Tag: indiana thoroughbred racing

Amy Napariu of New Palestine, Ind. was the championship winner of the handicapping contest “Bets and Brackets” at Indiana Grand Friday, Aug. 17. The 12-week contest, which was free to all Club Centaur Rewards members, began June 1 with more than 45 entrants to reach the championship round.

Amy Napariu bested a field of 46 entrants to win the $1,000 Championship in “Bets and Brackets” Friday, Aug. 17.

Napariu, a regular horseplayer at Indiana Grand, had one deciding factor in the championship round that brought her the $1,000 top prize. She went up against Freeman Carrier of Indianapolis in the championship and both players selected the same horses in the five-race contest, with the exception of the fourth race. Carrier had the favorite, Mimi’s Ruby Bobby, and Napariu had selected Triple Kapalua. Mimi’s Ruby Bobby, ridden by Santo Sanjur, led the entire race before Triple Kapalua, ridden by Alex Canchari, chased her down in the stretch for the win.

“I handicapped the races the night before, and I really liked that horse,” said Napariu. “At the end of the day, I have to give credit to the table of guys I sit with (which includes Napariu’s husband, John). They all helped me and we went through all the races and then I usually pool the picks together. That race was the only one we all agreed on.”

“Bets and Brackets” was a new contest at Indiana Grand this season, adopted from a similar contest held at Winner’s Circle in downtown Indianapolis. The format emulates brackets similar to the March basketball tournament and each week, players would go up against one other player to advance to the next round. Napariu and Carrier both played through four rounds to reach the championship.


Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is announcing a name change to the richest day of turf race in Indiana. The $200,000-guaranteed race, formerly known as the Centaur Stakes, will now run under the name Caesars Stakes. The race with a Listed status draws Graded Stakes caliber three-year-olds each season. For the first time in the […]

It was a big move late in the race that brought Baratti and DeShawn Parker into the winner’s circle for the inaugural running of the $50,000 Preston Madden Stakes for three-year-olds at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Aug. 15. Heavy rains covered the area all afternoon and all turf races were moved to the dirt except the Madden Stakes, which was contested at one mile over the turf course.

Baratti and DeShawn Parker snuck up the rail in the final strides to win the inaugural running of the $50,000 Preston Madden Stakes at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post three, Parker rushed Baratti out of the gate, not necessarily wanting the lead, but wanting to stay close. His plan worked out as Bizerk and Jesus Castanon went straight for the lead, tracked closely by Lanier and Marcelino Pedroza Jr., who had joined the leader by the time the field went under the wire for the first time in front of the grandstand. When everyone settled, Baratti had settled along the rail in fifth in the field of 10.

Bizerk continued to lead the way and proved he would be a tough horse to overtake as the field turned for home. Lanier and Bizerk were battling back and forth with neither horse giving an inch. Heavy Roller, with Rodney Prescott aboard, had tipped to the outside and tried to close in, but it was Baratti who found another gear in the last few steps of the race to snag the win up the inside by a head over Lanier and Bizerk in the three-horse photo. The time of the race was 1:41.74.

Baratti, a claim by trainer John Ortiz two starts back at Churchill Downs for $25,000, was greeted with many hugs from his trainer for his win in the Madden Stakes. The seven-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro is now two for two for Ortiz since the claim and has won five of seven starts in 2018. He is owned by Brian Moore’s Hooties Racing LLC, William Simon’s WSS Consulting LLC along with Brent Gasaway. Baratti now has nearly $200,000 in career earnings. (more…)

A big rain shower unleashed on Indiana Grand just minutes before the field took to the track for the $150,000 Governor’s Stakes, providing some questions for some of the entrants in the race. Those questions were answered in a big way by The Money Dance and Edgar Morales as the duo dazzled racing fans with a three and one-half length advantage at the wire.

The Money Dance cruised over the sloppy track in his win in the $150,000 Governor’s Stakes with Edgar Morales aboard. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Trainer Mike Lauer had three in the race drawing post positions one, two three, making it a little easier to oversee the entire saddling process taking place for the race. Of the three, The Money Dance had the biggest chance for the win according to the fans, as the race favorite and he delivered.

The Money Dance never had a chance to get good early positioning as Pegasus On The Go and Fernando De La Cruz shot out to the lead from the outside. In A Fog and Declan Cannon followed the leader out to secure the spot behind him on the inside while Forty West and DeShawn Parker challenged on the outside. The Money Dance held ground along the rail in mid pack.

Heading into the turn of the one mile and 70 yard race, Pegasus On The Go and In A Fog pulled away from the field by open lengths. It gave The Money Dance just enough space and just enough time to slip through on the inside and angle to the outside for the stretch drive home. The son of Jimmy Creed rolled right on by the top two at the head of the stretch and took off for the wire for the easy win. IN a Fog finished second over a closing effort by Redyornothereicome and Marcelino Pedroza to give Lauer a winning trifecta in the stakes race. The time of the event was 1:42.41 over the sloppy track.


Flurry was the chosen favorite in the 16th running of the $150,000 Indiana First Lady Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Aug. 15. The three-year-old daughter of Old Fashioned came in to the race with four wins in six career starts and she didn’t let up on the field, coasting to a four and one-half length margin win with Jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr. aboard.

Flurry and Marcelino Pedroza were easy winners in the $150,000 Indiana First Lady Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Aug. 15. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

As expected, Black Nova and Fernando De La Cruz used early speed from the inside post out of the gate to attempt to lead the field of eight in the one mile 70 yard race. The top two were quickly joined by Paisley and Jesus Castanon, who eventually took over the top spot down the backstretch. The entire time, Pedroza had found a great resting place, sitting just a couple of lengths off the leaders in a stalking position outside of Two Carrot Ransom and Richard Bracho, who also sat patiently in the early stages.

Around the turn, Pedroza began to ask Flurry for more speed and she unleashed a substantial bit of speed on the field, circling to the front and leading the field into the stretch. Pedroza kept Flurry alert with a hand ride to the wire as she opened up on the field for the win in a time of 1:43.29. Two Carrot Ransom held ground on the inside for second followed by Paisley for third. (more…)

Piedi Bianchi joined Bucchero last year to make history as the first two Indiana breds to ever compete in the prestigious Breeders Cup Championships held at Del Mar. The three-year-old daughter of Overanalyze has returned to her home state where she will take on a field of 11 in the 16th running of the $150,000-Guaranteed Indiana First Lady Stakes at Indiana Grand.

Piedi Bianchi settles in nicely to her stall at Indiana Grand in anticipation of her start in the $150,000 Indiana First Lady Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Aug. 8. (Photo by Tammy Knox)

Piedi Bianchi trained at two under Doug O’Neill on the West Coast. Following her fifth place finish in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, she shipped to Laurel Racecourse where she finished third in the Grade I Starlet Stakes. After taking some time off, the grey filly returned under the direction of Todd Pletcher and is based out of New York. She has one start at three, a third place finish against allowance company in late June. Her start in the $150,000 Indiana First Lady Stakes will be her first attempt in the Midwest.

Shipping in from her home base at Belmont, Piedi Bianchi arrived at Indiana Grand Tuesday, Aug. 7 in preparation for the stakes race, the seventh on the card Wednesday, Aug. 8. Tyler Gaffalione has been named to ride the filly for Steven Spielman’s Nice Guys Stables, Jack Bick and Jay Oringer.

Piedi Bianchi will start from post three at odds of 6-5 as the morning line favorite. The start in the Indiana First Lady Stakes will mark the first time Pletcher has raced at Indiana Grand since the 2013 Indiana Derby, finishing fourth with Micromanage for the Repole Stables, who have a strong connection to Don Dearth and Rhonda Day of Connersville, Ind. Their longtime stallion, Arromanches, was bred to the mother of Caixa Eletronica, the superstar horse owned by Mike Repole.


by Rose Flood, Hoosier Park Race Marketing Department

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to the $5,000 Saturday Shootout handicapping contest finale on Saturday, Aug. 4. Team Hoosier Park took home the victory for the second consecutive year. In its fourth edition, Team Indiana Grand traveled to Hoosier Park for the final showdown and put their handicapping skills to the test.

Team Indiana Grand (pictured to the right of the big check) competed in the 4th annual Saturday Shootout with Hoosier Park Saturday, Aug. 4. Representatives of Indiana Grand included Oscar Bowman (holding end of check), Charles Smothers, Scot Shewman, Mike Berger and Rosalie Smothers. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

The contest featured races three through six at both Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand and players earned and accumulated mythical winnings based on their handicapping selections on the designated races from both tracks. The winning team split the $5,000 grand prize while the second place team received $1,000.

The five member team consisting of Sara Eldridge, Connie Harold, James Wilkinson, John Burnett and James Gosselin accumulated $284.00 for Team Hoosier Park compared to Team Indiana Grand’s tally of $230.60 to share the $5,000 Grand Prize.

The contest began in mid June with four preliminary rounds. Players selected one horse from four races at Hoosier Park and four races at Indiana Grand and accumulated the payouts on their selections when they finished first or second. After the final preliminary round Saturday, July 7, which was a Quarter Horse Night at Indiana Grand giving players an additional handicapping challenge, the top five players from each location advanced to the final, which rotates from year to year between Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park.

Wilkinson, who is from Elk Grove, Calif., came to Indiana five years ago to train Standardbreds. This is the third consecutive year he has qualified for the Saturday Shootout Final and represented Team Hoosier Park. Wilkinson also has 4 wins on the season as a trainer at Hoosier Park.  (more…)

Last fall, Bucchero and Piedi Bianchi made history when both horses started in the prestigious Breeders Cup races. Their starts marked the first time an Indiana bred had competed in Breeders Cup races.

 Piedi Bianchi finished fifth in the Grade I $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. The Graded Stakes placed filly was based on the West Coast for Trainer Doug O’Neill. She completed her two-year-old campaign with a third place finish in the Grade I $300,000 Starlet Stakes at Laurel Racecourse for Nice Guys Stables, Jack Bick and Jay Oringer. After taking the winter off, the grey daughter of Overanalyze returned to the track as part of the Todd Pletcher Stable and has been training on the East Coast in New York.

 Bred by Deann and Dr. Greg Baer of Columbus, Ind., Piedi Bianchi made her three-year-old debut in late March at Belmont, finishing third in an allowance. She is primed and ready to return to Indiana as one of 21 nominated to the 16th running of the $150,000 Indiana First Lady Stakes set for Wednesday, Aug. 8.


The Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) will be trackside once again Saturday, July 28 for the second installment of the 2019 series “Grand Mornings at the Track.” The free breakfast event will begin at 9 a.m. in the Always Turned On tent at Indiana Grand. “Grand Mornings at the Track” is a monthly […]

Story provided Indiana stallion Strong Contender was represented by his first Indiana-sired winner on Tuesday at Indiana Grand as his 2-year-old son S S Trooper won an open maiden special weight race. Bred and owned by Marvin Johnson and Doug Schmuecker and trained by Johnson, S S Trooper sat in second under jockey Fernando De […]