Tag Archives: race track

Enjoying More Than Racing at Indiana Grand

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…

The Food

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.

City Steel Places Impressively

March 23, 2013

City Steel earned a paycheck today for Desperado Racing in a close second at a shortened distance on dirt at The Fairgrounds losing narrowly to a three time Stakes race winner.

City Steel in the tunnel at The Fairgrounds

photo courtesy of @GeoffWorden

We claimed City Steel on February 28 and this was his first race since joining our stable.  Enthusiasm was high as we cheered him on from home in Indiana where March Madness was shut off for nearly an hour to focus on this big event!



Our First Claim

MARCH 1, 2014

Friday, February 28 was a huge day for Desperado Racing!

On Thursday morning while I was packing a bag to leave for New Orleans for Mardi Gras, I got a call from Dad.  He and Willy had identified a horse that they wanted to claim out of a race on Friday at The Fairgrounds.  Since this was going to be our eagerly anticipated first claim, I had no idea what to do, so I called our trainer to talk it over.

The basic first task was to get a big, fat cashier’s check to put on deposit at The Fairgrounds while the trainers got the scoop on the horse, City Steel.  I hastily finished packing and headed to the bank while confirming that the trainer was giving us the early thumbs up.

On Friday we went to the barn early to make sure everything was in order and understand what I would need to do that afternoon.  We met with the trainer and then visited the track office to get the money on deposit checking back at home to give Dad and Willy the progress update. We returned to the track mid-afternoon ready to claim a horse.

City Steel was running in the last race of the day, so the wait there through the afternoon into the early evening seemed like an eternity.  Finally, as the horses left the paddock for the eighth race I got the go-ahead from our advisors to drop the claim.  I checked all of the spelling on the ticket for about the billionth time (a misspelled word gets you instantly disqualified) and I proceeded to the office as I had practiced in my head all afternoon.  The claim must be dropped 15 minutes before post time of the race, so I couldn’t be delayed by getting lost or confused about where to go and what to do! I slid the claim envelope into the time clock to make sure it was time stamped and dropped it nervously into the claim box after confirming once again that I was in the right place and doing all the right things!

I went to the paddock to get a quick glimpse of the horse and hurried back to the office where I had been instructed to stay and watch the race.  Just before post time we were told that we were in a three way shake, meaning that two other people had claimed the same horse.  I was a nervous wreck.  The office took the claim ticket envelopes, sealed them shut, shuffled them up and put numbers on them 1, 2 and 3.  They put dice with numbers one, two and three in a shaker and we waited for the start of the race.  When the horses left the gate, the shake occurred and out popped the number 2.  The office opened the number 2 envelope and announced my name as the new owner of City Steel! City Steel was an exclusive claim for Bill and Willy, but since I was in New Orleans and licensed, I got to make the claim for them.  I feel so lucky that I got to do it—it was one of the most exciting experiences I have ever had!

The groom and I watched the finish of the race on the office television, grabbed the paperwork and went to the paddock to collect the new addition to Desperado Racing, City Steel.  The day continued at the barn, where City Steel got a bath, a new stall, a check out by the vet and good look over from everyone involved!

Happy Mardi Gras!