The first set of qualifiers has been set for the upcoming 30th season of Standardbred racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park with 18 races on the docket. The event begins at 10 a.m. with 13 of the races set for pacers and the other five set for trotters.
Several former champions are included in the first round of qualifiers, including 2022 Older Pacing Mare of the Year Rockin Nola. The now seven-year-old daughter of Rockin Image heads into 2023 off a year that brought her five wins, $141,000 in earnings and a mark of 1:49.3. In the four previous years of racing, she has taken a mark under the 1:50 time barrier, including her career best time of 1:48.4, which at the time was a track record for older pacing mares. Rockin Nola will look to add to her career stats of 38 wins in 92 starts and will seek to go over the $1 million mark this season for the Joe Putnam Stable. She has finished in the top three 69 of 92 starts and all five seasons, she has earned six figures in earnings.
Rockin Nola has drawn post five in the fourth race with Joey Putnam at the controls. This will be her first time back on track since taking a break last fall from racing.
One old-timer is back on the track as I Know My Chip will begin a quest for his 11-year-old season. The Deep Chip gelding had nine wins last year for the Walter Haynes Jr. Stable and earnings of more than $126,000. Overall, the veteran trotter has 59 wins, $1.2 million in earnings and a career best time of 1:52.1 taken both at five and six at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. He begins from post six in race five on the day with Walter Haynes Jr. down to drive.
Those participating in qualifiers and entering the backstretch area are required to have a current Indiana Horse Racing Commission license. For those shipping in, a courtesy entrance will be offered into the barn area as long as the individual leaves their driver’s license at the stable gate. After unloading horses and upon completion of licensing, their driver’s license will be returned after showing the new IHRC license. The Saturday, March 11 qualifiers are the only time this courtesy will be offered to horsemen and horsewomen in preparation of the 2023 racing season at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.
The IHRC offers online licensing. More information is available by contacting the IHRC License Office at (765) 609-4855.