03/15/2017 8:36AM

Hoosier Park: Opening day coming April 1

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With the return of live harness racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino less than a month away, final preparations for the 2017 season are underway throughout the property.  Opening day of the 163-day meet is set for Saturday, April 1. With a new, daily post time of 6:30 p.m. this season, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will offer the most lucrative stakes program in the track’s history highlighted by hosting the Breeders Crown events in late October.

Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will kick off on a Saturday the opening week and return on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening the second week before resuming a Tuesday through Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the season.

The barn area officially opened on Saturday, March 11 for those horsemen allotted stalls to begin moving in horses and equipment. The track opened for training on Monday, March 13 from the hours of 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will remain open during these hours throughout the duration of the season. All days of training will be subject to weather permitting. The Paddock and ship-in area will also be open for those horsemen wishing to ship in and train.  All horses entering the grounds must have all valid paperwork required before being allowed entry to the grounds.

The first round of qualifiers is slated for Wednesday, March 15 with nine races set to go behind the gate and an estimated start time of 10 a.m. Qualifiers will continue to follow a Wednesday and Saturday schedule throughout the entirety of the season. The entry box closes for qualifiers one day prior at 1 p.m. Condition sheets and stakes schedules will be posted on Hoosier Park’s website as soon as they are made available.

The opening of the backside and beginning of the live racing season will be the official unveiling of a number of facility enhancements as well. During the off season, Hoosier Park began, and is currently in the final stages of, installing a new perimeter fence around the entire seven-eighths mile oval. Hoosier Park’s tote board will also have a new look for the 2017 season as it has been refurbished and updated to feature new video boards.  

In addition to the Breeders Crown events and activities, Hoosier Park will host an extended stakes schedule throughout the 2017 racing season worth nearly a combined $4 million. Hoosier Park’s signature pacing event, the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes, is slated for Friday, August 11. Returning to the stakes schedule at Hoosier Park in 2017 is the $175,000 Nadia Lobell stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers as well as the $175,000 Moni Maker stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. For more information on the complete 2017 stakes schedule, please click here.

-edited press release (Hoosier)