07/28/2009 12:00AM

Indiana-bred stakes added; Oaks dropped


Hoosier Park opens it 15th Thoroughbred meet on Thursday, with a few changes from past years.

Two Indiana-bred stakes have been added to the stakes schedule and they will be run on Indiana Derby Day. Including the $100,000 Schaefer Mile, it will be a four-stakes day.

The Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes will have a filly division and an open division for 3-year-olds this year. Each division will be worth $70,000, the same purse as the track's 12 other Indiana-bred stakes. The Indiana Oaks will not be contested this year.

Racing secretary Butch Cook said he will try to average about two Indiana-bred races per day. A total of 85 horses (after early scratches) are set to run on the nine-race opening-day card.

"Hopefully, opening day is a glance into what it will be like this year," he said. "We have nine full or nearly full fields, and that is the best opening day we have had in quite a while. The quality is great."

Purses will be up this year, from an average of $95,000 a day last year, to $120,000 or more this year, Cook said. Hoosier Park purses are fueled by 2,000 slot machines in a casino adjacent to the track that is open 24 hours a day.

The Hoosier Park meet is scheduled for 63 days, with racing Wednesday through Sunday. Twenty-three of the days also will include races for Quarter Horses. For the first time, Cook allotted 50 stalls to Quarter Horses.

Many familiar faces will back at Hoosier this year, with a few new ones mixed in. Trainer Tom Amoss will have a string of horses at Hoosier this year and joins Ralph Martinez, Barbra McBride, George Leonard, and Indiana Downs leading trainer Joe Davis in the hunt for the trainers title. Hector Magano is coming in from Illinois.