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2010 Hoosier S-Bred Meet Recap

Published: July 22, 2010 4:04 pm ET

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Hoosier Park concluded an action-packed season of standardbred racing Sunday, July 11. The 80-day meet included numerous special events, increased on-track business levels, and a new overall track record produced by Shark Gesture in the track's signature harness event, the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational Pace.

On June 26, racing fans witnessed a new track record. Shark Gesture, guided by George Brennan, stopped the timer in 1:48.1 to pick up the fastest mile ever contested in the state of Indiana. The duo eclipsed the old mark set in 1998 by Pacific Fella and Cat Manzi in a time of 1:48.2, which at the time was a World Record for a seven-eighths mile track.

One of the most significant improvements during the standardbred season was the increase in purses. A total of $11,912,150 was distributed during the meet, a nine per cent increase over total purses distributed during the 2009 meet of $10,836,750. Average purses per race rose 17 per cent to $12,281, up from $10,430 during the 2009 meet.

“I am very pleased with the success of our 2010 standardbred meet,” said Jeff Smith, general manager of racing. “Total purse distribution of just under $12 million was a 71 per cent increase over our total purse distribution of $6.8 million in 2007, the year before our casino opened. That is a tremendous boost to our entire racing industry in Indiana.”

Average starters per race increased to 9.55 starters per race in 2010 compared to 9.31 starters per race in 2009. Average on-track handle per race also saw a five per cent increase compared to 2009. An average of $2,417 per race was recorded compared to $2,306 in 2009. While on-track handle per race was up slightly, total live on-track handle in 2010 was down slightly to $2,344,633 compared to $2,396,283 in 2009, due to fewer races being held.

“With our horsemen, the Indiana Standardbred Association, and management at Hoosier Park all working together, we were able to showcase our racing program to a higher level in 2010,” said Kevin Mack, standardbred racing secretary. “There was solid participation from our horsemen throughout the season. There was a good mixture of open races along with our rich state-bred stakes and Indiana-sired series.”

Several special events were added to the meet, including Thrillyard 200 and Hoosier Champions. Both events were presented in cooperation with the membership of the Indiana Standardbred Association and the Indiana Standardbred Breed Development, respectively. Each event drew large crowds during the racing programs which included premium giveaways.

Two nights during the season featured purses in excess of $1 million, a first in the 17-year history of the track. The $500,000 Hoosier Cup for three-year-old pacers was complemented by several preliminary rounds of Indiana Sires Stakes to boost purses over the mark. Also, Hoosier Champions night featured six $200,000 finals of Indiana Sires Stakes to bring in the richest night of the season with purses in excess of $1.1 million.

(Hoosier Park)


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