Celebrities, champions race for charity

07:22 PM 12 Jul 2012 NZST
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Boomer dunking Boomer standing and spinning ball
Boomer dunking - Mascot of the Indiana Pacers
Boomer standing and spinning ball - Mascot of the Indiana Pacers

Celebrity guests along with champion drivers and horses will close out Hoosier Park Racing & Casino's 2012 Standardbred meet this Saturday, July 14 in the annual Hoosier Champions Night.

This conclusion of the racing meet will feature two celebrity-filled charity exhibition races, 14 regularly scheduled races featuring Indiana’s finest trotters and pacers, and an expanded free fireworks show to end the evening. Six new Indiana Sires Stakes champions will be crowned Saturday evening with purse totals topping more than $1.1 million.

The first race will line up behind the starting gate at 5:30 p.m.

Making a special appearance Saturday night will be 12 celebrity guests as they race for charity in the United Way of Madison County’s second annual Champions for Charity exhibition races.

Each celebrity will climb aboard a double-seated sulky accompanied by one of Hoosier Park’s own Celebrity Standardbred Drivers. Each duo will compete as a team for their share of a $6,000 purse to be donated to each Celebrity Standardbred Driver’s designated charity.

The list of Champions for Charity Celebrities is as follows:

  • Boomer, Mascot, Indiana Pacers

  • Brooke Olzendam, Host/Sideline Reporter for Pacers TV Broadcasts

  • Derek Schultz, Sports Radio Host, WNDE’s Query & Schultz

  • Rick Teverbaugh, Sports Editor, The Herald Bulletin

  • Mayor Kevin Smith, City of Anderson

  • Senator Luke Kenley, Indiana Senate

  • Representative Jack Lutz, Indiana House of Representatives

  • Representative Terri Austin, Indiana House of Representatives

  • Gary Erskine, Board Representative, United Way of Madison County

  • Jeff Lawson, Director of Radiology, St. Vincent Mercy Hospital

  • Rod Ratcliff, Chairman & CEO, Centaur Gaming

  • Jim Brown, President & COO, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

he Champions for Charity exhibition races will be held following the third and fifth races on the program with an estimated start time of 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The 2011 Champions for Charity champion, Jim Brown, will be competing again this year in one of the two charity exhibition races.

In addition to providing support to the United Way of Madison County, the Indiana School for the Deaf, Outfitters, Inc., Shriners Hospital for Children, American Cancer Society, D.A.R.E., St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Animal Protection League, Second Harvest Food Bank, New Vocations, Alternatives, and the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence will receive support as the official 2012 Celebrity Standardbred Driver designated charities.

Guests will have the opportunity to enter a special contest with a $2 donation to the United Way of Madison County. Participants can place a bet on their favorite local celebrity and driver combination in the exhibition races by placing the $2 entry fee into designated donation boxes.

At the conclusion of each exhibition race, three winners will be drawn from the winning drivers’ donation boxes. The total of six guest winners will share a $3,200 prize pool, receiving $1,000, $500 and $100 respectively. There is no limit to entries into the contest and all proceeds will benefit the United Way of Madison County.

All three-year-old Indiana Sires Stakes events will go for purses of $200,000, the most in the history of the event. The older horses will race for $50,000 in both the aged horse and gelding trot and the aged mare pace. Also, four $40,000 consolation divisions of the three-year-old events will be contested.

In addition to the racing program that boasts record purses, the Indiana Standardbred Association will provide prize packs to racing fans, family activities and free wagers worth up to $1,000. One lucky guest will be drawn as the winner of a $10,000 cash drawing hosted by the Indiana Standardbred Association at 9 p.m.

by Emily GASKIN

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