A Royal Indiana Derby Celebration Highlighted by Special Events, Celebrity Appearances, and Indiana’s Richest Horse Race
Shelbyville, Ind.—July 6, 2017— Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville will celebrate Indiana’s richest horse race, The Indiana Derby, with a full lineup of events and celebrity appearances leading up to The Royal Derby on Saturday, July 15. The three-day celebration kicks off with A Knight In Arms, a tribute to the armed forces and local first responders, on Thursday, July 13. A Royal Feast Fest, featuring royal fare and free live entertainment, will be hosted on Friday, July 14. Then on Saturday, July 15, A Royal Derby will be highlighted by the 23rd running of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby and Honorary Chairperson Coach Bob Knight. Celebrity appearances and performances over the three days will also include ESPN 107.5/1070 The Fan’s Dan Dakich, WISH-TV 8 Sports Director Anthony Calhoun, actress and singer Demetria McKinney, hip-hop recording artist and actor Ludacris, 2013 Playboy Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun, and Indiana Pacers Lance Stephenson and Joe Young.
A Knight in Arms on Thursday, July 13 will be hosted by ESPN 107.5/1070 The Fan’s Dan Dakich, and will honor the armed forces and local first responders. Tickets for the event are $25 and include a complimentary cocktail hour from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., a Hoosier specialty dinner, a live performance by Toy Factory, a silent auction, and special guest speakers. The event starts at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are available for purchase by calling (317) 421-0000. All proceeds will benefit Helping Hands for Freedom, K9 for Veterans, Warrior Vodka, Wish for Our Heroes, and Wreaths Across America. Guests who wish to donate $10 or more to these organizations on Thursday, July 13 will receive a complimentary $10 in free slot play.
The Indiana Derby Royal Feast Fest, held on Friday, July 14 at 4 p.m., will feature royal fare for purchase and free, live entertainment throughout the evening at the race course. Live music will start at 4 p.m. outdoors and include performances by Nick Netherton, Jai Baker, Indiana Grand’s first-ever Grand Voice winner Derrick Williams, and The Devonshires, who will headline the event at 7:30 p.m. Indiana Pacers Lance Stephenson and Joe Young will also make an appearance and host a Kings of the Court basketball shootout against Indiana Grand featured jockeys at 7:30 p.m.
In addition to The Royal Feast Fest on Friday, July 14, actress and singer Demetria McKinney will perform live at Center Bar in the casino from 8:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with a 30-minute meet-and-greet to follow. The Flying Toasters will perform at Center Bar at 9 p.m., and hip-hop recording artist and actor Ludacris will conduct a public meet-and-greet at 10 p.m. in the third floor mezzanine. All entertainment is free to the public.
A Royal Derby on Saturday, July 15 will feature long-time Indiana University basketball coach and four-time National Coach of the Year Bob Knight as the Indiana Derby Honorary Chairperson. Coach Knight will mingle with Indiana Derby guests and hold a public meet-and-greet from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Always Turned On tent at the race course. 2013 Playboy Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun will conduct a public meet-and-greet in the casino from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will mingle with Indiana Derby guests throughout the evening. Alumni from both the Indianapolis Pacers and Colts will make appearances throughout the day, as well as Indiana Fever alum Tamika Catchings. A 30-minute jockey autograph session will be available to the public at 5:30 p.m., and the 2017 Indiana Derby Queen will be crowned at 8 p.m. in the winner’s circle.
“Each year, our Indiana Derby celebration gets bigger and better. Celebrities and dignitaries from across the country have been invited to celebrate Indiana’s richest horse race with us,” said Elena Lisle, Indiana Grand’s director of marketing. “We invite all fans to come out and mingle with celebrities, enjoy free entertainment, watch extraordinary racing and make new traditions – that is what the Indiana Derby is all about.”
More than $1 million in stakes races will be available on Indiana Derby Day. Race course gates open at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 15 with the first race taking place at 6:05 p.m. General admission is always free to the public. The evening’s race program will culminate with the 22nd running of the Grade III $200,000 Indiana Oaks and the 23rd running of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby. Miller Lite, Enflora/McNamara Florist, and Family Leisure are official sponsors of the Indiana Derby. WISH-TV 8 Sports Director Anthony Calhoun will be hosting a one-hour live broadcast of the Indiana Derby from the Indiana Grand Race Course starting at 9 p.m. EST on WISH-TV.
The Indiana Derby began during the inaugural season of pari-mutuel Thoroughbred racing in 1995 at Hoosier Park and was moved to Indiana Grand in 2013 when the state established the Shelbyville track as the location for all Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. Over the years, the race has grown in status, displaying some of the best three-year-olds in the country.
The racing season continues through Saturday, Oct. 28. Racing will be conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:05 p.m. EST with Saturday racing beginning at 6:05 p.m. EST. Thursday racing will be held July 6 through August 24 at 2:05 p.m. EST. For a complete lineup of Indiana Grand racing promotions and events, visit www.indianagrand.com.