Indiana Grand Racing & Casino held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday in Shelbyville, Indiana, to celebrate the addition of a new 100-stall barn and 50-room dormitory.
The project, which is estimated as a $7 million investment by Caesars Entertainment, is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021.
“We have earmarked a total of $25 million for our two racing properties in Indiana (Indiana Grand and Harrah’s Hoosier Park) over the next 10 years,” said Joseph Morris, Vice President of Racing for Caesars Entertainment. “This is further evidence of our commitment to Indiana racing, and by adding a new barn and dormitory, we will be able to accommodate the ever-increasing need for more space for horses competing at Indiana Grand. We want to thank the Indiana Horse Racing Commission and the horsemen for their continued support as we work together to bring racing to the next level.”
The 100-stall barn, which will be enclosed and winterized for winter training, will include 10 wash bays, two restrooms and 10 tack rooms.
The dormitory will include 50 rooms in a two-story structure next to the new barn. The facility will provide housing for those who care for the additional horses, and feature community bathrooms for both men and women, central air and heat, and a laundry facility on both floors. Both structures will be located on the west side of the current backstretch area.
Rachel McLaughlin, on air racing commentator for Indiana Grand, served as emcee for the event, which was moved under the trackside tent due to weather.
Several dignitaries were in attendance including Indiana State Senator Jean Leising and former Senator Luke Kenley, who was recognized for his work and support of horse racing during his tenure.
“The horsemen are very appreciative of what Caesars is doing to advance racing,” said Brian Elmore, Executive Director of the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. “Racing is a $1 billion agri-business in the state that affects all 93 counties and we would be remissed if we didn’t recognize Luke Kenley and what he did for racing during his time in the legislature. Luke set the blueprint for these continued projects to help Indiana horse racing.”
Several members of the local community were in attendance for the event including Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun, City of Shelbyville Planning Director Adam Rude, Shelbyville Common Council member Joanne Bowen, Shelby County Council member Jordan Caldwell, Shelbyville Fire Chief Tony Logan, Donna Christian and Courtney Chappella of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, and Rachel Ackley of Shelby County Visitors and Tourism.
“This is an exciting time for horse racing in Indiana,” said Paul Martin, President of the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana. “This is a message sent to the industry that we are expanding, and it sends a clear signal we are going to be here for a long time.”