Indiana Derby Picks and PreviewRead this article
Indiana Grand Race Course
Formerly known as the Indiana Downs, the Indiana Grand Race Course is located in Shelbyville, Indiana, part of a new entertainment complex that combines horse racing with a casino. When Centaur Gaming purchased the facilities, they moved all harness racing to the Hoosier Park Racetrack and switched all flat racing events to the Indiana Grand Race Course.
Indiana Grand Horse Racing
Made of a mix of limestone, clay and silt, the dirt track at the Indiana Grand Race Course is one mile long with a 1,040-foot stretch and a homestretch that's 80 feet wide. The turf course is seven furlongs in length with a stretch of approximately 264 feet from last turn to the finish line, the width of which measures 98 feet.
Major Races and Events
The Indiana Grand Race Course became the new destination for significant thoroughbred competitions, adding to an already busy calendar of major racing events. The Indiana Derby is the premiere race at this track while other big events include the Indiana Oaks, Centaur Stakes and the Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes.
With a $500,000-added purse, the Indiana Derby offers the largest winnings of any stakes at this track. This is a Grade II race for three-year-old thoroughbreds at a distance of 1 1/16 miles on the dirt track. The Indiana Derby is the only race in the state to have hosted a winner of a Triple Crown race, when Lookin At Lucky won the 2010 derby.
The Indiana Oaks is another Grade II stakes, held on the same day as the Indiana Derby. Recently moved from the Hoosier Park Racetrack, the Indiana Oaks adds another major event to the Indiana Grand Race Course calender. This race is for fillies three years of age, run on the dirt track at a distance of 1 1/16 miles with a purse of $200,000.
Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Mile
The Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Mile is a stakes race for horses three years and older, competing at a distance of one mile and 70 yards for a purse of $100,000. This race is part of the richest day in Indiana horse racing, contributing along with the Indiana Derby and Oaks races to a one-day purse of at least $1.3 million dollars.
One of the first races in the season at this track is the Centaur Stakes. This is a listed race for three-year-olds who compete at a distance of one mile on the turf course for a $200,000 purse. The race record of 1:33.88 was set by Silver Max in 2012, the last year it was known as the Oliver Stakes.