ITOBA working hard to boost Indiana racing
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is nearing the completion of its 13th season of racing, and over the past decade, the racing industry has seen a vast improvement in the racing program thanks to several entities who have stepped up to ensure the quality of racing improves. One of those organizations is the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (ITOBA), a great partner with both Indiana Grand and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.
ITOBA is one of the official representatives of Thoroughbred owners and breeders in the state of Indiana. Their leadership is fully dedicated to improving the quantity and quality of Thoroughbreds in the state in order to continue to elevate the racing product and maximize the industry’s considerable agricultural economic impact.
“Indiana Grand and Centaur values its long standing relationship with ITOBA and we continue to work closely with them to ensure the breeding and racing facets of the Indiana Thoroughbred industry are in synch as we both try to maximize the benefits of racing to the state of Indiana,” said Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing at Indiana Grand. “As the racing season winds down, and the breeding and foaling season fast approaches, we want to acknowledge our appreciation for ITOBA’s partnership and effort.”
Even though racing will conclude Saturday, Oct. 29, ITOBA is a year-round organization that continues to strive for the betterment of the racing industry even when horses are not on the track at Indiana Grand.
“The ITOBA folks’ hard work is about to get underway very soon, as the lights at the race track go dark for the next six months,” continued Schuster. “The breeders are the backbone of our agribusiness, and people should know that this industry never sleeps in Indiana. The track’s dark for a while, and during that time they are hustling and bustling and ensuring future generations of Indiana-bred and Indiana-sired horses are there, and improving, to keep the wheels rolling.”
Other groups have formed, but none have ever come close to offering the enormous positives that ITOBA has continued to produce year after year all around the state. Centaur has always been open to new ideas from these other groups, but none have lasted. Currently there is another new group known as The Indiana Breeders Alliance that has used Indiana Grand Race Course as a site to hold meetings, and also an upcoming seminar, although Indiana Grand is not affiliated with them in any way.
“It always seems that ITOBA has the best and broadest interest of the entire Indiana industry at heart, and have always been outstanding partners that deliver what they say they will in trying to elevate our industry—they’re extremely dependable,” added Schuster. “If any new groups find any new solutions, we’re glad to listen to them, too, as we always have, but at this time we wanted to recognize the enormous value ITOBA has to our industry as their big season draws closer.”
This year, ITOBA has brought back sales for the state, with a successful sale in June featuring racehorses. ITOBA is also hosting a Fall Mixed Sale Sunday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The sale will feature weanlings, yearlings broodmares and horses of racing age. The June sale produced several winners almost immediately, proving to be an excellent place to get into the Thoroughbred racing industry.
Some of the graduates from the June sale include Cora Ann, purchased for $10,000 and was a winner in of a $34,000 maiden special weight within the first month after the sale, Justiceonthebeach, purchased for $18,000 and a winner in a $34,000 two-year-old maiden special weight one month later, and the biggest return on investment Two Stepping Groom, a $700 purchase who was a winner one month later in a $34,000 maiden special weight. Other horses coming out of the sale that earned wins within two months after the sale include Regal Justice, El Coco Loco, and Dream Mon.