that host both Thoroughbred and Standardbred competition. Each sport has an entirely different set of guidelines and knowledge of one does not equate to success in the other. McLaughlin makes the annual transition from Standardbred to Thoroughbred without missing a beat. With each passing year she has been able to build upon her solid foundation of racing knowledge and continues to grow to this day. Her unique ability to effectively cycle between the two forms of racing and her unmistakable presence on camera has brought her national attention as well. At only twenty four years of age, Racing Rachel is off to a notable start with features on both ESPN and HRTV. With a background in Sports Marketing and her unforgettable style, it seems Racing Rachel has only just begun.
Rachel is currently hosting her fifth meet at Hoosier Park and her experience is evident as she transitions into an even broader role. Racing Rachel has developed into an excellent handicapper. In her first handicapping season she has already begun making a name for herself as her picks continue to hit the board. Coming off a successful Standardbred season, she has transitioned back to her roots with Thoroughbred. Her growing knowledge of the sport has landed her multiple roles as a handicapper, analyst, and commentator. Rachel also assists with marketing efforts and holds the title of Marketing Coordinator. When she is not in front of the camera she spends her time planning promotions and giveaways to make our events enjoyable for guests of all experience levels. If you have been to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino you have undoubtedly taken part in one of her many daily activities and most likely went home with something to show for it. Rachel’s presence on camera is second to none and has an uncanny ability to make even the most mundane of tasks exciting and fun. Rachel’s role at Hoosier Park has increased the family fun aspect as well with daily games and giveaways that cater to individuals of all age groups. Racing Rachel’s personality exemplifies our mission here at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and we look forward to ushering in a new era of racing experience alongside her.
If you are a fan of horseracing or would like to learn more about the woman behind the microphone, check out the Racing Rachel Facebook fan page or follow @HP_RacingRachel on Twitter. Also, be sure to stop in at 5:00 pm on weekdays to watch Rachel and Steve Cross kick off daily racing events with their live pre-race show in the Terrace.
Six legs of the Jerry Landess Series, a late closing event open to three and four-year-old Indiana sired colts and geldings that are non-winners of $7,500 lifetime, were contested on Thursday (March 29) at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
Our Lucky Chip stole the show in a dominant 1:55.3 romp. Trained by Jason Miller, Our Lucky Chip cautiously made his way to the front through a first quarter in :28:3 as he sat parked; patiently waiting for his cue from driver Trace Tetrick. As the heavy favorite made his way to the front, Our Lucky Chip reached the half in a mild 1:00.0. The lightly raced three-year-old began to showcase his ability as he opened up on the field of ten through a three-quarter split in 1:28.2. Winning by 14 lengths, Our Lucky Chip was well in hand at the wire romping home in :27.1. Sired by Art’s Chip, the bay colt has now won three of his four lifetime starts.
Owned by Jason E. Miller of Wabash, IN and Bradley R. Roller of Bunkerhill, IN, Our Lucky Chip has now earned $10,325 in his limited outings. Longshots, Olympic Fox and driver Ross Leonard, finished second while Best Things R Free and Peter Wrenn rounded out the well paying trifecta.
Artychoke, trained by Art Gregory Jr., was the first divisional winner. Coming from off the pace, he reached the wire in 1:57.4 with a closing panel in :27. Driven by Sam Widger, the three-year-old gelding is owned by Dennis Brightwell. Mack Straight won the second split of Landess series in a lifetime best effort of 1:56.4. Tyler Smith guided the four-year-old son of Third Straight to a perfect second over trip to edge out his rivals by three-quarters of a length. Owned and bred by Travis Mack of Holton, IN, Mack Straight has now boosted his lifetime bankroll to over $12,000.
Lucky Ivan and driver Peter Wrenn took advantage of a miscue by the public’s choice, Boot Scootin Bow, behind the starting car as they cruised to victory in 1:58.0 with a fast closing panel of :27.1. Trained by Ron Otto, Lucky Ivan posted his first win of the year in a career best time.
W White Comet and Wilbur’s Z Tam also won their respective legs of the late closing action for their connections. W White Comet is trained by Brett Wilfong and was driven to victory by Sam Widger in the second fastest division of the night. With a final time of 1:56.3, W White Comet split horses late to edge out his rivals in the closing strides to win by a length and three quarters. Wilburs Z Tam found the winner’s circle in 1:57.4, off of a tough front end effort. As his opponents closed in, Wilburs Z Tam dug in to win by three parts of a length in his maiden breaking effort.
The Jerry Landess series continues with another $10,000 preliminary leg and the $15,000 final being contested on Thursday, April 12th.
Leading trainer Charlie Stewart is already off to a great start in defending his 2011 Leading Trainer title at Hooiser Park Racing & Casino. Stewart headed the 2011 trainer’s title with 46 wins and $304,825 in earnings for the meet. The 24-year-old was also the youngest trainer to ever accomplish that feat for any breed at Hoosier Park. It was Stewart’s first training title. Ryan Bellamy finished a close second with 34 wins while North America’s leading trainer, Ron Burke wasn’t far behind him with 33 wins.
“It was quite an honor to be the leading trainer last year because there are a lot of great trainers here,” Stewart said of his title. “I didn’t expect to win it, but it was nice to be recognized in such great company. I’m looking forward to this year and am hoping my horses will be as competitive as they were last year.”
An Indiana Native, Stewart has been training horses since he was 14. Working with racehorses has been a family affair as Stewart’s mother, Gay Bankson, trains thoroughbreds. However, he got a taste of working with Standardbreds when he worked for well-known trainer Modie Beeman as a teenager. Beeman lived less than a mile away from Stewart’s childhood home.
With 267 career wins and over a million dollars in earnings recorded as a trainer, Stewart ended 2011 with 82 wins and over $600,000 in purse earnings. Stewart has posted back to back seasons with his training bankroll surpassing the $600,000 mark.
He spent his winter racing his stable of fifteen around the Canadian circuit. While most his starts were recorded at Woodbine, he also started horses at Flamboro Raceway and Georgian Downs. He looks for his horses to be race tight kicking off the Hoosier Park meet.
“I’m very excited to be back at Hoosier,” Stewart said. “I had a good winter in Canada and my horses raced well but I’m glad to be back. Hopefully, we can keep that momentum going and get off to a good start here. This has always been my favorite place to race.”
Training is underway for the upcoming Standardbred season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The track was opened to horseman on Monday, March 5th as 29 horses made their way around Hoosier Park’s oval. The track will remain open for the rest of the week with weather permitting from 8 am to noon for training.
Permanent stabling will begin on Monday, March 12th. The licensing office will open on Tuesday, March 13th from 9am-2pm and remain open the rest of the week for those wanting to get licensed. Qualifiers begin on Wednesday March 14th at 10 am and will be conducted on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the entirety of the meet. Condition sheets will be posted as soon as they become available.
Live Standardbred racing returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday March 27th, 2012 and will offer five days of live racing per week, Tuesday through Saturday, July 14. Post time is 5:30 EST.
By: Emily Gaskin
Hoosier Park Racing and Casino’s 19th season of live Standardbred racing brings a number of enhancements and improvements with the opening of the 2012 race meet on March 27th, which promises to be its most exciting yet. The largest and maybe most noticeable improvement is the addition of a new, state of the art tote board installed in the infield.
Hoosier Park’s patrons will now be able to view the races from a 16’ x 27’ video board that will be installed on top of the reconstructed tote board. Along with the addition of the jumbo-tron, the existing tote board will be highlighted by brand new indicators that will make the display much easier to read from all areas of the grandstand.
”This is a great enhancement to the live racing experience,” Vice President and General Manager of racing Brian Elmore noted. “It is going to be especially beneficial to the patrons. They will now be able to see the horses like they have never seen them before.”
In addition to the enhancements to the tote board, Hoosier Park’s design team has also added a new graphics package for fans to enjoy. A more viewer-friendly tote board is the result of Hoosier Park’s significant investment.
“Our Chairman and CEO of Centaur, Rod Ratcliff and President & COO of Hoosier Park, Jim Brown are both very committed to improving the racing product here at Hoosier Park,” Elmore said. “It was at their direction that we do this project and I think that is a great reflection of their commitment to racing.”
The few tracks around the country that do utilize a video board, typically operate with a 16-20 mm board, Hoosier Park’s patrons will now be watching 12.5 mm video board which will create a much clearer picture and more interactive experience.
“It will be a great opportunity to market Hoosier Park and showcase Hoosier Park’s premier events,” Elmore noted. “We are going above and beyond expectations to bring the patrons a better experience and there is no doubt in my mind that the horseman and patrons will appreciate Hoosier Park’s efforts to be proactive in providing a better racing product for the public.”
The 80-day meet will offer five days of live racing per week, Tuesday through Saturday, July 14. In addition to the new tote board, opening weekend festivities will be kicked off with an indoor concert by the legendary rock band Air Supply on March 30th. Various handicapping contests and promotions will be taking place throughout the week as well.
Emily Gaskin has joined the team at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Gaskin has assumed the duties of racing publicist and executive assistant to Brian Elmore, general manager of racing.
A resident of Pendleton, Ind., Gaskin graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in agricultural communication. During her time at UK, she worked as an intern for the Horsemen and Fair World. Most recently, Gaskin served as a reporter for Harness Racing Update.
Gaskin has an extensive background in harness racing. Her family, Ernie and Darla Gaskin, have been longtime participants in the sport and currently own and operate Crimson Lane, a training center just south of Hoosier Park.
“Emily will serve Hoosier Park in a variety of positions,” said Elmore. “In addition to her duties as racing publicist and administrative assistant for the racing department, she will assist with the race marketing and promotions. Her enthusiasm for racing, passion for the equine athlete, and overall appreciation of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will make her a great addition to the Hoosier Park Team.”
Gaskin has owned a number of Standardbreds over the years that have competed at Hoosier Park. She most recently experienced success with Jammin Joshua, an Indiana Sires Stakes winner as a two-year-old last season who won six of 11 starts.
Gaskin is preparing for the upcoming 2012 Standardbred season, which gets underway Tuesday, March 27. The 80-day race meet will run through Saturday, July 14, offering racing Tuesday through Saturday. Post time is 5:30 p.m. EST.
For more information on Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, log onto www.hoosierpark.com.
Peter Wrenn completed a three-peat last season, earning his third straight leading driver title at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. He has established himself as the “go-to guy” for several of the top contenders in stakes races and brings in a wealth of experience and success, not only on the local scene, but on a national level. Wrenn has wins in Breeders’ Cup action and has competed in almost every major race to date. The Michigan native is back at Hoosier Park again this year seeking to pick up where he left off.
With more than 8,700 career wins, Wrenn recorded 311 wins for the year in 2011, most of which were accumulated between Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs. He and his wife, Melanie, now reside in Carmel, Ind. with their children. For the most part, winter months are spent in Indiana preparing for the upcoming season. They currently have five horses in training at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and will have a couple of three-year-olds ready to race when the meet gets underway Tuesday, March 27. Wrenn is ready to get back to work.
“I am pawing at the door to get back racing,” said Wrenn. “I am more than looking forward to getting back to competition. Last winter, I raced a little Chicago and a little Cleveland, but haven’t done any competitive work since Dec. 15. I try to get mentally prepared and I work out and keep in shape. I am really, really ready to race and get back into competing.”
Wrenn earned 138 wins last year to move up the ladder of all-time leading drivers at Hoosier Park. He now has 513 wins in only four full years of competition to rank sixth on the list. Wrenn returns seeking his fourth straight title at Hoosier Park. Don Irvine Jr. continues to hold the record for most titles every won by a driver, trainer, or jockey with six.
Once again in 2011, Wrenn was spotted behind several top contenders in stakes action, including Next Flight In, Flight Elal, and Why Baby Why, all of which were winners during Hoosier Champions Night. Wrenn was once again honored as Indiana’s top pari-mutuel driver for 2011.
“I was lucky enough to drive a lot of good ones last year,” said Wrenn. “Some of them didn’t finish up the year as expected, but I’m excited to see them return this year. Hopefully, they will have matured up, sounded up, and will come back good. There are a lot of good connections and good people that I drive for. I’m really ready for opening night.”
Known as “The Wolf” in the popular Celebrity Standardbred Driver promotion, Wrenn will be joined by other top five drivers from 2011 including Trace Tetrick, Sam Widger, Ricky Macomber Jr., and Dave Magee. Tetrick has been racing at Windsor Raceway all winter while Macomber has driven at Pompano Park and Magee and Widger can be found on the Chicago circuit. All drivers have proven track records for success in the state of Indiana.
Competition gets underway for the 80-day meet Tuesday, March 27 and runs through Saturday, July 14. Racing will be conducted Tuesday through Saturday with a first post of 5:30 p.m. EST. For more information about the upcoming season, log onto www.hoosierpark.com.