WILKES-BARRE PA - The great card of racing this past Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, primarily populated by elimination races for this Saturday's $2.2M Sun Stakes Saturday, flirted with the divisional world record table on more than one occasion without any new names being set down, but the card as a whole did produce one record - according to the USTA's Trotting and Pacing Guide, it was the fastest card ever in harness history, with an average win time of 1:49.2 for the 16 races.
The T&P Guide history notes two occasions when a race card's average win time was 1:49.3 - on Saturday, July 16, 2005 at The Meadowlands, a 13-race card (p. 297, 2013 T&P Guide), and 52 weeks ago to the day at the same track (Saturday, June 22, 2013), when the Sun Stakes Saturday elim card produced the same 1:49.3 average over 14 races (p. 288, 2014 T&P Guide).
This past Saturday's 1:49.2 average included two trotting miles - a 1:52.2 by Nuncio and a 1:52.4 by Father Patrick in the twoBeal Trot elims. In all, of the 16 races, 11 miles went 1:50 or better; 8 went 1:49 or better; and 3 went in 1:48 or better - and those three came consecutively: Domethatagain upsetting his Ben Franklin Pace elim in 1:48, McWicked taking the fastest of the Max C. Hempt Pace elims in the same time, and then Sweet Lou taking the other Franklin elim in 1:47.4.
Of the ten stakes races on Saturday, six horses took lifetime marks and Sweet Lou matched his. Only Father Patrick did not rewrite his lifetime mark. There were four season's record's set, one equaled and of the ten stakes races, eight were won by Pennsylvania sired horses.
This Saturday's Sun Stakes Saturday card will include the finals of the Franklin (FFAP), Hempt (3PC), and Beal (3TC), all worth $500,000, plus the $300,000 James Lynch Final (3PF), the $100,000 Sun Invitational trot (which, according to some reports, may actually help the 1:50 count, if you can believe that) and the $100,000 USTA Invitational pace, plus consolation races for the four major races as they fill, plus a strong undercard (this past Saturday's non-elim races averaged 1:49.3 themselves).
The draw for the card will be held tomorrow; a story on the entries and the post draws for the major races will be distributed in the afternoon.
Post time for Saturday's Sun Stakes Saturday card at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is set for 6:30 p.m. If you can't come to Pocono, be sure to stake out your local track or favorite off-track wagering site. You will not want to miss this card.
From the PHHA for Pocono Downs