Indiana Downs Has New Name as Part of Rebrand

The racetrack, which begins its meet May 6, will be called Indiana Grand Race Course.

Indiana Downs, which will begin its lengthy live Thoroughbred racing season May 6, has a new name to coincide with its casino offerings.

The Shelbyville, Ind., facility will be rebranded Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. For racing purposes the track will be known as Indiana Grand Race Course, parent company Centaur Gaming said March 6.

The new name will be phased in across all aspects of the business, officials said in a release. The Indiana Grand Racing & Casino name and logo will replace all current Indiana Downs mentions and signage. In addition, a complete redesign of the property's simulcast television screen artwork will be reworked with a black-and-gold color scheme and updated graphics.

It is part of a number of changes at the Indiana racetrack, which last year won Indiana Horse Racing Commission approval for a long-term gaming revenue distribution agreement that will allow the company to refinance this year.

Centaur president Rod Ratcliff earlier said the long-term agreement and subordination of funds would allow the company to make improvements at its two tracks; Centaur also owns Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, which is now a harness racing-only facility.

Centaur officials said Indiana Grand Race Course, which now offers only Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing, is in line for major racing surface improvements, renovated dormitories, construction of new dorms, and about 100 new stalls for Quarter Horses. Also planned is a "substantial rebuild" of the clubhouse and grandstand.

Capital improvements could total $36.5 million over the seven-year term of the agreement.

In the wake of an experiment with afternoon racing for the final two months of its 2013 meet, Indiana Grand Race Course will offer a mix of afternoon and evening racing this year. The meet will open with racing at 2:05 p.m. EDT Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and a first post time of 5:05 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Tuesday racing at 2:05 p.m. will be added July 15.

Indiana Grand was awarded 114 Thoroughbred dates and six Quarter Horse programs for this year. Last year the track raced the same schedule, which produced a 5.7% increase in total pari-mutuel wagering.

Thoroughbred purses last year totaled $26.93 million, which included $12.26 million in purse money for Indiana-bred or -sired horses, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems. Average daily purses came in at $236,248, while field size averaged 8.60 horses per race, according to TJCIS.