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Hoosier Park Kicks Off 17th Season of Thoroughbred Racing

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will kick off its 17th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing Tuesday, Aug. 2. The 61-day meet runs through Sunday, Oct. 23, offering live racing Tuesday through Saturday in 2011.

A total of 11 races will highlight the opening night card, offering nine Thoroughbred races and two Quarter Horse events. Post time for the first race is 5:30 p.m. EST.

Last year’s leading jockey Leandro Goncalves and leading trainer Tom Amoss are teaming up once again to defend their respective titles. Goncalves earned 103 wins during the meet to earn his first title at Hoosier Park. Goncalves is currently ranked fourth in the nation among all jockeys in wins, heading into the 2011 meet with 161 wins this year. The 29-year-old rider from Brazil also recently secured his second straight riding title from Indiana Downs.

Amoss gets back in action as well on the opening night card, sending out Second Street City in the seventh race allowance optional claiming event. Amoss scored 24 wins last year to earn his first Hoosier Park title. Based in Kentucky, Amoss is currently ranked 10th in the nation for wins among all trainers with 95 wins heading into the season. The Louisiana native also earned his first leading trainer title at the recent Indiana Downs meet.

Goncalves is scheduled to ride Second Street City for Amoss from post one at odds of 8-5 as the second choice in the race. The three-year-old Consolidator filly has two wins in four starts for 2011, one of which was captured with Goncalves aboard earlier this spring at Churchill Downs. Second Street City will face a strong challenge from Moon Buzz and Corey Lanerie from post two slated at odds of 6-5. Trained by Steve Margolis, the Malibu Moon filly was a winner in her only start earlier this year at Fair Grounds.

Leading Quarter Horse rider from the past two years Harold Collins is also back for another season at Hoosier Park. The North Carolina native is slated to ride in both Quarter Horse events, including one of the favorites, Jess Takin Off in the twelfth race. Collins scored 15 wins last year to top all Quarter Horse riders at the track. He is currently ranked second on the list of all-time leading Quarter Horse jockeys at Hoosier Park behind Carter Riley, who is also scheduled to ride on the opening night card.

Quarter Horse racing will experience a new first at Hoosier Park this season. Now in its 15th year, an all-Quarter Horse racing program is set for Saturday, Oct. 8. The afternoon event will include trials for the $100,000 Miss Roxie Little Futurity as well as the $100,000 Sterlie Bertram Memorial. In addition to the trials, the $100,000 Hoosier Park Classic final is set for the afternoon racing program.

The Grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby will be the featured event for Thoroughbred racing. Set for Saturday, Oct. 1, Derby Day will offer a slew of stakes, including the Grade II $200,000-added Indiana Oaks, the $100,000-added Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Mile, and the newly installed $100,000-added Mari Hulman George Stakes. The race was run as the Wigwam Stakes in 2010.

Hoosier Park will offer five days of racing each week through the 61-day meet. Post times are set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday while racing begins at 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays. A special afternoon racing program will be conducted Friday, Aug. 5 beginning at 12:30 p.m. to accommodate the Josh Turner concert in The Yard that evening. Also, a special holiday racing card will be held Monday, Sept. 5 for Labor Day with a post time of 12:30 p.m.