Month: February 2016
Quarter Horse racing in the state of Indiana continues to thrive and 2016, the momentum continues. The 120-day racing season will boast 20 stakes for the sprinters with estimated purses of more than $1.5 million offered during the season that features six all-Quarter Horse racing nights.
The $150,000-added Gordon Mobley Futurity will be one of the first stakes to be featured during the season, moving to a Saturday, June 18 slot. The Mobley Futurity, one of Indiana’s richest Quarter Horse races that generally edges close to the $200,000 mark, will be joined by the $100,000-added Jaguar Rocket Stakes. Both events, slated for 300 yards, will have trials Saturday, June 4, which is the first all-Quarter Horse racing night of the season.
“A lot of our Quarter Horse stakes have changed dates in 2016,” said Kevin Greely, director of racing at Indiana Grand. “After talking with QHRAI (Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana) we tried to space the stakes out to allow more opportunities for the horses to participate in more of the stakes races. By doing this, we will have more dates featuring stakes races in 2016 than ever before.”
Two Indiana Grand team members have been nominated for the annual ROSE Awards set for Tuesday, March 15 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis. Jackie Lawrence, senior executive host from Greenwood, Ind., and Center Cut Server Brandy Smith of Shelbyville, Ind. will be part of the elite group of individuals who excelled in customer service in 2015.
The ROSE Awards, which stands for Recognition of Service Excellence, will be celebrating its 25th year in 2016, honoring those who provide the greatest in customer service around the Central Indiana area in industries such as accommodations, attractions, restaurants, retail and transportation. Both Lawrence and Smith are examples of top notch customer service providers at Indiana Grand.
A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Lawrence is known for her exemplary treatment of guests throughout the entire property at Indiana Grand. She never hesitates to go above and beyond to assist with special requests or unique circumstances to ensure guests are met with first class attention. She has been with Indiana Grand since 2010 and has been at her current position as senior executive host since 2012.
Smith is a visible member of the service team in Center Cut, Indiana Grand’s premier dining establishment. She is one of the most sought-after servers from customers who request her by name as their server during their visits. Smith, who has been a member of Indiana Grand’s team for the past six and one half years, was recognized for her quick action with a customer recently who was choking. Smith stepped in to help clear the guest’s airway and stayed with the customer until EMT personnel arrived. This is only one example of her willingness to elevate customer service to another level.
A total of 36 Thoroughbred stakes races valued at more than $4.4 million will be featured during the 2016 racing season at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The season, which gets underway Tuesday, April 19, will be highlighted by the 22nd running of the Grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby slated for Saturday, July 16.
“The move of the Indiana Derby to July last year proved to be a great spot on the summer stakes calendar for three-year-olds,” said Kevin Greely, director of racing at Indiana Grand. “We had a strong field for the race and broke attendance records due to warmer weather. In addition, 20 state stakes for Indiana bred or sired horses were raised from $85,000 to $100,000 in 2016, adding another boost to our stakes program.”
The Indiana Derby will be joined by six other stakes Saturday, July 16 to create a mega racing program beginning at 6:05 p.m. EST. Joining the Derby as one of the highlights will be the 21st running of the Grade II $200,000-added Indiana Oaks. Other stakes included on the card will be the $100,000 Mari Hulman George, the $100,000 Michael G. Memorial, the $100,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff, and the $100,000 Warrior Veterans, all Listed stakes.
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is looking to add new faces to its expansive staff and to help begin the process, a special seasonal Job Fair is set for Saturday, Feb. 27, Sunday, Feb. 28 and Monday, March 14. The event will provide prospective applicants with the opportunity to get involved in a fun, fast-paced atmosphere that has become one of the top entertainment destinations in Central Indiana.
Two of the most highly anticipated games have arrived at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. “Friends” and “Duck Dynasty” are positioned just inside the entrance from the parking garage. The oversized games, complete with coordinating overhead video board displays, are already attracting a lot of attention and play from guests.
“People love to play games associated with pop culture, and these two games fit into that category,” said Frank Kersh, director of gaming operations. “This space was previously utilized by the gift shop, and when it relocated next to Sidewalk Café, there was a space left open, which is perfect for the games. We have already had some great comments about the new games we have added to the casino floor, and I anticipate these games in particular to be two of the more popular options.”
“Friends” features all five characters from the popular television series through a five reel, four row display with plenty of chances for bonus rounds on the spinning wheel. The icons on the screen include identifiable objects from the show, including a Central Perk coffee cup, picture frame and a goose which has a Thanksgiving tie-in on the show. The spins are accompanied by the theme music and video clips are tied in for bonus rounds that include images of the characters that peer from behind a door, letting you decide which one to choose.
The two “Friends” machines sit beside two new “Duck Dynasty” games. The games are connected through a large video screen above that builds a progressive jackpot option between the two. The games are easy to identify with the main characters, Jase, Phil, Si and Willy, perched at the top of the five reel-four row setup. When idle or between spins, ducks fly across the screens to add animation. The game also gives the player the option to choose a duck call or a shooting arrow when advancing to the next round during bonus play.
Brian Elmore, longtime member of the Centaur Gaming team that oversees operations at both Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, is the recipient of the 2016 Eddie Arcaro Award given annually by the Jockey’s Guild at their annual assembly held Tuesday, Feb. 16 in Hollywood, Fla. Elmore will be honored along with five other individuals who contribute to the betterment of racing.
“I am very humbled to be chosen for this award,” said Elmore, vice president of racing for Centaur Gaming who has announced his retirement to go into effect at the end of February. “I truly believe this honor is a reflection of the efforts of our company and so many others in the state of Indiana who have worked diligently to ensure the best is provided for our participants. The greatest thing is when people come together in an effort to accomplish great things.”
The Eddie Arcaro Award honors the legacy of the two-time Triple Crown winner and Hall of Fame jockey, who was also instrumental in establishing the Jockeys’ Guild. The award, presented annual, is presented to a person or group that consistently shows exceptional commitment to the jockeys and the organization.
“Brian always puts safety first and takes that into consideration before he does anything,” said Rodney Prescott, local Guild representative and a member of the Jockeys’ Guild Central Region Senate. “He has been involved in racing a long time, and was even a trainer, so he understands the business and knows what needs to be done. His effort behind ‘Jockeys ‘N Jeans’ at Indiana Grand last year was phenomenal and they raised a lot of money for PDJF (Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund).”
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is introducing several new highly anticipated slot machines in early 2016 and the first ones have arrived. Several of these computer-generated gaming devices are now available for play, including “Game of Thrones,” “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Walking Dead,” which are grouped together in a stand alone bank just outside […]
Centaur Gaming announced today that Brian Elmore, vice president of racing, will retire on Friday, Feb. 26 after more than 40 years in the racing industry and nearly two decades with the company. Elmore currently oversees all racing related operations for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Centaur Gaming’s two central-Indiana racetrack casino properties.
“Throughout my more than 40 years in the racing industry, I’ve had the opportunity to work at nearly every level and for multiple operators, and I can truly say that my years with Centaur Gaming have been my best and most rewarding,” said Elmore when asked about his upcoming retirement. “To be a part of a company that is committed to the advancement of horse racing is something that is rare in our industry. I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve in this capacity and to work with the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, multiple Indiana horsemen associations, and Centaur’s more than 2,000 dedicated team members who all share my same passion for the sport.”
Elmore, having served in multiple executive-level racing positions for Centaur Gaming, was instrumental in the opening of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Indiana’s first racetrack casino, as well as positioning both Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand as award-winning horse racing destinations.
Centaur Gaming chairman and CEO Rod Ratcliff lauded Elmore’s career with Centaur Gaming, “Indiana’s horse racing industry has grown significantly over the last two decades, and Brian has been there the entire time working to provide our guests and horsemen with a superior racing experience while helping build a foundation for the success we see today. On behalf of the entire Centaur Gaming team, we wish him the best in retirement.”