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It was the battle of the $2 million "ladies" in Friday's feature race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, a Preferred Handicap for Fillies and Mares. Seven fillies and mares went to the gate in the race, the 10th on the card, with a purse of $25,000. The skies opened up prior to the race, but that didn't stop this field from jetting out of the gate. George Napolitano Jr. gunned Show Runner (Little Steven-Peace Runner) out of the gate, followed by Rocklamation (Rocknroll Hanover-Art Sale) with Andrew McCarthy in the bike, and Anndrovette (Riverboat King-Easy Miss), but Anndrovette, piloted by Hall of Famer Ron Pierce took over approaching the half-mile post. Fractions were 25.3; 54.3; 122.3; and the $2.9 million mare Anndrovette held on over a fast-charging Rocklamation for the win in 1:50.4. Lucy's Pearl (Well Said-Remember When) was third, driven by Corey Callahan. The victory was the 14th start this season and the 5th win for the 7-year-old mare, trained by P J Fraley. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs  

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is planning a momentous Sire Stakes Championship Night for Saturday, September 6th,  with over $1 million in purses, an Open Trot and an Open Pace to sweeten the night. The $50,000 Modern Family Open Trot will be held in honor of the late trotter, who passed away on July 20th following the Maple Leaf Trot.  Modern Family,a 5-year-old son of Cantab Hall, was trained and co-owned by Daryl Bier, in partnership with Charles Dombeck and Richard Poilucci.  A 19-time winner in 51 career starts, Modern Family had career earnings of more than $550,000.  The connections of the trotter have been invited to take part in the Winner’s Circle presentation following the race.  Also planned for the evening’s card will be a $50,000 Open for the top pacers in harness racing, and anyone interested in entering the Pace or the Trot should contact the Race Office at 570-831-2228. PA Sire Stakes Championship Night will feature the best of the Freshmen PA bred trotting and pacing stars competing in $260,000 finals.  Consolation races will also be held.  Post Time is 6:30pm, and the day will kick off with a Signings and Sightings meet and greet with Hall of Famer and former New York Giants Linebacker Lawrence Taylor from 4:00pm to 5:30pm on the Sky Bridge, conncecting the casino and the racetrack.  Those wishing to meet the football legend should obtain a wristband to secure their spot in line, starting at 1:00pm.  Only authorized photos will be signed, and they will be issued at the signing. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs      

The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is all set to go for their annual five-day overnight harness horse camp at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association.    The camp begins Monday, July 21st,, and the children will be arriving bright and early, prepared to learn all about harness racing.  The event wraps up Friday, July 25th with races featuring all participants.  Post Time for the races is 5:30 p.m., and all are invited to attend to cheer on their favorites. This year, children from across Pennsylvania, as well as Michigan; Massachusetts; New Jersey; and Maryland; will be working  hands-on with the HHYF's stable of Trottingbred horses. Among the topics covered are care and grooming, equipment, conformation, lameness, history, stable management, and equine careers. Each day will consist of barn work; jogging, bathing, and feeding the horses; a quiz consisting of terminology and facts about harness racing; and fun events when the day is over.  The camp is one of ten across the country being conducted by HHYF this summer.  The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with  harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation was established in 1976 and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs and educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF and its mission, go to www.hhyf.org. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs

Dancin Yankee (Yankee Cruiser - Dancewiththebest) returned to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs after his victory in the Invitational Pace on Sun Stakes Saturday, and made another trip to the Hanover Shoe Farms Winner's Circle. The 6-Year-Old, trained by Amber Buter and driven by Tyler Buter, left from post 7, taking the lead just past the quarter, and never looked back. With fractions of 26.4; 54.4; and 122.3, Dancin Yankee tripped the timer in 1:49 for the Preferred Handicap, winning by 1 ¾ lengths. Abelard Hanover finished 2nd; followed by Digital Z Tam, 3rd. The win is the 12th this season in 19 starts for Dancin Yankee, who paid $3 to win, and topped an Exacta of $14.80. He now has earnings of nearly $300,000 this season. In a Condition Event earlier in the card, Scott Rocks (Rocknroll Hanover - Plant A Kiss) equaled the National season's mark for 4-year-old Pacing Geldings on a 5/8 mile track with a 1:48.3 mile. Racing resumes at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sunday with a Post Time of 6:30pm. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs  

PLAINS TWP. — After enjoying some pizza in Old Forge on Tuesday, the new chairman of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission crossed the border into Luzerne County to oversee his first commission meeting near the track where he last raced his own harness horses seven years ago. “I was sworn in yesterday by the Senate after serving for just over six months on the (state) Thoroughbred (Racing) Commission,” Harness Racing Commission Chairman Jonathan Newman told those attending the commission’s June meeting at the new hotel and convention center at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The commissioners meet at state harness racing venues throughout the year, as well as at commission offices at the Department of Agriculture in Harrisburg. Newman said he always relished lunch stops in Old Forge, the little Lackawanna County town famous for its special style of pizza, and Tuesday’s stop was at Arcaro & Genell. Newman, whom Gov. Tom Corbett nominated and the state Senate confirmed Monday as the new commission chairman following the resignation of former chairman Roy Wilt, said he “loved” working on the thoroughbred commission, “but harness racing is home for me. I love the sport of harness racing.” Newman, of Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, has owned and raced many standardbreds, racing last at Pocono Downs seven years ago. Open just about a year in 2007, Mohegan Sun still had only an “interim casino” with slot machines. So a walk through the casino concourse on Tuesday, past table games, glitzy stores and restaurants such as Bar Louie and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, gave Newman some “culture shock,” he said. But he believes that harness racing and casino gambling can co-exist successfully. “In this era with casino gambling and slots, horse racing to me is as natural as baseball and apple pie,” he said. Newman said he saw “a lot of friends in the audience” at the meeting and was acquainted with many owners, trainers, breeders and drivers. “I think the harness racing community is a tight-knit community who cares about the sport. And I hope that together, we can do a lot of things to bring the sport to even higher pinnacles.” Asked about state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s recent report that said the State Racing Fundfaces increasing challenges and that steps should be taken to keep the racing industry from what he described as “significant jeopardy,” Newman called the report’s findings “unfortunate.” “We’re going to be particularly careful to understand those findings going forward to do things consistent with best government practices and in the best interest of horse racing,” he said. During the business portion of the meeting, Jennifer Starr, racing marketing manager at Pocono Downs, said overall revenue increased 0.3 percent over last May at the track, but she noted there were two fewer race nights this May than in May 2013. Starr also noted that this Saturday is Sun Stakes Saturday at Pocono Downs, with some of “the best horses in the world” competing for purses totaling nearly $3.2 million. By Steve Mocarsky, reprinted with permission by www.timesleader.com

The second round of the Bobby Weiss Series for 3 & 4 Yr. Old male trotters were part of an abridged Sunday racing card at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. An unexpected late winter/early spring sleet storm steadily transformed into a snowfall that eventually led to an early evening as the last two races on the program were canceled. Luckily, both divisions of the Weiss Series were held before the races were called following the 12th race. In the first division, Ray Hall and Tim Tetrick made a three-wide move up the backside to wrestle the lead away from Yagot Class. They rolled to a 2 3/4 victory in 1:59 2/5 victory on a track surface listed as "slow". The pair are now 2-for-2 in the series. You Rock My World was second and Mustodian rallied from 9th at the three-quarters to take the show spot. Sixteen Mikes spend the first quarter on the outside from the eight hole before taking the lead, but never gave it up from there on winning comfortably in 2:01 over Super Classic and Cashco. The 4 Yr. Old gelding is trained by Gail Wrubel and Matt Kakaley was the winning driver. It was a very good night for Kakaley as he won 6 of the 12 contested races for the evening. Tim Tetrick racked up three victories on the card. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs

Are you ready for some harness racing action? Well post time is 6:30 this Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs!  Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to get everyone ready for the 2014 season of Harness Racing. In addition to a great night of horse racing, there are a number of special events being planned throughout the season Including some special guests to the track with major league baseball greats Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt making special appearances.  Steve Carlton will be there on April 14 and Mike Schmidt will stop by on June 28th.  h Then the very popular Kentucky Derby Day at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is set for Saturday, May 3 .  The race track will feature the biggest party around with events set for day and night and something fun for everyone! For the opening night race card there is a top flight $25,000 Preferred Handicap Trot featuring Modern Family taking on Twin B Spike Man, Daylon Magician and Baximum. There are also four $15,000 opening round divisions of the Bobby Weiss Series with up and coming stars A Stitch In Time, Shark Fantasy, Dreamlands Art, Giant Sculpture and Dinner At The Met, all heading their repsective divisions. During Tuesday's Press Conference, Michael Bean, the President and CEO of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs welcomed everyone to another exciting season of Harness Racing beginning on March 22. Dale Rapson, Vice President of Racing Operations outlined the many race events that will be featured this season. Jennifer Starr, Racing Marketing Manager promised a fun-filled race season filled with special events and promotions that will be keep race fans and those new to Harness Racing coming back for more! The Harness Racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Season kicks off Saturday March 22 and runs through November 22 by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com.

The first qualifiers of the 2014 racing season were held on Tuesday morning, March 11th, and the weather cooperated as the horses hit the track starting at 10:00 a.m. The track was listed as fast as the mild temperature was a balmy 44 degrees under brilliant sunshine. After a long, harsh seemingly endless winter, the track was in terrific shape. In the first qualifier, Matt Kakaley and Match Play tripped the teletimer in 1:59 flat. Kakaley, regularly among the top 5 of the driver colony at Pocono, was joined by drivers Mike Simons; Tyler Buter; Tom Jackson; Anthony Napolitano; Andrew McCarthy; Larry Stalbaum; and others in 11 qualifying races. In the 8th qualifying race, Keystone Neptune paced to a final time of 1:54.4, the fastest of the morning races, with Anthony Napolitano in the bike. The pacer took over at the half and never looked back, winning by a 2 ¾ lengths over Quicksilvercandy A. In all, six out of the 11 qualifying races went in 1:57 or faster. Qualifiers are also scheduled for Thursday, 3/13 and Thursday, 3/20. Opening night is Saturday, March 22nd. Racing nights are Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday with a Post Time of 6:30 p.m. Fridays are added in July and August; September through November, racing will take place Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. by Jennifer Starr, for Moheghan Sun at Pocono Downs  

Racing gets underway for the 49th season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday, March 22, and racing applications are now being accepted.   Interested horsemen are encouraged to submit their racing applications, for either stalls or ship-in privileges, online as early as possible. The stable area opens for the season on March 1.   Nominations for the popular Bobby Weiss Series will close on February 15. The Late Closer for 3 and 4 Year-Olds will highlight the start of the 2014 racing season with four separate categories for gait and sex. The conditions for the series will be for non-winners of 3 extended pari-mutuel races or $40,000 lifetime as of and including January 1, 2014. A $300 nomination fee must accompany all submitted nominations.   The first qualifying races prior to the start of the season will be held on Tuesday, March 11; Thursday, March 13 and Thursday, March 20.   Application for stalls and other information may be accessed by going to this link.   Jennifer Starr    

Wilkes-Barre, PA --- A doubleheader on Kentucky Derby Day and an additional day per week of racing in July and August are two of the changes in the new Pocono racing schedule for 2014, as announced by Vice President of Racing Operations Dale Rapson. Racing opens at the renowned five-eighths-mile oval in Wilkes Barre, Pa., on March 22 and for the first few months of the new season (March through June) action will take place on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Kicking off the stakes schedule on opening night will be the Bobby Weiss Late Closing Series for 3- and 4-year-olds, named for the beloved former Director of Track Maintenance. Bobby retired in 2011 and was responsible for the record-breaking track surface that is maintained today. The finals for the series will take place starting April 19 and conclude on April 23. The prestigious Sun Stakes Saturday is planned for Saturday (June 28) and will feature the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial 3-year-old Trot; the James Lynch 3-year-old Filly Pace; the Max Hempt 3-year-old Colt and Gelding Pace; and the Ben Franklin Free For All Pace. Eliminations will take place on Saturday (June 21). For the summer months of July and August an extra day has been added. The race days will move to Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The track will race Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday in September through closing in November. There will be no live racing the week of Sept. 8 for the annual Oktoberfest celebration. Kentucky Derby Day (May 3rd), traditionally a huge celebration of racing and partying, will also boast a doubleheader with two Pocono live race cards. Post time for the first card will be at 11 a.m. and the second will be immediately following the 140th running of the Derby. In between, there will be the Run for the Roses Hat Review and a huge party on the track apron. Live racing will also immediately follow the second and third legs of the Triple Crown, the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Post time for all racing nights is 6:30 p.m., with the season concluding on Saturday (Nov. 22). by Jennifer Starr for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

It was ladies night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as they hosted the Mildred Williams International Driving Series on Friday evening. Eight of harness racing’s top women drivers competed in a trot for a purse of $6000. Trainer/owner/driver Megan Fortna organized the women for the race, held at the Northeast PA track for the second consecutive year, and arranged for the winning percentage to be donated to Komen for the Cure, Northeast PA Chapter. The charity is special to Megan, whose mother, Barbara, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. Mrs. Fortna, now cancer-free, was on hand to cheer on the ladies in the race, and appeared in the Winner’s Circle trophy presentation. Natasha Day and Jailhouse Camryn, tucked into the pocked out of the gate, and battled in the stretch with the favorite, Nordic Venture, driven by Katie Miller, for the win. Northern Inferno with Lynn Fry in the bike finished third, followed by Miss Wapwallopen and Jenny Melander. Also driving in the race were Ms. Fortna; Rebecca Brewer; Monica Banca, and Linda Schadel. by Jennifer Starr for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs  

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is hosting the Mildred Williams International Driving Series on Friday, November 15th. The race is the first on the card with a Post Time of 6:30 p.m.   Organized by driver/trainer/owner Megan Fortna, the trot will feature eight of harness racing’s top women drivers, with their winning percentage donated to Komen for the Cure, Northeast PA Chapter.   Driving in the race are driver/trainers Linda Schadel; Lynn Fry; Jenny Melander; Natasha Day; Debra Rucker; Rebecca Brewer; Katie Miller; and Megan Fortna.   This is the second year in a row that Pocono has hosted the race, with Ms. Fortna recruiting the drivers and organizing the event. Raising money for Komen for the Cure is of the utmost importance to Megan, whose mother Barbara was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012.   She is now cancer-free, and will be here to cheer on her daughter and the rest of the women on Friday.   Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is inviting breast cancer survivors to join the Winner’s Circle ceremony on Friday after the race. For more information, contact Jennifer Starr at 570-831-2195.   Komen for the Cure, Northeast PA Chapter will be on hand in the racing lobby, selling items to help with the fundraiser.   The video attached is a youtube video of the 2009 series.   Jennifer Starr – Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

As we have now reached the month of November, it’s time to start looking back on the season that was. While we still have some racing left to go, we would be remiss if out time ran out and we didn’t honor some of the best performers who have graced the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs stage in 2013. This week I’m proud to announce our 2013 Horses of the Year. Although I had a little bit of input, most of the work in terms of tracking the best performances and making the selections was done by our Racing Marketing Manager Jennifer Starr and Clerk of Course Terri Phalen. It’s a difficult job, because of the sheer amount of great horses we have seen at the Pocono oval this season. These are fine choices though, a quartet of horses who are representative of the exemplary racing product that MSP had to offer in 2013. The envelopes, please. PACER OF THE YEAR: DYNAMIC YOUTH This 4-year-old gelding from the Aaron Lambert barn has been a standout at Pocono for a while now, but his 2013 season was one to remember. He made just six starts at MSPD this season, all against top-flight competition, and won four of them. All four of his victories, with his regular Pocono driver Andrew McCarthy aboard, came in times of less than 1:50. Dynamic Youth delivered some especially eye-opening wins this year. In June, he won elimination for the Ben Franklin pace in a field that included superstar pacers Betterthancheddar, Clear Vision, and Golden Receiver. On October 5, his second of back-to-back wins in the Preferred pacing class came in a scorching time of 1:48:1, which matched a world record for 4-year-old geldings on the pace. No other horse had such consistent success at the top levels at Pocono than this one, which is why Dynamic Youth is deserving of this outstanding honor. TROTTER OF THE YEAR: BEATGOESON HANOVER A 5-year-old mare trained by Nifty Norman, Beatgoeson Hanover served notice that she would special at Pocono this season with her very first start of the meet, a condition win back in April 27 that came in 1:52:1, matching a track record for aged trotting mares. She followed that up with a Preferred win the next week. When she returned to the Preferred trotting class at Pocono in August, she outdid herself with a winning mile of 1:51:4 with Tyler Buter in the bike, which broke not just her own track record but a world record for her age group on a 5/8-mile oval. Add in a respectable 5th place performance in the Breeders Crown finals and another easy Preferred win on October 26 and you can see why this mare gets the nod in this very competitive category. MARE OF THE YEAR: FEELING YOU The pride of the Amber Buter barn is without a doubt this gutty 6-year-old mare. Pocono has been just one of her stops this season and she has made the rounds to just about all of the best East Coast tracks. But it was her performance against the best distaff pacers at MSPD that earned her this award. In five starts in the Preferred Mares pacing class, which is the top of the heap for distaffers at Pocono, Feeling You, with Tyler Buter in the bike, won three times and finished a close second in the other two. Last Friday night may have been her signature victory. Following a disappointing 7th-place finish in the Breeders Crown, she won a Preferred Handicap over a field that included Rocklamation, who finished 2nd in the Breeders Crown, and Drop The Ball, the world record holder in the age group. That victory shows that Feeling You was as good as any pacing mare this season. CLAIMER OF THE YEAR: ST. PETE STAR This was probably the toughest category to choose, because there were many claimers who had dominant stretches in their respective divisions. St Pete Star gets the nod for the fact that he put together an impressive record and did so when he was either near or at the very top of the claiming ladder. Although he tailed off at the end of the season, St Pete Star, a 9-year-old stallion, had an awesome stretch from late April to the middle of August where he won eight of thirteen races and raised his claiming price from $15,000 to $25,000 in the process. He won for five different trainers in that span because he was a popular claiming commodity. At one point he won four in a row and six of seven, with a career-best victory of 1:49:2 in that span. All of those statistics tell you what anybody who saw St Pete Star at the peak of his powers this year would know: That he was the best of the best of the claimers at Pocono in 2013. Next week we’ll wrap up the season with our final article of the year. Until then, we’ll see at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs  

Hall of Fame baseball superstar Mike Schmidt has postponed his appearance on closing night, November 23 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, due to a personal conflict, according to his management. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is pleased to welcome former Major League baseball pitcher Dwight Gooden on November 23rd. Gooden, nicknamed "Doc", will be on hand from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the sky bridge between the casino and racetrack. Fans may line up starting at 2:00 p.m. to secure a wristband and an authorized photo for the special autograph signing. No outside merchandise will be signed. Dale Rapson, Vice President of Racing Operations, has announced that the racing meet would offer two additional days of racing on Friday, November 22, and Saturday, November 23, with a Post Time of 6:30 p.m. both nights. Friday, November 22 has been deemed "Fan Appreciation Night", and from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., fans may show their Racing Rewards card and choose a souvenir from the 2013 meet; one per fan, while supplies last. by Jennifer Starr for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs  

They thunder down the stretch, a sea of grey and white…a ghostly apparition of horses! It’s time again for the Grey Ghost and Poltergeist Pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs!   The renowned record-breaking track will play host to all grey** or roan horses on Wednesday, October 30th, otherwise known as “Mischief Night”.   Entries for the race include morning line favorite Gotta Love Him, trained by Cindy Weitoish and driven by Matt Kakaley, at odds of 3-1; last year’s Grey Ghost winner Lilywhites, ready to defend her win, and driven by Mike Kimelman for trainer Sara Kimelman, at odds of 7-2 as the second favorite; Next at odds of 4-1 is the Joe Pavia Jr.-trained Express Jet, coming off a second place finish at Pocono on October 24th and driven by Ron Pierce.   Also entered are Saratoga shipper Six Gun, trained by Brad Irvine and driven by Joe Bongiorno at 9-2; the Robert Lounsbury-trained Working Stiffs at 10-1, who finished in the money in her last four starts at Monticello Raceway; Artic Byrd, shipping in from Yonkers, and trained and driven by Truman Gale, at odds of 12-1; odds of 5-1 on McThird Dimension, trained by Blake Macintosh and driven by Simon Allard; and Hillcrest Bigdaddy, driven by Aaron Byron and trained by Scott Osterhout at 8-1. The race is the third on the card with approximate Post Time of 7:06 p.m.   Children of Pocono horsemen will be on hand to present the winning trophy in a specially decorated Winner’s Circle.   This year, while Outrider Terry Scott recuperates from recent injuries, his brother Gary will take his place as the Headless Horseman, leading the ghostly greys down the stretch.   **According to the U.S. Trotting Association, the governing body of harness racing, less than five percent of all harness horses are grey in color. The most famous was the former world champion trotter and Hambletonian winner, Greyhound. Jennifer Starr Racing Marketing Manager Racing Operations  

Pocono Downs Director of Racing, Rick Kane, is in need of some Grey or Roan horses to compete in their Grey Ghost and Poltergeist Pace on Wednesday, October 30th, otherwise known as "Mischief Night". Rick Kane will be accepting entries for the race through the racing office number at 570-831-2228 this Friday, October 25. Anyone interested should contact the race office earlier. Horsemen may also check for updates through the text message service. Those not opted in may text "Pocono" to 84700 to sign up. Last year, Lilywhites, driven by Michael Kimelman, slipped through in the stretch to win by a length over Philanthropist. Morning Line favorite Panagler was third, followed by Gotta Love Him. Lilywhites was honored in the specially decorated Winner’s Circle by children in Halloween costume. Terry Scott, Pocono’s Outrider, led the Post Parade dressed as the Headless Horseman. This year, while Terry recuperates from recent injuries, his brother Gary will take his place leading the ghostly greys down the stretch. **According to the U.S. Trotting Association, the governing body of harness racing, less than five percent of all harness horses are grey in color. The most famous was the former world champion trotter and Hambletonian winner, Greyhound. by Jennifer Starr for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs  

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