Month: May 2017

Peanut butter is one of the hottest commodities in the store available at Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation (HVAF). When their supply was getting low, members of the Community Outreach program at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino found out about the need and implemented a team member peanut butter drive during the month of May. The jockeys also found out about the need and wanted to assist. They held their own individual drive, collecting a total of 365 pounds of peanut butter for the cause.

Indiana Grand’s jockeys stepped up in a big way, donating more than 500 jars of peanut butter to HVAF . The jars of peanut butter will assist homeless veterans in Central Indiana.

“The veterans are out there defending everything for us, and we all should be grateful for their service,” said Jockey DeShawn Parker. “Without them, we wouldn’t get to do a lot of things we want to do, so this is a great cause to get behind.”

Parker, who is currently in contention for leading jockey in his first year of riding at Indiana Grand, is known for his charitable work. The veteran jockey, who has won more than 5,200 career races, personally donated 100 jars of the peanut butter collected.

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The class of the older Indiana sired Quarter Horses at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino were on track for the eighth running of the $84,200 Born Runner Classic Saturday, May 27. After finishing in the runner up spot last season, W H Design by Dash regained his title in the event, posting a three-quarters of a length win with jockey Oscar Macias aboard.

WH Design by Dash and Oscar Macias rolled past the competition to take the title in the Born Runner Classic Saturday, May 27. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post six in the 10-horse lineup for the 400-yard dash, W H Design by Dash got away from the gate clean and was in mid pack for the first half of the race before emerging in the center of the track with a big late kick to stroll by his opponents on his way to the win in only his second start of 2017. Owned by Julia Rae Martin, the six-year-old son of Brimmstone stopped the timer in :19.913 seconds. Heza Beach Bum and Rolando Pina finished second over The Cartel Concept and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez for third.

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It will be a battle to the wire between two standout Indiana sired Quarter Horses Saturday, May 27 when the field enters the starting gate for the eighth running of the $84,200 Born Runner Classic. WH Design by Dash and Beach Cartel, who shared honors in 2016 as the Quarter Horse Association of Indiana (QHRAI) High Point Colt/Gelding of the Year, will be battling it out in the first Quarter Horse stakes race of the season at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.

Beach Cartel will be seeking to defend his title in the eight running of the Born Runner Classic at Indiana Grand Saturday, May 27. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Beach Cartel, with jockey Rodney Prescott aboard from post nine, has been tagged as the early favorite in the race over WH Design by Dash, who will be ridden by Oscar Macias from post six in the 10-horse field. The two have already matched skills once this year with Beach Cartel getting the slight edge over WH Design by Dash, winning by the margin of a head in allowance competition May 5. The Born Runner Classic will be the second start of 2017 for both horses, who are now five and six-years-old respectively.

Beach Cartel, bred and raised by Owner Sheri Miller of Shipshewana, Ind. at Miller Ranch, has 11 wins in 16 career starts with a little more than $275,000 in career earnings. The five-year-old son of Escondido Beach won four of his six starts last year. He is trained by Terry Phillips.

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Indiana Grand Racing & Casino has implemented a new racehorse ownership opportunity for the general public this season. Grand Gesture Stable offers 50 shares at $300 per share to individuals seeking to learn more about racing and the intricate details of owning part of a Thoroughbred racehorse.

A J Pacer with Richard Bracho aboard, strides out to her maiden breaking victory at Indiana Grand in October 2016. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

The horse selected for this unique ownership opportunity is A J Pacer, a three-year-old Indiana bred Thoroughbred filly that is trained by Anthony Granitz, who is the trainer of two-time Indiana Horse of the Year Lady Fog Horn. A J Pacer made three starts in 2016 at two, posting one win and one second before taking some time off to prepare for her three-year-old season.

“This filly (A J Pacer) is a perfect horse for Grand Gesture Stable,” said Granitz. “She has a great personality and attitude and she has been training very well. I’m happy to be part of this unique experience and can’t wait to meet all 50 owners of AJ as we kick off this new ownership venture.”

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Ron was an impressive two-year-old last season at Indiana Grand. He was tagged as the heavy favorite in the fourth running of the $100,000-added Sagamore Sired Stakes Wednesday, May 24 and he didn’t disappoint, turning in a strong performance in the rain for the win.

Ron and Leandro Goncalves turned in a strong performance in the rain to win the Sagamore Sired Stakes Wednesday, May 24. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Ridden by Leandro Goncalves, Ron started his journey in the six-furlong event from post six. Sung and Constantino Roman showed the best early speed from the gate as expected to lead the pack of horses vying for early positioning down the backstretch.

Evader and Marcelino Pedroza saved ground inside while Exceptional City and Eddie Perez tracked the leader on the outside. Ron followed along in the center of the pack before hitting his best stride halfway through the race and moving to the outside. Once he was free, he showed great strength in reaching the front and by the time the field had hit the stretch, he had opened up on his opponents by several lengths.

In the final strides, Ron coasted under the wire in a time of 1:11.34, a one and one-half length winner over Leo D and Alonso Quinonez, who made up ground on the outside to finish second. Calandave and Albin Jimenez showed a mild late run to finish third.

“This is the race I’ve been waiting for,” said Goncalves, who has been aboard Ron in his last two starts. “This horse has been training so well, and I want to thank Marvin (Johnson) for sticking with me. He told me before the race to ride him like he was my horse. I knew the seven (Sung) had speed, so I wanted him (Ron) to get settled first and just get clear. He’s a big horse so it takes him a few yards to get going.”

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Defining Hope and Jockey Malcolm Franklin returned to their stakes winning ways to win the $100,000-added Swifty Sired Stakes for three-year-old Indiana sired fillies Wednesday, May 24 at Indiana Grand. Dominant in that category last season, Defining Hope now has three stakes wins to her credit for trainer Barb McBride and owner-breeder Colette Marie Vanmatre of Westfield, Ind.

Defining Hope and Malcolm Franklin rally through the rain to win by nine and one-half lengths in the fourth running of the Swifty Sired Fillies Stakes Wednesday, May 24. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from the outside post 10, Defining Hope was not much of a threat out of the starting gate as Handfuls Baby Girl and Alonso Quinonez grabbed the early lead inside with Benten and Marcelino Pedroza to her outside. Passion Rush and DeShawn Parker and Airtime Annie and Rodney Prescott also pressed the pace early on, spanning four wide across the track.

As the only turn of the six-furlong race neared, the leaders began to fan out and one horse was gaining ground and moving with authority on the outside in the turn. That horse was Defining Hope, who had secured the top spot by the top of the stretch. Franklin urged the daughter of Strong Hope to display a little more speed and she gave it without hesitation, opening up on the field by three and one half lengths, eventually getting to a nine and one-half length advantage at the finish line for the win. Passion Rush maintained ground inside for second followed by No Bluff Just Hope and Edie Perez, who closed in nicely for third.

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Far Out Kailee and Richard Bracho put a nose in front to win the first round of the Don K. Starter Memorial at Indiana Grand Wednesday, May 24. The duo rallied late in the race to earn the win in the first of 11 scheduled legs of the series throughout the 120-day racing season.

Far Out Kailee and Richard Bracho edges out Federal Agent and Albin Jimenez by a nose to win the first round of the Don K. Starter Memorial Wednesday, May 24. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post three in the nine-horse lineup, Far Out Kailee traveled along the inside in the early stages of the race as Lamu and Jack Gilligan led the way through the first half of the one-mile race. In the final turn, Bracho was able to work to the outside with Far Out Kailee and was widest of all for the stretch drive.

Federal Agent and Albin Jimenez also had the same plan and began to close in on Lamu down the stretch. It was a three-horse photo but Far Out Kailee was able to grab the win by the margin of a Nose over Federal Agent, who was just a head in front of Lamu. The time of the mile was 1:36.85.

Owned by Marshall Gramm’s Ten Strike Racing, Far Out Kailee paid $20.00, $10.20, $7.60 across the board. It was the third career win for the five-year-old son of Summer Bird who was claimed at Oaklawn Park in early April. Randy Matthews handles the training for Far Out Kailee.

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Janelle Campbell, assistant trainer to David Hinsley, poses with now retired racehorse Primal Humor, who is serving many purposes for Campbell on and off the track. (Photo Provided)

By Lynne Snierson, freelance racing writer

(NOTE – story originally written for America’s Best Racing)

New trainers come into Indiana Grand each season, and David Hinsley is one of those that has brought his stable of 20 head to the Midwest. He is centrally located between several tracks, racing at Indiana Grand, Arlington Park, Churchill Downs and Belterra Park since arriving from Tampa Bay Downs in April. His assistant, Janelle Campbell, who originally hails from the New England area, is helping Hinsley and the following story was recently penned by Lynne Snierson, freelance racing writer, who compiled the information for America’s Best Racing.

Primal Humor had sunk to the nethermost rung on the claiming ladder at Suffolk Downs by 2010, and his owner, convinced he was worthless, was giving him away. Jockey Tammi Campbell Piermarini implored her niece to adopt the Kentucky-bred son of Distorted Humor, who had sold three years before for $200,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

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First Cucuy and jockey Jose Davila turned in the fastest trial to lead the way to the $75,000 final of the Harley Greene Derby set for Saturday, June 3. The race will be part of the first of six all-Quarter Horse racing nights at Indiana Grand for the 120-day racing season. First Cucuy topped the list with a time of :17.784 seconds in the second of three $5,000 trials Friday, May 19 to set up the final.

First Cucuy and Jose Davila head into the $75,000 Harley Greene Derby final Saturday, June 3 as the fastest qualifier. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

It was all First Cucuy and Jose Davila from start to finish. The duo broke from the inside post one and had a clear path the entire way to reach the finish line in an easy three-quarter length win over First Special Jess and L.D. Martinez. Kid Cartel and Cesar Esqueda finished third.

First Cucuy, a surprise winner, paid $13.00, $7.00, $3.60 across the board. The three-year-old son of Jazz Be First is owned and trained by Sacramento Chavez.

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Turf racing is back at Indiana Grand. A pair of turf races were held on the Tuesday, May 16 racing program, marking the first time on the grass this season. Trainer Phil Sims swept both events to record a training double on the card in his first two starts of the year at Indiana Grand.

Cha Cha Magic and Malcolm Franklin stride out to win the first turf race of the season Tuesday, May 16. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

The first turf race of the year was a one and one-sixteenth mile event with a purse of $31,000. Cha Cha Magic and Malcolm Franklin coasted to victory in the race, winning by five and one-half lengths in the field of 10. Starting from post three, it took the three-year-old daughter of Mizzen Mast until the final half of the race to accelerate into contention, pulling away from the field in the stretch for the win, her first career trip to the winner’s circle. Kathy’s Song and Shaun Bridgmohan finished second over Cuddle Kitten and Katie Clawson for third.

The second favorite of the race, Cha Cha Magic paid $5.80, $3.00, $2.20 across the board. The homebred filly is owned by Nelson McMakin of Kentucky and was making her second start of the year for Sims, with a previous outing at Keeneland.

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