The 2009 Early Closing Program at Harrah's Chester Casino & Racetrack has attracted 1,352 nominations in the ten events. That amount includes four two-year-old races previously held on a rotating basis between The Meadowlands and Woodbine in Canada, which are the Governor's Cup and Three Diamonds for pacers and the Valley Victory and Goldsmith Maid for trotters.
Last year's Dan Patch aged pacing winnerand Meadowlands Pace winner lead the list of eligibles to the 3rd edition of the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace set for July. Last year, established a new world record of 1:48 in the Final.
Southwind Tempo, the winner of the 2008 Betsy Ross Pace Final, will look to make it a repeat performance in this year's Betsy Ross. Other eligibles include Tug River Princess, My Little Dragon, Four Starzz Meliss and Enhance The Night. Eliminations for the Betsy Ross are set for April 19 and the $250,000G Final on April 26.
Another horse being pointed to a return to the winner's circle is Buck I St Pat, who set a world record in last year's $250,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Final. Along with the 2008 Dan Patch aged trotting mare, those nominated include Arch Madness, Enough Talk, In Focus and Lucky Jim.
- 2008 Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer of the Year - and - 2008 Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year top the lists for the Battle of the Brandywine and the Colonial Trot respectively. The Battle drew 124 nominations and the Colonial received 131 eligibles.
The breakdown for the events:
Battle of the Brandywine (3 Yr. Old Open Pace)124
Ben Franklin(Open Pace) 44
Betsy Ross(Open Mares Pace) 25
Colonial (3 Yr. Old Open Trot) 131
Governor's Cup (2 Yr. Old Open Pace) 246
Goldsmith Maid (2 Yr. Old Fillies Trot) 211
Maxie Lee Memorial(Open Trot) 44
Three Diamonds (2 Yr. Old Fillies Pace) 236
Valley Forge (3 Yr. Old Fillies Pace) 98
y (2 Yr. Old Open Trot) 218