Scioto Downs will once again host Grand Circuit racing during the 2014 summer racing season.
The Laverne Hill Memorial Pace will be the first Grand Circuit race to be held at the Columbus five-eighths-mile oval in 2014 on May 17, Preakness Day. The 4-year-old and up mare pace will be raced as an overnight with no nominating fee and will go for $50,000 (guaranteed). The top 10 lifetime money earners entered will race, with no more than two horses eligible to race per stable.
Three weeks later on Belmont Day (June 7), Scioto will host the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot for $200,000 (guaranteed). This late closing event is for 4-year-old and up trotters and horses must be nominated by April 15 for $500. The top 10 lifetime money earners that enter (with not more than two horses racing per stable) will race; if more than 10 horses enter, the nomination fee will be refunded to those that entered but do not race.
On closing night, Sept. 27, Scioto will host the secondannual Jim Ewart Memorial Pace. This $200,000 (guaranteed) invitational pace will have no nominating fee and be open to those horses that are 4-year-olds and up by invitation only.
It has been more than seven years since Scioto has hosted Grand Circuit events, when the track hosted the Tompkins-Geers events for 3-year-olds in 2006. The purse account hasgreatly benefited since the infusion of VLT money when the first machines opened in June 2012.
"We are excited to be able to host Grand Circuit races at Scioto,” said Scioto's general manager of racing operations Stacy Cahill. "We look forward to once again being a part of one of the oldest traditions in harness racing and bringing some of the best horses in the country to Columbus.”
Scioto's 2014 racing season starts on Thursday, May 8, and runs through Saturday, Sept. 27, racing Tuesday-Saturday in May, June and July and Wednesday-Saturday in August and September. Post time will be at 6:30 p.m. except for special 1 p.m. holiday cards on Memorial Day, theJuly 4 and Labor Day. More information on the 2014 racing season will be posted to www.sciotodowns.com/racing as it becomes available. (Scioto Downs)