On The Road Again leads a list of seven 4-year-old pacers in the inaugural $90,000 Chesapeake Stakes at Freestate tonight.
On The Road Again, driven by Buddy Gilmour, is harness racing's richest pacer, earning $2,410,706 for 37 victories in 52 starts. His best time is 1:51 4/5.
Despite finishing second in his last two starts, On The Road Again is the favorite for harness horse of the year. But another lackluster performance could give the award to Nihilator.
Second choice in the Chesapeake Stakes should be Butler B G, who is coming off two easy wins in open competition at Garden State Park. Ted Wing will drive Butler B G.
Guts, who has $1,246,156 in earnings and recently paced a 1:51 3/5 mile in a time trial, also is entered. But Guts reportedly has a leg injury and may be scratched.
Pocono Lobell, Ring Of Light, Windemere Promise and Armbro Cadet also are entered.
The Chesapeake Stakes was the idea of Freestate president Frank DeFrancis, who calls it a Breeders Crown preview. Several of the horses in the Chesapeake, including On The Road Again, are eligible for the $330,000 Breeders Crown to be raced at Freestate on Sept. 27.