Local Sports

Pacers 8-game restart schedule in Orlando

The NBA  announced the restart schedule for the 2019-20 season with the Indiana Pacers playing the following eight games in Orlando:







                        Date                             Opponent                                            Time                 Court

                        Aug. 1                           vs. Philadelphia                                     7:00 p.m.           Visa

                        Aug. 3                           at Washington                                       4:00 p.m.           Visa

                        Aug. 4                           vs. Orlando                                           6:00 p.m.           Visa

                        Aug. 6                           at Phoenix                                            4:00 p.m.           Visa

                        Aug. 8                           vs. L.A. Lakers                                      6:00 p.m.           HP

                        Aug. 10                         at Miami                                               8:00 p.m.           Visa

                        Aug. 12                         at Houston                                            4:00 p.m.           Arena

                        Aug. 14                         vs. Miami                                              TBD                  TBD

                                    *All game times listed are EDT (Indianapolis local time)

                                    **All three courts listed (Visa, HP and Arena) are located on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex


“We’re looking forward to the resumption of play,” said Kevin Pritchard, Pacers President of Basketball Operations. “During this time we have been in constant contact with our players and coaches and are confident we will be ready to play.”


The Pacers game against the L.A Lakers on Aug. 8 will be nationally televised on TNT; and the game on Aug. 12 at Houston will be televised on NBATV. Pacers local television and radio coverage will be announced at a later date.

All-Quarter Horse Day features 13 races at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

The first of four all-Quarter Horse days for 2020 will be featured Saturday, July 4. The program, which has an early post of 10 a.m. will offer 13 races on the card, including three sets of trials along with the $102,120 Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby Final.


WRs Apolliticalivory has been selected as the early morning line favorite in the 11th running of the Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby Final, slated as the sixth race on the card. The Apollitical Blood three-year-old gelding was a commanding winner in the trials, posting the quickest time in :19.936. Trained by Randy Smith, WRs Apolliticalivory will be seeking his fifth win in seven career starts as he enters the gates Saturday at odds of 6-5 with Shanley Jackson aboard from post six.


The entire field for the Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby Final, in post position order with jockey and odds, includes A Ruby Corona (German Rodriguez, 30-1); Flyweight Carver (Oscar Macias, 30-1); MTs Sixty Six Cartel (Erik Esqueda, 15-1); Fast Soldier (Cesar Esqueda, 20-1); Apollitical B Beast (Sergio Ramirez, 8-1); WRs Apolliticalivory (Shanley Jackson, 6-5); Passenger Train (L.D. Martinez, 12-1); Shes Relentlesswagon (Manuel Gutierrez, 8-1); My Pillow (Giovani Vazquez-Gomez, 6-1); and First Hero V (Alonso Rivera, 9-2). Estimated post time for the stakes race is 12:05 p.m.


Kicking off the all-Quarter Horse card will be five trials for the Gordon Mobley Futurity. Of the 44 two-year-olds entered in the event, half of them are first time starters, creating an interesting scenario for the trials. Beach Diva from the Tony Cunningham Stable, is the favorite in the first trial at odds of 2-1 from post eight. The grey freshman daughter of Escondido Beach is a homebred owned by Sheri Miller. Beach Diva won her only start to break her maiden in late June.


Ashwins Valentine, who finished third to Beach Diva in his racing debut, leads the second trial as the favorite at odds of 7-5. Owned and bred by Perry Davis, the Escondido Beach gelding is trained by Ron Raper and will start from post four with Cristian Reyes aboard.


Tim Eggleston and Natasha Fritz will team up for a pair of favorites in the third and fourth trial of the Mobley Futurity. First Down Crypto starts from post five at odds of 9-5 in the third race while Too Pretty to Catch starts from post five at odds of 5-2 in the fourth. Both two-year-olds will be seeking their first win.


WH Imastreakinbeach and Erik Esqueda lead the field as favorites in the final Mobley trial. They begin from post two at odds of 9-5 for trainer Erin Thompson and owner Tom Wylie.


The first all-Quarter Horse racing card also features four trials for the Jaguar Rocket Futurity and three trials for the Heartland Futurity to close out the card.


The Jaguar Rocket Futurity Final with an estimated purse of $100,000, will kick off a week of finals for sprinters later in July. The Jaguar Rocket Futurity Final is set for Monday, July 20 followed by the $150,000 est. Gordon Mobley Futurity Final on Tuesday, July 21. The $75,000 Heartland Futurity Final will take place Wednesday, June 22. All stakes will be contested at 300 yards.


Live racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 18 with action held Monday through Thursday beginning at 2:20 p.m. Four Saturday programs are slated for all-Quarter Horse days set for July 4, Aug. 8, Oct. 23 and Oct. 24.


Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, which is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR), holds multiple awards for customer service, entertainment, gaming, dining, and diversity. Located in Shelbyville, Ind., Indiana Grand features more than 2,100 of the latest slots and table games in addition to a one-mile dirt racecourse and a seven-eighths mile turf course providing live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing each year. Simulcast and sports wagering is also offered year-round at Winner’s Circle Race Sports Pub located on the casino floor as well as a Winner’s Circle Race Sports Pub located in Clarksville, Ind. For more information, please visit www.IndianaGrand.com. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing at racetracks and 21 or older to gamble at sports books and casinos. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-9-WITH-IT (1-800-994-8448) ©2020 Caesars License Company, LLC.

50% fans capacity at Indianapolis 500 in August

Indianapolis Motor Speedway will welcome fans to the 104th Indianapolis 500 in August but will limit attendance to 50% of venue capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic.


“We’re committed to running the Indy 500 on Sunday, Aug. 23 and will welcome fans to the world’s greatest racing venue,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “We will be limiting attendance to approximately 50 percent of venue capacity, and we are also finalizing a number of additional carefully considered health and safety measures. We’ll unveil the specific details of our comprehensive plan in the coming weeks.”


IMS is communicating with ticketholders to learn of their intent to use their race tickets. Credits will be available to ticketholders who choose to adjust their order, according to IMS.


Individuals in high-risk groups are encouraged to stay home and return to the track in 2021.

IMS is also working on a plan of health measures that will be shared with fans in the near future.


The 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge is set for Sunday, Aug. 23.

Indiana Sports Corp assumes leadership of statewide association formerly known as Sports Indiana

Indiana Sports Corp assumes leadership of Sports Indiana, the not-for-profit state
association for sports tourism representatives throughout the state of Indiana. All former members
of Sports Indiana are now represented through the formation of Team Indiana, with operational and
financial management run by Indiana Sports Corp. Team Indiana members represent more than 20
destinations in Indiana as well as rights holders who host events in their communities.

“Indiana Sports Corp is proud to lead the strategic direction of Team Indiana with help from all of
our statewide partners,” said Ryan Vaughn, president of Indiana Sports Corp. “The formation of
Team Indiana increases sustainability for statewide sports tourism while providing best practices,
collaborative opportunities, and funding for statewide events and initiatives.”

Team Indiana’s mission is to promote sports tourism and positive economic development statewide
through a variety of actions, programs, and efforts to attract and encourage the hosting of sporting
events in Indiana. The organization will remain statewide and will have representation on a new
standing committee of the Indiana Sports Corp Board of Directors. Additionally, members will continue to serve on the Team Indiana Grant Committee which awards funds to attract, support, and enhance sports events in Indiana.

“This transition will allow Team Indiana to grow and strengthen its role as a leader in the sports tourism industry,” said William Knox, Grand Park Director. “Under the leadership of Indiana Sports Corp, we will be able to leverage the knowledge and experience of this impactful organization to further develop the state of Indiana as a premier destination for sports tourism.”

Sports and sports tourism are an essential part of the landscape and economic vitality of Indiana.
Indiana is not only home to the largest sporting event in the world, but a destination for hundreds of
sporting events each year. With Team Indiana under Indiana Sports Corp’s leadership, the organization will continue its strategic focus to make the state a premier event destination for local, national, and international rights holders.
“Team Indiana provides important leadership and guidance for the sports tourism industry across the
state,” said Eric Marvin, president of the Evansville Sports Corporation. “The opportunity to network
with a variety of industry professionals from a diverse group of communities is extremely helpful. The
association provides important information, best practices and opportunities to work collaboratively
to benefit both our individual communities and the state as a whole. Now more than ever, Team Indiana is playing a key role in supporting DMO’s, facilities and rights holders with all aspects of planning and preparation for events and activities. As we continue to work together to overcome challenges and explore future opportunities, sports across Indiana are strengthened as a result.”

Team Indiana offers a variety of services including, but not limited to: providing professional
development and educational opportunities, activating at industry tradeshows, collecting and
disseminating best practices and news within the sports tourism industry, calculating the economic
impact of sporting events using the Sports Economic Impact Calculator developed specifically for
its members, offering collaborative participation in national publications, promoting member news
and events using social media, website, and newsletters, and administrating the Team Indiana Grant
program with funding from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development.


For more information, visit
www.Team-IND.org or follow @TeamINDSports on Twitter, and Facebook.


Founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission, Indiana Sports Corp is a not-for-profit
organization focused on bringing premier sporting events to Indiana to drive economic vitality, facilitate
a vibrant community with civic pride and garner positive media attention. Because of this, Indiana
Sports Corp is able to provide positive, sports-related opportunities for youth in the community. For
more information, please visit IndianaSportsCorp.org.

New IHSAA Commissioner confident HS sports to return this fall

Bobby Cox, the commissioner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, is retiring later this summer. His final season with the IHSAA has been tough, having to cancel the boys basketball postseason tournament in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, and being forced to wipe away the entire spring season.


However, the man who will replace him, Paul Neidig, is already hard at work with the IHSAA's three-phase plan to return to high school sports this fall.



The IHSAA teamed up with the Indiana Department of Education to form a three-phase plan for

There are some restrictions. For example, weight rooms can only be at 50% capacity at one time. Those restrictions will be lifted on July 20. That's when Phase Two begins, and teams can officially start practices.



On August 3, girls golf, which normally starts earlier than other fall sports, can begin competition. All other sports, like football, volleyball, soccer, and cross country, will start competition on August 15.

Beach Treat makes 2020 debut in Born Runner Classic at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Beach Treat, 2019 Indiana Quarter Horse of the Year, will make his return to racing Thursday, June 18 in the 11th running of the $84,100 Born Runner Classic at Indiana Grand. The race is slated at the 10th on the card with an estimated post time of 6:30 p.m.


Beach Treat was dominant last year in the older ranks, ending the season on a four-race win streak, including victories in the Bob Woodard Memorial Classic, the Hoosier Park Classic and the Indiana Championships. The five-year-old sorrel gelding, owned and trained by Ron Brown, completed the year in late October at Indiana Grand with six wins in nine starts. The son of Escondido Beach hopes to add to his already impressive bankroll that totals more than $210,000 when he enters the starting gate for the Born Runner Classic.


Beach Treat will be joined by Oscar Macias, who guided him to all his wins last season. The pair will start from post three selected as the heavy favorites at odds of 8-5 in the 10-horse field.


Joining Beach Treat as a favorite in the race is Beach Bum Eddie, who also makes his first start of 2020. Owned and trained by Tony Cunningham, the seven-year-old son of Escondido Beach was involved in several photo finishes to Beach Treat last year. The multiple stakes winner in Indiana never missed the board in six starts, earning two wins, two seconds and two thirds to increase his career bankroll to more than $234,000. He begins his journey from post seven with L.D. Martinez aboard at odds of 5-2.


Of the 10 horses in the field for the Born Runner Classic, seven are stakes winners at Indiana Grand, showing the depth of the competition. The field for the 400-yard dash, in post position order with jockey and odds, includes: The Ebony Hare (Giovani Vazquez-Gomez, 30-1); Nacho Binez (Sergio Ramirez, 20-1); Beach Treat (Oscar Macias, 8-5); First Habits (Manuel Gutierrez, 10-1); Kitty Sixup (Erik Esqueda, 5-1); Abe (Edgar Diaz, 10-1); Beach Bum Eddie (L.D. Martinez, 5-2); Beach Cartel (Sammy Mendez, 20-1); Rubys Stone (Fernando Morin, 20-1); and Beach Mercedes (Shanley Jackson, 15-1).


Live racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 18 with action held Monday through Thursday beginning at 2:20 p.m. Four Saturday programs are slated for all-Quarter Horse days with a preliminary first post set at 2:20 p.m. July 4, Aug. 8, Oct. 23 and Oct. 24. Continuing in line with Governor Holcomb’s plan to return to full operations for businesses in the state of Indiana, no spectators are allowed at this time.

Passenger Train on track for QHRAI Derby Final at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Passenger Train may be a new addition to the Tony Cunningham Stable, but her performed like an old pro in the trials for the Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby. The sophomore son of Freighttrain B scored the impressive win by three-quarters of a length in the first of four trials for the event.


Starting from post four, Jockey L.D. Martinez wasn’t the quickest out of the gate, but he immediately rebounded to get himself in contention during the 400-yard dash. SBM Soulja Boy and Cristian Reyes led the way early on before Passenger Train found his best stride and rallied home the winner in :20.602 seconds. SBM Soulja Boy finished second in a tight photo over Justafamilytradition and Shanley Jackson for third.


Owned by C.W. Mullenix, Passenger Train picked up his first win in four starts for 2020. It was his first-ever trip down Indiana Grand’s track.


“We got him (Passenger Train) a couple of weeks ago and he’s been training super,” said Cunningham, who is the track’s defending Leading Quarter Horse Owner. “Charlie (Mullenix) wanted to try him in the Derby. We didn’t know about the 400 yards, but it seems like that might be his spot. He was really strong at the finish.”


Cunningham and Martinez connected in the second trial for another win with MTs Sixty Six Cartel. The daughter of Carters Cartel had a clean break and was in contention the entire way, striding out for a comfortable win at odds of 26-1. Shes Relentlesswagon and Sergio Ramirez finished second over My Pillow and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez for third. Owned and trained by Cunningham, MTs Sixty Six Cartel completed the sprint in :20.269 seconds. The Kansas bred paid $55.60 to win in the trial.


In a dominant effort, WRs Apolliticalivory and Shanley Jackson cruised home winners in the quickest trial of the night, scoring the win in :19.936 seconds. The Apollitical Blood gelding had his mind on racing from the start and kept his focus to the finish, winning by two and three-quarter lengths over Apollitical B Beast and Ramirez for second followed by Flyweight Carver and Edgar Diaz for third.



WRs Apolliticalivory, born and raised from the Williams Racing Stable in Western Kentucky, won three of five starts last year at two. He is trained by Randy Smith, who holds numerous records and is the all-time leading trainer in Indiana.


First Hero V and Edgar Diaz scored the win in the final trial of the day, stopping the timer in :20.230 seconds. The sorrel son of One Valiant Hero won by open lengths over Corazon de Cartel and Jonathan Dominguez and Katapult and Victor Olivo, who finished second and third, respectively, following a placing.



First Hero V is owned by Arturo Lechuga Jr. and trained by Claudio Barraza. It was the first start of 2020 for the colt, who won two races over Indiana’s track last year at two.


The top 10 qualifiers for the Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby, with jockey and time, include: WRs Apolliticalivory (Shanley Jackson, :19.936); First Hero V (Edgar Diaz, :20.230); MTs Sixty Six Cartel (L. D. Martinez, :20.269); Shes Relentlesswagon (Sergio Ramirez, :20.347); My Pillow (Giovani Vazquez-Gomez, :20.357); Apollitical B Beast (Sergio Ramirez, :20.406); Flyweight Carver (Edgar Diaz, :20.455); Fast Soldier (Cesar Esqueda, :20.516); Passenger Train (L.D. Martinez, :20.602); and A Ruby Corona (German Rodriguez, :20.639). Cunningham will saddle three for the final, including MTs Sixty Six Cartel, Passenger Train and A Ruby Corona while Trainer Ricardo Martinez will saddle two, Shes Relentlesswagon and Apollitical B Beast.


The $75,000 Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby Final will be held during the first of four all-Quarter Horse racing days in 2020. Set for Saturday, July 4, the race will be joined by trials for the Jaguar Rocket, the Gordon Mobley Futurity and the Heartland Futurity. Martha Claussen, nationally known Quarter Horse racing analyst, will be trackside to help with the day’s festivities.


Live racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 18 with action held Monday through Thursday beginning at 2:20 p.m. Four Saturday programs are slated for all-Quarter Horse days with a preliminary first post set at 2:20 p.m. July 4, Aug. 8, Oct. 23 and Oct. 24. Continuing in line with Governor Holcomb’s plan to return to full operations for businesses in the state of Indiana, no spectators are allowed at this time.

Ball State creating official varsity esports team

Ball State University is creating an official varsity esports team, joining more than 300 colleges and universities to compete nationally in a fast-growing digital sport.


The University will join 12 members of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) during Fall semester for the 2020-21 season in the newly created independent Esports Collegiate Conference (ESC).


MAC leadership announced the new venture today. ESC is an independent entity and will operate separately from the MAC.


Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns said the new competitive program provides students with a new source for school spirit and pride in their own campus community. The move to becoming a varsity-level team is a natural one since the University has Cardinal Esports, an active club team with about 500 participants.


“We are excited to expand Ball State’s esports presence and to join our fellow Mid-American Conference institutions in this new competitive arena of Esports Collegiate,” President Mearns said. “Our expansion into this dynamic domain of esports is another way in which our University is providing our students innovative opportunities to learn and to make connections with their peers and within the community. This initiative will elevate the academic experiences that we offer across multiple disciplines.”


The new varsity-level team also will enhance academic offerings by bringing esports experiences into curricula across multiple disciplines, including digital sports production, business, computer sciences, animation, and sport administration, said Paaige Turner, dean of Ball State’s College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM).


She said the new venture will not only provide students with a sports team that mirrors their interests, but it also will support those who are interested in employment opportunities in the fast-growing field.


“A recent report found that esports jobs grew 184.74% during the first half of 2019 compared to the first half of 2018,” said Turner, who also noted that the esports industry is expected to expand from $120 billion in 2019 to about $125 billion this year. “This is a sport that is spreading across the globe. Our team will make Ball State even more attractive to high achieving students around the nation.”


She said the varsity team will be housed within CCIM and a search for a coach will be underway soon.


The new team should be popular among students, said Alex Kartman, a telecommunications lecturer in CCIM. He has been spearheading the University’s efforts to create a varsity-level program.


“Varsity esports competition is a new way we will provide students distinctive opportunities to learn and make connections with their peers and the community,” he said. “Through our esports opportunities, students will find their passion and purpose at Ball State.”


ESC will feature Fall and Spring seasons, competing in game titles such as Overwatch and League of Legends. An Esports Collegiate Champion will be crowned in each game title, with the champion earning an automatic bid to the national postseason tournament.

Spring season competition will be in Overwatch and League of Legends. Titles being considered for the Fall are Rocket League, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros., Madden NFL, and FIFA.

Opening Day card features 11 races at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will kick off it’s 18th season of racing Monday, June 15 with 11 races on the opening day program. A total of nine Thoroughbred and two Quarter Horse races are slated for the start of the long anticipated 2020 racing season. First post is 2:20 p.m.


Featured on the card is a $32,500 Allowance Optional Claiming event running one mile. The race is one of three scheduled over the turf course. Heading the list of entrants in the 11-horse lineup is West Sider from the Bret Calhoun Stable. The three-year-old son of Uncle Mo made his last start at Santa Anita over the turf in March and has turned in some impressive works in Kentucky recently. West Sider will be ridden by DeShawn Parker from post one.


Another contender in the field is Wild Union from the Brad Cox barn. The three-year-old Bayern colt comes into the race off a maiden-breaking effort at Churchill Downs in early June. Florent Geroux will ride from post four.


Mo Hawk, a $925,000 yearling purchase, is another horse to watch in the field. A sophomore son of Uncle Mo, the colt made his first and only start of the season at Santa Anita in late May. Trained by Rodolphe Brisset, Mo Hawk will be ridden by Albin Jimenez from post five. Post time for the event is slated for 5:08 p.m. EST.


Live racing at Indiana Grand will follow a slightly altered schedule for the 93-day racing meet in 2020. Racing will be held Monday through Thursday with a first post of 2:20 p.m. Four Saturdays have been set aside for all-Quarter Horse racing on July 4, August 8, October 3, and October 24 with a first post of 2:20 p.m.


The season will be highlighted by the Grade III $300,000 Indiana Derby, which is part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series this year. The rich day of racing will feature a total of six stakes on the card and is set for Wednesday, July 8. Another top event for the year is the $200,000 Caesars Stakes (Listed), which will be held Wednesday, Aug. 12. Racing will conclude Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.


For a complete list of racing calendars, stakes schedules and general information about Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing in 2020, visit the Website at www.indianagrand.com.

IHSAA statement on Return-to-School guidelines

The Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. (IHSAA) is pleased that the COVID-19 Health and Safety ReEntry Guidance has been provided to Indiana schools today by the Governor’s Office and the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). This guidance also includes a three-phased pathway for the return of education-based athletics which coincide with the previously scheduled first practice date for girls golf (July 31) and practice for all other fall sports (August 3).


Girls golf contests are set to begin August 3 with all other sports contests to begin August 15.


Over the next several weeks, the IHSAA will continue to serve our member schools in providing clarifications and further guidance for the safe return of athletic activities in our state. 

No fans at IMS on July 4th weekend

The IndyCar and NASCAR races on Fourth of July Weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be run without spectators.


The Indianapolis Motor Speedway made the announcement Thursday morning, saying they made the decision after discussions with local and state leaders.


"While we certainly worked diligently to run our events with spectators, we reached a point where we needed to make a final decision because the race weekend is less than a month away," said Mark Miles, Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO. "Today, it's not possible to be confident that Indianapolis will be at Stage 5 of the state's reopening plan by Fourth of July weekend."


Mark Jaynes, from the IndyCar Radio Network, says it is disappointing that fans will not be in attendance.


"Because of the passion and enthusiasm that fans have, and bring to the track," he said. "I think it will be surreal for all of us who have a part in calling it."


Jaynes adds that every decision, and all the changes, that Penske Entertainment and IMS have made throughout the pandemic, have been proactive.


"I think they've done so fully and totally with the direction and input of state, local, and federal health officials," he said. "They haven't just freelanced these decisions. They've made these decisions based on the facts that are shared with them by the experts."


IndyCar's GMR Grand Prix and the NASCAR XFinity Series race will both be on Saturday, July 4, on the IMS Road Course. NASCAR's Brickyard 400 -- which will be renamed the "Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at the Brickyard" -- is Sunday, July 5, on the oval. IMS says they are renaming the race in recognition of the vodka company's efforts to make hand sanitizer for the public.


IMS also announced that the BC39 dirt track race scheduled for that week, and the Florida Georgia Line country concert have been canceled.


In the release, the track says they are looking forward to hosting fans for the Indianapolis 500 in August.