Pa Sire Stakes season begins on Thursday

by Jerry Connors, the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission

Harrisburg, PA — The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes — bigger and better than ever this year — will open its 2008 campaign this Thursday, May 1, at Harrah’s Chester Racino, with six divisions of 3-year-old colt pacers in a stake worth a total of $213,166.

With revenue from slots entering the Sire Stakes fund stream in full force this year, the PaSS program figures to go from $5 million to $10 million in 2008. The pari-mutuel Sire Stakes championships, all raised to $150,000 this year, for 3-year-olds will be held Sunday, September 7, at Chester, while the 2-year-olds will race on Tuesday, September 23, at The Meadows.

In Thursday’s action, last year’s Sire Stakes freshman champion Idle Hour will begin from post three in the 12th race field of eight, having captured the Suslow Final at The Meadowlands in his last start for trainer George Teague, Jr. Teague named Tim Tetrick to drive Idle Hour, but it’ll be interesting to see if Tetrick goes for Idle Hour or the Canadian invader Silver Dragon, winner of his last four starts, including the finals of the Count B and Youthful Series at Woodbine. Silver Dragon starts right next to Idle Hour in post four.

All of the divisions look very competitive, as the sophomores limber back into top racing shape, and some clarity in this division should result from the Thursday races.

Post time for the first of 13 races at Harrah’s Chester on Thursday is 12:25 p.m.

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