Tim Konkle, 53, has a professional goal to promote and help grow the Indiana harness racing industry; plain and simple. With more than 50 years of horse racing experience, 15 years at Hoosier Park alone, Konkle brings a level of professionalism and expertise that is unparalleled in the greater Indiana region.
For this reason, Hoosier Park has transitioned Konkle from backside maintenance manager and recently declared Konkle as Hoosier Park's first racing scholar. In this new role, Konkle will educate racing fans, answer racing questions, and give professional insight into the sport.
Konkle currently offers brief sessions to groups that visit Hoosier Park to expand their knowledge of harness racing and to give patrons tips on how to go through the wagering process. Konkle offers insight into the new FastBet Mobile way of wagering as well as offering advice on how to efficiently read the programs distributed nightly. Although there are racing fans at Hoosier Park that do not need professional tips, they can still be found asking Konkle for an answer to the potential million dollar question – "Who would you pick to win?”
Another substantial part of Konkle's position involves the sports media and race marketing industry. Reaching out to sports reporters in the local and regional areas and getting them more involved in harness racing is one of Konkle's favorite parts of the job. Walking the journalist through the industry and teaching them what the sport is all about is extremely rewarding Konkle noted.
Many journalists are able to ride along in a two-seated jog cart when they visit Hoosier Park. Konkle believes this is one of the easiest ways to allow journalists to effectively write about harness racing. Along with the experience of a lifetime, journalists also have the opportunity to videotape the experience so they can go back and watch it at a later date.
"They can feel the power of the horse,” Konkle explained. "The speed and the passion that the drivers have for these animals when they are right there next to them is something that can only be felt first-hand.”
After all is said and done, Konkle does not believe that his expertise is any different than any other racing professional out there; instead his passion for the sport and his deep involvement in the success of Hoosier Park is something unique and different.
A decade and a half ago, Hoosier Park welcomed Konkle for the first time and from that moment on Konkle, who has been to most racetracks in the country, knew that he could confidently call Hoosier Park his home.
"Harness racing is an exciting sport with deep tradition in Indiana,” Konkle said. "I am extremely fortunate that I get to come to work every day and do something that I love. If I can create new racing fans through my experience and knowledge in the horse racing industry, I feel that I have done my job.”
Konkle can be found at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino during every night of live racing with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The all-harness racing meet will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule and close on Nov. 9. (Hoosier Park)