Team Indiana Grand headed to Hoosier Park for $5,000 Saturday Shootout Final

A team of five will head to Hoosier Park Saturday, Aug. 6 with hopes of bringing the grand prize and the trophy home with them following the final of the $5,000 Saturday Shootout. The contest offered four preliminary rounds in June and July with the top five from both Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park advancing to Saturday’s final to represent their respective locations.

This is the second year for Saturday Shootout. The inaugural event was held at Indiana Grand in 2015 and the final will rotate from track to track each season. Players earn $125 as the top prize in the weekly preliminary rounds, which were held June 18, June 25, July 2 and July 9, all Saturday evening racing programs. The contest included four races from Hoosier Park and four from Indiana Grand, which tested the handicappers to the max for their knowledge on both harness racing and Thoroughbred racing. In addition, the final preliminary round was an all-Quarter Horse night at Indiana Grand, providing players with an added challenge and creating an all-around scenario for the best handicappers at both locations to stand out against the competition.

In a unique twist, Team Indiana Grand is made up of four females and one male in 2016. Eva Sheedy was the top player from Indiana Grand with a final tally of $191.10 accumulated over the four preliminary rounds.

“My husband, Ron, has been coming out to Indiana Grand since it was built,” said Sheedy. “He will be going with me to Hoosier Park for the final and we are very excited. I don’t know the other four on the team, but I will probably know them by face. We are out at Indiana Grand every Saturday night and sit upstairs in the clubhouse.”

Other team members representing Indiana Grand include Mary Miller, Darla Ferguson, Sherry Tabon and Brandon Beard. The players will meet up with Hoosier Park’s top five and go head to head on four races from Hoosier Park and four races from Indiana Grand Saturday, Aug. 6 with hopes of capturing the $5,000 prize money.

“I actually prefer Thoroughbreds so I found it as a challenge to handicap the Standardbreds,” said Sheedy. “But I have a few select drivers that I like, which helps. On the night when there was all Quarter Horse racing, I found that (Quarter Horse racing) to be the most challenging to handicap because it can all change if they come out of the gate wrong. I think that was my weakest night in the contest.”

Ironically, Sheedy’s best night in the contest was thanks to a 12-1 shot brought in by Driver Ricky Macomber Jr. on one of Hoosier Park’s races. She explained that race changed everything in the Sheedy household.

“My husband was actually among the top five the first three weeks and I wasn’t even on the board,” said Sheedy. “Ricky Macomber won on a 12-1 and I took off to first on the charts. I actually knocked him (Ron) out of the top five that night. But he gets to go with me by default.”

The Sheedys are looking forward to a trip to Hoosier Park. They have had connections to Hoosier Park in the past, but don’t get to visit the facility very often anymore.

“One of my first jobs was at the Indianapolis OTB for Hoosier Park when it was located at Claypool Court,” said Sheedy. “That had to be 20 years ago. I worked as a teller there when they first opened. We go to Hoosier Park occasionally so we are very excited to be there for the final on Saturday.”

The format for selecting winners in the Saturday Shootout final will stay the same as the preliminary rounds. The only difference is the teams will work together and their tally will be based off the entire group’s earnings for the races. Each player will receive a mock $2 win and $2 place wager on each of the races with the contest spanning over Hoosier Park’s races 6, 7, 8 and 9 while Indiana Grand’s races in the contest will be races 3, 4, 5 and 6. The contest time will be from approximately 6:45 until 8:30 p.m. with the winner announced at the conclusion of the contest. A large traveling trophy will also be awarded to the winning team.

Last year’s winner was Hoosier Park, who trailed in the contest until the final two races before they surged forward for the win. The second place team doesn’t go home empty handed. They will share $1,000 in the final round.