Doubling the purse for the Little Brown Jug Preview to $150,000 is being credited with yielding the best-ever field of nominations, track officials say.
The event will be raced on Saturday night, Sept. 7, at Scioto Downs and serves as the final tuneup for the Little Brown Jug on Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Delaware (Ohio) County Fairgrounds, 35 miles to the north.
The Jug serves as the final leg of pacing's Triple Crown this year. The first two are The Messenger on June 22 at Roosevelt Raceway andd The Cane Pace on Aug. 24 at Roosevelt.
Among the 97 3-year-olds nominated for the preview are Nihilator, Dragon's Lair and Praised Dignity.
Nihilator was 2-year-old Pacer of the Year in 1984 after he posted the swiftest freshman pacer's time in history. He won the $2.16 million Woodrow Wilson Pace at The Meadowlands in 1 minute, 52 4/5 seconds for the fastest mile for age and gait.
Dragon's Lair won last year's Breeders Crown race for his age, sex and gait. He was the only horse to beat Nihilator last year. He captured the Breeders Cup at the Red Mile in 1:54 1-5.
Praised Dignity accounted for 1984 winnings of $1.1 million. He finished second to Nihilator in the Woodrow Wilson Pace.
Also nominated for the Jug Preview were Cervantes Osborne, Happy Alche, Devil's Adversary, Double Bubba, Falcon's Arch, Federated, Flight of Fire, Keystone Martial, Marauder, Motor Drive, Niafirst, Pinocchio, Reagan Hanover and Standing O.