Month: October 2017

Apprentice Jockey Katie Clawson came out of the gate strong at the beginning of the 2017 season and was atop the standings for the majority of the 2017 racing season. The 20-year-old from Brazil, Ind. announced her retirement from riding in late September and completed the meet with 71 wins, which not only earned her a title, it also marked a new record for most wins in one season by an apprentice jockey.


Rachel McLaughlin, racing broadcast production manager, accepts the trophy from Kevin Greely, director of racing, on behalf of Katie Clawson, 2017 Leading Apprentice Jockey. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Clawson is now serving as an exercise rider for Trainer Mike Maker alongside her fiancé, Nolan Ramsey, who serves as an assistant trainer for Maker. She was unavailable for the trophy presentation during the final day of racing at Indiana Grand but sent this heartfelt message to racing fans, horsemen and the staff at Indiana Grand:

 “I can’t fully express my gratitude to all of the people who supported me through my months at Indiana Grand. Everyone had a piece of fulfilling my dreams and goals. I was blessed to be trusted with many good horses and I’d like to thank everyone whom I worked with for their time and trust. Thank you to my agent, Jimmy (McNerney), for working with me, my valet, Brittany (Waugh), everyone in the jock’s room, and all of the owners, trainers, grooms, hot walkers and exercise riders who put the time into their horses and did right by them. I was glad to have taken part in that process. I had a summer to remember. Thank you.”


It is familiar territory for Gary Patrick. The longtime owner-trainer in Indiana picked up another Leading Owner title at Indiana Grand this season, scoring 24 wins over John Haran’s Haran Thoroughbreds, who completed the season with 23 wins.


Gary Patrick and his wife, Cindy, are shown with the special sign to commemorate their 2,000th win as a trainer. Patrick is currently the all-time leading owner and trainer at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Patrick, a native of Circleville, Ohio, has had another banner fall in racing. He scored a stakes win with his two-year-old standout, Mo Money, in the $100,000 Crown Ambassador Stakes in early October at Indiana Grand. One week later, Patrick earned his 2,000th career training win after scoring two wins on the day, including the $75,000 Emerald Necklace Stakes with Pure Justice at JACK Thistledown.

 The race for leading owner came down to one of the last races of the meet for 2017, but in the end Patrick’s final win of the meet as an owner, which was recorded with Cook Memories on Wed., Oct. 25, was the win that solidified the title. Patrick finished up the 120-day meet with 24 wins in 186 starts and purse earnings just under the $500,000 mark. Horses from his barn maintained a 35 percent top three finish percentage for 2017 at Indiana Grand.


It was a repeat of 2016 as Quarter Horse jockeys Rolando Pina and Berkley Packer completed the season on equal terms. Both jockeys reeled in 21 wins during the 120-day meet that included six all-Quarter Horse nights from mid-April through October.

In the absence of both Rolando Pina and Berkley Packer, Kevin Greely, director of racing, accepted the award on their behalf for 2017 Leading Quarter Horse Jockey. Rachel McLaughlin, racing broadcast production manager, conducted the interview. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Pina started off the meet with authority and was among the track’s top three riders for the first two months. Packer returned to Indiana in June and quickly picked up where he left off, eventually catching up to Pina in the final month of racing. In the final few nights of action, the two once again were inseparable and will share the title of Leading Quarter Horse Jockey for the second straight season at Indiana Grand.

Both Pina and Packer were added to the record books last season. They each scored 28 wins on the year to equal the record for most wins by a jockey in one season that was set in 2013 by Harold Collins. Packer also earned the distinction of winning the most races on one card, recording five wins in August 2015.

This season, Pina had several stakes wins and completed the year with more purse earnings. He was the only jockey to eclipse the $500,000 this season with a total of $525,857.

Packer had more top three finishes for the year. The Idaho native not only won 21 races, but he finished second in 18 of his 112 starts for an average of 45 percent on the board for 2017. Pina had a similar top three average on the year, maintaining a 47 percent average on hitting the board.


It came down to the final afternoon of racing to determine a winner, but Marcelino Pedroza had a strong showing once again, turning in a riding double and capturing his first leading jockey title at Indiana Grand. The 24-year-old second generation jockey from Panama topped the standings with 109 wins for the year, just one ahead of DeShawn Parker, who completed the meet with 108.

Marcelino Pedroza and his wife, Rosie, find shelter under umbrellas for the presentation of the 2017 Leading Jockey award. Kevin Greely, director of racing, and Rachel McLaughlin, on-air racing personality, make the presentation. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Pedroza came into the final day of racing for the 120-day season with a one-win lead over Parker. The two jockeys had been exchanging the top spot for the past week. Both riders scored riding triples on Thursday, Oct. 26 and followed it up with riding doubles, which in the end, gave the nod to Pedroza.

A graduate of the Laffit Pincay Jockey School in his native Panama, Pedroza has been riding since he was 16 years old. He came to the United States in 2010 and has been a consistent performer in the Midwest since his arrival. The multiple Graded Stakes placed jockey earned his 500th career win at Indiana Grand last year and now has nearly 700 career wins. Based in Kentucky, Pedroza will return to Fair Grounds when the resume racing in late November.


Owner-trainer Tony Cunningham has a long history of winning races in Indiana. The Clarksville, Mich. native has competed in every year of pari-mutuel Quarter Horse racing in the state of Indiana since its inception in 1997. For the second straight year, Cunningham takes home the title as the 2017 Leading Quarter Horse Owner at Indiana Grand.


Tony Cunningham was presented with his second straight Leading Quarter Horse Owner title during the final day of racing at Indiana Grand. Rachel McLaughlin, racing broadcast production manager, made the presentation. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Cunningham had 10 winners in 58 starts as an owner with purses of more than $129,000. He carried a 41 percent “in the money” average during the season that stretched from April through October. Cunningham also finished second in the leading Quarter Horse trainer standings, earning 27 wins and more than $525,000 as a trainer.

 “It goes to the support of the team,” said Cunningham. “They are working hard to get better every year. We are finished for the year now. We will go to the farm and break babies and get ready for next season.”


Trainer Randy Smith had another banner year of racing at Indiana Grand. The Broughton, Ill. native completed the season with 32 wins to score his third consecutive title at the Shelbyville, Ind. racetrack.


Randy Smith, second from right, and his wife, Debbie, are presented with the 2017 Leading Quarter Horse Trainer title. Kevin Greely, director of racing, and Rachel McLaughlin, racing broadcast production manager, made the presentation. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Smith, who missed the first two months of action and still retained the title, also took over as the track’s all-time leading Quarter Horse trainer. Smith now has 175 wins since taking out his trainer license in 2009. His best year to date was recorded in 2015 when he won 46 races at Indiana Grand and accumulated more than $1.1 million in purse earnings, both records at the track. Smith also became the first and only Quarter Horse trainer to eclipse the $1 million mark in purse earnings for one season, a feat he repeated in 2016.

 Last season, Smith added his name to one more record in the books at Indiana Grand. He saddled seven winners during an August 2016 program to establish the record for most wins in one night by a Quarter Horse trainer. Smith always reverts to his standard saying, “good owners, good horses, good help.”


Trainer Genaro Garcia has always had success in the state of Indiana. He ran his first horse as a trainer at Hoosier Park in 2006 and won his first stakes race there with Lil Mai Tai in 2007 in the $45,000 City of Anderson Stakes and returned the following year for his first six figure […]

The Indiana Thoroughbred breeding program has grown by leaps and bounds since the implementation of pari-mutuel racing in the state beginning in 1995. As progress has been made, it has been mentioned many times that, ‘one of these days, an Indiana bred will make it to the Breeders’ Cup.’ That day has arrived as Bucchero left the comforts of his stall at Indiana Grand Thursday and boarded a Tex Sutton Equine Air Travel plane this morning from Lexington, Ky. en route to San Diego. He will then make the final leg of his journey via van to Del Mar to prepare for the Grade I $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint slated for Saturday, Nov. 4.


Bucchero and Fernando De La Cruz score a win in the $100,000 Brickyard Stakes in mid September at Indiana Grand. De La Cruz has been aboard for four of Bucchero’s nine wins during his career. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Trainer Tim Glyshaw has worked tirelessly since announcing that both Bucchero and Bullard’s Alley, who is slated to run in the Grade I $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf the same day, would be making the trek to Southern California. Many behind the scenes details had to be arranged and handled prior to making the journey to the Breeders’ Cup.

 “I had to make sure we had $15,000 in Bucchero’s purse account and $50,000 in Bullard’s Alley’s purse account before Monday when we pre-entered,” said Glyshaw. “It must be in the account or they will not accept your entries. Then, we will have to add another $15,000 for Bucchero and another $50,000 for Bullard’s Alley before we enter. I’m sure larger stables have someone that handles all the details for them, but for us, it is just me and my wife, Natalie, and the barn help to get everything ready. It is a lot of expense and hassle, but it is well worth it.”


Jersey Justice and DeShawn Parker made a dominant move in the final turn and powered to the lead, never looking back in the 18th running of the $100,000-guaranteed Indiana Futurity at Indiana Grand Thursday, Oct. 26. The time of the one mile, 70 yard race was 1:41.41, just missing the stakes record set last year by Reverend John and Rodney Prescott in a time of 1:41.33.

Jersey Justice and Marcelino Pedroza turned in a powerful performance in the $100,000 Indiana Futurity at Indiana Grand Thursday, Oct. 26. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post six in the 11-horse lineup, Jersey Justice appeared to be a seasoned pro out of the gate. The lightly raced son of Jersey Town got right in behind race leader Sky Writer and Eddie Perez and tracked their progress until the final turn was approaching. Parker began to call on Jersey Justice and he moved up to challenge Sky Writer midway through the turn.

When the duo hit the top of the stretch, it was evident that Jersey Justice had a lot of horse left for the stretch drive. He began to make it more difficult on the rest of the field to try and catch him as he lengthened his stride, eventually crossing under the wire by two and one-half lengths for the win, his third in only four career starts. Jova and Declan Cannon maintained ground for second while Sky Writer fended off the rest of the pack for an easy third.


Flurry stepped up into the stakes ranks in a big way Thursday, Oct. 26, winning the 20th running of the event by three and one-half lengths in impressive fashion. The two-year-old grey daughter of Old Fashioned showed no signs of inexperience, stopping the timer in 1:44.68 seconds with Jockey Marcelino Pedroza aboard.

Flurry and Marcelino Pedroza blew by the competition in early stretch en route to their first stakes win in the Miss Indiana Stakes Thursday, Oct. 26 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

 Pedroza must have had some indication of the talent of Flurry. He had ridden Bibbidibobbidi Boo to victory in her last start, the $100,000 City of Anderson. However, when it came time to choose which filly he’d like to ride for Trainer Mike Lauer in the $100,000-guaranteed Miss Indiana, he chose to ride Flurry.

Starting from post one in the 12-filly lineup, Flurry broke away from the gate well, but was not one of the early leaders as Crossed and Francisco Torres showed their authority early on, tracked closely by Just Plain Kate and Rodney Prescott. Pedroza began inching up halfway through the one mile and 70 yard route race and had the filly in contention around the turn. At the top of the stretch, Flurry busted out to a four length advantage and proved why she was the favorite of the field, rolling onto victory by three and one-half lengths at the wire over Obsolete and Manny Cruz, also trained by Lauer. Shyla and Constantino Roman rallied from the back of the pack to finish just a neck ahead of Crossed for third. Bibbidibobbidi Boo was a late scratch from the race.