Lebanon, OH --- Miami Valley Raceway is pleased to announce its version of "March Madness," a harness racing elimination tournament to determine the best $4,000 claiming horse in Ohio.
Designed to showcase both male and female pacers who toil in the minimum claiming ranks and who have been the backbone of the Ohio racing programs over the past decade, the hope is that approximately 64 horses will enter the brackets when the first eliminations take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9.
If four fields of horses and geldings go to post on Saturday and four more filled with fillies and mares on Sunday, the top four finishers from each $4,000 purse race will advance to the "Sweet 16" round for each sex on the following weekend. The top four finishers in each of those two $5,000 purse races will advance to an "Elite 8" status in week three. The top four from each of those $6,000 purse gender finals will qualify to compete in the "Battle of the Sexes" championship on Sunday (March 30) for an $8,000 bounty.
All horses will carry $4,000 claiming tags (plus allowances) in the first elimination round, however only horses claimed in Round One will be available through the claiming box in Round Two -- at a cost of $4,500 (plus allowances). Horses purchased out of both the first and second elimination rounds will be priced at $5,000 (plus allowances) in Round Three. There will be no claiming from the Championship.
"I wrote a similar annual event called the Survivor Series for $3,000 claimers at Northfield in the late eighties and early nineties and it was as popular as any series we ever had," said Race Secretary Gregg Keidel. "I thought the timing was right to try and revive it and see if it can bring the same kind of excitement to Miami Valley."
A one-time $200 entry fee will be required of each entrant, due at time of entry and payable by 6 p.m. the day of the first elimination.
Precise conditions for the March Madness tournament will be available by Feb. 28 under the "Racing" tab at www.miamivalleygaming.com.