Hoosier Park readies for March 30 opener
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The barn area officially opened on Saturday, March 10 for those horsemen allotted stalls to begin moving in horses and equipment. The track opened for training on Monday, March 12 from the hours of 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will remain open during these hours until live racing begins. Once racing begins, training hours will be from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. throughout the duration of the season. The track will be closed on Sundays and 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 to the grounds.
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 entirety of the season. The entry box closes for qualifiers one day prior at 10 a.m. until March 27and then the box will close at 1 p.m. going forward. The annual night-time dress rehearsal qualifying program is still slated for Wednesday, March 28 and will begin at 5:30 p.m. The evening round of qualifiers will allow horsemen, racing officials, and racing fans to watch qualifiers under the lights prior to the opening night program.
Condition sheets and stakes schedules will be posted on Hoosier Park's website as soon as they are made available. Hoosier Park recently announced several overnight and late closing events to be contested in early April and May along with a variety of overnight series for Indiana-sired horses. All of the overnight series will be on Hoosier Park's condition sheets and more information can be found on Hoosier Park's website by clicking here.
The opening of the backside and beginning of the live racing season will be the official unveiling of a number of facility enhancements as well. During the off season, Hoosier Park began, and is currently in the final stages of, installing a new metal roof on the paddock. In addition, the dormitories are also undergoing improvements in preparation for the upcoming season. New restrooms and facility upgrades are in the works and expected to be completed in early spring. Construction is expected to begin soon on new a state-of-the-art track maintenance building that will house the track equipment, employee offices and restrooms. Completion date is expected by late fall.
Building upon the successes of the 2017 live race meet, Hoosier Park's 25th season of live harness racing will offer a very lucrative stakes program throughout the season highlighted by the 25th anniversary of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes on Aug. 10. (Hoosier Park)