Indianapolis, IN — The opening round in the Indiana fair circuit’s “Quest for the Governor’s Cup” kicks off Thursday (June 1) and Friday (June 2) at the Converse Fairgrounds.
More than 200 horses dropped in the box for the two programs, with 22 divisions of freshman trotters and pacers seeing their first racing action of the season. Post time each day is 4 p.m.
The two cards make up the first of 13 rounds in the Quest, where 2- and 3-year-olds will compete to secure the necessary starts and points to qualify for the Governor’s Cup Championships, slated for Wednesday (Aug. 16) at the Indiana State Fair.
Thursday’s program features 19 $3,800 divisions, with 13 carded for freshman pacers; six divisions were drawn for 2-year-old fillies and seven for their male counterparts.
Racing fans will get their first glimpse of the first crop for multiple sires. Millionaire, Breeders Crown champion and Indiana superstar Freaky Feet Pete is represented by eight first crop starters Thursday. A group of 11 from Dan Patch Award winner Lost In Time will also make their debut. Three freshmen from the first Indiana crop of Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven and four from Dan Patch Award winner Keystone Velocity’s first Hoosier offering will go postward.
Six divisions for sophomore trotters will compete Thursday: three for fillies and a trio for colts. Entries include Mr Knowitall, last year’s Governor’s Cup 2-year-old colt trot champion (race 17) and fair circuit divisional champion Help Dust (race 19). Both colts are trained by Doug Rideout, 2022 leading conditioner and driver on the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit. Sure Do, Governor’s Cup freshman filly trot champion, has drawn into race 14 for trainer and driver Jay Cross.
Sixteen divisions are carded for Friday’s program, with five offered for freshman trotting colts and four consisting of filly trotters. A group of three fillies and two colts representing the first crop of Muscle Hill son Pilot Discretion will debut at Converse. Sophomore pacers also will compete Friday, with four splits for fillies and three for colts. Swartz Bros Elen, last year’s Governor’s Cup champion, already has two wins to her credit and a mark of 1:54.2 racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The Hypnotic Blue Chip lass starts from the second tier in the day’s first contest for trainer Justin White. Other fillies entering round one of the Quest after winning at Hoosier Park include Lets Flip Onit (1:54.1) and Vel Miss Taylor (1:54.3).
Lil Joe IV, last season’s 2-year-old colt pace divisional champion on the Indiana fair circuit, starts from post position three in race six. A 1:53 winner already in 2023, Terry Haimes trains the son of Luck Be Withyou. He is joined by Vel What A Star, who lines up in the second tier. The Tellitlikeitis sophomore is trained by Alvin Miller and has a 1:53.3 victory to his credit.
Racing fans are encouraged to follow along and participate this season using #RaceLikeAHoosier on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
2023 Quest for the Governor’s Cup Locations and Dates
Round 1: Converse, Ind. – June 1 & 2
Round 2: Converse, Ind. – June 7 & 8
Round 3: Corydon, Ind. – June 15 & 16
Round 4: Harrah’s Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind. – June 21, 22 & 23
Round 5: Shelbyville, Ind. – June 27 & 28
Round 6: Portland, Ind. – July 3
Round 7: Kendallville, Ind. – July 8
Round 8: Frankfort, Ind. – July 13 & 14
Round 9: Kentland, Ind. – July 18
Round 10: Goshen, Ind. – July 22 & 25
Round 11: Connersville, Ind. – July 31 & Aug. 1
Round 12: Portland, Ind. – Aug. 5
Round 13: Frankfort, Ind. – Aug. 10 & 11
Governor’s Cup Championships: Indianapolis, Ind. – Aug. 16
Horses earn a point for each start made on the fair circuit, with race winners awarded 50 points. A second-place finish merits 25 points, a third-place effort yields 12 points, eight points are awarded for fourth place and five points for fifth place. The top eight point earners in each division that have also made the prerequisite seven fair starts will compete in the $25,000 Governor’s Cup Championships.
Indiana fair races will be available via livestream this season through a partnership between the Indiana Standardbred Association and Indiana Standardbred Breed Development. Fans can watch fair racing by visiting the ISA website, indianaharness.com, on race days. Races will be archived on the website. Fans can also download fair programs throughout the season by clicking this link.
For a complete and printable list of all Indiana harness racing dates for 2023, click here.
If you have questions about the Indiana fair racing program, contact the Indiana Horse Racing Commission at 317.233.3119 or email INhorseracing@hrc.in.gov.