02/21/2013 3:33PM

Centaur Holdings closes deal to buy Indiana Downs


Centaur Holdings, an Indiana-based casino company that owns Hoosier Park, has closed a deal to buy Indiana Downs, a development that will allow the company to use Indiana Downs exclusively for Thoroughbred racing.

Centaur was the top bidder for Indiana Downs in a bankruptcy auction last year. Following the auction, Centaur announced that it planned to use Hoosier Park for harness racing and Indiana Downs for Thoroughbred racing. The two tracks had previously held both Thoroughbred and Standardbred meets, which required both tracks to convert their racing surfaces every year.

The plan was contingent on Centaur closing the deal for Indiana Downs. With the deal done, Thoroughbred racing will now take place at Indiana Downs from April 23-Oct. 19 this year.

“This is a big day for horse racing in Indiana,” said Joe Gorajec, executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. “It’s a win-win-win for all industry stakeholders.”

With the closing of the transaction, Centaur becomes the only owner of Indiana’s racetracks. Both Indiana Downs and Hoosier Park have casinos attached to them, and their horse racing programs are heavily subsidized by casino revenues.