The second phase of getting closer to the return of racing in the state of Indiana began Sunday, May 24 as horses stabled outside of the state were allowed to enter the backstretch at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Several stables have been in limbo since the barn area restrictions were put into place March 16 due to Covid-19. Therefore, many took advantage of getting into their barns in preparation for the upcoming 27th season of Standardbred racing.
Since the initial restrictions, Governor Eric Holcomb opened up the barn area for additional horses currently stabled in the state to enter the backstretch area at Harrah’s Hoosier Park May 11 under safety protocols approved by state regulators. Qualifiers began Tuesday, May 19 under additional strict guidelines to horses only approved as in-state competitors. Now, qualifiers, although still limited to 90 total per session, will be open to all horses.
Harrah’s Hoosier Park is set to enter the third phase of getting back to racing Tuesday, June 16 when racing will resume without spectators. The season will include 111 racing dates following the traditional Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a first post of 6:30 p.m.
The final phase is expected on or after July 4 when spectators will be allowed on property to watch and wager on Standardbred racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. In addition to pari-mutuel racing, the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit will get underway the first week of July starting off at Converse.