Hoosier extends calendar, nears March 27 opener
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With the return of live harness racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino less than a month away, final preparations for the 2020 season are underway throughout the property. Opening Day of the 160-day meet is set for Friday, March 27.
Offering an extended racing calendar this season, live racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park will take on a slightly new format for the 27th season. Live racing will follow a Friday, Saturday schedule the opening week, a Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule the second week and then a resume a Wednesday through Saturday schedule throughout the month of April.
Beginning in May, Harrah’s Hoosier Park will resume a Tuesday through Saturday racing schedule through the month of October. The meet will extend three weeks into the month of November with a Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule and conclude on Nov. 21. Live racing at Hoosier Park will begin each night with a 6:30 p.m. post time.
The barn area and dormitories will officially open on Saturday, March 7 for those horsemen allotted stalls to begin moving in horses and equipment. The track will open for training on Monday, March 9 from the hours of 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Paddock and ship-in area will also be open starting March 9 for those horsemen wishing to ship-in and train. All days of training will be subject to weather permitting. All horses entering the grounds must have all valid paperwork available before being allowed entry to the grounds.
When horsemen arrive to the backside they be welcomed by a number upgrades to the barn area. The track kitchen underwent remodeling and improvements in preparation for the upcoming season. In addition, new lighting, rubber mats and signage have been installed in the paddock in a continued effort to provide a superior racing facility.
The first round of qualifiers is slated for Wednesday, March 14 with an estimated start time of 10 a.m. Qualifiers will continue to follow a Wednesday and Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the season. There will be no qualifiers on Saturday, March 21.
One of the most highly anticipated weekends on the 2020 harness racing calendar will take place in October as Harrah’s Hoosier Park will welcome the coveted Breeders Crown events back to Indiana on Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31. After an overwhelmingly successful event in 2017, Harrah’s Hoosier Park will play host to all 12 year-end championship races, worth a combined $6 million.
In addition to the Breeders Crown events and activities, Hoosier Park will host an extensive stakes schedule throughout the 2020 racing season worth nearly a combined $4 million. Hoosier Park’s signature pacing event, the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes, is slated for Friday, Aug. 14. (Harrah's Hoosier Park)