Make your home page

Parimutuel reignited Hoosier horse industry in Indiana

ANDERSON, Ind (WISH) — For the first time since it began more than 30 years ago, the Breeders Crown harness race is coming to Indiana.

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will be hosting the event.

Even though it’s the first time the race is coming to the state, that doesn’t mean Hoosiers are new at this. In fact, it’s part of our history dating back to the 1920s.

Ernie Gaskin wasn’t horsing around when he turned his hobby into his business: Crimson Lane Farm.

“This is where you get ready for the Olympics in the horse world. This is where we get ready for the races. We have a five-eighths-mile race track out here and so it takes us six, seven months to get one of these things ready to race,” Gaskin said.

Gaskin is referring to harness racing where standardbred horses race with a sulky. At Crimson Farm, they specialize in training them.

“We could see that there was need for a place like this now. As we need Olympians, we need horses to raise and once we got parimutuel passed,” said Gaskin.

Parimutuel, or horse gambling, passed in Indiana in 1993. Right after, Gaskin opened Crimson Lane Farm.

“That was a big deal getting the state of Indiana on board to have parimutuel wagering on horses in the state of Indiana,” he said.

According to Gaskin, interest in horses had sort of gone dormant in Indiana.

“They have some deep, rich history pre-World War II. Then, after World War II, basically, the horse industry was supplemented by gambling and so most of that activity went East.”

Until betting on horses became legal in the state.

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was one of the first to get on board. Now, it’s hosting one of the biggest events in racing: the Breeders Crown.

“It’s the Super Bowl of horse racing. It’s an opportunity for the best trainers, the best horses, the best riders all around the country and North America for that matter to come in and basically settle who is best,” said Peter Lurie, a broadcast for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

Breeders Crown will begin Friday and end Saturday. There will be 12 races altogether and more than 100 horses will compete including 10 from Indiana.