Harrah's Chester announces 2011 dates, stakes
December 20, 2010
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Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack has announced their 2011 schedule, with 150 dates spanning two meets. The 105-day spring/summer meet commences with a special 6:30 p.m. program on Friday, March 18, and continues through Friday, Sept. 9. Post time has been bumped ahead five minutes to 12:40 p.m. for the spring/summer meet with a few 5 p.m. twilight cards scattered throughout. A Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday schedule, which proved popular among fans on- and off-track, will remain the norm.
The 45-day fall meet begins on Friday, Oct. 7 with another 6:30 p.m. start time before a Sunday-through-Wednesday schedule takes over, continuing through Wednesday, Dec. 21. Post time for the fall meet will also be 12:40 p.m. with the exception of most Sundays, on which post time will be 5 p.m.
The 2011 stakes schedule boasts over $8.1 million in purses over 12 events, headlined once again by Super Stakes Sunday. The richest day in Pennsylvania harness racing marks its fourth renewal on Sunday, Aug. 21, with over $2.3 million at stake in a trio of 3-year-old events--the Colonial Trot, the Battle of the Brandywine for sophomore pacers, and the Valley Forge for pacing fillies.
Two events held as invitationals in 2010 are scheduled as late-closers in 2011, those being the Betsy Ross distaff pace and the Maxie Lee Memorial for free-for-all trotters. Both will maintain a $100,000 purse in their respective finals, slated for Sunday, May 29 (Betsy Ross) and Sunday, June 12 (Maxie Lee Memorial). The Ben Franklin for free-for-all pacers will mark its fifth renewal on Sunday, July 3, with $500,000 on the line. The spring/summer meet stakes schedule culminates in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships for 3 year olds of each sex and gait, with $800,000 in total purses on the line on Monday, Sept. 5.
The highlight of the fall meet will be the Fall Final Four for 2 year olds, which returns to Chester after being hosted this season by the Woodbine Entertainment Group. The Governor's Cup, Three Diamonds, Valley Victory, and Goldsmith Maid carry combined purses in excess of $2.1 million, and their finals will be held on Sunday, Nov. 13. Post time for the Fall Final Four cards (eliminations on Nov. 6 and finals on Nov. 13) will be 12:40 p.m., the only two Sunday afternoons in the fall meet. (Harrah's Chester)