by Bob Heyden
Tonight (Oct. 15) is Hoosier Champions Night at Harrah’s Hoosier Park featuring over $2.3 million in purses for 139 Indiana-bred horses over 15 races.
As a comparison, on opening night of Hoosier Park in 1994, the track offered $20,100 in total purses for a 10-race card featuring 88 horses.
Forty-two of tonight’s 139 horses entered will be driven by someone older than 50 (30 per cent; 12 drivers altogether over 50 will be in action).
Only eight horses are being driven by someone under 30 (5.9 per cent).
Drivers over the age of 65 have more assignment than those 25 or younger.
Braxten Boyd, 21, and Dan Shetler, 71, will both drive tonight.
Jack Parker, Jr. is in race #2 with Morairtime. He is the only active driver in the sport who drove against Niatross.
Trent Stohler is part owner of This Kit Rocks (#10 in the 15th race). Stohler also appeared on the track’s opening night in 1994, driving three. Mr Obvious was in the very first race for Stohler at Hoosier Park but was beaten as the favorite.
Trace and Tim Tetrick are in nine races together. They, along with the Brothers Takter, became the first brothers to each drive a Breeders Crown winner in the year 2015. Trace got on the board with Freaky Feet Pete and Johnny Takter with Creatine — the sire of Jujubee.
Eight drivers have at least one morning line favorite — Trace leads with four.
Thirteen trainers have at least one morning line favorite — Ron Burke and James Yoder each have two.
There are nine trainers/drivers on the card.
There are three $100,000 yearlings in the Indiana Sires Stakes 2 & 3 Year Old finals or consolations.
There are nine female trainers on the card and three have the morning line favorite — Melissa Essig, Melanie Wrenn and Jamie Macomber.
The most represented sire on the card on the pacing side is J K End Of An Era with 21.
The most represented sire on the card on the trotting side is Swan For All with 21.
Here’s my picks for tonight’s entire card:
1st – 3-7-4-5
2nd – 1-2-3-4
3rd – 1-3-10-7
4th – 7-4-2-5
5th – 6-4-3-1
6th – 5-9-6-4
7th – 1-5-8-7
8th – 1-5-2-3
9th – 1-5-10-7
10th – 3-7-10-4
11th – 3-7-2-8
12th – 7-9-10-8
13th – 8-9-7-4
14th – 3-2-8-10
15th – 6-5-3-2
BEST BET: 8th – #1 Mystical Carrie
BEST VALUE: 13th – #8 Ultimaroca