Story By: Kimberly French–In an action-packed undercard leading up to the 22nd edition of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes presented by Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the fillies were the first to strut their stuff in the first two editions of the four $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Finals on Friday, August 14 and each post time favorite certainly relished the spotlight. Nora Rockwell, whose owner and trainer, Marlin Fry was a bundle of nerves prior to the contest for 3-year-old pacing fillies, proved the public was spot on and Fry had no cause for concern as she would let no other rival put their nose down first on the wire. She captured her event in 1:51.0, which ties her lifetime mark and was the public’s overwhelming choice at 4-5.
White Metro, the second selection at 2-1 came away on top and led the field through the first quarter in :26.4, but Yannick Gingras, who picked up the drive this evening, confidently sent Nora Rockwell straight to the lead. She paced a half in a strong :54.3, with Rockin Good breathing down her neck and hit the three quarter pole in 1.21.3.
At the top of the lane the favorite dispensed of that lass, but faced another challenge in Mystical Treasure. Throughout the length of the strength Mystical Treasure attempted with every stride to overhaul the leader, but Nora Rockwell refused to be denied as she tripped the timer by a very long head, with Mystical Treasure annexing second place and White Metro in the show slot. The daughter of Palone Ranger and the V P Finance mare, Norma Rockwell, paid $2.40 to win, now sports a resume of 31-13-9-2 and has collected purse money collected of nearly $250,000.
“I knew there was no way I wanted to behind that horse and although I have not driven her before I was confident from the program lines, as well as how she felt, I had the horse to do it,” Gingras said. “She paced through some fast fractions, but she felt great right until the finish line. I am very thankful for the drive. I’m not here at Hoosier Park very often, but whenever you get the opportunity to drive a horse like this in a $75,000 race you are thrilled to have it. She definitely is a very nice filly and it was a pleasure to drive her.”
After the scratch earlier in the day of what would have been the heavy favorite in Churita, the 3-year-old final for trotting fillies definitely left the door wide open for any member in nine horse field to rise to claim the crown. The wagering public decided to cast their lot with the Ron Burke conditioned Hannelore Hanover who was sent to the gate as the 1-5 favorite.
It was Diamond Dagger, however, at 10-1 that took the field through the first panel in :28.0 and the half in :57.0. Midway to the three quarter pole the rest of the fillies decided to give chase with Jesse’s Promise the biggest threat. After three quarters in 1:26.0, Hannelore Hanover made her bid and it was a demolishing one.
The filly, steered by Hoosier Park’s all-time leading driver in Ricky Macomber, trotted by the rest of her colleagues like they were standing still and continued to pour it on all through the homestretch. The duo stopped the clock in 1:55.0, which is a new lifetime standard for the daughter of Swan For All and the Dream Vacation mare All Society. Jesse’s Promise and Diamond Dagger were second and third. Hannelore Hanover paid $2.40 to win and is the property of Burke Stable, Weaver and Bruscemi, William Haas Jr. and Frank Baldachino. With her third victory of the season, the filly now possesses a career record of 16-4-8-2 and a bankroll of roughly $165,000.
“We only started her twice as a 2-year-old because she was sore and we think she had a cranky attitude because of it,” Jamie Rucker, Burke’s assistant trainer, said. “Also, we knew she was a nice filly and we would just bring her back this year. You have to be patient with her and let her do what she wants to do out there. Did she see how she totally changes her stride while she’s racing? For the first half (mile) she is kind of choppy but she knows when it is time to go and she shifts into gear. Then she adjusts and is perfectly gaited. We are very pleased with her and think she is improving at the right time.”
ANDERSON, Ind.—August 11, 2015—A field of ten will be sent post-ward in the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 14. Featuring the largest purse in the 22-year-history of the event, ten of the top rated older pacers in North America will take center stage as they go to post seeking glory in Hoosier Park’s signature harness racing event. The 2015 installment of the Dan Patch Stakes will highlight the 14-race program that is set to begin at 5:15 p.m. and be supported by an all-star undercard includes Indiana Sires Stakes and overnight series action.
The 2015 Dan Patch field boasts combined career purse earnings over $17 million and includes five millionaires and two World Champions. North America’s leading money-winning trainer, Ron Burke, will look to be the first trainer to score back to back victories in the Dan Patch Stakes since Nat Varty scored with Ready To Rumble and Pacific Rocket in 1994 and 1995.
Foiled Again, the richest horse in harness racing history, with $7.09 million in career purse earnings, headlines the ten horses entered in this year’s Dan Patch Stakes and will play the role of morning line favorite at odds of 5-2 from post two. The 11-year-old World Champion pacer will make first appearance in the race, and third Hoosier Park start, with regular pilot Yannick Gingras in the bike for trainer Ron Burke.
Burke has enlisted Hoosier Park’s all-time leading driver, Ricky Macomber Jr., who visited the Dan Patch winner’s circle in 2000 and 2002, to drive Bettor’s Edge from post nine. Bettor’s Edge and Macomber Jr. finished second in the 2014 edition of the Dan Patch to stablemate Sweet Lou in a track record setting mile of 1:47.2. Joining Foiled Again and Bettor’s Edge from the Burke Stable on Friday will be Limelight Beach from post seven, All Bets Off from post eight, and Clear Vision from the trailing post position ten.
JK Endofanera will join the stellar cast of entrants and be a main contender for the 2015 Dan Patch title from the coveted rail position. With over $1.5 million in career earnings, the Jimmy Takter trainee has been tabbed as the 3-1 morning line second choice. Brett Miller has been listed to drive both JK Endofanera and World Champion Clear Vision.
The 2015 Dan Patch field, in post-position order with named driver and trainer includes:
- JK Endofanera Tr: Jimmy Takter Dr: Brett Miller 3-1
- Foiled Again Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Yannick Gingras 5-2
- Lyonssomewhere Tr: Julie Miller Dr: Andy Miller 8-1
- Captive Audience Tr: Douglas Berkeley Dr: Andrew McCarthy 20-1
- Duc Dorleans Tr: Jacques Dupont Dr: Peter Wrenn 15-1
- Let’s Drink On It Tr: Joe Seekman Dr: Travis Seekman 20-1
- Limelight Beach Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Ed Hensley 12-1
- All Bets Off Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Matt Kakaley 6-1
- Bettor’s Edge Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Ricky Macomber Jr 10-1
- Clear Vision Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Brett Miller 4-1
Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagers offered for the Dan Patch card. A $25,000 Guaranteed Dan Patch Superfecta pool will be available as part of the Strategic Wagering Program for the Dan Patch race. The wager will have a minimum bet of 10 cents and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association. Slated as the twelfth race on the card, estimated post time for the Dan Patch Stakes is 9:44 p.m.
A 10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 pool will also be available to racing fans on Friday’s 14-race card. The Pick-4, which offers a 50-cent minimum wager, begins in the third race and will continue through the sixth race. Approximate post time for the first leg of the wager, the third race, is 5:55 p.m. (EST).
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. Hoosier Park’s event is named after the early 1900’s racehorse phenomenon, Dan Patch born in Oxford, Indiana.
Now, 100 years after his birth, the great pacer is still remembered every year at Hoosier Park with this signature race. Since its inception in 1994, the Dan Patch Stakes has drawn the very best older pacers in North America. Previous Dan Patch winners include World Champions Pacific Fella, Jenna’s Beach Boy, Maltese Artist, Won The West, Mister Big, and Sweet Lou.
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 finals, sending the purse money to be distributed throughout the evening over the $800,000 mark.
ANDERSON, Ind.—August 30, 2013—Natural Herbie continued his winning ways in the featured event, the fourth and final round of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 30. Notching his seventh win of the season and third stakes win from four preliminary legs, the reigning freshman Indiana Sire Stakes champion turned in a gutsy performance to win in 1:55.3 for trainer, driver Verlin Yoder.
Leaving from post three in the eleven horse field, Natural Herbie was handed no favors from the onset and was parked through the first quarter clocking while the battle for early position ensued. Ray Hall and Pete Wrenn won the first battle and led the field through early fractions of :28.1 and :57.2. Unable to find a position along the rail, Natural Herbie pressed on for the lead and was applying pressure to outside of the top pair down the backside with Super Rock and Charlie Conrad hot on their heels second over. Ray Hall continued to call the shots through the three-quarter clocking in 1:26.1 as the rest of the field closed in.
Natural Herbie inherited the lead after a costly break by Ray Hall mid-way through the stretch and was able to hold off a late charge from Red Hot Herbie and Brandon Bates to score the win by a head. Red Hot Herbie used a late closing kick to finish second while Super Rock battled gamely to round out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Natural Herbie returned $3.40 to his backers at the window.
After a sensational two-year-old campaign, Natural Herbie has posted an even better sophomore season. Sired by Here Comes Herbie, the black gelding has now won seven of 11 seasonal starts while bankrolling over $150,000 for owner, trainer, driver Verlin Yoder. Sporting a career bankroll of over $290,000, Natural Herbie has hit the board in 15 of 21 lifetime outings. Natural Herbie will head the field of entrants in the $200,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes final for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters slated for September 11 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, August 31 with a pair of $30,000 divisions for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. On Saturday, August 31, Hoosier Park will also host The Beach Boys live in concert to culminate the Summer Concert Music Series at the Anderson, IN track. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m.
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 Indiana owned and managed company, employs more than 2,000 Indiana residents through the award-winning entertainment destinations of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind. and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Indiana Downs in Shelbyville, 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.
Photo: Natural Herbie and Verlin Yoder. Photo Courtesy of Linscott Photography.
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.