Day At The Track

Strongest opening night ever

03:50 PM 02 Apr 2016 NZDT
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Trace Tetrick secures one of his three wins on the evening behind O’Wow for trainer Tyler George
Trace Tetrick secures one of his three wins on the evening behind O’Wow for trainer Tyler George
Linscott Photography

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino kicked off the 2016 live racing season on Friday, April 1 and did it in fashion, recording the strongest opening night ever in the 23-year-history of the track. All sources handle was up an impressive 65% over last year's numbers with the same number of races carded. Excitement pervaded throughout the grandstand as a large, enthusiastic crowd welcomed the 23rd season of harness racing back to the seven-eighths mile oval.

"What an absolutely sensational opening night," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. "To be up 65% over last year is beyond my wildest dreams! Thank you to the horsemen for putting on such a great show and to our on-track and off-track audiences for supporting us at the betting windows."

Friday's card offered remarkable value to the horseplayer with full fields, the introduction of the new Hoosier High-5 wager, and an improved racing product. The bettors came out in full force on the opening night of the season as handle increases were felt both on track and through export wagering to produce $948,734 in all sources handle for the evening.

The progress is attributed to a renewed focus on showcasing an enhanced racing product and bringing fans back to the track for a multi-faceted entertainment experience. The partnership between Hoosier Park and horse racing network TVG has also contributed significantly to the wagering gains.

Friday's 14-race card was a success for Hoosier Park's 2015 leading driver Trace Tetrick and John DeLong, both of whom scored a driving triple on the evening's card. The fully-stocked card included 10 divisions of The Donnie Conrad Memorial and Rosie Harness Memorial, an overnight series for trotters of both sexes.

Live racing will return to Hoosier Park on Saturday, April 2 with a 14-race card. Post time for the first race is 5:45 p.m. Hoosier Park will once again offer TwinSpires players the opportunity to compete for their share of 1 Million Elite Points in a handicapping contest against Hoosier Park's Racing Commentator, Emily Gaskin. Additionally, TwinSpires is marking the occasion by giving players the opportunity to earn 30 Twinspires Elite Points for every dollar they wager, on Saturday night. Racing fans are encouraged to visit www.twinspires.com for more information.

Hoosier Park's 'Family Fun Days' return this Saturday and will continue each weekend throughout the entirety of the harness racing season. Activities will include live entertainment, games and winner's circle giveaways. This Saturday, live racing will be followed by a free, live performance from Henry Lee Summer in the Terrace Showroom.

Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino 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. 12, 2016.

For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.

Emily Gaskin

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