Tag: indiana derby

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is set to crown the third annual Indiana Derby Queen on Saturday, July 14 as a part of the festivities surrounding the 24th running of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby – presented by Miller Lite. Contestants will participate in a preliminary pageant on Thursday, June 28 at 6 p.m. The event will be held in the race course clubhouse and is open to the public. Tickets are available at Shelby’s Gifts or at the door for $10.

Last year’s Indiana Derby Court is shown featuring the inaugural Indiana Derby Queen Gracie Lyons (third from left) and the current reigning Indiana Derby Queen Elizabeth Lecher (third from right).

Five contestants will be selected at the preliminary round to be included in the Queen’s Court and compete for a chance to be crowned the 2018 Indiana Derby Queen. The finalists will be chosen based on their speaking ability, poise and personality, as well as their performance in the swimwear and evening gown portions of the pageant. The Queen’s Court will make personal appearances during the Indiana Derby festivities on Friday, July 13 at A Knight in Arms and Saturday, July 14 at The Royal Derby. Additionally, the court will host the Royal Tea Party on Monday, July 9 for Girls, Inc. of Shelbyville and Shelby County.

The 2017 Derby Queen, Elizabeth Lecher of Lebanon, will be in attendance during the crowning of the 2018 Indiana Derby Queen on Saturday, July 14 at 8 p.m. The Indiana Derby Queen will receive $5,000 and serve as a representative for the Indiana Derby throughout the state of Indiana. Additionally, the first runner up will be awarded $2,500 and the second runner up will receive $1,000. The people’s choice winner will receive $500.


Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is now accepting applications for the third annual Indiana Derby Queen Pageant to be held during the Grade III, $500,000 Indiana Derby on Saturday, July 14. The Indiana Derby, Indiana’s richest Thoroughbred race, showcases some of the best three-year-olds in the country and carries the tradition as A Royal Derby. The pageant winner will receive $5,000 and serve as an ambassador for the race over the course of the following year.

The second annual Indiana Derby Queen court is pictured, including the inaugural Queen Gracie Lyons (third from left) and the current reigning Miss Indiana Derby Elizabeth Lecher (fourth from left). (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Applications for the Indiana Derby Queen Pageant will be accepted through Friday, June 1, and are available at www.IndianaGrand.com. A preliminary pageant for the top 12 applicants will take place at Indiana Grand on Thursday, June 28. Five contestants will then be chosen to serve as the official Indiana Derby Court and one contestant will be crowned the Indiana Derby Queen on Saturday, July 14.

The Indiana Derby Queen Pageant winner will receive $5,000 and serve as an ambassador for the Indiana Derby. Additionally, the first runner up will be awarded $2,500, and the second runner up will receive $1,000.


A total of 35 Thoroughbred stakes will be included for the 2018 racing season at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. More than $4.3 million in total purses will be offered during the 120-day meet that begins Tuesday, April 17 and runs through Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018.

Bucchero, multiple stakes winner at Indiana Grand, was one of two Indiana breds who competed in the Breeders Cup in 2017, marking a first for the Indiana breeding program. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

The 24th running of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby, slated for Saturday, July 14, will once again headline the stakes schedule. Indiana’s richest horse race will be surrounded by five other stakes races on the card, including the Grade III $200,000 Indiana Oaks. Total purses for the evening will top more than $1.1 million.

The 13th running of the $200,000 Centaur Stakes, a Listed event, will highlight the turf stakes schedule. The race is set for Wednesday, Sept. 5 and will be accompanied by the $200,000 Indiana Grand, also a Listed event on the turf course. Indiana Grand hosted the most turf races in the 15-year history of the track in 2017 with 184 races contested over the seven-eighths mile turf course, including nine stakes races with purses in excess of $1.1 million. Nine stakes have once again been earmarked for the turf in 2018.


The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved the 2018 racing dates during their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing will be held beginning Tuesday, April 17 through Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. The 120-day season will provide live racing Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with first post set at 2:05 p.m. […]

A record crowd and generous donations made the 23rd running of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino a success for local and regional charities. The Shelbyville property hosted three days of Indiana Derby festivities, culminating with the Indiana Derby on Saturday, July 15. Many organizations, including several veteran assistance programs, benefited from fundraising efforts during A Royal Derby celebration.

Friends of Ferdinand was one of several local charities that benefitted from charitable giving during Indiana Derby Night Saturday, July 15. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Five veteran organizations received donations from the annual A Knight In Arms event held on Thursday, July 13. The benefit took place in the Indiana Grand Race Course Clubhouse, and proceeds went toward Helping Hands for Freedom, K9 for Veterans, Warrior Vodka – Cheers to Our Heroes, Wreaths Across America, and Wish for Our Heroes. Total donations gained through a silent auction, Give $10 Get $10 slot promotion, and Indiana Derby Mega Bets totaled $18,935.

“It always amazes me to see the continued generosity and commitment to our veterans shown by Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Centaur Gaming. Our COO, Jim Brown, continues to take giving to the next level and this year was no exception. During A Knight In Arms gala, he increased the amount each charity received to bet on the Indiana Derby from $1,000 to $2,000,” said Marine Corps Veteran Glendel Coble, Indiana Grand Racing & Casino’s vice president of casino non-gaming operations.


On Saturday, July 15, Elizabeth Lecher of Lebanon was crowned the 2017 Indiana Derby Queen at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino’s biggest racing event of the year, A Royal Derby, which featured the 23rd running of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby.

Elizabeth Lecher, also selected as People’s Choice through WISH TV, was crowned the 2017 Indiana Derby Queen (right) by the inaugural queen Gracie Lyons during the 23rd running of the Indiana Derby Saturday, July 15.

Lecher was one of five finalists, who were selected by a panel of judges, to make up the 2017 Indiana Derby Court. Lecher received $5,000 and will serve as a representative for the Indiana Derby throughout the state of Indiana during over the course of the next year. Lecher was also named the people’s choice winner and received an additional $500.

Lecher noted that she has a strong love of the racing industry and grew up watching horse racing.

“The equine industry is full of amazing organizations with numerous possibilities and I can’t wait to help represent the Indiana Derby and Indiana Grand,” said Lecher. “All of my life I have loved watching racing, but nothing compares to Derby Day.”


Eagle and Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. edged out the competition in the 18th running of the $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Saturday, July 15. The duo covered the one mile and 70 yard distance in a time of 1:40.24, which was a new stakes record.

Eagle and Brian Hernandez Jr. edged out two other horses in a three-way photo for the victory in the $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Saturday, July 15. (Photo by John Engelhardt)

Eagle didn’t even attempt early speed in the field. That’s not his forte. He followed along from post two as Bucchero and Leandro Goncalves fired out to the lead from the center of the track. Abraham and Corey Lanerie followed suit and pursued the top spot in a stalking position on the outside while Eagle remained at the back of the pack.

Eagle began to inch up toward the leaders in the turn but it was in the stretch that he got his best footing to join the chase for the wire. Sitting along the rail, Hernandez kept saving ground and got Eagle up into perfect position halfway through the lane. In the end, it was Eagle that posted the head win over Fear the Cowboy and Jesus Rios and Mo Tom and Ricardo Santana Jr. in the three-horse photo.


by Jennie Rees, Eclipse Award winning freelance writer

John Gunther’s Tiger Moth earned her first stakes victory, rallying late to take Indiana Grand’s $100,000 Mari Hulman George by 2 1/2 lengths over Mo d’Amour. Big World, a Grade 1 winner two races earlier who was the even-money favorite, finished another neck back third, with pacesetting Improv another two lengths back while nosing out the stakes’ 2016 winner Brooklynsway.

Tiger Moth and Florent Geroux begin their descent down the track en route to victory in the $100,000 Mari Hulman George Saturday, July 15 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by John Engelhardt)

The victory with a horse who paid $17.20 to win took some of the sting out of trainer Brad Cox finishing fourth in the Warrior Veterans a race earlier with strong favorite Chocolate Ride.

Four horses stretched across the track coming to mid-stretch, and that didn’t include Tiger Moth, who was a bit farther back. But the 5-year-old daughter of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense was charging hard on the far outside under Florent Geroux, blowing past to win comfortably while covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.32. 

“That was good,” Cox said, adding with a laugh, “There was no pressure with this one. But she ran well. I like this race. It set up really good for Call Pat two years ago. She just narrowly was beaten, it was a stepping stone. She went on to win three graded stakes. This was her first stakes win; she’s graded stakes-placed. This obviously will help her. She’s obviously got some pedigree (being by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and out of the Sir Cat mare Saratoga Cat). This is a big win for her and the Gunthers.


by Jennie Rees, Eclipse Award winning freelance writer

James Graham shot up the hedge with 13-1 shot Beauly, holding off favored Linda for a victory in the $100,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff at Indiana Grand. It was the first stakes victory for Rebecca and Stephen Hillen’s 4-year-old filly, who was making her third start in the United States after racing last year in her native England.

Beauly rallies to the wire for the win in the $100,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff over the turf, the first of six stakes races on the card during Indiana Derby Night at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

 Beauly, a daughter of Sea The Stars, won one of seven starts overseas before taking her American debut off a seventh-month layoff in a first-level turf allowance race at Churchill Downs May 26. A month later she was fourth in another allowance race.

 “Jimmy gave her a fantastic ride,” said winning trainer Brendan Walsh, who is based in Kentucky. “It couldn’t have worked out any better. They (Rebecca and Stephen Hillen) bought her last December at Newmarket. They’re very good friends of mine, have been for a long time. He’s a bloodstock agent. They said she was plenty talented but that she was tricky mentally, that if we could get her right. She ran great at Churchill the first night (a May 26 allowance victory). The second night (June 28 allowance fourth-place finish) she got no cover, which wasn’t anybody’s fault. Tonight Jimmy dropped her out. They were going quick enough, got a lovely run up in the inside. She has a good kick. She’s obviously very talented. It’s great to get that done. I guess we’ll go for something bigger.”


Irap proved why he was the heavy favorite in the 23rd running of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby. The three-year-old son of Tiznow circled his competition in the final turn and rallied home a winner by five lengths under the direction of jockey Mario Gutierrez.

Irap and Mario Gutierrez begin pulling away from the field in the 23rd running of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby Saturday, July 15. (Photo by John Engelhardt)

Due to a scratch on the inside, Irap found himself breaking from the gate from the inside in the 10-horse lineup. Wild Shot and Corey Lanerie just to the outside of him moved quickly out of the gate as expected to secure the top spot as Colonelsdarktemper and Jon Court also showed speed from the outside with Han Sense and Joe Bravo holding their ground between horses. Irap stayed in mid pack and maneuvered his way to the outside to stay clear of any potential traffic issues. At that point, it was just a waiting game for Irap and Gutierrez.

Irap slowly moved up on the outside of the front runners of the race and when the field hit the turn, the horse obviously kicked into another gear. Irap circled the field and by the top of the stretch, the lead was all his. He continued to utilize the center of the track as he progressed to the finish line. Colonelsdarktemper maintained his positioning to rally home second over Untrapped and Ricardo Santana Jr. for third. The time of the one and one-sixteenth mile event was 1:42.21.