Anderson, IN --- A field of nine will be sent postward in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (Aug. 8). In what may be the most accomplished field ever assembled, the 21st installment of Hoosier Park’s signature event will highlight the 14-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m.
The race will be part of a special weekend tagged as “Dan Patch Festival Weekend” and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The evening will also be complimented by Indiana Sires Stakes finals, sending the purse money to be distributed throughout the evening over the $500,000 mark.
|Curtis Salonick photo|
|Sweet Lou is the 4-5 morning line favorite in the Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park.|
The 2014 Dan Patch field boasts combined career purse earnings of more than $10 million and includes four millionaires, three previous Dan Patch winning drivers, two Hall of Fame drivers, and one Hall of Fame trainer.
Bettor’s Edge, Heston Blue Chip, Sweet Lou, and Thinking Out Loud will each make their way to Indiana boasting career earnings over the $1 million mark. Ricky Macomber Jr., who visited the Dan Patch winner’s circle in 2000 and 2002, will drive Bettor’s Edge from post seven while Peter Wrenn, who won the 2012 installment of the Dan Patch, will start from post three behind Night Pro.
Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce, who was victorious in the 2005 Dan Patch Invitational with Maltese Artist, has been enlisted to drive the 4-5 morning line favorite, Sweet Lou, from post five for North America’s leading money-winning trainer, Ron Burke. With more than $2.9 million in career earnings, the 5-year-old horse is the richest in the field and is currently riding an eight race win streak. He was most recently victorious in 1:47.2 in the U.S. Pacing Championship at the Meadowlands.
Harness racing’s all time leading money winning driver and Hall of Famer, John Campbell, will make his way to Hoosier Park to compete in his second Dan Patch Invitational and has been enlisted to drive Thinking Out Loud for Hall of Fame trainer Robert McIntosh from post two. Throughout his career, Thinking Out Loud has amassed more than $1.5 million with a record of 44-14-7-10.
Also joining the stellar cast of entrants as a main contender for the 2014 Dan Patch title is State Treasurer, with Jody Jamieson at the lines from post eight. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee has been tabbed as the 4-1 morning line second choice. A winner of more than $750,000 lifetime, the 5-year-old horse recently set a 1:48.1 Canadian season's record at Mohawk and is the 2014 Molson Pace champion.
Night Pro will play the role of local favorite from post three for trainer Dale Decker. Night Pro, a former Indiana Sires Stakes champion, enters Saturday’s race after posting seven consecutive wins in the Invitational Pace at Hoosier Park. The 4-year-old gelding has won 22 of 30 career starts and has amassed more than $350,000 in career earnings.
The 2014 Dan Patch field, in post position order with named trainer and driver, plus morning line odds, includes:
1. Dancin Yankee--Amber Buter--Tyler Buter--8-1
2. Thinking Out Loud--Robert McIntosh--John Campbell--6-1
3. Night Pro--Dale Decker--Peter Wrenn--20-1
4. Carol’s Comet--Ron Potter--Aaron Merriman--15-1
5. Sweet Lou--Ron Burke--Ron Pierce--4-5
6. Heston Blue Chip--Linda Toscano--Corey Callahan--15-1
7. Bettor’s Edge--Ron Burke--Ricky Macomber Jr.--10-1
8. State Treasurer--Ian Moore--Jody Jamieson--4-1
9. Our Lucky Chip--Jason Miller--Trace Tetrick--30-1
Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagers offered for the Dan Patch Invitational card. A $25,000 guaranteed Dan Patch superfecta pool will be available as part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program. The wager will have a minimum bet of 10 cents and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association.
Slated as the 12th race on the card, estimated post time for Hoosier Park’s signature event is 9:30 p.m.
A $10,000 guaranteed Pick-3 will also be made available to racing fans in races seven through nine as part of the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge. The Challenge will pit the top five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East driving for “Team East.”
In what is being called the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend,” Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town, on Saturday (Aug. 9) as part of Hoosier Park’s summer concert series line-up.