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Shorter meet equals bonus money at Pocono

April 17, 2008
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Earl Beal Jr., president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association (PHHA), announced Thursday that PHHA members have earned more than $75,000 in bonus monies during the first eight days of the 2008 meet at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
 
The bonus, which is 20 percent for any Pennsylvania-owned, trained or sired winning horses, was created by the PHHA board of directors specifically for the 2008 meet. It was developed in response to a funding excess created by this year’s shorter meet, which is 95 days versus 133 in 2007. Qualifying winners will automatically receive the 20 percent as part of their purse checks, and no action is required on their part.
 
Under certain circumstances, a qualifying winner could earn a bonus of up to 60 percent: 20 percent from the 2008 bonus, 20 percent if the win occurs in a Pennsylvania sired race, plus an additional 20 percent if a horse meeting the two prior conditions also wins from the ninth hole. If that sounds like an unlikely scenario, consider that while only one winner in 2007 would have met all three criteria, many would have qualified for a 40 percent bonus by meeting the first two criteria.
 
In addition, purses have risen between 10-15 percent over 2007. Beal estimates that total payouts could reach as high as $1.5 million before the end of the meet.
 
“We’re very pleased to reward Pennsylvania owners and trainers while at the same time, offering a meaningful incentive for this year’s meet,” said Beal. “Pennsylvania standardbred racing is about more than the state where these venues are located. Therefore, the more Pennsylvania owned, trained or sired horses that compete at Pennsylvania venues, the closer we come to establishing ‘Pennsylvania standardbred racing’ as a unique brand – one that is already gaining renewed respect and attention among fans and the media alike.” (PHHA)
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