On the track, the racing competition is starting to take shape with the return of 2013's leading driver champion,. Smith, who holds the record as the youngest driver to reach 1,000 wins, took home top honors last year at Hoosier Park with 262 trips to the winner's circle and is back seeking his second leading title during this year's 160-day all harness racing meet.
Hoosier Park's three-time leading trainer and North America's current leading trainer,, has also returned to Indiana with a powerhouse stable headed by assistant trainer, . The Burke stable amassed more than $2.5 million in purse earnings in 2013 with 108 wins, besting by more than double his closest competitor.
Hoosier Park will welcome fans back to the track with a family-friendly themed opening weekend celebration offering guests live entertainment, specialty dining options, and multiple giveaway promotions. The opening week of live racing, labeled "fan appreciation week" will also be fan-centric. Hoosier Park, in partnership with the Indiana Standardbred Association, will feature dining specials, wagering vouchers, and giveaways.
Brand new to the 2014 wagering format, Hoosier Park is proud to offer racing fans a pick-5 wager covering the last five races on the card during live racing. With a 50 cent minimum, the pick-5 offers remarkable value to the horseplayers. Guests are also encouraged to enter the handicapping contests that will be taking place weekly throughout the entirety of the meet.
Both Friday and Saturday night, 1 Million Points and a WHHC Seat will be on the line in separate contests. Entrants must wager on the last 10 races from Hoosier Park each night. Racing fans are encouraged to visit www.twinspires.com for more information.
Hoosier Park has once again partnered with Twinspires.com and will be pulling out all the stops for its opening weekend, Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29. For the first time-ever, Hoosier Park is offering TwinSpires.com Players the opportunity to compete for their share of 2 Million Elite Points and one of two seats to the World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC) at the brand new Meadowlands Racetrack.
"With the introduction of the pick-5 wager, along with our Twinspires.com promotion, Hoosier Park is committed to giving the horseplayers the best wagering opportunities available," Hoosier Park's Race Marketing Manager, Cliff Fraser noted. "We have worked hard in the off-season and are looking forward to the 2014 live racing season now more than ever."
Fridays at Hoosier Park, dubbed "Fan-tastic Fridays", will once again feature $1 beers, $1 hot dogs and $1 live racing programs starting at 5 p.m. In addition, guests will be welcomed to enter the 'Beat the Big Guy' promotion for a chance to win up to $500.
Hoosier Park live racing will follow a Friday and Saturday schedule the opening week, a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday schedule the second week and then resume a Tuesday through Saturday schedule through the end of the meet on Nov. 15, 2014.
by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park