The best in the sport of harness racing will once again take to the racetrack at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday. However, for the first time, not only will some of the best horses in the country go to post in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational but the best drivers will be in the spotlight in the inaugural $20,000 East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge.
The East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge will pit the top five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up "Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East driving for "Team East.”
Each team will have five participants in three consecutive races of the challenge and will be awarded points based upon their placings. At the conclusion of the third race of the challenge, the points will be tallied and one team will be crowned the winner.
Scott Peine, Hoosier Park's racing secretary, has inherited the responsibility of recruiting the best drivers to compete in the inaugural edition of the event.
The East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge will compliment one of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational.
All of the drivers competing in the East Meets Midwest challenge will kick off the evening with an autograph session near Hoosier Park's winner's circle beginning at 4 p.m. Hoosier Park will provide fans with a commemorative poster featuring the drivers of the challenge while supplies last.
Racing fans will also have the opportunity to participate in a special wager offered for the East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge with a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 Pool. The wager will offer a minimum bet of 50 cents, and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, and the Indiana Standardbred Association
In what is being called the "Dan Patch Festival Weekend,” Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday as part of Hoosier Park's summer concert series line-up. (Hoosier Park)