Indiana Derby Day To Remain On Wednesday In 2021

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is set to open its 19th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing Tuesday, April 13. To complement 120 days of live action, a total of 40 stakes with purses in excess of $3.65 million will be offered led by the 27th running of the Grade 3 Indiana Derby set for Wednesday, July 7.

Six stakes will be featured on Indiana Derby Day. In addition to the Derby, the 26th running of the Grade 3 Indiana Oaks will be included on the program as the day embraces its new Wednesday slot.

“We moved Indiana Derby Day to Wednesday in 2020 due to crowd restrictions and other safety protocols in place due to COVID-19,” said Eric Halstrom, vice president and general manager of racing. “The move proved to be very popular with racing fans across the nation and the Derby program set an all-time track record for total handle, just missing the $6 million mark. We feel by moving our big day to mid-week, the program receives the recognition it deserves with such high-quality stakes on the card.”

Another big date on the schedule will be the $150,000 Caesars Stakes and the $150,000 Indiana Grand, Indiana’s richest turf races. Set for Wednesday, Sept. 8, the two Listed events will be complemented by the $75,000 Back Home Again Stakes and the $75,000 Circle City Stakes, which sport new names in 2021. Both races were part of an online contest to rename several stakes, garnering more than 250 responses.

“Our online presence has jumped over the past year and we value the support of those racing fans,” added Halstrom. “We wanted to include them in revamping our 2021 stakes schedule and by offering a contest with a prize, it was a way to engage them in the process. We got some really good suggestions, which we have used on 12 stakes for the year.”

Four brand new open stakes have been added to the schedule in 2021 and were part of the online contest to create names for the events. Joining the list this year will be the William Garrett Stakes, the IU Hoosiers Stakes, the Send it in Army Stakes and the Clarksville Stakes. Each will offer purses of $65,000 in their first running in 2021.

“We saw an opportunity to add some open stakes to our summer lineup and we think this will create a lot of variety to our schedule,” said Chris Polzin, director of racing/racing secretary. “Plus, the Garrett and IU Hoosiers (set for Aug. 11) gives us two more stakes to showcase on our turf course.”

Indiana Grand will also place the spotlight on the state bred program with Indiana Champions Day Saturday, Oct. 30. The afternoon card will feature four stakes with purses in excess of $350,000, including the $100,000 Lady Fog Horn and the $100,000 Unreachable Star Stakes for Indiana sired fillies and colts, respectively.

“Indiana Champions Day will be a culmination of the season and a way for us to honor and showcase the top horses in the state,” added Polzin. “More than $2.25 million over 28 stakes are dedicated to the Indiana breeding program for horses either bred and/or sired in Indiana.”

A full list of Thoroughbred stakes for the 2021 racing season is now available at www.indianagrand.com.

The post Indiana Derby Day To Remain On Wednesday In 2021 appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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