Driver-trainer Kelly Hoerdt is seeing his move to Indiana turn successful. In only his 10th start of the meet, he recorded his first win with Blue Star Majesty Tuesday, May 12 at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino.
Blue Star Majesty sat just off the leaders and moved through in the stretch to earn his first United States victory in a time of 1:53.4. The six-year-old horse byadded $6,000 to his bankroll that has already topped $400,000 in his career. Blue Star Majesty is owned by Topless Beach Stable of Beaumont, Alberta and William Roberts of Edmonton, Alberta.
Hoerdt has a very successful harness racing career in western Canada. He has won over 1,200 career races, racing at Northlands Park, Stampede Park and Fraser Downs. He has also competed in the Canadian Driving Championship, representing the western region of Canada and finished fourth in the event in 2009.
Hoerdt's move to Indiana was due to increasing concern over racing options in Alberta, Canada where Hoerdt has spent most of his career. Alberta has cut racing from 160 days a year to just 50 days in the colder months.
Hoerdt first went to British Colombia to Fraser Downs, but saw purses drop 35 percent in the month he was there. Hoerdt determined it was not financially suitable to stay in Canada any longer and made the move to the Midwest to try his luck at Hoosier Park.
Hoerdt and his stable of 10 horses along with trainer Tim Brown, who brought in two horses, did not have a smooth drive to Indiana. The journey was supposed to take three days, but it turned into a four and one-half day adventure. They experienced the type of weather they were trying to escape in Canada. A blizzard in Wyoming made them stop for an unexpected overnight stay. Then, once they got back on the road, the rain and snow continued most of the way. However, Hoerdt is ecstatic about the transition to Hoosier Park.
"The horses are adjusting to the atmosphere and their appetite is good," said Hoerdt. "The transition wasn't as hard due to the weather in Canada being fair for this time of year with temperatures in the 50's. They needed their time to adjust but they have raced up to par and their better races are ahead of them."
The horses are not the only ones who have to adjust. However, for Hoerdt, the transition has been a smooth one.
"I could not be happier with the move," said Hoerdt. "The people are very great and will bend over backwards for you. I want to make sure that the race office, staff, and everyone knows they have made me feel very welcomed and helped me adjust with open arms."
Although this move for Hoerdt is a trial, Hoerdt is treating the move as a permanent one. He said he will be trying to build a long term business. Hoerdt will finish out the season at Hoosier Park and then move his horses and race at Indiana Downs. But, the traveling won't end there as Hoerdt plans to travel between Indiana and Canada for different Sires Stakes in the months of August and September. Hoerdt still has 45 horses in Canada and with the majority of them being younger horses, they will be competing in stakes races.
Some of the horses brought in by Hoerdt for the 2009 season include Trust The Artist, who has been competing in the Invitational Pace and paced in 1:50.4 in his first outing at the Anderson, Ind. track. Other contenders include Major Ziggy, Killean Cut Kid, and Roundtable Review.