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Crown set for Pocono; older payments up

March 09, 2018

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The $6 million Breeders Crown, harness racing’s richest and most prestigious year-end divisional championship series, returns Saturday, Oct. 27, to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

A press conference slated for noon Thursday, March 15, at the track in Northeast Pennsylvania will unveil the plans for the star-studded 2018 season, leading with the new Breeders Crown event logo developed by GSI Interactive. Opening night for live racing is Saturday, March 17, with a post time of 7 p.m.

There were 1,146 trotters and pacers made eligible with a Feb. 15 payment to the Crown events at Mohegan Sun – with the four-year-old and older payment group up 18%.

"I think the spike in payments shows that people are excited about the Breeders Crown returning to Pocono – it’s a proven venue with a spectacular racing surface, and the hospitality and location continues the standards set by our recent host tracks of Woodbine, The Meadowlands and Hoosier Park," said John Campbell, president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society which owns and administers the Breeders Crown.

Eliminations for the Breeders Crown will be raced Friday, Oc. 19 (the only Friday card of the year at Pocono) and Saturday, Oct. 20.

The Pennsylvanian Harness Horsemen’s Association spearheaded the drive to put the historic five-eighths mile track in Breeders Crown rotation, and Pocono was the first track to stage all 12 Breeders Crown races on one night with their inaugural hosting in 2010. All 12 races established new stake records for the Breeders Crown, with two world records and one track record set that night.

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono next held all 12 "Crown" events in 2013, and saw victories posted by Dan Patch Horse of The Year Bee A Magician, Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous and the richest Standardbred of all-time, $7 million earner, Foiled Again.

Total handle on Breeders Crown elimination programs and final nights in 2010 and 2013 exceeded $8 million, with more than 17,000 in combined attendance.

Two years ago the Pocono oval provided the setting for the fastest trotting mile in history, when Knutsson Trotting’s Sebastian K broke the 1:50 barrier, establishing a new speed standard of 1:49.

The Hambletonian Society is a non-profit organization formed in 1924 to sponsor the race for which it was named, the Hambletonian Stake. The Society’s mission is to encourage and support the breeding of Standardbred horses through the development, administration and promotion of harness racing stakes, early-closing races and other special events. For more information, visit www.hambletonian.com. (Hambletonian Society)

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