Month: April 2017

Nebraska native and former newspaper journalist Jeff Apel has a love of horses, and his passion brought him to Indiana Grand when he relocated to Central Indiana. He secured a job as an electronic games attendant in the casino and soon found his way to fellow Nebraska native Marvin Johnson’s barn. Today, he owns horses with the Nebraska Horse Racing Hall of Fame trainer and their partnership has produced several profitable purchases, including the race mare Lady Caroline.

Lady Caroline holds special meaning for two families that connected her via a special message on Facebook. Both Jeff Apel and Stacy Tuttle treasure the horse that is now retired to broodmare duty. (Photo by Mark Davis, freelance photographer – Nebraska)

Lady Caroline, who is now six-years old, was claimed as a three-year-old by Apel and the brothers’ team of Mike and Tony Jackson for $15,000 in 2014. She earned more than $36,000 for her new connections before showing signs of slowing down and giving Johnson the indication that she might be nearing the end of her racing career. Being one of Apel’s favorite horses, he negotiated a price of $2,300 and bought the Jacksons out to retain ownership of the mare as a game plan was thought out for the future of Lady Caroline.

“Marvin (Johnson) told me there was no guarantee Lady Caroline would ever run again,” said Apel, who worked as a sports writer for 15 years at the Grand Island Independent until 2005. “In fact, Marvin told me not to buy the mare. I told him I was willing to take a risk because she was the first horse I owned that made me a profit.”

Intuition paid off for Apel. After some time off in a field at Johnson’s farm in Grand Island, Neb., Lady Caroline came back to the track, earning Apel and Johnson almost $85,000. In all, she completed five trips to the winner’s circle at Indiana Grand, all under jockey Fernando De La Cruz. Her success made her a viable investment and she was claimed by new connections. After making one start, she was retired to broodmare duty in Kentucky.


The highly anticipated opening of the new Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital has arrived. The facility, located adjacent to I-74 just minutes from Indiana Grand, started accepting patients in mid-February. Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine made the opening official with a building dedication Tuesday, April 25 at the hospital.

Members of Purdue University, VIPs, staff from the Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital and other honored guests were recognized in the winner’s circle following Race 6 Tuesday, April 25. Earlier in the day, Purdue held the official building dedication ceremony at the new hospital just minutes from Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

More than 200 people attended the event, which featured several guest speakers, including Dean Willie Reed, Jim Brown, president and COO of Centaur Gaming, Senator Robert Jackman, a veterinarian who was instrumental in the development of the facility, and Dr. Timm Gudehus, lead surgeon at the hospital. The Indianapolis Mounted Police presented the colors during the National Anthem and Otto Thorwarth, aboard retired Quarter Horse racehorse Big John from the John McCreary Stable, represented Indiana Grand and Centaur Gaming as Garry Lauziere, Indiana Grand’s official bugler, played the “Call to Post” and “Back Home Again in Indiana.”


When players take their seat for the $50,000 BetAmerica World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC) at The Meadowlands Saturday, April 29, Indiana will be represented. Tony Fannin and Derek Thurber emerged victorious in the WHHC qualifier held at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, April 8. Fannin, a regular player at Indiana Grand, won the […]

Five-time Indiana Grand Leading Trainer Tom Amoss scored his first win of the 2017 season Wednesday, April 19 with a horse that has been part of the stable for the past three seasons. Arsenalofdemocracy rallied home to a four-length win in the afternoon’s second race of the day, which also marked the first win for Indiana newcomer Alonso Quinonez. It’s been a journey worth the wait for Midwest Thoroughbred’s Arsenalofdemocracy, who overcame an eye injury last year in his return to Indiana.

Arsenalofdemocracy and Alonso Quinonez rally home as winners in the second race Wednesday, April 19. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post five, Arsenalofdemocracy, the favorite of the six-furlong claiming event, tracked the progress of others in the race as Cherokee Band and Constantino Roman led the way down the backstretch. Quinonez was able to slip Arsenalofdemocracy down to the inside, saving ground and shaking loose from the field in the stretch for the win. Cherokee Band finished second while My Brown Eyed Guy and Manoel Cruz maintained position for third.


Indiana Grand’s 2016 Leading Owner Tony Cunningham picked up where he left off at the conclusion of the 2016 season at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The Clarksville, Mich. native finished one-two in the first Quarter Horse race of the season Tuesday, April 18, scoring the win with A Splash of Royalty in the final race of the day, which was dedicated to the sprinters.

A Splash of Royalty and Giovanni Vazquez-Gomez got the win in the final step of the first Quarter Horse race of 2017. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post eight, A Splash of Royalty didn’t show quick speed from the gate, but quickly got into gear for jockey Giovanni Vazquez-Gomez just a few steps into the 300-yard dash. The four-year-old gelding found his best stride midway through the race and began closing the gap on the race leader Rhea Fire and Cesar Esqueda, also trained by Cunningham. In the final step of the race, A Splash of Royalty got a nose in front to take home the top prize over Rhea Fire, giving Cunningham a one-two finish in the first Quarter Horse race of the season. Sheza Rare Treasure and Reynier Arrieta rounded out the trifecta.


Indiana Grand Racing & Casino kicked off its 15th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing Tuesday, April 18 with a nine race card. The 120-day race meet continues through Saturday, Oct. 28.

Lookout Angel and jockey Deshawn Parker kick off the 15th season of racing Tuesday, April 18 with a win in the first race of the 120-day meet. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Newcomer Deshawn Parker made a good first impression in his first start over the track with a win in the season opener aboard Lookout Angel. The duo opted to stay back off the pace early before making a move in the turn of the five and one-half furlong sprint. Parker used the stretch to get the most out of Lookout Angel and rally home for the win in her first start of 2017. Lookout Angel was a one and one-half length winner over Craftys Lil Sis and Tommy Pompell while Duchessofoldenburg and Rodney Prescott rounded out the top three.


The 15th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing will get underway Tuesday, April 18 with a nine-race program at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. Eight Thoroughbred races will be followed by one Quarter Horse race on the opening day card that begins at 2:05 p.m.

Nine races will kick off the 15th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing Tuesday, April 18. Racing begins at 2:05 p.m.

Highlighting the first day of racing will be a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming $25,000 events slated as the fifth and seventh races on the card. In the fifth race, Handiwork from the Brad Cox barn looks to be a strong contender in the field of eight. The four-year-old son of Eddington finished third in his last start at Fair Grounds. He will reconnect with jockey Shaun Bridgmohan from the outside post eight.

To the inside of Handiwork is Mineyerownmalone from the Tom Amoss Stable. The four-year-old son of Mineshaft made his last start at Delta Downs and will be ridden by Alonso Quinonez from post seven in the one mile, 70 yard event. Maggi Moss, 2016 Leading Owner at Indiana Grand, owns Mineyerownmalone, who was claimed by Moss and Amoss at the end of the 2016 racing season. Amoss returns looking for his sixth leading trainer title at Indiana Grand in 2017.