Indiana Grand Closes With Handle Up
Indiana Grand closes its meet with handle up.
December 16, 2014
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino recently completed its 120-program meet, which included Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. Final numbers show an increase in daily simulcast handle as well as total on-track handle.
Daily simulcast handle was up 20.2 percent in 2014, pulling in $4,497,951 compared to $3,741,981 in 2013. In addition, total on-track handle was up 7.4 percent to $8,517,278 compared to $7,927,630 in 2013. Total handle during the season was $101,246,904 and total off track handle was $97,227,577.
“I am very pleased with the entire 2014 racing season at Indiana Grand,” said Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing. “The vast number of improvements that were implemented prior to the racing season, such as the new track surface, new Jumbotron, new outdoor food venues and additional barns, can be attributed to the growth of our program from both a horsemen’s standpoint as well as a racing fan’s point of view. Although we do not record attendance, our racing facility was packed on numerous occasions throughout the year, showing an increase in interest for our racing program. And, I believe this is only the beginning as our quality of racing and additional capital upgrades are implemented.”
Thoroughbred trainer Tom Amoss came off a record setting season in 2013 to grab his fourth straight leading trainer title in 2014. The Louisiana native earned the title by a comfortable margin, winning 58 races and accumulating purse earnings in excess of $1.2 million. Amoss finished 17 wins ahead of the second place finisher, Marvin Johnson, who saddled 41 winners during the meet.
In the Thoroughbred jockey standings, Fernando De La Cruz completed the season with 130 wins and purse earnings in excess of $2.8 million. 2013 Leading Jockey Malcolm Franklin finished second behind De La Cruz with 102 wins.
Cindy Patrick also stepped into the spotlight and into the record books for leading owner honors in the Thoroughbred ranks. Horses owned by Patrick garnered 33 wins, which established a new record for most wins in one meet by an owner. Patrick’s horses accumulated purse money in excess of $700,000.
The jockey colony accepted the award for leading apprentice rider on behalf of Juan Saez, who was killed in a racing incident Oct. 14, 2014. Moving forward, the award will become the Juan Saez Leading Apprentice Award in honor of the 17-year-old rider from Panama.
In Quarter Horse action, the standings came down to the wire for leaders in both the jockey and trainer ranks. Shanley Jackson and Juan Guerrero each completed the meet with 27 wins to earn top honors as the track’s leading Quarter Horse jockeys. Jackson pulled in purse earnings in excess of $500,000 while Guerrero accumulated purse earnings of a little more than $473,000.
A tie was also established atop the leading Quarter Horse training ranks as Ron Raper and Randy Smith each earned 28 wins for the meet. Horses trained by Raper earned more than $684,000 while Smith’s horses earned in excess of $638,000. Smith also earned the title for leading Quarter Horse owner. Horses owned by the Broughton, Ill. native won 10 races and earned purse money of more than $226,000.
Our Valid Twirl was the top Thoroughbred for the year with five wins and two seconds in 11 starts. Pistolpacking Pepsi was the top Quarter Horse, also earning five wins for the season.
Indiana Grand’s signature event, the $500,000-added Indiana Derby, was the highlight of the meet. The race was won by East Hall and jockey Luis Saez, marking a new record for the largest $2 payoff in the 20-year history of the race, paying $35.80 to win. The race was complemented by eight other stakes races to boost purses for the night to more than $1.4 million, a new single day record for Thoroughbred racing in the state of Indiana.
Quarter Horse racing also established some new highs with Quarter Horse Stakes Night Saturday, Oct. 25 boasting purse money of more than $700,000. In addition, the largest purse ever for Quarter Horse racing in the state of Indiana was recorded in the $199,200 Gordon Mobley Futurity Final earlier in the season. Cant Catcha Corona and jockey Harold Collins won the race by the margin of a head over Stone Toasted in the 300-yard dash.
Racing resumes Tuesday, April 21 for the 2015 season. A total of 120 days will once again be contested with several of those dates dedicated to Quarter Horse racing during the year. Racing will begin with a four-day schedule, racing Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 2:05 p.m. with racing on Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 5:05 p.m. An additional day of racing will be added on Thursdays at 2:05 p.m. beginning Sept. 17 until the end of the meet, which concludes on Saturday, Oct. 31.
Indiana Grand will also implement a new Turf Festival set for Tuesday, July 14 through Thursday, July 16. The three-day event will feature several turf stakes, including the Listed $200,000-added Centaur Stakes for three-year-olds. Other stakes featured during the festival will be the Listed $200,000 Indiana Grand for three-year-old fillies, the Listed $100,000-added J. Kenneth Self Boys and Girls Club Stakes, and the $100,000 Girls, Inc. of Shelbyville Stakes to move the total purse money for the festival near the $1 million mark. A special Thursday afternoon racing program will complete the three-day racing festival with post times each day at 2:05 p.m.
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