Pacing is North America's favourite mode of harness racing, with 80% to 90% of harness races events held for pacers only. As an action-loving nation the United States might appreciate that the pace is slightly faster than the trot; and as a nation of individuals who love to win, the fact that a pacing horse is less likely than a trotter to break stride and be disqualified might also give the pacers the upper hand. The trotting track record at the famous Yonkers Raceway for example is set at 1:54 and 3 fifths of a second, set by Shutter Boy on October 30th 2009. The record established by a pacer on the same track is clocked at 1:52 and 3 fifth of a second, held by Southwind Lynx since June 2nd 2007.
Considering the United States are seen as the birthplace of the standardbred horse - the breed of horse best suited for harness racing - it is little surprise that US pacing is taken very seriously. The annual Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers, established in 1956, is the highlight of the US pacing season; offering three all-star races and promising lots of excitement. The Triple Crown for Pacers is made up by the Cane Pace (held at Freehold Raceway in Freehold, New Jersey), the Little Brown Jug (fought out at the Delaware County Fair in Delaware, Ohio); and the principal event, the Messenger Stakes - named after the famous great-grandsire of the legendary Hambletonian 10, the father of all standardbreds - which are held at Yonkers Raceway in Yonkers, New York.
The Triple Crown for Pacers is an event packed with pacing history. Freehold Raceway for instance is the oldest half-mile track in the United States, founded in 1853. Yonkers Raceway has been opening, closing, and re-opening after refurbishment seemingly constantly since 1899, making it a virtual museum of harness racing history. Speaking of history; since the Triple Crown for Pacers was established only ten horses managed to snatch an overall win, meaning taking first place in all three events of the crown. The most recent overall champion is No Pan Intended, who took the Crown in 2003.
Other important US pacing events include the Meadowlands Pace (held at Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey), which is the richest, highest paying pacing race in the country with a grand prize of $1 million; and the Art Rooney Pace for three-year-olds held at Yonkers.
In the following page you will find out US Pacing Betting Guide which we encourage punters to consult when seeking information on placing online bets on pacing.