Indiana Grand: Free Contest with Cash Prizes, Horse Ownership

Indiana Grand to host free tournament with cash prizes starting January 8.

In 2022 Indiana Grand will continue its emphasis on innovation in the horse racing world. Their first contest of the new year will include cash prizes and the option to become an owner in the sport of kings.

Innovation at Indiana Grand

New Clientele

In 2021 Indiana Grand tried to capitalize on a swell of horse players. These fans came out of a 2020 that saw almost everything in the world shut down except for horse racing. Although some tracks had to alter course, many tracks persisted despite the global pandemic. There are residuals from that wave and Indiana Grand looked for new and innovative ways to make the racing product better.

Changes at Indiana Grand

During the 2021 season fans saw a multitude of changes to the racing product from Indiana Grand. Many of these changes were spearheaded by Vice President and General Manager of the track, Eric Halstrom.

The Drone

For the most part American racing has been viewed from two angles, the pan and the head on. Most casual racing fans watch the pan view of the race, only checking the head on for starts and inquiries.

The Shelbyville, Indiana track changed that in 2021 with the introduction of the drone cam. While the drone wasn’t used for in race viewing it provided some amazing birds eye view angles after the race. These were particularly helpful when it came to inquiries that happened on the turn.

Most of the time these calls are hard to adjudicate because the head on angles make it hard to see who was coming in or out in turns. However, thanks to the drone, players and stewards could watch the entire scenario unfold regardless of where it was on the racetrack.

Stewards Review

One of horse racing’s biggest complaints in recent years has been a lack of transparency. In 2021 Indiana Grand took steps to reducing that issue by bringing stewards on tv after a disqualification to explain to patrons why the disqualification was issued. Regardless of decision this provided punters who were willing to hear it, why the decision had to be made.

Lower Takeout

Indiana Grand also followed the lead of several other racetracks in experimenting with lower takeout. They continued their 12% pick 5 takeout which was first explored in 2020 and added a 15% takeout rate to the pick 6. At the end of the day this means more money back into the pockets of winners.

Free Contests

Without question one of the most popular parts of the 2021 meet from Indiana Grand was the free contests that were offered almost daily. These contests offered track swag and cash prizes without requiring an entry fee. These contests were available to on track and online patrons.

2022 Road to Louisville

This January as the road to the Kentucky Derby starts to heat up, Indiana Grand will once again offer a free contest to patrons that can be entered on site or online free of charge. The prizes for the tournament include weekly and overall cash prizes as well as the option to become the owner of an Indiana Bred race horse.

Any time players have the opportunity to win prizes without investing up front capital should be seriously considered.

Contest Format

Players will pick 1 horse from each race at the given track on a given date. Players will receive points based on the mutuel payouts for their horse. For example, a horse paying $5 to win, $4 to place, and $3 to show would earn 12 pts (5+4+3).

Players who are able to outscore the track “expert” will gain an additional 5 pts to their aggregate total.

Players may enter on site or online by emailing Indiana Grand’s new contest email

Contest Schedule

The contest begins with the January 8th card from Gulfstream Park and will conclude with the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7th. Below are the list of dates and tracks that will be featured in each leg of the contest.

The 2022 Road to Louisville Contest schedule for Indiana Grand
Schedule courtesy of Indiana Grand Race Course Management

Indiana Grand Contest Prizes


  • 1st Place- $150
  • 2nd Place- $100
  • 3rd Place- $50

Monthly (January-April)

  • 1st Place- $250


  • 1st Place- $1000
  • 2nd Place- $500
  • 3rd Place- $250
  • 4th Place- $100
  • 5th Place- $50

Grand Prize

The most unique part of the contest is that the winner has the option to take a grand prize which is $30,000 via the Indiana Thoroughbred Owner’s and Breeder’s Association toward ownership in an Indiana Bred race horse.

The official rules of the contest state that this prize will be paid out to the top player who opts in. If the winner of the contest does not opt in, the prize will be awarded to the top player who does.

The rules clearly state that this money is only to be awarded specifically for the purchase and training expenses of a race horse.

Official Rules and Requirements

For further specific rules and requirements of the tournaments players can email Indiana Grand.

Players who wish to get involved in all of the free contests at Indiana Grand should follow analyst and TVG contributor Rachel McLaughlin and marketing manager Tammy Knox on Twitter.

Betting News Handicapping Tools

Many horse players are experts at a given track or a type of race, but this contest really requires the winner to be a jack of all trades. Luckily, Betting News offers free computer generated handicapping tools covering all of the tracks within the contest. These tools can help bring clarity to every jockey, trainer, horse, surface, and distance within the contest.

By Chris Adams

Chris first got introduced to horse racing in 2009 at Canterbury Park (Shakopee, MN). Along with handicapping and betting, Chris has worked as a teller at his local track and participated in ownership partnerships. He now enjoys sharing his passion with his wife and two young daughters who love going out to the track each and every summer.