Seeking to build upon a successful 2005 meet, Indiana Downs has submitted a proposal for 2006 race dates that would shift the 49-day meet back two weeks and incorporate afternoon racing three days a week. The Shelbyville track offered afternoon racing this spring in the form of a "Turf Tuesdays" program.
Hoosier Park is set to open its 60-day Thoroughbred meeting Saturday and if entries for the opening weekend are any indication, the Anderson oval could have a strong meet. A total of 14 races are carded for opening night, with 10 of the 11 Thoroughbred events attracting full fields.
Some horses at Indiana Downs are being tested for strangles after two of them showed symptoms of the equine respiratory disease in the receiving barn May 19. Live racing subsequently was canceled for the evening.
Thoroughbred racing returns to Indiana April 15 when Indiana Downs hosts the first of 48 cards that will comprise its 2005 race meet. The Shelbyville racetrack will conduct live racing Tuesdays through Saturdays through June 18, a change from the 2004 schedule aimed at maximizing simulcast handle.
Two proposals calling for pull-tab machines at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs received their first hearing Jan. 26, but after three hours of debate in the House Public Policy and Veterans Affairs Committee, one thing was clear: Legislation to authorize the machines could meet an early fate.
Hoosier Park in Indiana lost its entire 12-race card the evening of Nov. 12 after all but a few members of the jockey colony refused to ride. The jockeys are protesting over what they believe is a lack of adequate medical insurance, and they also called on the track to install a safety rail.
Freefourinternet, looking to bounce back after a disappointing performance in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), has been tabbed as the 5-2 favorite in Saturday's $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Mile at Hoosier Park.
The top three finishers of the recent Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) – Jay em Ess Stable's Love Of Money, Pollard's Vision and Swingforthefences – are among 32 top 3-year-olds nominated to the $500,000-added Indiana Derby (gr. II) at Hoosier Park.
Indiana's 2005 racing calendar could be summed up in two words: status quo. Earlier this month the Indiana Horse Racing Commission requested proposed race dates from Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs. Both racetracks have asked for Standardred and Thoroughbred dates consistent with their 2004 schedules.
Indiana Downs closed out its 48-day Thoroughbred meet June 20 with new records, but statistically, the Shelbyville racetrack had mixed results for its second season. While the track experienced an increase in simulcast handle and attendance, on-track handle and number of starters per race were down for the meet.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission April 21 called for an economic impact study on the impact of having--or not having--Kentucky signals available at the state's racetracks and off-track betting parlors.
Indiana Downs opens its 48-day Thoroughbred meeting Friday evening. The Shelbyville, Ind. track has received strong interest for this year's meet as it has received stall applications for nearly 1,300 horses. The oval offers only 400 stalls.
Indiana's horse racing industry may have another opportunity to secure more financial stability. An amendment introduced and passed in the Senate Finance Committee Feb. 19 would increase the annual subsidy to the industry from $27 million to $44 million. It goes to the full Senate for consideration.
A bill that would allow electronic pull-tab machines at Indiana racetracks and two satellite wagering facilities crossed a second hurdle Jan. 21. The House Ways and Means committee approved the legislation by a 17-10 vote and sent it along for consideration by the full House.
Grand Hombre has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the $400,000 Indiana Derby (gr. III) Oct. 4 at Hoosier Park. Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando is second choice at 5-2 in a field of 11 scheduled to compete in the 1/16-mile feature at the Indiana racetrack.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission sided with Indiana Downs Sept. 26 when it voted 4-1 to split riverboat casino admission tax revenue 50/50 with Churchill Downs Inc.-owned Hoosier Park. The move guarantees $5.4 million a year to Indiana Downs indefinitely.
With a exceptions, the 2004 racing calendar for Indiana Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing could closely resemble this year's program, though Thoroughbred dates would increase slightly under the proposals.
Hoosier Park will kick off its ninth season of Thoroughbred racing Aug. 29 with a streamlined program: Because of the presence of second racetrack in Indiana, purses are down a substantial $80,000 to $90,000 a day from 2002.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission denied Indiana Downs' petition for a Marion County off-track betting facility Aug. 20, but it left racetrack officials optimistic another rule change could be negated in the coming months.