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Indiana Grand Experiences

Indiana racetrack offers fans special racing experiences during meet.

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For the third straight year, the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) is hosting its popular event at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Indiana. The event will follow a slightly altered program from past years and will include some afternoon and evening sessions, tagged with a new name “Grand Experience” in 2019.

The “Grand Experience” kicked off Saturday, May 11, at 9 a.m. with a free continental breakfast trackside followed by a shuttle to the starting gate for the day’s theme “Gateway to Racing.” Each morning, Starter Ray Kuwik and the assistant starters work with various horses needing experience in the starting gate. Guests of “Grand Experience” watched the work that is done with these horses to prepare them for racing. The morning event concluded by 10:30 a.m. Members of Indiana HBPA assisted with the event as organizers and answering questions.

Other “Grand Experience” programs slated for 2019 include: 

  • “The Barn Door is Always Open,” a tour on the backstretch at Indiana Grand set for Saturday, June 8 beginning at 9 a.m. 
  • “Out to Lunch,” slated for noon Saturday, July 20. Guests will board a shuttle and head to the local farm of Katie and Tony Duran, who live just north of Shelbyville. Guests will enjoy lunch and see the inner workings of a real breeding farm, complete with mares and foals.
  • “Boots N Brews” happens at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 in conjunction with the charity event of the same name, also sponsored by the Indiana HBPA. The evening will include free refreshments, rewards and racing for guests complete with a mechanical bull, kids’ activities and live entertainment to coincide with the racing program.
  • “Come Along for the Ride” will occur at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. Guests will enjoy a visit from Otto Thorwarth, former jockey and the actor who portrayed Ron Turcotte in the Disney movie “Secretariat.” Thorwarth, who now serves as a track chaplain, will talk about his work at the track and give a tour of the jockey’s quarters.

All events are free and open to guests of all ages. As always, parking and admission are also free at Indiana Grand.

Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 6. Racing is held Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:15 p.m. with Saturdays beginning at 6:15 p.m. For more information, visit the website at

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