Grand Circuit To Invade Harrah's Philly

The best pacers and trotters in the world will be at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday (May 28) to compete in three invitational races, each with a purse of $150,000.

The Maxie Lee Memorial Trot is named after long-time horseman Maxie Lee. A native of North Carolina, Lee made a name for himself as a trainer and driver in the Philadelphia area at Liberty Bell and Brandywine. He had back-to-back Delaware Valley Harness Horse of the Year winners in the mid-1970s with Black Gamecock and Valley Ken. In 1990, Lee became the first African-American with a starter in the Hambletonian, with the Peter Haughton winner Backstreet Guy.

The Betsy Ross is an invitational event for filly and mare pacers. The Philadelphia seamstress is widely credited with making the first American flag in 1776.

The free-for-all pacing event will have a new name each year, changing to honour outstanding contributors and noteworthy figures from the history of harness racing in the greater Delaware Valley area, especially those who were of primary importance in the era of Liberty Bell and/or Brandywine. This year, the invitational will be named after Ben Stafford Jr., who passed away unexpectedly last year.

Harrah's Philadelphia will be drawing for the three invitational races on Tuesday (May 23).

Harrah's will also race live on Monday (May 29, Memorial Day), with a first post of 12:40 p.m.

(with files from Harrah's Philly)