In 2009, the Horseplayers Association of North America introduced a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America. Of the top Ten, Hoosier Park was ranked #4.
In 1990, Virgil E. Cook, a prominent local businessman and longtime resident of Anderson, Indiana donated 110 acres of commercial real estate to the city for the sole purpose of developing a pari-mutuel racing facility. In 1992, Churchill Downs Incorporated announced plans to open a racetrack on the site of the land donated by Cook. Disputes involving Indiana racing authorities and a small interest in the track delayed construction. It was the first racetrack outside Kentucky owned by Churchill Downs since 1939. In February 1994 a contract was signed for the construction of Hoosier Park. The construction of the facility cost approximately $13 million dollars. On September 1, 1994 the track finally opened. A crowd of 7,633 came to the grand opening of the standardbred season. The track announces plans to open four off-track betting facilities in Indiana. On October 7, 1995 the first Indiana Derby was run.
Churchill Downs sold Hoosier Park in April 2007 for 8.2 million dollars to Centaur Group.
In 2001, Indiana Downs became the second horse racing track in the state. Initially located in Fairland, Indiana; it was later annexed into nearby Shelbyville, Indiana.
Competition eventually took its toll on Hoosier Park. When Indiana Downs opened, Hoosier Park was forced to split the state subsidy granted when the state had to issue two licenses. Also for the first time, Hoosier Park faced competition; both tracks are approximately 40 minutes apart and are about 15 minutes outside of Indianapolis.
Since 2003, both tracks have lost approximately $20 million combined.
As of April 2007, legislation is pending in the Indiana General Assembly to permit slot machines at both tracks, essentially converting them to what is called a "racino". Both tracks would get a 55 percent share of the estimated $325 million the 2,000 slots at each of the state's two tracks are expected to generate annually. This will also increase the purse sizes and make both tracks much more desirable on a national level.
Legislation was passed shortly after April 2007. Hoosier Parks Casino opened up on June 2nd 2008.
The track is a seven-eighths of a mile dirt oval. There is no turf course.
The track conducts the following thoroughbred stakes:
- The City Of Anderson Stakes
- The Richmond Stakes
- The Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks (Grade II)
- The Indiana Derby (Grade II)
- The Hillsdale Stakes
- The Gus Grissom Stakes
- Hoosier Silver Cup Stakes - Filly Division
- Hoosier Silver Cup Stakes
- The Merrillville Stakes
- The Brickyard Stakes
- The Miss Indiana Stakes
- The Indiana Futurity
- The Frances Slocum Stakes
- The Michael G. Schaefer Mile Stakes
- The Too Much Coffee Stakes
- The Indiana Stallion Stakes (Filly Division)
- The Indiana Stallion Stakes