Hoosier Park is set to open for their 18th season of thoroughbred racing Wednesday Night.
The “Anderson Oval” is looking to ride the successful wave that blew through the Indiana Downs spring meet. Indiana Downs does offer turf racing, which Hoosier Park doesn’t, but Hoosier Park has several marquee races that Indiana Downs lacks.
The grade II, $500,000 Indiana Derby is the gem of all gems in Indiana racing. In the past few years alone the race has had star studded horses such as 2010 Preakness winner and Champion, Looking at Lucky. Last year the Indiana Derby was loaded with grade I winners. Preakness winner, Shackleford finished second in the Indiana Derby behind the winner, Wilburn. Multiple grade I winner, Caleb’s Posse finished third. Caleb’s Posse would turn the tables against Wilburn and Shackleford in the grade I Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Caleb’s Posse’s win in the Breeders’ Cup, and Shackleford’s second place finish should boost Hoosier Park’s chances of getting the Indiana Derby a much deserving grade I status in the future.
The grade II, $200,000 Indiana Oaks has always attracted top class fillies, last year’s running was no different. Daisy Devine, A.Z. Warrior, and Juanita all competed for the Oaks crown. The Michael Maker charge, Juanita was victorious in the Oaks at odds of 5-1. The 2012 edition of the Indiana Oaks will undoubtedly have the star power of previous years.
The $100,000 Michael Schaefer Mile is a race that is always filled with excitement and talent. Glenwood Canyon, under jockey Robby Albarado drove past grade III winner Hurricane Ike to take the Michael Schaefar Mile by a neck. The Schaefar Mile gives trainers who are shipping in for the Indiana Derby another option for horses in their barn to run for a nice purse.
Hoosier Park has several Indiana bred and Indiana sired stakes. The Indiana Futurity and the Miss Indiana Stakes will be run at the 1 mile distance for the first time this year. The move from 6 furlongs to a mile gives 2 year old Indiana Bred horses that are bred for distance an opportunity to compete for an $84,000 purse.
The $200,000 Too Much Coffee Stakes is the crown jewel for older Indiana Breds. The 8.5 furlong stake is an Indiana Classic and with the purse boost to $200,000 owners and trainers will be licking their chops to get a chance at this juicy purse. Old Timers such as Unreachable Star will be hoping to cash in on the purse hike.
Jockey Leandro Goncalves looks to keep his strong-hold on the jockey colony in Indiana. Goncalves won the riding title at Indiana Downs and Hoosier Park the past two years. He dominated Hoosier Park last year with 104 wins. Fernando De La Cruz is coming off a very strong meet at Indiana Downs. De La Cruz finished second in the riders standings at Indiana Downs with 64 wins, only 8 behind the champion rider Goncalves.
Trainer R. Gary Patrick has been a stable at Hoosier Park since it’s inception. Patrick dominated the Hoosier Park trainer’s title last season with 36 wins, shocking nationally known trainer, Tom Amoss who tied for second with 19 wins. Richard Kornhorst had a strong finish at Indiana Downs. He finished 2nd behind Amoss, only losing by two races.
Hoosier Park has great betting opportunity’s including .50 cent pick 3’s and pick 4’s. Twinspires.com is now offering a 10% bonus on all winning pick 4 tickets wagered on the early pick 4 at Hoosier Park through twinspires.com. This gives an added plus to any punters looking to score a big pay-off.
Whether you’re betting online from the comfort of your living room or from the grandstands in Anderson, Indiana, Hoosier Park offers top class horses along with a professional mind-set that leaves their patrons satisfied but always coming back for more! Hopefully I will see some of you at Hoosier this year for a little Indiana racing action!