The Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) met Tuesday, March 2 and approved several changes for the upcoming 2021 racing season at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
Indiana Grand was initially set to hold live racing Saturday, May 1 during Kentucky Derby Day. However, due to uncertainty directly related to COVID-19, a request was submitted to the IHRC to reallocate that date to Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, which will become closing day for the 19th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. The IHRC approved the change on the calendar for the 120-day racing season in 2021.
“Along with our horsemen, we thought it was in the best interest of all parties to move our scheduled racing day on May 1 (Kentucky Derby Day),” said Eric Halstrom, vice president and general manager of racing. “There is a strong likelihood that crowd capacity will still be limited at that time and live racing would only increase issues with safety protocols and potential wait times to enter the facility. We want to provide the best possible on-track experience for guests coming in for the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby and a reduction of activities on that day will alleviate some potential obstacles.”
In addition to the date change, the IHRC also approved amendments to current rules for pari-mutuel racing. Races taken off the turf once the wagering pools have closed for the Pick 4, Pick 5 and Pick 6 will now become “all” wagers. The Pick 6 will now become a scenario where “all” horses in that race will be considered a winner. Formerly when a horse scratched from a race taken off the turf after the close of the wagering pools, the customer was given a substitute of the post time favorite.
Indiana Grand introduced a lower takeout for the Pick 5 in 2020 at 11.99 percent, which remains in effect. In addition, the IHRC approved a reduced takeout for the Pick 4 along with the Pick 6 Jackpot wagers to 15 percent beginning in 2021.
“We are always looking for ways to enhance our betting platforms and with the growing popularity of our multiple-race wagers, we felt a reduced takeout on these two wagers would be very attractive to our racing customers,” added Halstrom. “We’ve seen a tremendous increase in interest in these types of wagers at Indiana Grand and are excited to make them a better value for our fan base.”
Live racing returns to Indiana Grand Tuesday, April 13 and extends through Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. Racing will be conducted at 2:25 p.m. Monday through Wednesday with first post on Thursday set at 3:25 p.m. In addition, six all-Quarter Horse racing dates are set on select Saturdays starting June 5 at 10 a.m. A special Indiana Champions Day highlighting the state’s top Thoroughbred and Quarter Horses will be held Saturday, Oct. 30 beginning at 12 p.m. More information about the 2021 racing season is available at www.indianagrand.com.