Month: August 2017
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved a request to alter the final week of racing at Indiana Grand during its regular monthly meeting Friday, Aug. 25. The 120-day racing season will now include a special day of racing Thursday, Oct. 26 and the final day of racing is slated for Friday, Oct. 27. The altered schedule was requested to show full support of the prestigious $6 million Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park, Indiana Grand’s sister track.
The change was requested by track officials at Indiana Grand so that all resources can be shifted to Hoosier Park for the monumental two-day Breeders Crown event slated for Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28 beginning at 6 p.m.
“We want to do everything we can to support Indiana racing and the world harness racing championship Breeders Crown event at Hoosier Park,” said Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing at Indiana Grand. “By adding a special racing program Thursday and ending our season on Friday, Oct. 27, we will provide our horsemen with the same number of racing days and opportunities for this racing season. This change will also allow us to lend more support to Hoosier Park as they host the first Breeders Crown ever held in Indiana.”
It took most of the 400-yard distance but HH Kentucky Krome proved to be the quickest at the end, earning the win in the 18th running of the $83,901 Quarter Horse Racing Association (QHRAI) Stallion Service Auction (SSA) Derby Saturday, Aug. 26 at Indiana Grand. Ridden by Oscar Macias, the three-year-old sorrel son of La Jollaroid won the race in a time of :20.098 seconds.
Starting from post nine in the 10-horse lineup, HH Kentucky Krome was not the first horse who captured the attention out of the starting gate. Trophy Wife B and Cesar Esqueda got the early nod in mid pack while race favorite Gridiron Girl B and Rodney Prescott pressed on right beside her. It wasn’t until the final strides that the big chestnut appeared he might be a threat at the finish as HH Kentucky Krome hit another gear late in the race.
Powering up on the outside, HH Kentucky Krome was able to pass all of his rivals to earn the victory by a neck over Gridiron Girl B for second. DNA Dales Prospect and Cody Smith maintained positioning, just a nose back in the tight photo for third.
Stone Cold Leader has been tough all year, and he showed just how tough he can be when put to the test. After a less than desirable start, the two-year-old son of Brookstone Bay rallied late in the 350-yard dash to overtake Be Afraid for the win in the $176,578 Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) Stallion Service Auction (SSA) Futurity Saturday, Aug. 26 at Indiana Grand.
Starting from post three in the 10-horse lineup, Stone Cold Leader was in tight quarters coming out of the gate and did everything he could to keep himself planted between horses. As the field moved on down the track, space began to open up and Jockey Rolando Pina had a tough assignment. Pina had to get Stone Cold Leader back on his game and get his momentum back.
Be Afraid and Alonso Rivera had moved into a short lead on the outside and with just steps left to the finish line, victory looked like it would be all his. However, Stone Cold Leader dug in gamely and rallied back quickly, overtaking Be Afraid in the very last stride to win by a head in a time of :17.951. Rockys Candy Shop and Cody Smith finished another nose back in third.
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino added a new contest for racing fans this season, offering the “Real Horseplayers of Indiana Grand” during the eight Thursday racing programs from July 6 through Aug. 24. Omar Fannin Jr. of Greenwood, Ind. was the winner of the top prize of $500 during a special presentation Saturday, Aug. 26 at Indiana Grand.
Players were tasked with selecting winners in five of eight races each Thursday to earn points. Also, players could choose any race for a straight trifecta ticket to get bonus points. As players reached certain thresholds, they earned added prizes such as $2 race wagers and t-shirts. Players also received participation points each week, giving them added incentives to play in all eight legs of the contest.
The top five players were awarded prizes for their efforts in the Real Horseplayers of Indiana Grand contest. Fannin Jr. completing the eight-week contest with a total of 56 points to earn the top prize and take home the trophy.
There was a tie for second as Dave Stroud of Indianapolis and Diana Chaney of Shelbyville each completed the contest with 55 points to split second and third place prize money, taking home $187.50 each. There was also a tie for fourth place between Gary Showalter and Nancy Bowman, who each took home $62.50 in the contest.
Dave Stroud, a retired school teacher, put his math skills to the test in the second annual 007 Jock’s Agent Contest to claim the top prize of $1,000. Stroud was crowned the winner during Corntastic Saturday, Aug. 26 to take home the top prize and a trophy.
The 007 Jock’s Agent Contest began July 1 and concluded Aug. 25. During that time frame, players selected two jockeys to represent, earning points by the amount of combined purse earnings between the two jockeys selected. In a twist, each player received five “fire” cards and could switch up the jockeys representing them at any time, which required strategy throughout the contest.
“I started out with Katie Clawson and Fernando De La Cruz,” said Stroud. “They took me into Indiana Derby and then I changed to (Mario) Guiterrez and Brian Hernandez. Both of them did really well on Indiana Derby Night and that raised me into the top five. After that, I switched back to De La Cruz and DeShawn Parker and they got me into the lead.”
With one “fire” card left, Stroud knew he had to make his decision wisely for the remainder of the contest.
The $200,000-guaranteed Centaur Stakes, Indiana’s richest race on the turf, has drawn 40 nominations for the 12th running of the race set for Wednesday, Sept. 6. The race will be joined by three other stakes on the day, bringing a total of more than $600,000 on the program.
The biggest name on the list is Colonelsdarktemper, winner of the $750,000 Grade III West Virginia Derby in his last start and second place finisher in the $500,000 Grade III Indiana Derby in the start before that. The three-year-old son of Colonel John has never raced over the turf in his brief career. Unraced at two, Colonelsdarktemper, owned by Hall of Fame Indy Car Driver A J Foyt, has only been worse than third twice this season in eight starts, scoring three wins and purse earnings in excess of $650,000. Foyt and trainer William “Jinks” Fires could be looking for a spot in the Midwest to get another start in before shipping out to tackle tough company on the dirt during the fall stakes.
Stinkin Rich and Jockey Rolando Pina extended their win streak to five and retained the title in the ninth running of the $88,700 Bob Woodard Memorial Classic Friday, Aug. 25 at Indiana Grand. The duo covered the 400-yard dash in a time of :19.781 seconds.
Stinkin Rich was easily detected out of the starting gate in the center of the pack from post five in the 10-horse lineup. The shiny grey gelding had a clean break and was a factor from the start. A few strides into the race, he claimed the top spot and never looked back. Beach Cartel and Berkley Packer, who started from post three, had to dip down to the inside to find a clear running path and looked like they might threaten at the end while WH Design By Dash and Oscar Macias were rallying hard on the outside. But it was smooth sailing for Stinkin Rich who earned the win by the margin of one-half length over WH Design By Dash on the outside. Also closing in well to finish third was WH Kenny G and Harold Collins to round out the trifecta.
It was his first true test since his two-year-old season and he passed with flying colors. Supreme Justice and jockey Marcelino Pedroza rallied home for the victory in the $100,000 William Henry Harrison Stakes Wednesday, Aug. 23 at Indiana Grand. The win was one of five on the card for Pedroza, who is currently in third place in the 2017 standings.
Starting from post six in the nine horse lineup, Supreme Justice broke in mid pack and stayed with the biggest bunch out of the gate as Walden Forest and Malcolm Franklin accepted the challenge to lead the field. Sucess Is Racing and Eddie Perez moved up along the inside and Zoned In and Rodney Prescott moved up on the outside to retain good positioning and keep up with Walden Forest while the remainder of the pack followed along.
Movement began to happen heading into the turn of the six-furlong sprint and Supreme Justice was in the thick of the action. He was along the outside of several horses ready to pounce once they hit the stretch. Operation Stevie and Emmanuel Esquivel saved ground inside to get into the battle while Zoned In and Walden Forest held their ground near the front. Supreme Justice was on the far outside while Double Tuff and Leandro Goncalves were between horses making their bids to the wire.
Joyous Lady and jockey Tommy Pompell had a perfect journey to retain their title and easily win the $100,000-added Shelby County Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Aug. 23. The duo covered the six-furlong sprint in a time of 1:10.65.
Starting from post two in the lineup for seven Indiana sired fillies and mares, Joyous Lady broke evenly with the pack as Carmalley Chrome and Rodney Prescott rolled out to the expected lead. Peyton’s Pass and Eddie Perez recovered from a slow start and moved up along the inside to stay right with Carmalley Chrome in the early stages of the race. Joyous Lady maintained positioning in the center of the track and although she was gapping a little on the top two, she was well in hand for Pompell.
Around the only turn of the sprint, horses from the back began to gain positioning for the stretch drive. Joyous Lady moved up to the leaders three wide with She Mabee Wild (Jon Court) and My Erin (DeShawn Parker) to her outside as the field turned for home.
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will host the second annual Corntastic event on Saturday, August 26 on the race course apron. The event starts at 6:00 p.m. and will feature family-friendly activities including live racing, corn-themed contests, strolling entertainment, a petting zoo, giveaways, corn-inspired food and beverage, and live music. Admission into the event is free.
The first 250 guests to visit the Corntastic event starting at 6:00 p.m. will receive a free straw hat. Joe Hess and The Wandering Cowboys, a trio out of McCordsville, Ind., will perform traditional country music throughout the evening.
Money raised from cotton candy and cookie sales at the event will go to benefit the Morristown High School Chorale Department, and snow cone sales will benefit the Shelbyville High School post prom committee.