Month: May 2015
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will hold its first turf races of the 2015 racing season next week. The first turf races were scheduled for Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16, but due to heavy rains in the area, the races were moved off the turf. Three races, the fourth, sixth and eighth, are scheduled for the turf course on the Tuesday, May 19 racing program.
Roy Smith, track superintendent, and his crew have been working diligently on the turf course in preparation for the first races of the season. They began in early spring by conducting a first overseeding of Kentucky Bluegrass on the seven-eighths mile grass course. To help the new seed take root, Smith implemented new geothermal blankets over the course, a quarter mile at a time, to promote early turf growth. When the blankets were moved to a different section of the turf course, the vibrant green color of grass has been very evident over the past two months.
“The turf blankets are new to Indiana Grand this year and we have enough to cover 1,000 feet at a time,” said Smith. “We left it on a section at a time and then relocated it to another section of the turf course after a few days. You could see a big difference in the color of the grass when we moved the geothermal blankets.”
Diane Bellamy and her husband, Clarence, make a yearly trip to Indiana Grand Racing & Casino to watch and wager on the Kentucky Derby. This year, the trip for the retired couple got a little sweeter as Bellamy was one of three individuals drawn for the $1,000 Megabet promotion at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, selecting the winning horse of the Kentucky Derby and going home $3,900 richer.
Three names were drawn as contestants for the Kentucky Derby Megabet Drawing. Bellamy, who resides in Indianapolis, was the first name drawn followed by John Mattingly of Santa Claus, Ind. and Jeremy Sevier of Columbus, Ind. Each contestant was granted a $1,000 win wager on the Kentucky Derby and could select any horse they wanted in the 18-horse field. Mattingly and Sevier both chose Dortmund. However, Bellamy chose American Pharoah trained by Bob Baffert and cashed her win wager for a $3,900 payout.
“I let my husband (Clarence) pick the horse for me,” said Bellamy. “We only come out to the races once a year, but we come to the casino quite a bit. We have been here for the Kentucky Derby the past few years and it’s always a lot of fun. We brought six friends with us this year and they are having a ball. Winning this just made it even better.”
Bellamy’s cheering section watched as American Pharoah, ridden by Victor Espinosa, was within striking distance on the outside at the top of the stretch. The stretch drive turned into a three-horse battle between Dortmund along the inside and Firing Line between horses, but American Pharoah got the edge at the end and won by one length, making Bellamy and her friends a very happy bunch.