JULY 7, 2014
After spending several evenings a week at Indiana Grand this summer, I have learned that there is more to like about it than just the horses.
The New OTB
The Winner’s Circle Brewpub & OTB inside the casino opens this week. I snuck in last week to see what it was like, and I was pleasantly surprised. If you put me in there without knowing where I was, I would not have guessed Shelbyville, Indiana. I will definitely check it out the next time we have a horse racing at a far away track.
The Contests and Freebies
The live racing program costs $3. Inside the program is a coupon for $5 worth of slot play. Before or after the races I take my ID, players card and coupon to the rewards counter in the casino and they load $5 of free play on the players card. I stick it in a slot machine and with a little luck, supplement my track earnings or lack thereof.
The track always has at least one contest or promotion running. Trifecta Tuesday and Selfie Saturday are my personal favorites. The Facebook check-in that gets you a t-shirt is a definite crowd favorite.
The casino is giving away $10,000 every Friday and Saturday in June and July and you don’t have to be there to win! Entries are accumulated through the week, so for those of us that hit the track on Tuesdays and Wednesday, entries have really piled up! I can’t wait to have someone take my picture with a giant check…
Inside the casino is the requisite steakhouse. When I first walked in my expectations were low. I ordered the 6 oz. filet mignon with mashed potatoes, and my preconceived notions were swallowed with the first bite of my steak! Their food is delicious.
The track and casino both serve $1 Hotdogs and $1 Beers on Friday Night!
The barbeque stand has the best pickles I have ever eaten. They call them firecracker pickles. Be careful, they added some habaneros and secret spices to some really delicious dill pickles and came up with a little nibble of hot flash inducing heaven!
The Apron and its Friendly, Outdoor Appeal
I like being outside at the horse track and the picnic tables with umbrellas scattered all around the apron at Indiana Grand are the perfect spots. There is a bar, BBQ and taco stands, an outdoor betting window and a playground for the kids just steps from any of the tables. The atmosphere is quite casual and joining folks at a partially filled table doesn’t seem intrusive. The crowd is friendly, has a common interest and sharing a table hasn’t gone wrong for me yet. Leaning on the rail is always possible even on busy nights. I have yet to see a crowd so big that I couldn’t find a spot.
The owners spruced the place up over the break and made some noticeable aesthetic improvements. We would like to lobby for some big holes in the concrete and shade trees planted in those spots during the next phase!
The Drive Home through the Country
Don’t get on the highway unless you must. Indiana Grand is in the middle of farm country and the views across the farm fields are spectacular. On Friday and Saturday nights the last race finishes right around time for a drive home during sunset. Catching the sun perfectly lighting a field as it goes down behind a big barn with a few corn bins is rural Indiana at its best. Roll down your windows, slow down, and if you are heading west when you leave, save some room for an ice cream cone at the Frosty Dog in Fairland.