Team Harrah’s Hoosier Park came to Indiana Grand Racing & Casino ready for action Saturday, Aug. 3 in the fifth annual Saturday Shootout contest between the tracks. The visiting team took home the title for the third straight year in the contest that includes four races from Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Team Indiana Grand.
Saturday Shootout began with four preliminary rounds starting June 8 to determine the top five players from each location. Following the final preliminary round Saturday, July 6, teams were set for both properties.
Team Indiana Grand consisted of Eva Sheedy, James Smothers, Edwin Black, Vickie Duke and James Evans. Team Harrah’s Hoosier Park’s top five finalists were David Groce, William Ditto, Hank Rossman, Jay Mosier and James Wilkinson Jr. The final rotates between both tracks each year and the 2019 contest was set for Indiana Grand.
Team Harrah’s Hoosier Park got out to a strong lead after the first two races in the contest. Scoring was based on individual picks for races three through six at each property. Hoosier Park led the way by nearly $20 after the first two races in the lineup and continued to strengthen their lead. Going into the final race, Team Harrah’s Hoosier Park already had the title wrapped up.
“We have to give a lot of credit to Randy Harlow,” said Ditto. “He really gave us some great handicapping tips and got us rolling early.”
Rossman added, “But we have to give Bill (Ditto) most of the credit. He was the one that led our scoring and if it wasn’t for Bill where would we be.”
Rossman, Ditto, Groce, Mosier, and Wilkinson each took home $1,000 for their victory. They also received individual trophies to represent their win in the Saturday Shootout final. Members of Team Indiana Grand split $1,000 and each took home $200.
Team Harrah’s Hoosier Park consisted of big supporters from the members of the team. Rossman owns several Standardbreds and Wilkinson works in the barn at Cal Expo every winter. Ditto has been an owner and Mosier and Groce are avid horseplayers. They studied hard for the final and compared notes before placing their selections for the final.
The contest has grown in popularity over the past five years with local players. It also creates a challenging scenario as players must handicap Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Standardbred races to reach the final. The final is based on four Thoroughbred and four Standardbred races. The final for the 2020 edition of Saturday Shootout will be held at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.