Indiana Downs cancels horse races after complaints

August 4, 2010

Complaints from horsemen about track conditions at Indiana Downs prompted the pari-mutuel track to cancel harness races.

The Shelbyville track's final race on Monday was canceled after a horse pulled up lame and was later euthanized. The track canceled its full card of Tuesday races.

Indiana Standardbred Association president Jack Kieninger says horsemen blame the horse's injury on the track. He says the normal harness racing surface is about six inches deep but heavy rains this spring left it about two inches thick.

Indiana Downs general manager Jon Schuster says he had no evidence that the track was at fault. Schuster said he was trying to address safety concerns and anticipated resuming races Thursday.

The state's horse tracks have struggled financially even after adding electronic gambling at so-called racinos connected to their horse racing operations. Indianapolis-based Centaur Inc., the parent of Indiana Downs competitor Hoosier Park in Anderson, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in March.

The following month, New York-based Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its credit rating for the Shelbyville horse track and casino,  warning that the facility could default on its loans.


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