02/25/2016 6:04PM

Twenty restricted stakes get purse increases


Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Ind., on Thursday released its 2016 stakes schedule composed of 36 stakes worth $4.4 million and highlighted by the Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby on July 16.

Indiana Grand moved its biggest race, the Indiana Derby, from its traditional early October date to July 18 last year and, apparently satisfied with the result, will run it on an evening card July 16 this summer. Also on that program, easily the most important of Indiana Grand’s long season, are the Grade 2, $200,000 Indiana Oaks and five other stakes races.

The 2016 stakes schedule closely resembles the 2015 schedule with regard to the number of stakes and their total value, though there is more money on offer this year in great part because 20 stakes restricted to Indiana-bred or Indiana-sired horses were changed from $85,000 races last year to $100,000 races for 2016. Indiana Grand also has a solid stakes program for 3-year-olds and 3-year-old fillies on turf. Many of the track’s stakes are run on Wednesdays to enhance visibility in a crowded summer racing marketplace.

The track’s 2016 race meeting begins April 19.