ANDERSON — With 2-year-olds primed and ready to go and purses up 10 percent across the board, Hoosier Park is headed into the heat of summer with a surge of momentum.
For the first time, the Anderson track is going into a long harness racing season, and there was caution used in deciding on an initial purse structure.
"We started with a conservative purse structure," said Rick Moore, general manager of racing at Hoosier Park. "We were about at $100,000 a day, and through the first 55 races we were holding our own."
The wagering coming in from the simulcasts of the live HP races has been strong through the opening third of the meet, up 20.3 percent from a year ago. So beginning June 18, purses were increased by 10 percent across the board.
"I've always been a proponent of the idea that momentum is important, and we got off to a good start," said Moore. "We had a super Dan Patch (Invitational). Our handle was up 44 percent that day and up 32 percent on the Dan Patch itself."
Ricky Macomber, who looks at racing as a driver, trainer and breeder, is encouraged.
"The increase (in purses) makes me want to buy more horses so I can take advantage of the purses," said Macomber, who is fifth among all drivers in wins this season at HP. "I am fortunate to have the (trainer) Ron Burke account. I am showing my loyalty to him."
The colony of horses at the Anderson track is one of the strengths that has attracted wagering from all over the country.
"We've been able to card 12 or 13 races all of the time," said Hoosier Park racing secretary Kevin Mack. "We are a little short in the top classes, but then everybody is. The 2-year-olds start racing next week."