Month: July 2018

Indiana Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and Texas Corral of Shelbyville, Ind. have teamed up to provide “Barn Crew of the Month” at Indiana Grand. The second recipient this season is the team behind the Wayne Mogge Stable, who received the honor for the month of July.

Brian Elmore, executive director of the Indiana HBPA (left) made the presentation to Trainer Wayne Mogge for the July Barn Crew of the Month Saturday, July 28. Mogge’s team received $200 from Texas Corral for receiving the honor. Texas Corral co-sponsors the promotion with the Indiana HBPA. Brook Kegebein, Indiana Grand race marketing intern, assisted with the presentation. Photo by Linscott Photography

The Mogge Stable is currently made up of 15 horses on the backstretch at Indiana Grand. Mogge relies on four members of his team to care for the horses. Rafael Nunez has been with Mogge for 18 years and serves as the main groom along with Alfonso Lopez, Jesus Valenzuela and exercise rider Victor DeLeon.

“I couldn’t do it without all of the guys that work for me,” said Mogge following the winner’s circle presentation by Brian Elmore, executive director of the Indiana HBPA. “They all work really hard and keep the barn looking great.”

Keeping a neat and clean shed row is one of the criteria for the selection of “Barn Crew of the Month.” The team of judges also looks for care of the horses as well as overall presentation of the stable.

For being selected as the July “Barn Crew of the Month,” the members of the Mogge Stable received $200 to Texas Corral, a co-sponsor of the promotion. Texas Corral is located off Exit 111 in Shelbyville on Route 9. They provide all types of fare, from steaks and ribs to a wide array of appetizers and drinks. The facility also stays open late to provide a nice option for racing fans following the races at Indiana Grand. (more…)

After competing in four preliminary rounds, Oscar Bowman, Rosalie Smothers, Mike Berger, Charles Smothers and Nate Adams will represent Indiana Grand in the fourth annual $5,000 Final of Saturday Shootout. The championship, which alternates between Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park each season, will be held Saturday, Aug. 4 at Hoosier Park.

Team Indiana Grand will vie for the $5,000 championship of Saturday Shootout at Hoosier Park Saturday, Aug. 4.

Charles Smothers and Oscar Bowman each started off strong in the contest. Mike Berger landed on the top of the board during the third preliminary round and Nate Adams and Rosalie Smothers were also consistent throughout to gain a top five spot in the standings and move onto the final. In the end, Oscar Bowman led all players with a cumulative total of $194.00. Rosalie Smothers was second with $185.40 followed by Mike Berger ($163.00), Charles Smothers ($154.80) and Nate Adams ($141.60). In the event one of the top five cannot attend the final, the first alternate, Scot Shewman with a final total of $139.20 will play in the final. A total of 81 players competed in the 2018 Saturday Shootout contest at Indiana Grand.

Saturday Shootout provides a twist in handicapping. Four races from both Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park are used in the preliminary rounds, making players handicap both harness racing and Thoroughbred racing from each location. In another twist, Indiana Grand hosted an all-Quarter Horse night during the final preliminary round, giving players a final twist in testing their handicapping skills.


Trainer Ricardo Martinez came into the Heartland Futurity Final with three of the top four qualifiers, including two that were undefeated in two previous starts. Although the heavily favored entry Pritty ran into road trouble out of the gate, it was Packin Secrets that brought home the title to the Martinez barn and remains undefeated in three career starts.

Packin Secrets (inside) held off stablemate Chicazum and Yordanis Amaro for the win in the Heartland Futurity. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Surging out of the gate from post six in the 10-horse Heartland Futurity Final, Packin Secrets and Sergio Ramirez got a good jump on the field and got the early advantage. The Habits Secret gelding kept his mind on the task and rallied home the winner by a neck over inside invader Filthy Rich and Shanley Jackson. The Martinez-trained Chicazum and Yordanis Amaro stayed close on the outside for third followed by Pritty and Juan Galvan, who recovered to move in for fourth, putting all three of Martinez’s entries in the Heartland Futurity Final in the top four.


Indiana Grand’s Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse jockeys participated in the annual “PDJF Racing Across America” Saturday, July 28 to help raise awareness and funding for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). The entire night was dedicated to jockeys and the work that PDJF does to assist disabled jockeys who have experienced catastrophic injuries as a result of horse racing.

A patron puts money in the boot as Quarter Horse Jockey Natasha Fritz and Thoroughbred Jockey Cheyanna Patrick roamed the apron to raise funding for PDJF. (photo by Linscott Photography)

The organization currently assists more than 60 jockeys, most of whom have paralysis or brain injuries. Since its inception in 2006, PDJF has disbursed more than $9 million to these jockeys through donations, fundraisers and special events geared directly to the organization.

Indiana Grand was one of more than 25 tracks across North America participating in the event. Jockeys circulated through the crowd to accept donations for PDJF and also climbed into a dunk tank to raise funding. The jockeys also participated in several events on track, including a tug of war between the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse jockeys and a foot race from the starting gate. More than $270 was raised through the dunk tank and donations from the crowd for PDJF. Those jockeys getting into the tank included Natasha Fritz, Cheyanna Patrick, Ronald Hisby, Gerardo Garrido and Rogelio Romero-Diaz.


Last fall, Bucchero and Piedi Bianchi made history when both horses started in the prestigious Breeders Cup races. Their starts marked the first time an Indiana bred had competed in Breeders Cup races.

 Piedi Bianchi finished fifth in the Grade I $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. The Graded Stakes placed filly was based on the West Coast for Trainer Doug O’Neill. She completed her two-year-old campaign with a third place finish in the Grade I $300,000 Starlet Stakes at Laurel Racecourse for Nice Guys Stables, Jack Bick and Jay Oringer. After taking the winter off, the grey daughter of Overanalyze returned to the track as part of the Todd Pletcher Stable and has been training on the East Coast in New York.

 Bred by Deann and Dr. Greg Baer of Columbus, Ind., Piedi Bianchi made her three-year-old debut in late March at Belmont, finishing third in an allowance. She is primed and ready to return to Indiana as one of 21 nominated to the 16th running of the $150,000 Indiana First Lady Stakes set for Wednesday, Aug. 8.


Undefeated Pritty and jockey Juan Galvan looks to be the horse to beat in the 10th running of the $81,600 Heartland Futurity Final at Indiana Grand Saturday, July 28. The race, slated as the ninth on the card, will be contested at 300 yards for two-year-old Quarter Horses.

Pritty and Juan Galvan have been tagged as the early favorite in the $81,600 Heartland Futurity Final Saturday, July 28 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Pritty completed the trials as the fastest qualifier in a time of :15.301 seconds. The chestnut daughter of Coronado Cartel comes into the Heartland Final tagged as the 3-5 favorite for owner Miguel Lechuga, who purchased the filly for $12,000 from the Heritage Place Yearling Sale last fall. Ricardo Martinez trains Pritty, who is seeking her third win in three career starts. She starts from post nine with Galvan back aboard.

One of the biggest threats to Pritty comes from stablemate Packin Secrets, owned and trained by Martinez. The gelding by Martinez’s Indiana stallion Habits Secrets, won his trial in a time of :15.794 seconds, the fourth fastest of the top 10 qualifiers for the Heartland Futurity Final. Sergio Ramirez is back aboard from post six as the second choice of the field at odds of 9-2.

Martinez, who is maintaining a 57 percent win average this year at Indiana Grand, will saddle three in the Heartland Final, including Chicazum. Selected as the third choice on the morning line, Chicazum will begin from post 10 with Yordanis Amaro aboard at odds of 8-1.


The Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) will be trackside once again Saturday, July 28 for the second installment of the 2019 series “Grand Mornings at the Track.” The free breakfast event will begin at 9 a.m. in the Always Turned On tent at Indiana Grand. “Grand Mornings at the Track” is a monthly […]

Patience proved to be a virtue for Altito and Ty Kennedy in the fifth round of the $30,000 Don K. Memorial Starter Handicap Wednesday, July 25 at Indiana Grand. The series, named in honor of former Indiana HBPA executive director Don Kubovchik, extends through a majority of the 120-day racing season at different distances on both the turf and dirt courses.

Altito and Ty Kennedy saved ground along the inside before surging through and earning the victory in the fifth round of the Don K. Memorial Starter Handicap Wednesday, July 25. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post two, Altito was in no hurry to get involved in the early action as Perfect Execution and Rodney Prescott moved into the lead. Kennedy chased Altito early on to close up the gap and settle nicely into fourth place along the inside as Shobiz Star and Victor Santiago tracked Perfect Execution through the early stages of the one and one-eighths mile event.

The field began to tighten its grip on Perfect Execution in the final turn and Altito moved up along with the pack. Kennedy had a big hold on the gelding and sat patiently before finding a seam along the inside and moving in for the stretch drive. In the stretch, Altito and Perfect Execution battled gamely for the win, giving the edge to Altito in the last few strides. He was a winner by one and one-quarter lengths over Perfect Execution. Bobby the Brain and James Graham maintained ground for third. The time of the race was 1:49.63, a new track record for one and one-eighths miles over Indiana Grand’s oval.

Altito paid $7.00, $3.80, $3.20 across the board as the race favorite in the eight-horse field. It was his seventh career win in 26 career starts and his career earnings were boosted to more than $142,000 for Alan Ribble’s Ribble Farms, LLC. Davis Vance trains the four-year-old son of Bernardini.

“We plan to keep him right here,” said Vance. “There are three more or so of these and this fits him perfectly. Plus the timing and the competition is just right for him.”


Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will participate in the national movement PDJF Racing Across America Saturday, July 28 to help raise funds and awareness for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Tracks across North America participate in the celebration to show support of the worthy cause with numerous activities ranging from karaoke to specialty races. For the fifth straight year, Indiana Grand has combined the event with “Back to School” Night featuring activities geared toward younger racing fans that includes 16 backpack giveaways courtesy of the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA).

Back to School, PDJF Night has become a popular staple on the summer racing events lineup at Indiana Grand. A total of 16 backpacks will be given away by the Indiana HBPA to help kick off the school year. The evening will also support the national “PDJF Racing Across America.”

Back to School, PDJF Night will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with the National Anthem provided by the Morristown High School Music Makers Show Choir. Activities begin at 6 p.m. with live racing getting underway at 6:05 p.m. Included in the lineup of free activities for kids includes the interactive live animal show Silly Safari, strolling characters, face painting, an inflatable and school supply giveaways. The Indiana HBPA will provide drawings after the first eight races on the card with two backpacks given away after each race.

In addition to the kids’ activities, Indiana Grand’s jockeys will participate in several contests during the night in support of PDJF. Several jockeys will get into a dunk tank from 6 – 7:30 p.m. to raise funds for PDJF, the organization that supports jockeys who can no longer ride due to injury or illness. Jockeys will also compete in a tug of war contest, pitting the Thoroughbred jockeys against the Quarter Horse jockeys after the second race outside the winner’s circle. The jockeys will also compete in a foot race from the starting gate after the fourth race.


It was no surprise that Rockys Candy Shop was as dominant as he was in the 16th running of the $130,700 Blue River Derby Final Saturday, July 21 at Indiana Grand. The three-year-old son of Fantastic Corona Jr has been strong all season and rallied home in a gate to wire performance for his first stakes title.

Rockys Candy Shop and Jose Beltran established a new stakes record with their win in the Blue River Derby Saturday, July 21. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

It was a clean break for all 10 finalists in the Blue River Derby. Rockys Candy Shop broke from post one and had his racing game face on, surging to the early lead. Ridden by Indiana Grand’s leading Quarter Horse jockey this season Jose Beltran, the gelding maintained the top spot and shifted over halfway through the 400 yard dash to find a path to the wire more a little wider than the rail. In the end, Rockys Candy Shop was a dominant winner by three-quarters of a length. Beltran didn’t appear to ever ask the horse for more and pushed his fist in the air as soon as the duo crossed the wire to claim the victory. Jessalilsecret and Berkley Packer tracked Rockys Candy Shop the entire race to finish second over Atempting Love and Luis Guerrero, who closed in well for third. The time of the race was :19.745 seconds, a new stakes record for the Blue River Derby.