Ten races will be featured on the opening day racing program Tuesday, April 19 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The card features nine Thoroughbred and one Quarter Horse race to kick off the 14th season of racing at the Central Indiana track.
“I’m pretty excited about the response we had for entries for opening day,” said Kevin Greely, director of racing at Indiana Grand. “We had a lot of good Indiana-bred horses come through the box and we filled a nice open Maiden Special Weight and an Open Allowance on the card. I am hopeful this is an indication of a good meet to follow this year.”
Heading the list of races for the day includes the eighth race Allowance Optional Claiming for $25,000 running one mile. Joy Boy from the Steve Asmussen stable returns from Oaklawn Park and will begin from post five for jockey Joe Rocco Jr. The eight-year-old son of Tribal Rule has six previous starts at Indiana Grand with two wins. He was recently claimed by Asmussen at Oaklawn and is one of the favorites in the race at odds of 3-1.
Joining Joy Boy as a favorite in the race is Watch My Smoke from the Tom Amoss Stable. Claimed from his last start at Fair Grounds by Amoss for Owner Maggi Moss, Watch My Smoke makes his first start for his new barn from post eight in the nine-horse field. The grey eight-year-old son of Leestown will be ridden by Leandro Goncalves at odds of 5-2 as the race favorite.
Goncalves returns to Indiana this season after riding at Canterbury Park in 2015 where he won the leading rider title. Goncalves, a native of Brazil, is a three-time leading rider at Indiana Grand and is among the track’s top three all-time leading jockeys. Goncalves joins a solid jockey colony that includes Albin Jimenez, 2015 leading rider, Fernando De La Cruz, 2014 leading rider and Malcolm Franklin, 2013 leading rider. With Goncalves’ title in 2012, Indiana Grand has had a different leading rider the past four seasons. All four champions are back to compete for the 2016 racing season.
Live racing is conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:05 PM EST with Saturday racing beginning at 6:05 PM. The 120-day season runs through Saturday, Oct. 29. Thursday racing will be offered during the months of July and August from July 7 through Aug. 25 with a post time of 2:05 PM. The track’s signature event, the Grade 2, $500,000-added Indiana Derby will be held Saturday, July 16. For more information on racing, go to the website at www.indianagrand.com.