Month: June 2014

June 28, 2014 — With their recent performance on NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent,’ The Willis Clan had the hit television show’s panel of celebrity judges singing their praises and ultimately voting the Nashville-based group through to the next round. The family band, comprised of 12 siblings singing a mix of Irish folk and contemporary country music, will perform free concerts at two of the Indianapolis-area’s larger Independence Day weekend celebrations. The two celebrations are open to the public of all ages and will take place at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson on Friday, July 4 and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville on Saturday, July 5. In addition to the free concerts, both events will include a 30-minute fireworks show synchronized to music beginning at approximately 10 p.m.

Each evening, fireworks technicians will send a total of 10,000 shells and effects into the night’s sky in both locations, 1,000 of which will be fired in the last 30 seconds to create the largest fireworks finales in the Indianapolis-area. Unique to Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand this year will be the use of a new water firework effect in which multiple floating fireworks will ignite and send streams of fire up from the lakes encircled by both of the locations’ racetracks.

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LEXINGTON, Ky., June 25 — (The National Thoroughbred Racing Association issued the following news release:)

 Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Ind., a track on the rise following multiple purse increases and millions in renovations to their surfaces and facility, has earned accreditation from the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today. The 12-year-old racetrack was known as Indiana Downs prior to its current season, which opened May 6 and continues through Nov. 1.

Indiana Grand is owned and operated by Centaur Gaming, a new member of the NTRA. Centaur also owns nearby Hoosier Park, which has conducted Standardbred racing only since last year. The company also operates off-track betting locations throughout Indiana.

Centaur’s recent renovations include installation of a new main track, four new barns housing more than 300 stalls (bringing total backstretch capacity to more than 1,000 horses) and a new, state-of-the-art LED video board in the infield.

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Nancy Ury-Holthus has joined the broadcasting team at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. Holthus assumed her new role beginning Wednesday, June 11 as the trackside analyst, providing pre-race handicapping from Indiana Grand’s paddock area before select races.

A native of Hot Springs, Ark., Holthus brings in more than a decade of experience as an on-air racing analyst to Indiana. She previously served as a host and handicapper for TVG, an international channel dedicated to horse racing based in Los Angeles. Holthus has also served in several key capacities at racetracks, including stall superintendent for 10 years at Hollywood Park as well as racing office positions at Arlington Park. (more…)

A last minute decision proved to be a winning one for Tony Shockley. The Indianapolis man went against the odds and chose race winner Tonalist in the Belmont Stakes for his $1,000 Megabet at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino. Shockley was one of three individuals to win a $1,000 Megabet on the Belmont Stakes Saturday, June 7. The other two participants chose heavily favored California Chrome for their Megabet Win wager.

“I was about to make my bet for California Chrome and at the last minute, I decided on Tonalist,” said Shockley. “I decided to take a risk and Racing Rachel (McLaughlin) said Tonalist would be a good longshot. Plus, I liked the jockey (Joel Rosario).” (more…)