Fifty promising 2-year-old colts are scheduled to race in five divisions of the Hanover Stakes at Freestate Raceway Saturday night. Each 10-horse division is valued at $14,230 and the event has attracted the sport's top stables, including the Billy Haughton Stable, which has entered eight colts in the stakes.
Many of the colts racing in the Hanover are eligible for Freestate's major race of the year, the $500,000 Potomac Stakes, July 5.
Freestate and Hanover Farms have offered a $50,000 bonus to be paid to the owner of any colt that wins both a division of the Hanover and the Potomac. Should more than one colt manage the double, the bonus will be split.
Friday night, Freestate's weekly open trot will bring together some of the best trotters anywhere.
Team Nordin's Mark Six, winner of $738,713, who has a best mile time of 1:56, will take on Royal Prestige, owned by the Workaholics of Ocean City, and Whip It Wood, winner of seven straight and the holder of Freestate's trotting record.
Two notable performances in harness racing in the past two weeks involved pacers with Maryland connections.
Towners Big Guy, owned by Gerry Post of Lanham and John Ostrander of Suitland, won a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division at The Meadows June 21 in 1:52 1/5, tying a world record for a 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track. Steve Warrington of Galena, Md., drove.
Two weeks ago, 4-year-old Forrest Skipper, who began his career in Maryland, was timed in 1:50 3/5 in a trial at the Meadowlands. The time equals the third-fastest effort for the mile in harness racing history.