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Invites highlight opener

April 04, 2007

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The 14th season of Standardbred racing gets underway at Hoosier Park Friday with 14 races. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the first race heading to post at 6:45 p.m.

A pair of $22,000 Invitationals will highlight the card. Female pacers grab the spotlight in the 10th race. Nells Bells, driven by Ricky Macomber Jr., has been chosen as the early morning line favorite from post nine. The 7-year-old Dragon’s Lair mare has two wins in four starts for 2007. She comes into Indiana off of two consecutive wins in the top female class at Northfield Park in Ohio. Mickey Burke trains Nells Bells, who has earned more than $300,000 in her career.

The co-featured Invitational Trot has attracted 10 for the 11th race. Universal Star will be looking to add another victory to an already impressive year. The 6-year-old Keep It A Secret gelding has five wins in nine starts in 2007 and returns to Hoosier Park on a three race win streak. Don Irvine Jr., Hoosier Park’s five-time driving champ, will guide Universal Star from post five.

Opening night will also kick off the first Dollar Night of the year. Each Friday throughout the season will feature $1 wagers, $1 hot dogs, $1 admission, and $1 drafts. Opening night will also lead into the opening weekend activities set for Saturday, April 7.

“A Premiere to Remember” will feature a movie-premiere theme, greeting fans with red carpet and search lights at the main entrance. The first 1,500 fans age 18 and over will receive a coupon for a free t-shirt redeemable after race three. The Late Show band will perform live beginning at 5:30 p.m. and free popcorn will be available until 8 p.m. Barn tours will be provided to Hoosier Park’s backstretch beginning at 5:45 p.m. and several strolling acts will be available, including Charlie Chaplin on stilts and Buttonz N Bows, face painting clowns. (Hoosier Park)
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