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Indiana Downs Preview: Hoosiers to watch out for!

March Madness in the state of Indiana means one thing… College Hoops!  But, it also means we’re a mere month away from the opening of Indiana Downs, which just happens to be my favorite meet of the year!

Indiana Downs opens for thoroughbred and quarter horse racing Monday, April 16th. 


The Downs will be returning with 60 days of racing. There will be afternoon post times of 4:55 for Monday through Wednesday, and a twilight post time of 6:55 for Friday and Saturday.


The open stakes schedule features several high quality purses for 3 year olds, older horses, sprinters, dirt, and turf horses.


The gem of the Indiana Downs meet is the $200,000 Oliver Stakes which is run at the mile distance on the turf for 3 year olds. The Oliver Stakes was won last year by the multiple graded stakes placed colt Lil Bit O’Fun.


The $100,000 J. Kenneth Self Shelby County Boys & Girls Club Stakes is for 3 year olds and up at the mile distance on the turf. 


The $100,000 Golden Bear Stakes is for 3 years olds and up on the dirt at the 8.5 furlong distance.  The Golden Bear just happens to be my favorite stake of the year. Last year’s addition gave us one of the most exciting and star filled fields Indiana Downs as seen with 3 grade II winners and several stakes winners competing for the $100,000 purse.  Jardim would dominate the field which included Thisskyhasnolimit, Country Flavor, and Hurricane Ike.


The $100,000 Girls, Inc. of Shelbyville, Shelby County Stakes is for 3 year old and up fillies at the 1 mile distance on the turf.


The $125,000 Indiana Downs Distaff is for 3 year old fillies, it’s run at the 1 mile distance on the turf.


Indiana Downs also has several stakes for Indiana Bred and Indiana sired horses. The schedule has not been released yet.


The Don K Memorial Turf Handicap Series is a unique 5 race sequence. The handicap series is for 3 year olds and up that has ran for a claiming price of $10,000 or less in 2011-2012. The distances range from 1 mile to 1 mile and 3/8ths.



Sticking to the “Hoosier” theme.  I’m going to give you 5 Indiana Breds to look out for in 2012.


#1. Mack The Slew. This son of Pass Rush out of the Seattle Slew mare Maggie Slew has shown signs of having some serious talent. His bloodlines are regal, he’s the best Indiana bred horse I’ve ever seen in terms of pedigree.  Swifty Farms is a power house in the breeding game in the state of Indiana and they pulled no punches with Mack The Slew hiring top trainer Tom Proctor to condition this colt.  So far in his young career he’s 3 for 4 with a pair of stakes victories and only 1 bad performance on a sloppy track at Hoosier Park.  The colt has yet to make his 3 year old debut. Mack has only been allowed to sprint so far I can’t wait to see this colt stretch out. I was hoping he would be on the triple crown trail but that just didn’t happen. Maybe we’ll see this colt in the Indiana Derby this fall.


#2 Hoosier Kingdom.  This son of Repent has shown serious talent from day one. He’s 8 for 33 in his career with over $330,000 in career earnings.  He’s now a six year old and is coming off one of his best years in which he captured the A.J. Foyt Stakes at Indiana Downs defeating the 3 time champion Hezawildguy.  Trainer Ron Herrell took Hoosier Kingdom to Arlington in his 3 year old season to run in the grade I Secretariat stakes. He set the pace before fading, but didn’t totally embarrass himself. Last year Herrell tried to get the Chicago love once more running Hoosier Kingdom in the grade III Washington Park Handicap. The field was just too classy for the Kingdom, he pressed the pace and faded to last. I could see Hoosier Kingdom dominating the older Indiana bred stakes division this year.



#3 Buster Rose. Buster Rose is coming off an impressive 3 year old season.  The Michael Maker trainee relished the Indiana Downs surface. He crushed a field of 3 year old Indiana breds in the Snack Stakes, boasting an impressive time of 1:09.3. This son of Pioneering is lightly raced having only 1 season under his belt, he has a top conditioner and a good pedigree, I could see him making noise in the sprint division in Indiana.



#4 Bellamy Jones. This son of Bellamy Jones acts and looks the part of a good horse. He’s a big colt with a lot of speed. He seemed to blossom last year at Hoosier Park for trainer Robert Gorham. Bellamy Jones captured an allowance victory then destroyed a good field of Indiana breds in the Indiana Sophomore Stakes at Hoosier Park. Bellamy Jones ran a distant 2nd to the aforementioned Buster Rose in the Snack stakes last spring.  The light bulb just might have lit up last fall for this colt, he could be some kind of special this year.



#5 Facey’s Spirit. Facey’s Spirit has shown a ton of talent in a limited amount of time. This daughter of Pass Rush is living up to her father’s name. She flashed her speed in a shocking way in the Ellen’s Lucky Star stakes last year at Indiana Downs. This spirited filly went gate to wire disposing her opposition in the easiest of manners, her time of 1:09.25 was also very impressive.  She’s been knocking heads with open allowance company this year at Hawthorne race track for trainer Chris Dorris. She’s already ran a good 2nd and 3rd against her open competition in Chicago this year. Look for this one to dominate the filly sprint division in Indiana.


My wildcard horse is Northern Candyride. You don’t have to look any further than this geldings name to see he has a good pedigree, of course he’s out of Candyride. Northern Candyride seemed to struggle at Indiana downs last year for trainer Richard Kohnhorst but he sure turned it on at Hoosier Park last fall. Northern Candy ride won 3 of 4 races at the Anderson oval, he captured the To Much Coffee Stakes defeating Tom Amoss’s regally bred gelding Brickyard.



In Honor of Tim (Tiznow) Reynolds, you changed all of are lives for the better and you'll be with us always. Donations can be made to the Timothy (Tiznow) Reynolds Memorial Fund. A memorial fund for his daughter, Lauren Reynolds.



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Older Comments about Indiana Downs Preview: Hoosiers to watch out for!...

Indiana Downs .. Great for Midwest Rcing!!.........Keep up the good work guys..
I have to get down there and see your track this summer! And how appropriate... Hoosier Kingdom!
Great to hear from you again, Scott. Go Hoosiers!
Count me in for another Oliver Stakes!

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Meet Scott Dick 















My journey into the sport of kings has been different than most. I do not boast a royal pedigree, and in fact, before my interest in horse racing, my family thought the Kentucky Derby was the only race of the year! I'm the son of a minor league baseball player and a homemaker, which doesn't exactly scream grade I winner.

My passion for the sport started about 8 years ago.I was watching as Funny Cide was making his triple crown run. The “Gutsy Gelding” had my eyes glued to the television with each of his triple crown races. After watching Funny Cide on TV. I decided to make a trip down to our local track, Indiana Downs.This would be an experience that would change my life.

I looked over the program, while having no idea what I was doing,I decided to put my 5 dollars on a horse named Apollonea. As the gates broke and the announcer began his race call, I heard the words Apollonea to the lead. My excitement grew as I watched my horse lead all the way around the track, eventually drawing to win by an easy five lengths. Apollonea paid 58.00 to win, I was hooked from that point on.

For the past 8 years my life has been horse racing.  I've tried to educate myself on every aspect of the sport and learn about it's past. The incredible run of the Super Filly Rachel Alexandra would also change my life. It was my intense passion and love for Rachel that would bring me to meet some of the greatest  people in the world. I owe a lot to Rachel and this sport for introducing me to such wonderful people.

I want this blog to show that Indiana Racing stacks up with any track, anywhere! It will also show what great value can be found in Indiana for the bettors, and not to mention, the incredible purses for the owners and trainers.

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