Day At The Track

New format for 2015 Dan Patch

02:42 PM 10 Feb 2015 NZDT
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The Dan Patch Invitational
The Dan Patch Invitational

ANDERSON, Ind.—February 9, 2015 — Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is set to begin the 22nd season of live harness racing on Friday, March 27 with several new and important changes to the stakes schedule.  One of the most highly anticipated days on the 2015 harness racing calendar will take place on Friday, August 14 as the Dan Patch takes center stage once again. Boasting an increased purse for the 2015 edition, the Dan Patch will serve as Indiana’s richest harness race but will take on a new format beginning in 2015.

Historically, the Dan Patch has been an invitational race with Hoosier Park’s racing secretary, inheriting the responsibility of recruiting the best horses to compete in the event every year. However, when the Dan Patch returns for its 22nd edition in 2015, it will be raced under a new and improved format.

In conjunction with the Hambletonian Society, The Dan Patch will now be raced as an early closer, which requires a nomination and sustaining payment the same year in which the race will be contested. By making the switch and increasing the purse, Hoosier Park is hoping to attract the top pacers in the country that may not have previously considered racing in the Dan Patch.

To begin, a nomination fee of $500 is due on February 15, 2015 for all horses wishing to compete in the 2015 Dan Patch. After the initial fee, the nominated horses will be eligible to be sustained to the 2015 edition of the race by making a $2,000 payment on March 15.

The purse for the 2015 Dan Patch is estimated to be $300,000 with the field being comprised of the top ten highest lifetime money earners.  Once the field is established, an entrance fee of $2,500 will be required.

"By making the Dan Patch a paid-in event, Hoosier Park is taking the next step in elevating what is already a great race and increasing it in purse and stature,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “We feel the race will now reach a point where it will stand side by side with the Canadian Pacing Derby and the William Haughton Memorial Pace as the elite races for aged pacers."

Hoosier Park’s most prestigious pacing race has become a tradition that is close to the hearts of Hoosiers. The Dan Patch not only highlights some of the best athletes in the sport of harness racing, but is deeply rooted throughout Indiana soil. 

The Dan Patch race was established at Hoosier Park in 1994 with Ready To Rumble and driver Trevor Ritchie winning the inaugural edition 21 years ago. The list of all-star horses that have made their way to Hoosier Park over the years includes Jenna’s Beach Boy, Maltese Artist and former seven-eighths mile world record holder, the late Pacific Fella.

In 2014, racing fans watched Sweet Lou, driven by Ron Pierce, pace the fastest mile in Hoosier Park history with a 1:47.2 score in the 21st edition of the Dan Patch Invitational. The previous track record of 1:48.1, a mark that stood for four years, was established by Shark Gesture and George Brennan in the 2010 Dan Patch Invitational.

For the second consecutive year, the winner of the 2015 Dan Patch Invitational will get an automatic nomination to the 2015 edition of the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby slated for Friday, October 30, 2015 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. All nomination fees will be waived but in the event the winner of the Dan Patch Invitational has already been nominated to the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, a refund of all fees will be given upon declaration.

In addition to the changes to the Dan Patch, Hoosier Park will once again host the Jenna’s Beach Boy Pace for three-year-old colt pacers but feature an increased purse of an estimated $100,000 for the 2015 edition. Slated for Saturday, September 26, the field will be comprised of the top ten lifetime money earners. A $20,000 consolation will also be contested on Saturday, September 26.

For more information on the 2015 stakes schedule and a complete list of upcoming events at Hoosier Park, please visitwww.hoosierpark.com.

Emily Gaskin

Racing Commentator, Publicist and Marketing Specialist

Emily.gaskin@hoosierpark.com

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