Pacer Legends to Kick Off Holiday Weekend at Hoosier Park

The basketball world is buzzing about the Indiana Pacers right now. Sure, the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals Wednesday resulted in a disappointing overtime loss, but it's clear the defending champion Miami Heat realize they will have their hands full (for the second year in a row) with the scrappy squad from Hoosier country. Although, it should be noted that the Pacers have had many successful years. If you'd like to meet some legends from the franchise's distant and recent past, head over to Hoosier Park in Anderson tonight. See details below:

Ten of the Pacers’ more recognizable names from the past 40 years are slated to make a joint-appearance at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, May 24 to kick off the start of Memorial Day weekend live racing. This group of past ABA and NBA Pacers will sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans starting at 7 p.m. in the Hoosier Park Terrace. The event is free and open to the public.

The Pacers’ legends scheduled to appear:

• Rik Smits (1988 – 2000, Center)
• Bobby ‘Slick’ Leonard (1968 – 1980, Head Coach)
• Mel Daniels (1968 – 1974, Center, NBA Hall of Fame Member)
• Derrick McKey (1993 – 2001, Forward/Center)
• Don Buse (1972 – 1977, Point Guard)
• Billy Keller (1969 – 1976, Guard)
• George McGinnis (1971 – 1975, Power Forward/Center)
• Bob Netolicky (1967 – 1976, Forward/Center)
• Bill Newton (1972 – 1974, Center)
• Darnell Hillman (1971 – 1976, Forward/Center)

On Saturday, May 25, Hoosier Park’s signature race – the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational – will welcome the top rated horses in North America for its 20th running. The 2013 installment will tout some of the best horses, trainers, and drivers in the sport. Lining up behind the gate will be the likes of North American Cup Winner, Up The Credit, Meadowlands Pace champion, A Rocknroll Dance, and 2012’s Dan Patch victor, Rockin Cam.

Several activities will complement the Dan Patch Invitational pace, including Indiana sire stakes action, property-wide dining specials, and special wagering opportunities. Guests can also take part in Xtreme hot air balloon and helicopter rides over the racetrack. To close out Saturday night’s live racing card, a free fireworks display starts at approximately 10:30 p.m. At the conclusion of the free fireworks display, a Celebrity Driver charity kayak race and the Hoosier Idol All-In grand finale singing competition begins.

Hoosier Park’s Indy Restaurant Allows You to Eat and Bet Like a ‘Winner’

Many downtown Indianapolis workers have likely noticed Hoosier Park’s off-track betting site moved from its Washington Street location last year. In late 2011, a new and improved version opened up at 20 N. Pennsylvania Street — and is now called Hoosier Park’s Winner’s Circle. Having heard positive reports, I took my girlfriend to the restaurant on Saturday. My prime rib was quite enjoyable and I was able to catch the end of the Ohio State/Syracuse game at the bar — which has to be one of the better sports bars in Indy (and a blocked off smoking room allows non-smoking patrons to enjoy a smoke-free experience throughout the facility).

We also placed a bet on a harness race. My only complaint on the evening was the tank job my chosen horse displayed, running out of gas with a couple lengths left and causing me to lose out on $20. That money could have ultimately sponsored my consumption of several delightful Indiana craft beers on tap, including Triton Brewing’s Deadeye Stout and Sun King’s Sunlight Cream Ale (both tremendous choices). Here’s an article from Indiana Economic Digest about Winner’s Circle’s initial opening: 

“This is truly a redefinition of an off-track betting facility,” (said Hoosier Park COO Jim Brown). “We are so proud of what we have developed in this entire facility.”

The focal point of the $3 million project, Brown said, is the pub and grille. But the raceway lounge is a “real state of the art off-track wagering area.”

“Downtown Indianapolis hosts over 18 million visitors a year,” he said. “This facility offers us a great opportunity to showcase Hoosier Park in a downtown venue.”

Brown said the facility is an upgrade from the previous Indianapolis OTB site, about two blocks from the new location, and he said amenities will include a one-of-a-kind LED bar top and video wall. The wagering lounge has been described as Las Vegas-style, and the grille is racing-themed but still accessible to non-race fans, he said. There will be 50 televisions and 50 carrels, or personal betting areas.

“There will be a touch of Hoosier Park there,” Brown said. “But there are also new and different elements. We tried to take the best of Hoosier Park and transplant it into downtown Indianapolis. It is designed for singles, couples and groups whether they are racing fans or not. Literally, there is something for everyone.”

He wants the venue to be known as the place to get everything from the best hamburger in town to the best steak. The bar, he said, will feature cocktails made from freshly squeezed juices and outstanding martinis as well as more than a dozen beers on tap.

“This is not your mom and dad’s OTB,” Brown said. “This will be a great dining, entertainment and racing venue. There is something there for everyone. We are excited and can’t wait to get the facility opened.”

Making the (Regional) Connection

It’s time to tune into GLE! Not “Glee,” the pop culture phenomenon about a high school show choir. I’m referring to GLE, which stands for Get Linked Expo, a regional event bringing together business leaders from six Central Indiana counties: Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Madison and Marion.

GLE is all about one thing: connections. It will promote networking among participants (more than 1,000 people are expected to attend) and vendors (over 100 will showcase their products and services). Industries represented include technology, business services and economic development.

The Indiana Chamber is among Hoosier organizations partnering on the event. Individuals can attend for free by registering in advance. GLE will take place on November 4 at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson from 3-7 p.m., followed by an after-hours mixer.

Take advantage of this opportunity to reach out to – and learn from – fellow Indiana businesses.

Learn more.