Racing Fans Get Inside Look At Indiana Grand Backstretch Thanks To Indiana Thoroughbred Alliance

Forty horse racing enthusiasts gathered to tour the backside of Indiana Grand Racing & Casino over the weekend. While enjoying free refreshments, guests were treated to an inside look of a horse racing barn and meet two jockeys-turned-actors, thanks to trainer Brandi Steele and the Indiana Thoroughbred Alliance (ITA).

The barn tour was the first of its type at Indiana Grand since 2019, due to biosecurity and security precautions at the Shelbyville track. Visitors were treated to meeting retired jockey Francisco Torres, winner of more than $68.8 million in lifetime earnings, including 12 graded stakes races. Torres played jockey Braulio Baeza in the ESPN movie “Ruffian” in 2007. Now a jockey’s agent at Indiana Grand, Torres shared highlights of his career on and off the track and was open to answering questions.

Fellow retired jockey and movie star, Otto Thorwarth was also on hand for visitors to meet. Thorwarth played jockey Ron Turcotte in the 2010 Disney movie “Secretariat” and returned to Indiana Grand to later become chaplain.

Other speakers included Michael Mann, DVM, track veterinarian at Indiana Grand, Steele and Nate Brannin, managing partner of B&B Stables, a fractional ownership group based out of Indiana.

“I just wanted to give others the opportunity to be on the backside to see what all goes into taking care of these horses,” says Brannin, one of the organizers of the event.

“After a year of restrictions and shutdowns, it was so nice to be amongst the horses and sharing the passion of Hoosier horsemen and women with the fans,” says Christine Cagle, board member of the ITA. “We are very thankful to Indiana Grand and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission for allowing us to host this event.”

Participants were able to feed sweet potatoes to the horses in Steele’s barn, take photos with the horses and ask questions varying from the daily routine of racehorses and the track vet’s role to how they can become more involved in the industry.

“I believe there are a lot of potential racehorse owners out there, but they just don’t know how to get involved,” says Brannin. “I hope this helps spark more interest.”

“Before I became a trainer, I never even thought about being in the horse racing industry,” says Steele, who stepped out on her own as a trainer in 2018 and has earned nearly $925,000 so far. “But after attending a backside barn tour like this and seeing what it was like, I fell in love. And here I still am.”

One lucky attendee had their name drawn for a free VIP experience at Cedar Creek Winery, a staunch supporter of Indiana horse racing, where employees are co-owners with Indiana-bred mare Drinkatthecreek with Michael Lauer Racing. The ITA hopes to offer more opportunities like this in the future, as well as continue their education series this fall and winter by offering more webinars and seminars on a variety of horse husbandry topics.

The post Racing Fans Get Inside Look At Indiana Grand Backstretch Thanks To Indiana Thoroughbred Alliance appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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