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Time capsule buried in honor of 25th Indiana Derby

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Team members Austin Johns (left) and Justin Gabbard (right) prepare the time capsule to be buried on the south end of the tote board in the infield at Indiana Grand.
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Dignitaries gather trackside during the 25th running of the Indiana Derby on July 13 at Indiana Grand. Numerous items were placed in the time capsule to be uncovered in 2044.


In a joint effort between the City of Shelbyville, the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and the Shelby County Tourism and Visitors’ Bureau, a special time capsule was buried in the infield at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The time capsule contained numerous items presented by all organizations representing Shelby County to commemorate the 25th running of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby on July 13. A special presentation was made during the races with representatives from each entity trackside for the ceremony.

Items placed in the time capsule will be opened in 2044 to mark the 50th running of the Indiana Derby. Dignitaries in 25 years will find a letter from Mayor Tom DeBaun reviewing all the updates and changes currently taking place in Shelbyville, a book from the Visitors’ Bureau filled with photos of the county, a Shelby County Chamber guide and jump drive filled with information about current companies, plus various pieces from the 25th Indiana Derby, from a racing program to a commemorative lapel pin, identifying a few of the items in the capsule.

“The Shelby County Chamber was honored to be invited to add items to the time capsule,” said Julie Metz, executive director of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. “A 2019 Directory and Community Guide was selected along with a jump drive of videos of our 2019 Annual Awards Gala highlighting businesses and individuals in Shelby County that contribute their talents to our community. Now, we all wonder, will the group that opens the time capsule in 2044 know what to do with a jump drive?”

The items were sealed in a time capsule created by Equine Maintenance worker Mike White at Indiana Grand made from part of an old hub rail used on the inside of the track. Justin Gabbard of Equine Maintenance and Austin Johns of the Track Maintenance crew identified the perfect spot and created the hole for the time capsule, located just south of the tote board in the infield of the racetrack.

Instructions for digging up the time capsule in 2044 have been submitted to both the City of Shelbyville as well as the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. A special plaque was designed to mark the spot of the time capsule so the location may readily be found in 50 years.

“Adding the time capsule to our 25-year celebration of the Indiana Derby was a great way to pull our community partners into the event,” said Elena Lisle, vice president of marketing at Indiana Grand. “Although it’s likely none of us will be around to unveil the time capsule in 25 years, we are hopeful the new group will bury another time capsule in 2044 to be opened for the 75th running of the Indiana Derby in 2069.”

Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 6. Racing is conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:15 p.m. and Saturday at 6:15 p.m. More information about the season is available at www.indianagrand.com.