Indianpolis, IN — The growth of the Indiana Standardbred Breed Development Program will be on display during the 2019 Indiana Sired Fair Circuit as large numbers of 2-year-olds take to the track for the first time this month.
The Indiana-Sired Fair Circuit is a series of races at Indiana’s county and State Fair for Indiana sired and bred Standardbred horses. In order to be eligible to compete in these races, horses must be foaled in Indiana and sired by a stallion that stands in the state of Indiana. Races are held for 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters, and horses are nominated by their owners each year they race.
The fair circuit has seen a steady number of 2- and 3-year-old Indiana sired and bred horses nominated through the years, but the number of 2-year-old filly pacers jumped nearly 29 percent for 2019.
The circuit kicked off June 5 and 6 in Converse, with 21 races on Wednesday (including nine divisions of 2-year-old filly pacers) and 18 races on Thursday. Throughout the summer, the racehorses compete to earn points from each stop. The top eight in each division are invited to compete for the Indiana State Fair championships, held during the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis Aug. 6, where the winners take home $20,000 in purse money. The horses ranked ninth through 16th will compete earlier in the day in the consolations for purse money totaling $8,000.
All races are open to the public.
“The county fair circuit is what our harness racing history stems from. We love that the product is homegrown and showcased along with each county’s homegrown products each summer,” says Jessica Barnes, Director of Racing and Breed Development for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. “Some of these horses will go on to compete successfully at pari-mutuel tracks, and it’s always fun to see them get started on the fair circuit.”
The remaining Indiana Sired Fair Circuit racing schedule is as follows:
• June 12-13: Grant County Fair, Converse (first post 4 p.m.)
• June 20-21: Harrison County Fair, Corydon (first post 1 p.m.)
• June 27-28: Shelby County Fair, Shelbyville (first post 11 a.m.)
• July 5-6: Clinton County Fair, Frankfort (first post 1 p.m.)
• July 10: The Great Jay County Fair, Portland (first post 4 p.m.)
• July 13: Noble County Community Fair, Kendallville (first post 10 a.m.)
• July 13: Newton County Fair, Kentland (first post 12 p.m. CDT)
• July 16-17: Clinton County Fair, Frankfort (first post 6 p.m.)
• July 20, 22-23: Elkhart County 4-H Fair, Goshen (first post 11 a.m.)
• July 29-30: Fayette County Free Fair, Connersville (first post 11 a.m.)
• Aug. 2: Jayland Trotting Association, Portland (first post 11 a.m.)
• Aug. 6: Indiana State Fair – ISFC Consolations (first post 11 a.m.)
• Aug. 6: Indiana State Fair – ISFC Championships (first post 6 p.m.)
• Aug. 7: Indiana State Fair – Grand Circuit (first post 6 p.m.)
SECOND CHANCE SERIES
• Aug. 19: Elkhart County Fairgrounds, Goshen (first post 11 a.m.)
• Aug. 23: Converse Fairgrounds, Converse (first post 11 a.m.)
• Aug. 27: ISA Elite Races @ Indiana State Fairgrounds (first post 11 a.m.)
• Aug. 31: Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis (first post 11 a.m.)
• Sept. 7: Clinton County Fairgrounds, Frankfort (first post 1 p.m.)
• Sept. 14: Fayette County Fairgrounds, Connersville (first post 11 a.m.)
• Sept. 21: Jayland Trotting Association, Portland (first post 11 a.m.)
• Sept. 28: Harrison County Fairgrounds, Corydon (first post 11 a.m.)
• Oct. 5: ISFC 2nd Series Championships @ Shelby County Fairgrounds, Shelbyville (first post 11 a.m.)
Point standings will be updated after each set of races and posted on the Indiana Horse Racing Commission’s website. A list of all eligible horses can also be found there.
For the second year in a row, the program has partnered with local sports radio network 1070 The Fan to share the “Homestretch Call of the Week” with former Indianapolis Colts player, “Big Joe” Staysniak. The partnership strives to inform general sports fans in Indiana about the hidden gem of the fair circuit in their area and invites them to learn more about harness racing in the state of Indiana.
Listeners will be able to follow along throughout the summer, with an updated points page located not only on the IHRC website, but on the website of 1070 The Fan and social media. Starting in July, easy-listening station B105.7 will join its sister station in hosting two separate VIP Experience contests, urging the general public to sign up for their chance to win an exclusive VIP experience to the Indiana-Sired Fair Circuit State Championships. The experience includes four tickets to the Indiana State Fair, VIP seating, food and drink vouchers and a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic Speed Barns with Staysniak and the opportunity to meet drivers, see the horses up close, and more.
For more information on the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit, reach out to the IHRC at 317.232.2897 or by emailing Standardbred@hrc.in.gov.