Day At The Track
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SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (June 22, 2019) – Caesars Entertainment harness racing properties – Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, Harrah's Hoosier Park, Harrah's Philadelphia, and Harrah's Louisiana Downs – hosted the first ever $35,000 Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge sponsored by John Deere and Cowpokes Saturday, June 22. Dean Ehrgott of Camby, Ind., who participated at Indiana Grand, was the top player, winning the $20,000 first prize by the margin of 40 cents over second place finisher Paul Napoli, who participated at Harrah’s Philadelphia and earned $10,000 in the contest. Ehrgott, a former Standardbred owner in the state of Indiana, credited his friends, Greg Gass and Deniz Sidkey, for helping him get to the top of the leaderboard. He was visible in the top 10 standings throughout the contest and was able to select Chief Red Bull in the final race offered to complete the challenge with a bankroll of $129.00 and take home the top prize. Napoli had an accumulated total of $128.60 in second place while Frederick Nielsen, also of Harrah’s Philadelphia, finished third with a balance of $127.00 to earn the $1,500 third place prize. Erghott’s second entry finished fourth with a $107.80 tally. Places four through 10 received $500 each. “I got lucky and hit three races that paid pretty good at Philly (Harrah’s Philadelphia),” said Ehrgott. “I’m a harness guy, so going into the last race, I got help from my Thoroughbred guy and I selected the one (Chief Red Bull). He finished second and paid $3.40, which was just enough to move me into the lead.” Ehrgott was associated with Standardbred racing for decades before he sold his last horse in 2016. His most noted winner was Radar Contact, the Indiana sired mare who earned nearly $1 million during her career and won 34 races. He still stays connected to racing through playing in handicapping contests across the nation with Gass and Sidkey. “We play a lot in these types of contests,” added Ehrgott. “We play in the Santa Anita Breeders Cup $10,000 Challenge every year. We have a lot of fun traveling around.” In addition to his $20,000 top prize, Ehrgott will also receive a seat in the 2020 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) in Las Vegas. And, if he should win the 2020 NHC, Ehrgott would earn a $1 million bonus provided by the Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge. Players in the Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge made selections from all four racetracks involved in the contest. A total of 20 races were provided, 12 of which were mandatory for each player. Also, each player had to use one race from each track, making it a unique format as they played both Thoroughbred and Standardbred races during the four-hour challenge. All four racetracks had at least one player in the top ten. “This was a great way to expose more of our Louisiana Downs customers to the Caesars Entertainment family of racetracks and do so in a very rewarding way,” said Eric Halstrom, vice president of operations at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing at Indiana Grand, echoed Halstrom’s comments regarding the contest. “We were glad to see so many players come in from other states to play in this contest at our facility,” said Schuster. “It was great exposure for our racing program and hats off to so many people from all of our racing properties that spent endless hours making this contest work. And, to have the winner right here at our track, that was an added bonus.” In addition to the four racetracks involved in the contest, players were also able to compete at the three Winner’s Circle Off Track Betting facilities in Indiana located at Indianapolis, Clarksville, and New Haven. A total of 145 entries were included in the contest. “It sure was an exciting finish for the Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge and it came down to the wire,” said Rick Moore, vice president and general manager of racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. “Only 40 cents separated the winner and the second-place finisher. It was a tough competition throughout.” Tammy Knox

Watchatalkinabout has special meaning for Jamie Ward. Ward made his return to harness racing as a pari-mutuel driver last year at The Red Mile in Lexington behind the now 4-year-old horse. The horse competed well and finished second, but the biggest thrill was sharing the track with some of the best drivers in the business.

Training is underway for the upcoming Standardbred season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The track was opened to horseman on Monday, March 5th as 29 horses made their way around Hoosier Park's harness racing oval. The track will remain open for the rest of the week with weather permitting from 8 am to noon for training.

Emily Gaskin has joined the team at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Gaskin has assumed the duties of harness racing publicist and executive assistant to Brian Elmore, general manager of racing.

Peter Wrenn completed a three-peat last season, earning his third straight leading harness racing driver title at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. He has established himself as the 'go-to guy' for several of the top contenders in stakes races and brings in a wealth of experience and success, not only on the local scene, but on a national level.

Final preparations are underway for the 19th season of harness racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The 80-day meet begins Tuesday, March 27, offering five days of racing per week through Saturday, July 14. Post time Tuesday through Saturday is set at 5:30 p.m. EST.

The Winner's Circle Pub, Grille & OTB, located in downtown Indianapolis, is hosting former Giants players Michael Strahan, Howard Cross, Everson Walls, former Indianapolis Colts player Hank Baskett and his beautiful wife and Food Network celebrity chef Guy Fieri leading up to Super Bowl XLVI.

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino's Winner's Circle Pub, Grille, & OTB opened this week in downtown Indianapolis to an enthusiastic response. The multi-faceted dining, drinking and race wagering facility was designed so guests can enjoy a high-quality and comprehensive entertainment destination in the heart of Indiana's capital.

The 2012 racing dates for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino were recently finalized by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. Harness racing returns Tuesday, March 27 and will conclude Saturday, July 14 while the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons begin Wednesday, Aug. 1 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 27.

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino closed out its 18th season of harness racing tonight (Saturday, July 16) with Hoosier Champions. The evening featured a 14-race card with purses in excess of $1.2 million, including finals of the Indiana Sires Stakes.

Hoosier Park harness racing trainer Rachel Matthews will join Outrider Neil Stalhiem is presenting horses for the races this evening as the official Parade Marshall. Matthews will be aboard her retired Standardbred, Survive This, during the evening's activities.

Js Tango and Mike Peterson turned in a strong performance to take a harness racing division of the $15,000 Abercrombie Series Friday, July 8. The duo covered the one-mile distance in a time of 1:55.4.

Radar Contact and harness racing driver Dan Shetler will use one final race tonight in preparation for next week's $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final Saturday, July 16. The three-year-old filly is four for four in 2011 and is favored to move that streak to five in the ninth race Saturday, July 9.

Two-year-old pacers will once again be the focus of the Friday night (July 8) harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The entire eight-race abbreviated program includes four divisions of the Abercrombie series for freshman colts and geldings and four divisions of the Sandra Lil series for freshman fillies.

Two-year-old trotters hit the track Thursday, June 30 to kick off the first round of series action for Indiana Sired colts and fillies. Two harness racing divisions of the $15,000 Fred Terry for colts and geldings were held along with two divisions of the $15,000 George Sholty for fillies.

The Standardbred racing office at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino has added several claiming and conditioned races to the roster for Wednesday, July 6. Harness racing entries for the Wednesday racing program will close at 1 p.m. EST. Friday, July 1.

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