Tag: indiana grand racing & casino

BS Special from the Larry Sharp barn proved to be the quickest of 23 vying for a spot in the $50,000 Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby final slated for Saturday, July 7. BS Special, ridden by Berkley Packer, won the first of three trials in a time of :20.065 to lead the top 10 into the final.

BS Special and Berkley Packer rally home with the fastest trial time heading to the Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby Final. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post four in the eight-horse trial, BS Special broke strong from the gate and got his momentum together for the final half of the 400-yard dash, cruising under the wire by one-half length to the victory. Fast Prize Karen and Rodney Prescott maintained ground along the outside for second while All American Ease and Shanley Jackson moved up the inside for third.

Owned by Duane Murphy, BS Special came into the trials as the richest three-year-old with more than $115,000 in earnings thus far in her career. The Freighttrain B filly is no stranger to success in Indiana. She was a winner in the $134,000 Governor’s Stake last fall at Indiana Grand for Sharp. The Barley and Sharp Farm bred filly is now six for nine lifetime.


Felix Villata of the Randy Matthews Stable was named “Groom of the Week” at Indiana Grand Saturday, June 23. The award is presented by Backstretch Supplies, located at Indiana Grand and owned and operated by Bruce Murphy and Genaro Garcia.

Felix Villata (center) of the Randy Matthews Stable was named Groom of the Week Saturday, June 23. He received a $100 bill from Bruce Murphy of Backstretch Supplies. Rachel McLaughlin conducted the presentation. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

“Felix has looked good all week when he came to the paddock to run his horses,” said Murphy, who is an owner for Garcia and also owns and operates Murphy Trailer Sales out of Crawfordsville, Ind. “We want fans to come out and enjoy the races at Indiana Grand and we’ve got a great crowd out here tonight and we want to put on a good show. These guys work very hard with their horses and they don’t get a lot of credit, so we wanted to do something to help them out.”

Villata, who has been with the Matthews Stable for three years, received a $100 bill from Backstretch Supplies for his extra effort to represent his stable well this week. He goes to Oaklawn Park during the winter months, but says, “I like Indiana Grand a lot. This is my favorite place to be.”


A Tacky Chick and Jockey Jesus Salazar timed their move just right to win the 16th running of the $48,480 Indiana Grand Classic Friday, June 22 at Indiana Grand. The duo stopped the timer in :20.059 seconds for the 400-yard dash. It was the second straight year for a win in the stakes race, which was formerly known as the Indiana Downs Classic.

A Tacky Chick gets up in the final step of the Indiana Grand Classic to give trainer Claudio Barraza his first career stakes win Friday, June 22. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post six in the seven-horse lineup, A Tacky Chick broke well but was out stepped early on by Keen Liaison and Samuel Mendez, who led the field of fillies and mares nearly the entire race. A Tacky Chick put together a late burst that brought her to the wire first, just a neck ahead of Keen Liaison. Apollitical Regard and Cesar Esqueda rounded out the top three finishers.

“I just let her do her job,” said Salazar, who is based out of Oklahoma. “Sometimes, when you over ride them, you just get in their way. She did everything perfect today.”

It was Salazar’s first start at Indiana Grand this season. He is headed back to ride at Fair Meadows in Tulsa on Saturday to ride in the $15,000 Fair Meadows Juvenile Stakes. A regular at Remington Park, the Wichita, Kansas native said he would be back to ride whenever he is needed in Indiana.


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 in Shelbyville and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson are set to host two of the largest, free patriotic celebrations in Indiana. Indiana Grand’s Star Spangled Grandeur will take place on Tuesday, July 3 and Hoosier Park’s Fire It Up on the Fourth will take place on Wednesday, July 4. Both nights will feature a free performance by The Duke Boys and an over-the-top, thirty-minute fireworks show choreographed to a wide selection of classic and summer music hits.

Indiana Grand will host its annual Star Spangled Grandeur featuring a 30-minute fireworks show Tuesday, July 3.

Indiana Grand’s family-friendly Star Spangled Grandeur on Tuesday, July 3 begins with live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing at 2:05 p.m. Guests can visit the outdoor welcome center at the race course for free party favors and an opportunity to enter into a Backyard BBQ Blowout giveaway sponsored by Family Leisure starting at 6:00 p.m. The Duke Boys will take the outdoor stage at 8:30 p.m., and the choreographed fireworks presentation will begin at 10:00 p.m. Family activities will be available including a game truck, face painting, the world’s tallest Uncle Sam, and Peppermints for Ponies benefiting the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. A variety of outdoor food and beverage options will be available for purchase at the event. Casino gaming and additional food and beverage options will be available inside.


Indiana Grand Racing & Casino’s Center Cut has officially received a Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRōNA) award, one of the most respected honors in the dining and hospitality community. Center Cut is known for its elegant atmosphere, culinary excellence, superior wine library, and diverse liquor selection.

Center Cut, Indiana Grand’s premier dining option, is known for quality steaks, seafood, martinis and an extensive wine list.

One of only four Indiana restaurants to receive this year’s DiRōNA award, Center Cut is recognized for providing an exceptional dining experience. The requirements necessary to achieve the distinctive DiRōNA honor include excellence in all aspects of culinary, beverage, service, and ambiance.

Center Cut is conveniently located just inside the main entrance of Indiana Grand’s casino. Adding to the elegant and charming atmosphere of Center Cut is spacious seating areas, a sophisticated, glowing amber bar, and an intimate piano lounge. Center Cut offers unique and flavorful dishes, a well-thought-out selection of wines, and exceptional guest service.


Hold On Angel and jockey Rodney Prescott made a decision early in the race to move to the lead. It would be a wise choice as the duo scored a gate to wire win in the 10th running of the $100,000-added Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes.

Hold On Angel and Rodney Prescott rally home by more than five lengths for the win in the $100,000-added Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes Wednesday, June 20. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post four in the reduced field of five, Hold On Angel hustled out of the gate and had the top spot all to himself as the field headed into the first turn of the one and one-sixteenth mile event. Hold on Angel was not pressured and continued to set the tempo until the turn. Sir Brogan and DeShawn Parker began to advance toward the leaders in the turn and were in perfect striking position for the stretch drive home.

However, Hold On Angel had plenty left and fought off Sir Brogan, pulling away to a five and one-half length win. Redyornothereicome and John McKee scooted around the turn on the inside and made a mild bid to finish third. The time of the race was 1:43.36, the second fastest in the 10-year history of the Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes.


It wasn’t the finish that anyone expected, not even owner-trainer Ron Brown, but Black Nova proved everyone wrong by breaking her maiden in the 10th running of the $100,000-added Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Fillies Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, June 20. Black Nova paid $155.40 to win as the second longest shot on the board in the field of nine.

Black Nova and Fernando De La Cruz never gave up, finally getting the best of favorite Flurry to win the Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Fillies Stakes Wednesday, June 20 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Ridden by Fernando De La Cruz, Black Nova broke well out of the gate from post two and was in the first flight behind race favorite Flurry and Marcelino Pedroza who went right to the lead in the one and one-sixteenth mile race. Prompted, ridden by Sammy Bermudez, also went out for the lead and pressed the pace through the first half of the race. De La Cruz kept Black Nova along the inside and waited for the right time to challenge the top spot.

Around the turn, Black Nova saved ground and moved in on Flurry. At the head of the lane, those two fillies were matching each other stride for stride as they moved through the stretch. Flurry wasn’t giving in easily, but Black Nova just kept challenging her for the lead. Halfway through the stretch, it appeared Flurry would pick up the title, but the final strides brought Black Nova to the front for the win by one-half length in a time of 1:44.67. Obsolete and John McKee also moved up the inside to save ground and pick up the third spot at the wire.


Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association’s (HBPA) popular Saturday morning program “Grand Mornings at the Track” returns to Indiana Grand Saturday, June 23. The interactive program is free and open to guests of all ages, providing a look at different aspects of Thoroughbred racing in the state of Indiana.

Indiana HBPA’s Grand Mornings at the Track returns Saturday, June 23 with a trip to Marvin Johnson’s farm just north of Indiana Grand. The event begins at 9 a.m. in the Always Turned On tent at Indiana Grand trackside.

The “Grand Mornings at the Track” series will be held the fourth Saturday of each month extending from June through September. Events begin at 9 a.m. outside the grandstand at Indiana Grand in the Always Turned On tent located across from the winner’s circle. Guests will enjoy a continental breakfast and watch horses on the track before the selected program, which includes guest speakers, behind the scenes access to racing and free giveaways such as caps and racing programs.


Another impressive performance landed Nachito Coronel in the winner’s circle at Indiana Grand. Now three for three in his brief career, the two-year-old son of Habits Secret scored the top spot in the ninth running of the $181.900 Gordon Mobley Futurity Saturday, June 16 in a stakes record winning time of :15.264 seconds.

Nachito Coronel and Sergio Ramirez were impressive in the ninth running of the Gordon Mobley Futurity final Saturday, June 16 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post eight in the 10-horse final, Nachito Coronel made his presence known early in the 300-yard dash. The sorrel gelding took command of the race from the start and found a perfect path to the finish line, untouched by his rivals. He was a half-length winner over Abe and Aron Hunt, who tracked the leader well to finish second. Cruisin the Beach and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez rallied home to finish third.

“I feel very good about this race tonight and I’m very happy,” said Sergio Ramirez through interpretation by trainer Ricardo Martinez during a post race interview with Nancy Holthus, on-air paddock analyst. “Sergio lives in Georgia. He used to race at Hialeah but when they closed, he stopped racing. I was looking for a jockey for Indiana and a friend of mine suggested Sergio, so that is how he got back into racing.”