By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
When the cavalry stampede that is the Kentucky Derby is taking place a state south in Louisville today, local racing fans can be there in spirit by visiting Hoosier Park.
“Our goal is to bring the pomp and ceremony of Derby weekend to our fans at Hoosier Park,” said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park’s general manager of racing. “Whether it is mint juleps or beautiful women’s hats, one will feel the excitement of racing’s greatest weekend just as though they were in the stands at Churchill Downs.”
Another part of simulating the Derby experience is the opportunity to wager on the day’s card.
For the inside track on a Derby wager, Cliff Fraser, race marketing manager at Hoosier Park, had a pair of tips.
“If it is a fast track, my pick is Goldencents,” he said. “He is trained by Doug O’Neill, who won last year. He’s won three of four, and he’s got a lot more left in his tank.”
But if rain makes the Churchill Downs surface less than ideal, he has another option.
“On a sloppy track, I’d go with Normandy Invasion,” said Fraser. “He has tremendous off-track breeding. He likes to come off the pace.”
Fraser’s final word on the Derby is touched with a bit of sentimentality.
“There’s Will Take Charge,” he said. “He’s ridden by (one of HP’s all-time best jockeys) Jon Court. I might have to make a win-place-show bet on him.”
One patron will win the chance to place a $10,000 bet on the horse he or she believes will win the Kentucky Derby. The drawing to determine who places that bet will be held at approximately 5:15 p.m., and the winner has until the 6:24 p.m. post time for the Derby.
Fans can wager on the entire card today at Churchill through simulcasts and then remain at the Anderson track for a night of live harness racing.
Hoosier Park’s ‘Family Fun’ Saturday will also offer bounce house activities, face painting, and various other entertainment geared toward the younger fans.
First post for live racing is at 5:30. There is no admission charge to the facility today, and free valet parking is offered.