Tag: jon schuster

For the second straight year, Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will offer more than $1.5 million in Quarter Horse stakes during the 2018 season. A total of 19 stakes will be provided for the sprinters during the 120-day racing season that spans April 17 through Nov. 7, 2018. Most racing programs offer at least one Quarter Horse race at the conclusion of the Thoroughbred lineup, and six days have been reserved during the season for all Quarter Horse racing.

Keen Liaison was one of the finalists for an AQHA Racing Champions award following her three-year-old season at Indiana Grand last year. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

The ninth running of the $150,000-added Gordon Mobley Futurity and the tenth running of the $150,000-added Miss Roxie Little Futurity share the distinction of offering the highest purse money for the year. Both races are for Indiana sired and Indiana bred Quarter Horses, respectively, with the Mobley Futurity set for Saturday, June 16 and the Little Futurity included on the Saturday, Oct. 27 racing program. In all, eight stakes will offer purses in excess of $100,000 during the 2018 racing season.


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.


Peyton’s Pass showed how quickness pays off as she rallied to a nearly gate to wire victory in the 23rd running of the $100,000-added Merrillville Stakes at Indiana Grand Wed. Sept. 13. The race joins the Indiana Derby as the oldest stakes race in the history of pari-mutuel Thoroughbred racing in the state of Indiana. It was part of the lineup during the inaugural season at Hoosier Park in 1995 and was moved to Indiana Grand in 2013 when the track went to all Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing.


Peyton’s Pass and Eddie Perez were on cruise control as they passed under the wire in the $100,000 Merrillville Stakes Wed. Sept. 13 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Peyton’s Pass was ready to go as the Steve Peterman starting gate sprung open, the four-year-old daughter of Pass Rush busted out of the gate on top and looked powerful on the inside as she was joined by Ourcinnamonansugar and Fernando De La Cruz on the outside for the race down the backstretch. Whistle Stop and Marcelino Pedroza were tracking the progress of the top two throughout the race and when the field turned for home, they were ready to pounce.

 In the stretch, several opponents tried their best to catch Peyton’s Pass but she was strong through the wire, winning by four lengths in a time of 1:10.36. Hay Little Bit and Alex Contreras rallied from the back of the eight horse field to finish second, less than a length ahead of Whistle Stop for third.


Lovely Bernadette and jockey Florent Geroux rolled to an impressive win in the ninth running of the $200,000-guaranteed Indiana Grand Stakes Wednesday, Sept. 6 at Indiana Grand. The duo covered the one mile turf race in a time of 1:35.37.

Lovely Bernadette and Florent Geroux shook loose from the competition in the stretch to win the $200,000 Indiana Grand Stakes Wed. Sept. 6. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post seven in the 10-horse field, Lovely Bernadette broke well and was in contention early for the lead along with five other horses. Each one looked as if they might strike out to take control for a few strides before I’m Betty G and DeShawn Parker finally committed to the front spot, leading the way through the majority of the race. Little movement was detected as the field stayed close throughout, but when the final turn arrived, several noticeable moves began to unveil, including one from Lovely Bernadette from the center of the track.


Early predictions were that Cowboy Culture and Florent Geroux would be the ones to defeat in the $200,000-guaranteed Centaur Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Sept. 6. Those predictions were spot on as the duo swallowed up the field in late stretch to win by one and one-half lengths over the firm turf course.


Cowboy Culture and Florent Geroux were easily the best in the $200,000 Centaur Stakes, the premier turf race in the state of Indiana. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post one, Cowboy Culture was unhurried at the start by Geroux, following along at the tail end of the eight horse field as Balandeen and Eddie Perez set the pace of the one and one-sixteenth mile race. Judah and Leandro Goncalves stayed close for the first half of the race before Dawn Raider and Gabriel Saez moved up into contention to be the biggest threat before the stretch drive.

 Balandeen was able to scoot around the turn nicely and gain some momentum for the stretch drive as others began battling for open spaces. Geroux moved Cowboy Culture up through horses and just when it appeared traffic might be an issue, a hole opened up and Cowboy Culture shot through to gain clearance. Once he had a clean shot at the finish line, the Quality Road colt kicked into another gear and swooped by the top ones, winning easily in a time of 1:36.41. Dawn Raider completed the race in second while Balandeen held strong for third.


The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved a request to alter the final week of racing at Indiana Grand during its regular monthly meeting Friday, Aug. 25. The 120-day racing season will now include a special day of racing Thursday, Oct. 26 and the final day of racing is slated for Friday, Oct. 27. The altered schedule was requested to show full support of the prestigious $6 million Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park, Indiana Grand’s sister track.


Indiana Grand will complete its 15th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing one day early Friday, Oct. 27. An additional day of racing will be held Thursday, Oct. 26.

The change was requested by track officials at Indiana Grand so that all resources can be shifted to Hoosier Park for the monumental two-day Breeders Crown event slated for Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28 beginning at 6 p.m.

 “We want to do everything we can to support Indiana racing and the world harness racing championship Breeders Crown event at Hoosier Park,” said Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing at Indiana Grand. “By adding a special racing program Thursday and ending our season on Friday, Oct. 27, we will provide our horsemen with the same number of racing days and opportunities for this racing season. This change will also allow us to lend more support to Hoosier Park as they host the first Breeders Crown ever held in Indiana.”


After turning in the fastest trial time, SR Shambles and Jockey David Pinon proved once again they were the pair to beat in the ninth running of the $108,800 Heartland Futurity at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino Saturday, July 29. The duo rallied home to a one-half length win during a night dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).

SR Shambles and Jockey David Pinon cruise home to victory in the ninth running of the Heartland Futurity at Indiana Grand Saturday, July 29. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from the inside post one in the nine-horse final, SR Shambles broke alertly and had a clear path from the start. The two-year-old Oklahoma-bred son of Desirio got the first call from the gate and maintained that position all the way to the wire. Dicey Dream and Juan Pulido ran strong from start to finish in the center of the track but had to settle for second while El Candyman and Jose Ruiz made a slight push at the end to finish a neck back in third. The time of the race was :15.467 seconds.


Less than a week after finishing second in the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby with Colonelsdarktemper, Jockey Jon Court shipped back to Indiana Grand Thursday, July 20 and picked up two wins on the card, including the $100,000 Ta Wee Stakes. Youngest Daughter, trained by Victoria Oliver, rallied nearly gate to wire for the win in the one mile race over the turf.


Jon Court and Youngest Daughter hold on as the late closers rally home in the $100,000 Ta Wee Stakes Thursday, July 20. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Queen Del Valle and Edgard Zayas were the first to emerge from the starting gate and grab the lead, but their time at the top was limited. By the time the bulky field of 12 had passed the finish line for the first time, it was Youngest Daughter and Court who had shot up the middle of the track to take over the pace setting role.

 “I wasn’t expecting the lead today,” said Court. “I’ve watched enough of her races and she doesn’t have to be on the lead, but I chirped to her and she took off. She definitely brought her “A” game today. Even in the post parade I didn’t want to warm her up too much because I could tell Victoria (Oliver) had her ready to go.”

 Court was able to get Youngest Daughter to relax around the turn and down the backstretch to keep her fresh for the latter part of the race as Tap It All and Brian Hernandez Jr. sat just to their outside in stalking position. Queen Del Valle maintained early positioning but was gapping along the inside in third before beginning her move toward the leaders heading into the final turn.


Mind Reader and DeShawn Parker were persistent in finding racing room and their persistency paid off, rallying home to the victory in the ninth running of the $100,000 Snack Stakes. The duo covered the one-mile turf course distance in a time of 1:36.80.


Mind Reader and DeShawn Parker pulled off a mild upset in the $100,000 Snack Stakes Wednesday, July 20 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post 10 in the bulky field of 11 Indiana bred three-year-olds, Mind Reader rallied out of the starting gate with the pack, settling in nicely among the second tier horses as Gifted Justice and Declan Cannon shot to the lead on the inside with Evader and Marcelino Pedroza three wide as Shezaguy and Juan De La Cruz held his ground between horses. The trio of horses continued their pursuit of the race down the backstretch as horses continued to stay close from the top to bottom in the field. Around the turn, the late closers began kicking in and Parker let Mind Reader out a notch just to keep positioning.


It was time for Whistle Stop to step up and blow her own horn and that is just what she did in the ninth running of the $100,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes for fillies Wednesday, June 21 at Indiana Grand. Whistle Stop blew by the competition in the stretch to rally home for her third straight win with Jockey Marcelino Pedroza aboard.


Jockey Marcelino Pedroza has a smile on his face as the pint-sized Whistle Stop rallied to her first stakes win in the $100,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes Wednesday, June 21. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Pedroza had Whistle Stop alert at the start, gunning out of the gate in search of one of the top spots in the eight horse field. Bar Rag and Tommy Pompell maintained their positioning inside as the race leaders while Whistle Stop tracked their progress along the outside with Midnight Blvd and Leandro Goncalves sitting closely in third along the rail.

 Bar Rag continued to lead the way down the backstretch as heavily favored Defining Hope, ridden by Malcolm Franklin, waited patiently in mid pack to make their customary move around the turn. Defining Hope moved in a flash around horses and by the time the field had landed at the top of the stretch, she was challenging Bar Rag and Whistle Stop for the lead while Midnight Blvd was also close behind on the inside.