Tag: indiana grand racing & casino

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. […]

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Indiana Grand Racing & Casino raised more than $47,000 to directly benefit Indianapolis-based Indiana Women in Need Foundation (I.W.I.N.). Although funds were brought in through a variety of programs including a Survivor’s Walk and Pink Out Night held on Saturday, Sept. 30, Indiana Grand’s special Give $10 Get $10 promotion raised nearly $45,000 of the total.

Team members of Indiana Grand join representatives of I.W.I.N. for a check presentation to the organization. Indiana Grand raised more than $47,000 for the entity during the month of October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (Photo provided)

On Thursday, Nov. 9, members of Indiana Grand’s marketing and guest service teams presented I.W.I.N. Founder and Executive Director Nancy Shepard a check totaling $47,235. The money will benefit dozens of women in Shelby and surrounding counties who are currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, and assist in transportation to appointments, meal preparation, groceries, gas, housekeeping, childcare, and more.

“I.W.I.N. is so excited to partner with Indiana Grand in our efforts to relieve the burdens for individuals with breast cancer,” said Nancy Shepard. “We know the entire team at Indiana Grand worked hard to make this month-long event a success and we are honored to share their efforts with the women and men we serve.”

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Two-time Indiana Horse of the Year Lady Fog Horn is retiring. The five-year-old homebred daughter of Zavata left Indiana Grand Tuesday, Oct. 31 to begin the next phase of her career in the brood mare ranks.

Lady Fog Horn and Katie Clawson rally home winners over Indiana Grand’s turf course in the final race of the talented mare’s career Tuesday, July 4. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

 Lady Fog Horn made her first start at Indiana Grand August 23, 2014 for Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group and Trainer Tony Granitz. Her first win was recorded Oct. 11, 2014 in a $34,000 Maiden Special Weight with Malcolm Franklin aboard.

 Lady Fog Horn’s career really took off as a three-year-old when she won five of seven races, including four stakes races in Indiana before completing her season with a second place finish in the $100,000 Grade III Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs. The talented Indiana bred filly returned at four with the same success, winning five of seven starts, including three Indiana stakes and topping the year off with a win in the Grade II $200,000 Fall City Handicap at Churchill Downs. Lady Fog Horn competed in four races in 2017, never finishing worse than third in any of those starts with her last outing a win over Indiana Grand’s turf course with standout apprentice rider Katie Clawson aboard.

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When horses enter the starting gate at Del Mar Saturday, Nov. 4 for the Grade I $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, the journey will mark a lifetime of work to reach that level for one jockey. Fernando De La Cruz, two-time leading jockey at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, will be making his Breeders’ Cup debut aboard Indiana bred Bucchero, starting from post 11 at odds of 12-1. The event is slated as Race 5 on the 12-race program with an estimated post time of 3:37PM EDT.

 

Fernando De La Cruz is five for five on Bucchero. The duo will step into the starting gate Sat. Nov. 4 for the Grade I $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

De La Cruz is flying out of Indianapolis International Airport Thursday, Nov. 2 to meet up with the team behind Bucchero. Bucchero and his stablemate, Bullard’s Alley, flew to Del Mar Friday, Oct. 27 and they have been getting acclimated to the racetrack since that time. Trainer Tim Glyshaw also arrived in Southern California Friday. He and Doug Morley, Bucchero’s exercise rider for the past three years who also serves as a valet at Indiana Grand, have been caring for the pair of horses as they prepare for the Breeders Cup.

 “This is my first Breeders Cup and I’m a little excited,” said De La Cruz. “It’s also my first time to California. I send thanks to God and the owners of Bucchero and Tim Glyshaw for including me in this race.”

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Apprentice Jockey Katie Clawson came out of the gate strong at the beginning of the 2017 season and was atop the standings for the majority of the 2017 racing season. The 20-year-old from Brazil, Ind. announced her retirement from riding in late September and completed the meet with 71 wins, which not only earned her a title, it also marked a new record for most wins in one season by an apprentice jockey.

 

Rachel McLaughlin, racing broadcast production manager, accepts the trophy from Kevin Greely, director of racing, on behalf of Katie Clawson, 2017 Leading Apprentice Jockey. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Clawson is now serving as an exercise rider for Trainer Mike Maker alongside her fiancé, Nolan Ramsey, who serves as an assistant trainer for Maker. She was unavailable for the trophy presentation during the final day of racing at Indiana Grand but sent this heartfelt message to racing fans, horsemen and the staff at Indiana Grand:

 “I can’t fully express my gratitude to all of the people who supported me through my months at Indiana Grand. Everyone had a piece of fulfilling my dreams and goals. I was blessed to be trusted with many good horses and I’d like to thank everyone whom I worked with for their time and trust. Thank you to my agent, Jimmy (McNerney), for working with me, my valet, Brittany (Waugh), everyone in the jock’s room, and all of the owners, trainers, grooms, hot walkers and exercise riders who put the time into their horses and did right by them. I was glad to have taken part in that process. I had a summer to remember. Thank you.”

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It is familiar territory for Gary Patrick. The longtime owner-trainer in Indiana picked up another Leading Owner title at Indiana Grand this season, scoring 24 wins over John Haran’s Haran Thoroughbreds, who completed the season with 23 wins.

 

Gary Patrick and his wife, Cindy, are shown with the special sign to commemorate their 2,000th win as a trainer. Patrick is currently the all-time leading owner and trainer at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Patrick, a native of Circleville, Ohio, has had another banner fall in racing. He scored a stakes win with his two-year-old standout, Mo Money, in the $100,000 Crown Ambassador Stakes in early October at Indiana Grand. One week later, Patrick earned his 2,000th career training win after scoring two wins on the day, including the $75,000 Emerald Necklace Stakes with Pure Justice at JACK Thistledown.

 The race for leading owner came down to one of the last races of the meet for 2017, but in the end Patrick’s final win of the meet as an owner, which was recorded with Cook Memories on Wed., Oct. 25, was the win that solidified the title. Patrick finished up the 120-day meet with 24 wins in 186 starts and purse earnings just under the $500,000 mark. Horses from his barn maintained a 35 percent top three finish percentage for 2017 at Indiana Grand.

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It was a repeat of 2016 as Quarter Horse jockeys Rolando Pina and Berkley Packer completed the season on equal terms. Both jockeys reeled in 21 wins during the 120-day meet that included six all-Quarter Horse nights from mid-April through October.

In the absence of both Rolando Pina and Berkley Packer, Kevin Greely, director of racing, accepted the award on their behalf for 2017 Leading Quarter Horse Jockey. Rachel McLaughlin, racing broadcast production manager, conducted the interview. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Pina started off the meet with authority and was among the track’s top three riders for the first two months. Packer returned to Indiana in June and quickly picked up where he left off, eventually catching up to Pina in the final month of racing. In the final few nights of action, the two once again were inseparable and will share the title of Leading Quarter Horse Jockey for the second straight season at Indiana Grand.

Both Pina and Packer were added to the record books last season. They each scored 28 wins on the year to equal the record for most wins by a jockey in one season that was set in 2013 by Harold Collins. Packer also earned the distinction of winning the most races on one card, recording five wins in August 2015.

This season, Pina had several stakes wins and completed the year with more purse earnings. He was the only jockey to eclipse the $500,000 this season with a total of $525,857.

Packer had more top three finishes for the year. The Idaho native not only won 21 races, but he finished second in 18 of his 112 starts for an average of 45 percent on the board for 2017. Pina had a similar top three average on the year, maintaining a 47 percent average on hitting the board.

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It came down to the final afternoon of racing to determine a winner, but Marcelino Pedroza had a strong showing once again, turning in a riding double and capturing his first leading jockey title at Indiana Grand. The 24-year-old second generation jockey from Panama topped the standings with 109 wins for the year, just one ahead of DeShawn Parker, who completed the meet with 108.

Marcelino Pedroza and his wife, Rosie, find shelter under umbrellas for the presentation of the 2017 Leading Jockey award. Kevin Greely, director of racing, and Rachel McLaughlin, on-air racing personality, make the presentation. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Pedroza came into the final day of racing for the 120-day season with a one-win lead over Parker. The two jockeys had been exchanging the top spot for the past week. Both riders scored riding triples on Thursday, Oct. 26 and followed it up with riding doubles, which in the end, gave the nod to Pedroza.

A graduate of the Laffit Pincay Jockey School in his native Panama, Pedroza has been riding since he was 16 years old. He came to the United States in 2010 and has been a consistent performer in the Midwest since his arrival. The multiple Graded Stakes placed jockey earned his 500th career win at Indiana Grand last year and now has nearly 700 career wins. Based in Kentucky, Pedroza will return to Fair Grounds when the resume racing in late November.

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Owner-trainer Tony Cunningham has a long history of winning races in Indiana. The Clarksville, Mich. native has competed in every year of pari-mutuel Quarter Horse racing in the state of Indiana since its inception in 1997. For the second straight year, Cunningham takes home the title as the 2017 Leading Quarter Horse Owner at Indiana Grand.

 

Tony Cunningham was presented with his second straight Leading Quarter Horse Owner title during the final day of racing at Indiana Grand. Rachel McLaughlin, racing broadcast production manager, made the presentation. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Cunningham had 10 winners in 58 starts as an owner with purses of more than $129,000. He carried a 41 percent “in the money” average during the season that stretched from April through October. Cunningham also finished second in the leading Quarter Horse trainer standings, earning 27 wins and more than $525,000 as a trainer.

 “It goes to the support of the team,” said Cunningham. “They are working hard to get better every year. We are finished for the year now. We will go to the farm and break babies and get ready for next season.”

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Trainer Randy Smith had another banner year of racing at Indiana Grand. The Broughton, Ill. native completed the season with 32 wins to score his third consecutive title at the Shelbyville, Ind. racetrack.

 

Randy Smith, second from right, and his wife, Debbie, are presented with the 2017 Leading Quarter Horse Trainer title. Kevin Greely, director of racing, and Rachel McLaughlin, racing broadcast production manager, made the presentation. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Smith, who missed the first two months of action and still retained the title, also took over as the track’s all-time leading Quarter Horse trainer. Smith now has 175 wins since taking out his trainer license in 2009. His best year to date was recorded in 2015 when he won 46 races at Indiana Grand and accumulated more than $1.1 million in purse earnings, both records at the track. Smith also became the first and only Quarter Horse trainer to eclipse the $1 million mark in purse earnings for one season, a feat he repeated in 2016.

 Last season, Smith added his name to one more record in the books at Indiana Grand. He saddled seven winners during an August 2016 program to establish the record for most wins in one night by a Quarter Horse trainer. Smith always reverts to his standard saying, “good owners, good horses, good help.”

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