On Saturday, July 29, Harrah’s Hoosier Park will host the fourth annual Empire of Hope day, dedicated to raising funds for the aftercare of retired racehorses. All proceeds will directly benefit the Standardbred Transition Alliance to assist efforts to relocate, rehabilitate and repurpose retired Standardbred racehorses.
“All of us at Harrah’s Hoosier Park are indebted to these racehorses, who go out and perform on the racetrack each and every night,” said Rick Moore, Vice President and General Manager of Racing. “As repayment for that debt of gratitude, it is incumbent that all of us show our appreciation for these great equine athletes. There is no better way to show that appreciation than by making a financial contribution that will help these horses find second careers and second homes once their racing careers are over.”
Through a variety of promotions, donations and activities, Harrah’s Hoosier Park will work to raise awareness and funding to assist in the mission. Racing fans attending the event will have the opportunity to make contributions and learn more about aftercare efforts as well as meet a retired racehorse enjoying a second career.
“I am thrilled that Empire of Hope has truly become one of our signature nights each season at Harrah’s Hoosier Park,” continued Moore. “We set the bar high for ourselves by raising a record $40,000 for this event in 2022. I am hopeful that this year will once again produce outstanding results as we seek to raise both money and awareness for the aftercare of our retired Standardbred racehorses.”
Guests can donate $5 at the Caesars Reward Center in the casino and in turn receive $5 free slot play or a $5 race wager through Harrah’s Hoosier Park’s Give $5, Get $5 promotion. The Give $5, Get $5 promotion began on Friday and will continue on Saturday at the Caesars Rewards center on property from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
On Saturday, guests can donate $5 to the Standardbred Transition Alliance to receive a mystery voucher. The mystery vouchers will vary in worth, with the top prize being $100. The mystery vouchers will be available at a table across from the Pegasus Lounge from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Guests will have the opportunity to purchase an official Empire of Hope T-shirt at the Programs Stand for a donation of $10 through Saturday. T-shirts will be sold while supplies last. Racing fans are encouraged to wear their Empire of Hope T-shirts to the event.
Also, located throughout the property are official Empire of Hope donations boxes. Guests are encouraged to donate cash, coins or Tito Tickets into the donation boxes.
Drivers, trainers and owners racing at Hoosier Park are also giving back by committing a percentage of their nightly racing earnings to support the Empire of Hope cause.
In addition, there will also be an Empire of Hope silent auction on the Hoosier Park backside from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hoosier Park horsepeople can place their bid on a multitude of gifts and prizes, with the silent auction winners being announced live on the simulcast after the evening’s third race.
Hoosier Park’s drivers and trainers will also be featured in a dunk tank. For a $5 donation, racing fans will be given three opportunities to dunk their favourite driver or trainer from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in The Yard.
Guests will also have the opportunity to hop in a jog bike and take a lap around the Hoosier Park oval behind a racehorse alongside a Hoosier Park horseman. Located in the Front Paddock from 3 p.m. to 5 pm., guests can secure their ride for a donation of $20.
Saturday will also mark the third Family Fun Saturday of the season at Hoosier Park. The activities will include inflatable obstacle courses, full nine-hole mini golf course, as well as face painting. There will be a multitude of great treats to go along with the festivities, with kettle corn, cotton candy and a mini-donuts station located in the north end of The Yard. All outdoor kids and dining activities will be available to guests from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
All proceeds from the evening’s charitable activities will be earmarked for the Standardbred Transition Alliance, which will provide grants in funding of 501(c)(3) groups serving Standardbreds and ensure they utilize best practices for equine care and financial management through an accreditation process.
Live harness racing will get underway at 7 p.m.