Opening Night at Hoosier Park

by Johnny Furgele

Big year as the park will play host to the Breeders Crown this October.

Hoosier Downs opens its 2017 racing season tonight with a nice 14-race card.  The feature is a $17,500 Open Pace for fillies and mares.  The park will play host 163 days of racing, for the most part, will run a Tuesday-Saturday schedule.

In normal years, the Dan Patch (August 11) is the highlight of the Hoosier Park season, but this year, old Dan will have to share, or maybe even cede the spotlight to the biggest event in harness racing; the Breeders Crown.  Hoosier Park will host harness racing’s finest on Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28.  Over two days, $5.8 million in purses will be up for grabs over 12 races for pacers and trotters.  Eliminations, if necessary will be contested one week prior on October 20 and 21.  This is the first time the 7/8 mile track will host the event.

Indiana racing has come a long way in recent years with attractive purses and breeding incentives.  Hoosier Park opened in 1994, and like many harness tracks, shares the spotlight with a casino.  Both Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki were Indiana breds as is Freaky Feet Pete, who recently returned to training for the 2017 season.

The Dan Patch will be held on Friday, August 11 and last year, it was won by Wiggle It Jiggleit in 1:49.1.  Last year’s purse was $325,000.

The Hoosier High-Five will be available to bettors in 2017.  It requires bettors to pick the first five finishers in exact order of the last race on a particular night’s card provided there are seven entrants.  Tonight, the last race features 10 runners.

On the surface, it looks like good things are in store for Indiana racing and for Hoosier Downs and it all begins tonight with a 6:30 pm CT post.

See you at the races!

I can be reached at harnessracing@gmx.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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