Strong numbers posted at 2013 Hoosier Park meet
November 21, 2013
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At a time when many tracks are strugglingwith the status quo of maintaining handle from year to year, Hoosier Park has bucked the trend with a sensational all-sources handle increase of over 27 percent during the 2013 live harness racing season from the previous year's numbers. Under a new format described as one breed, one track, Hoosier Park solely hosted Indiana's Standardbred racing during a 160-day meet while Indiana Downs hosted a 120-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet. Originally designed as a Standardbred track, this change to all harness racing produced encouraging gains on all fronts.
The progress is also attributed to a renewed focus on showcasing an enhanced racing product and bringing fans back to the track for a multi-faceted entertainment experience. This year's meet also saw a notable advancement in the quality of racing. Each race card featured fuller fields, averaging 9.1 betting interests per race, adding to the overall competition level in each event.
In a continued effort to provide the highest quality racing experience for racing fans, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino proudly debuted Trakus, a state-of-the art wireless tracking system that enabled racings fans to more easily follow their horse instantaneously throughout a race this season. Upon the launch of this revolutionary system, Hoosier Park became the only Standardbred track in North America using the Trakus system. This initiative was a partnered effort between Hoosier Park and the Indiana Standardbred Association (ISA) and without the support and financial commitment of the ISA this project would not have been possible. The Trakus project was one of the biggest marketing initiatives in the history of Indiana harness racing and is a direct reflection of the strong and successful partnership between Centaur, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association
"The one breed/one track concept proved to be an unequivocal success as witnessed by the 27.5 percent growth in handle over last year's combined Hoosier Park/Indiana Downs meets,” Hoosier Park's vice president and general manager of racing, Rick Moore noted. "Our success would not have been possible without the good judgment and foresight of the Indiana General Assembly, which enacted legislation that provided us with the opportunity to implement the one breed/one track concept, and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, which cooperatively and proactively assisted Hoosier Park in its implementation. I would also like to thank our partners at the Indiana Standardbred Association and our Indiana horsemen for their unwavering cooperation in putting together a most competitive product on the track that proved to be so very popular with racing enthusiasts around the country.”
Hoosier Park's premier Standardbred race, the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational pace, saw marked success while placing the national spotlight on Hoosier Park, as the best in the sport of harness racing took to the racetrack on Saturday, May 25. Excitement pervaded throughout the grandstand as an enthusiastic crowd welcomed the 20th installment of Hoosier Park's signature event to the track. On the wagering front, the Dan Patch card offered remarkable value to horseplayers with the introduction of an added $10,000 guaranteed Pick 4 and a $25,000 guaranteed superfecta on the Dan Patch Invitational race. As with Dan Patch Night, the bettors again came out in full force as the handle increases were felt both on track and through export wagering. The total handle for the night was up 44 percent over the previous year's number and the handle on the Dan Patch race itself was up 39 percent over the previous year.
Hoosier Park also witnessed its' fastest season to date as 25 track records were re-established this season. Uncle Peter lowered the overall track record for older horses on the trot to 1:52.3 in the $230,000 Centaur Trotting Classic on Saturday, Sept. 21. Tyler Smith led all forces on the track and took home the 2013 leading driver title with 262 victories throughout the season. Smith also reached harness racing history at Hoosier Park as he become the youngest driver to record 1,000 career wins at 20 years old.
"Hoosier Park has done an outstanding job in nearly every facet of the industry,” Smith noted. "Through an improved track surface, all the marketing efforts, and a constantly improving quality of horses that race here every night, it has been a pleasure to compete here. The horseman, my fellow drivers, and the entire Hoosier Park staff make my job enjoyable. This track is an example of a place that is doing things right.”
For the first time in its 20-year history, Hoosier Park hosted Grand Circuit racing action and welcomed the top-rated horses in North America to compete in the $286,500 Carl Erskine, the $250,000 Monument Circle, and the $223,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. The bettors came out in full force to watch the harness racing superstars compete at Hoosier Park as the handle increases were felt both on track and through export wagering and produced the biggest handle night of the season.
The 2013 meet also saw horses like the 2012 Pacer of the Year and world champion, Captaintreacherous, world record holder, A Rocknroll Dance, and multiple world champion, Pet Rock visit the Hoosier Park winner's circle.
Weekends during the meet encouraged fans to enjoy live racing and numerous entertainment opportunities throughout the venue. Each weekend was highlighted by "Fan-tastic Fridays," a 14-race card night of racing featuring $1 customer specials including beer, hot dogs, wagers, and racing programs. Saturdays at the track, designated as "Family Fun Days," featured live entertainment, kid-friendly outdoor games and activities, winner's circle giveaways, and dining specials. Each family-friendly Saturday was bolstered with a free fireworks show at the conclusion of the night's race card. Enhanced promotions, offered weekly, added to the fan experience throughout the meet. (Hoosier Park)