Pocono Downs announces 2018 schedule
February 20, 2018
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The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is pleased to announce its 2018 racing season schedule. The track in Northeast PA is looking forward to another tremendous season of racing, with the Breeders Crown returning for the third time.
Opening night has been set for Saturday, March 17,at a new post time of 7 p.m. for all race nights, with the exception of Easter Sunday at 5 p.m. and all three Triple Crown nights. In the month of March, racing continues on Tuesday, March 20; Saturday, March 24; Sunday, March 25; Tuesday, March 27; and Saturday, March 31. Beginning in April, the track will move to its permanent schedule of Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, with no racing on Monday, April 2, and Monday, Sept. 10.
Stakes action kicks off in early April with a Late Closing Series, and spring and summer action includes the PA Sires Stakes for 3 year olds starting in May, as well as the PA All-Stars and PA Stallion Series. All three continue throughout the season, with the 2 year olds taking center stage starting in July. The PA Sires Stakes for 3 year olds is on Sunday, Sept. 2. The prestigious $2 million Sun Stakes Saturday is June 30 featuring the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot; $500,000 Ben Franklin Free For All Pace; 500,000 Max Hempt Memorial Pace; and the $300,000 James Lynch Memorial Pace. Eliminations will take place on Saturday, June 23.
Breeders Crown 2018 is Saturday, Oct. 27, with eliminations Friday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 20. According to Dale Rapson, vice president of racing operations, Crown ‘18 promises to be a memorable one with all 12 races in one night.
"We are very excited to bring back the Breeders Crown, and are already planning a great event," he said. The track is working closely with the Hambletonian Society and the PHHA on the spectacular night of racing."
"I'm really looking forward to my first Breeders Crown with Pocono," said Mike Harant, executive director of the PHHA, "as well as the entire 2018 racing season."
A doubleheader of live racing is once again planned for Kentucky Derby day, Saturday, May 5, with a first post of 11 a.m. and the second card approximately 7:30 p.m. Racing follows the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes and will also be an approximate post time of 7:30 p.m.
Plenty of fan-friendly events and promotions are in the works for the season, and opening night will be "50/50 Night". Fans get $50 in free live racing vouchers when they buy $50, and valid on the live racing card that evening, while supplies last. Fans get a free live program on opening night starting at 5:00pm, also while supplies last. Additional fun events are planned throughout the season, including celebrity meet-and-greet autograph sessions with several sports stars; giveaway items; and on Kentucky Derby day, the annual "Run for the Roses Hat Revue" which is the contest for the most fashionable hats in several categories with cash prizes.
In addition, the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will add the text messaging service for promotional giveaways, as well as updates for fans on upcoming events and big race nights. Fans can opt in starting in March, and regular message and data rates may apply.
The stables will open for the season on Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 a.m., and the familiar sight of horses training will soon be the first sign of spring and the 53rd year of racing at the Downs. Qualifying dates have been set for Tuesday, March 6, Thursday, March 8, and then every Wednesday thereafter for the remainder of the season. (Pocono)