Freestate Raceway will play host to harness racing's best 2-year-old pacing colts tonight in the $454,500 Potomac Stakes.
Because of a last-minute flood of entries, the Potomac will be raced in six divisions -- three nine-horse divisions worth $76,500 and three eight-horse divisions valued at $75,000.
The fourth annual Potomac is expected to help clear the muddled 2-year-old picture. According to Stan Bergstein of Harness Tracks of America, "This has not been a dominant year for 2-year-old colts."
While each division has its standouts, the final three divisions will be those most closely watched.
The final division (11th race) features Sherman Almahurst, undefeated in five career starts and the best known 2-year-old colt this year because of his victory in the $267,700 Peter Haughton Memorial at Roosevelt (N.Y.) two weeks ago.
Sherman Almahurst will be driven by Doug Brown, who at 29 already has won over 2,300 races and $10 million in purses.
The second choice in the field is expected to be Bold Rullah, who is owned by John Gaines and Nelson B. Hunt.
The fifth division (ninth race) matches the two fastest 2-year-olds in the Potomac. Boone And Crockett, with Howard Parker, is the probable favorite over Maritime Hanover with Walter Case Jr. in the bike. Both colts have paced 1:56 1/5 at the Meadowlands, and neither has finished worst than second this season.
Two Niatross colts, Freight Saver and Southern Gentleman, lead the field in the fourth division (eighth race). Freight Saver, to be driven by Ben Webster, finished third to Sherman Almahurst in the Haughton Memorial.
Southern Gentleman lost for only the second time in six career starts last week as the beaten favorite in the Baltimorean final at Freestate. Trainer Bruce Riegle also will drive Southern Gentleman.
In the first divison (third race), Singers Star, with hall of famer Billy Haughton driving, and Boulder Hanover, with Eddie Davis, are the expected favorites.