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First Qualifiers Over New Hoosier Surface

Published: March 19, 2014 8:54 pm ET

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Eight qualifiers were held Wednesday morning at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in preparation for the start of the 2014 harness meet that kicks off on Friday, March 28. The non-wagering events marked the first trip of the season for many of the Indiana horsemen over the new, completely rebuilt track surface.

With the addition of a brown limestone material and modest banking to each turn, Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval has been thoroughly prepared by Hoosier Park’s Track Superintendent, Jimmy Shelton, and once again received rave reviews from all who encountered it.

“The track is in excellent condition,” driver Pete Wrenn noted after he won the first qualifier of the day with Good Sound Advice in 1:58.2. “I couldn’t tell much of a difference just looking at it, but once I was out on it, I was very impressed. The improvements made in both turns should help a lot of horses.”

The quickest mile of the day belonged to a pair of Don Eash trainees as Astreos Love and Rustle Chips both stopped the timer in 1:56.3 in each of their qualifying miles.

The paddock area and backside also underwent improvements in preparation for the upcoming season. New double gates were installed on the paddock stalls along with fresh paint on the entire barn and an updated paddock office.

Construction recently commenced on a state-of-the-art driver and trainer lounge adjacent from the paddock area and has a completion date expected for June 1.

“As our horsemen return to the barn area they will notice numerous improvements that have been accomplished since the end of last season. These improvements are the result of much hard work by our backside team members who performed so admirably, all while enduring a simply horrific winter. I cannot thank them enough,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted.

“With much of the hard work behind us,” he continued, “it is now time to enjoy the excitement of live harness racing.”

Now in its 21st season of live racing, Hoosier Park is set to begin live racing on Friday, March 28, with a new, daily post time of 5:15 p.m. EST. The first condition sheet has been made available and can be found on Hoosier Park’s website.

Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Friday, Saturday schedule the opening week, a Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule the second week and then resume a Tuesday through Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the meet. With an extended stakes scheduled offered for the first time, the live racing season will be conducted through November 15.

(Hoosier Park)

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