Highlighting what has most likely been the most successful year for Indiana horse racing, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) has released its 2017 Annual Report.
The report highlights the growth in licenses issued in the state of Indiana to more than 11,550, which is reflective of a steady increase in program participants in all three racing breeds.
Indiana continues to be in the top three for Standardbred foals registered, with an increase in from the past three years to a total of 1,241, just trailing behind Pennsylvania and Ohio. Those numbers are expected to continue to climb with the resurgence of the program boasting three straight Indiana-sired Dan Patch Horses of the Year: Wiggle It JiggleIt (2015), Always B Miki (2016) and Hannelore Hanover (2017).
Indiana is also in the national top 15 for state bred foals registered with The Jockey Club, seeing a slight decrease from 2015 foals to 2016 foals, but those numbers are forecasted to climb for 2017 foals throughout the year as registrations continue to come in.
In the Quarter Horse racing industry, Indiana is one of the few Eastern states to have an active breed development program, leading the way in the region with more than 400 race bred foals registered in 2016, while creeping into the national top 10 amongst Western states. Indiana Grand Racing and Casino's average purse distribution per race puts them just behind industry leading tracks like Remington Park in Oklahoma and Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico averaging $22,433 per race.
The 2017 Annual Report also tracks the breakdown of mares, foals and stallions registered for all three breeds in Indiana, as well as the breakdown between Indiana-bred and Indiana bred and sired registrations.
Program highlights for 2017 include Standardbred farm Victory Hill Farm among the Top 20 Breeders in the country, based on wins. Three Indiana-sired horses winning their respective divisions in harness racing's Breeders Crown, which was hosted in Indiana for the first time at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino. Leading Indiana-bred and sired money earning Thoroughbred Lady Fog Horn retired from the track with career earnings of $824,273. She was later sold at the Keeneland November Breed Stock Sale for $300,000 to Shadai Farm in Japan. Quarter Horse filly Keen Liaison was a finalist for the American Quarter Horse Association's Racing Champion 2-Year-Old Filly of the Year.
“This past year has been such a fun year seeing Indiana mentioned in the racing headlines quite a bit,” says Jessica Barnes, Director of Racing and Breed Development for the IHRC. “We can only continue to build from that momentum and improve not only our program but our horses.”
The 2017 Annual Report can be found on the IHRC's website.
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