First Hoosier Park qualifiers of '19 set for March 13
February 25, 2019
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With the return of live harness racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino just over a month away, preparations for the 2019 season are underway throughout the property. Opening day of the 160-day meet is set for Friday, March 29, with a daily post time of 6:30 p.m. Horses don’t arrive for a little over a week, but the Harrah’s Hoosier Park team has been hard at work to get ready for 2019.
The most notable upgrade to the backside for 2019 is the new Track Maintenance building, which recently finished construction. The new building is located just inside the stable gate on the backside and will house all of the track and backside equipment. The Track Maintenance Building features 14,000 square feet of open equipment storage, a sizable two bay workshop with a spacious mezzanine, offices, a break room for employees and a reception area.
“The new building opened for business on Feb. 7 to the delight of the Backside Maintenance crews,” Vice President and General Manager of Racing Rick Moore noted. “The $3.5 million project was started under the auspices of Centaur Gaming but upon the change in ownership Caesars Entertainment quickly committed to finishing the project. It’s a great addition to the backside that not only looks beautiful, but provides an efficient work space for our backside maintenance crew.”
The paddock area and backside also underwent improvements in preparation for the upcoming season. The dormitories have been undergoing renovations and are expected to be completed in early spring. The first floor dormitory restrooms were completely redone with all new toilets and new sinks, including deeper sinks for dishwashing. New shower stalls were also installed with individual bays. All of the rooms have been freshly painted and have freshly waxed floors upon occupancy.
When horsemen arrive to the backside they will also be welcomed by upgrades to the barn area. New rubber mats have been ordered for the paddock area to be installed before racing begins and fresh coats of paint are being added all around the backside to give the property a sharp look for 2019.
To accommodate local trainers who have been affected by the weather, the track is opening a week early for training March 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The barn area will officially open on Saturday, March 9, for those horsemen allotted stalls to begin moving in horses and equipment. The track will open for regular training hours on Monday, March 11, from the hours of 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will remain open during these hours throughout the duration of the season. All days of training will be subject to weather permitting. The Paddock and ship-in area will also be open for those horsemen wishing to ship in and train. All horses entering the grounds must have all valid paperwork required before being allowed entry.
The first round of qualifiers is slated for Wednesday, March 13, with an estimated start time of 10 a.m. Qualifiers will continue to follow a Wednesday and Saturday schedule throughout the entirety of the season. The entry box closes for qualifiers one day prior at 1 p.m. Condition sheets and stakes schedules will be posted on Harrah’s Hoosier Park’s website as soon as they are made available.
Live racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will kick off on a Friday the opening week and return on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening the second week before resuming its usual Tuesday through Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the season. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. (Hoosier Park)