The Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) will host its popular morning event for the third straight year at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The event will follow a slightly altered program from past years and will include some afternoon and evening sessions, tagged with a new name “Grand Experience” in 2019.
“Grand Experience” kicks off Saturday, May 11 beginning at 9 a.m. with a free continental breakfast trackside followed by a shuttle to the starting gate for the day’s theme “Gateway to Racing.” Each morning, Starter Ray Kuwik and the assistant starters work with various horses needing experience in the starting gate. Guests of “Grand Experience” will be able to watch the work that is done with these horses to prepare them for racing. The morning event will conclude by 10:30 a.m. Members of Indiana HBPA will be present to assist with the event.
Other “Grand Experience” programs slated for 2019 include “The Barn Door is Always Open,” a tour on the backstretch at Indiana Grand set for Saturday, June 8 beginning at 9 a.m. The third installment is “Out to Lunch,” slated for noon Saturday, July 20. Guests will board a shuttle and head to the local farm of Katie and Tony Duran, who live just north of Shelbyville. Guests will enjoy lunch and see the inner workings of a real breeding farm, complete with mares and foals.
The fourth event of the season is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 in conjunction with “Boots ‘N Brews,” also sponsored by the Indiana HBPA. The evening will include free refreshments, rewards and racing for guests complete with a mechanical bull, kids’ activities and live entertainment to coincide with the racing program.
The final session for 2019 is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 with the theme “Come Along for the Ride,” Indiana Grand’s slogan for 2019. Guests will enjoy a visit from Otto Thorwarth, former jockey and the actor who portrayed Ron Turcotte in the Disney movie “Secretariat.” Thorwarth, who now serves as a track chaplain, will talk about his work at the track and give a tour of the jockey’s quarters.
All events are free and open to guests of all ages. Parking and admission are also always free at Indiana Grand.