07/28/2010 1:29PM

Indiana-breds eligible for 40 percent bonus at Hoosier Park


Higher purses, fueled by 2,000 slot machines and added bonus money from the Indiana Breeders Development Fund for Indiana-bred horses, has made Hoosier Park one of the more visible venues in the Midwest. The track begins its 16th season Friday evening with a 63-program meet for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.

The open purse fund for the meet that runs through Oct. 24 will be $7.1 million. That does not include the money set aside for Indiana-bred events funded by the Breeder‘s Development fund. Earlier this month, the Indiana Racing Commission, along with management from Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs and the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, came to an agreement that will boost the purses for Indiana horses.

Under the agreement, any Indiana-bred among the first three finishers of an open race for a claiming price of at least $10,000 will receive a 40 percent bonus.

Indiana-bred races will also carry the same purse as their open counterpart. For example, at the recently concluded Indiana Downs meet, Indiana-bred maiden special weight races had a purse of $24,000 before the agreement and $35,000 after the agreement, an increase of nearly 46 percent.

Kevin Greeley is the new racing secretary. Greeley was the vice president of racing and racing secretary at Arlington Park for four years as well as the assistant racing secretary at Gulfstream Park. Prior to that, he spent 11 years with the Dubai Racing Club in Dubai.

Greeley is looking forward to the upcoming meet. “I love it so far, the people are so great here.” Greeley said.

Greeley had 1,500 applications for 934 stalls and had to find room for some new trainers.

“I allotted 260 of the stalls to new outfits and that is a good problem to have,” Greeley said.

Frank Kirby, Larry Rivelli, and Moises Yanez are among the trainers with horses on the grounds for the first time.

The jockey colony will include Leandro Gonzalez – the leading rider at Indiana Downs – along with Rex Stokes III, Rodney Prescott, Tommy Pompell, Orlando Mojica, and Fernando De La Cruz.

The highlight of the meet will again be Indiana Derby Day on Oct. 2. The Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby, the Grade 2, $200,000 Indiana Oaks, and the $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Mile will all be contested that day. The purses for derby day will surpass $1 million for the first time in the history of Indiana Thoroughbred racing.