Lookout Angel wins season opener

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino kicked off its 15th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing Tuesday, April 18 with a nine race card. The 120-day race meet continues through Saturday, Oct. 28.

Lookout Angel and jockey Deshawn Parker kick off the 15th season of racing Tuesday, April 18 with a win in the first race of the 120-day meet. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Newcomer Deshawn Parker made a good first impression in his first start over the track with a win in the season opener aboard Lookout Angel. The duo opted to stay back off the pace early before making a move in the turn of the five and one-half furlong sprint. Parker used the stretch to get the most out of Lookout Angel and rally home for the win in her first start of 2017. Lookout Angel was a one and one-half length winner over Craftys Lil Sis and Tommy Pompell while Duchessofoldenburg and Rodney Prescott rounded out the top three.

“I was really surprised to win with her (Lookout Angel) today,” said Parker, who has moved his tack into Indiana for the first time in his impressive career. “I was very happy to win the race and it is a great way to start the meet out like that. I had not ridden her before so I looked at the form and she likes to close, so I let her get her feet underneath her and when I asked her to run, she finished with a big kick.”

Lookout Angel, owned and trained by Dawn Martin, scored her first win in two years. The six-year-old Indiana bred daughter of Benny the Bull paid $6.40, $3.00 and $2.40 for her win, her first attempt since her last start in mid October last fall at Indiana Grand. Lookout Angel increased her career bankroll to more than $48,000 with her victory.

Parker, who has more than 5,200 career wins, is best known for his many leading rider titles at Mountaineer Park. He moved his tack to Sam Houston this past winter, finishing third in the standings before a short stay at Oaklawn Park and onto Indiana Grand. The multiple Graded Stakes placed jockey was making his racing debut at the Shelbyville, Ind. track and plans to make the location his summer base.

“I’ve ridden for a lot of trainers that race here in the past at other tracks, so I’m hoping to do well here this year,” added Parker. “So far, I really like it here, and it’s great to get started with a win. Now, I just have to keep it going.”

To officially launch the season, Indiana Grand is hosting a kickoff celebration on Saturday, April 22 with evening racing and fun for the entire family. Saturday’s festivities will start at 6 p.m. and include a free live performance by Jai Baker Band, free face painting and airbrush tattoos, and an appearance by the world’s tallest jockey. To conclude the evening, Indiana Grand will host free fireworks following the last race. Guests are also encouraged to pick up a free 2017 Racing Fan Guide featuring promotions and events throughout the season as well as more than $100 in free offers.

Live racing is conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:05 p.m. and Saturdays beginning at 6:05 p.m. Thursday racing will be added in July and August with a post time of 2:05 p.m. through Thursday, Aug. 24. The 120-day meet concludes Saturday, Oct. 28.