Harness racing: A key to winners at Hoosier Park

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

June 26th, 2020

Indiana’s sole harness racetrack, Hoosier Park is still relatively new, when compared to the sport’s history. But since it established itself as a major force in racing and breeding (it is the site for this year’s Breeders Crown), it has become home for successful horsemen.

Moreso than drivers, trainers headquartered at Hoosier have become key elements to handicapping races at the track.

Some successful trainers are often overlooked by the betting public, since bettors focus on the driver element most when handicapping a race. Drivers certainly play a role in how horses perform, but many strong-paying winners and exotic contenders are produced when a horse delivers strong finishes with the services of a less-popular driver.

Although that is true at all harness raceways, each trainer must be scrutinized to find the best stats that will assist smart wagering decisions. At Hoosier, some of the consistent stats for sharp trainers may surprise you and should be respected far more than which driver they hire.

Those of us following win percentages are not surprised to see names we find familiar but are not national headliners. While the common handicapper is drawn to horses from the barns of Ron Burke, Brian Brown, Chris Beaver, and even Rick Plano, we zero in on the unheralded locals. They may have less stock and starts than the training stars, but they deserve more support for their returns.

Keep your eyes on Shane Bowermaster, for instance. He has opened the 2020 season with much promise. George Tyler’s outfit has produced year in and year out. Zach Miller’s students need to get your attention, as do those taught by Jacob Fox.