Posts Tagged ‘Triple Crown’

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Announces 2018 Racing Season

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is pleased to announce our 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 7:00pm for all race nights, with the exception of Easter Sunday at 5:00pm and all three Triple Crown nights.  In the month of March, racing continues on Tuesday, March 20th; Saturday, March 24th; Sunday, March 25th; Tuesday, March 27th, and Saturday, March 31st.  Beginning in April, the track will move to its permanent schedule of Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, with no racing on Monday, April 2nd and Monday, September 10th.

Stakes action kicks off in early April with a Late Closing Series, and spring and summer action includes the PA Sire 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 Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds is on Sunday, September 2.   The prestigious $2 million Sun Stakes Saturday is June 30th 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, October 27th, with eliminations Friday, October 19th and Saturday, October 20th.  According to Dale Rapson, Vice President of Racing Operations, Crown ‘18 promises to be a memorable one with all twelve 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 double-header of live racing is once again planned for Kentucky Derby day, Saturday, May 5th, with a first post of 11:00am and the second card approximately 7:30pm.  Racing follows the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes and will also be an approximate Post Time of 7:30pm.

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 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 1st at 7:30am, 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 6th; Thursday, March 8th; and then every Wednesday thereafter for the remainder of the season.

Live split card on Belmont day yields standouts

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

A specially-formatted 16-race card was featured on Belmont Day, June 6th,  at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with four races held before the historic doings in Elmont NY and then the remainder starting after the big race.

The race attracting the most attention was the tenth race (held in the evening portion), a $30,000 Open pace, and there was “dancin’ in the moonlight” as 2014 Pennsylvania Pacer of the Year Dancin Yankee never looked back in a 1:48.3 victory, going out in 26 and coming home in 26.4 firmly in control. George Napolitano Jr., king of the local driving colony again this year, was named on four horses in the race, and he picked the right one as the son of Yankee Cruiser raised his lifetime earnings harvest over $1.2M for trainer Josh Green and owners Baron Racing Stable and Richard Lombardo.

In the other $30,000 Open pace, Big Boy Dreams marked himself as a 4-year-old to watch as he reduced his mark to 1:49.4 in taking another $30,000 Open pacing contest. The son of If I Can Dream made the front just past the ¼ for driver Simon Allard, set the pace, then rocketed home in 26.4 for his second straight victory after a third-place finish in the Confederation Cup Final. Trainer Rene Allard shares ownership of the winner of over half a million dollars with Robert Hamather and Mary Lou Poliseno.

The ladies were in the spotlight in the last race of the “early” card and the first race of the “later” card.

In the last race held before the Belmont, Blue Chip Matchmaker winner Venus Delight asserted a claim to be the leader of the older female division with a 1:50.2 decision in a $30,000 mares handicap pace, despite not having started since her victory in the Yonkers series final on April 25. But the daughter of Bettor’s Delight and driver Jason Bartlett had to work hard for the top money, rallying out of the pocket to catch perhaps the most-improved horse of 2015, Ooh Bad Shark, to tally by a head after grabbing the lead with about 100 feet to go. The winner, who set a personal mark, is trained by Jeff Bamond Jr. for owners Bamond Racing LLC – who might get a fifth straight older pacing mares yearly title, with Anndrovette having won in the last four seasons.

After American Pharoah won the Belmont and the first thoroughbred Triple Crown in 37 years, the Broadway Hall mare Frau Blucher went 34 4/5 seconds faster in winning, capturing a $30,000 open trot while defeating six males and two females in 1:51.4, 2/5 of a second off her mark and the 4TM world record she set at The Downs last year. Frau Blucher, driven by George Napolitano Jr. for trainer Chris Oakes, made every pole a winning one while raising her career bankroll to $976,932 for owners Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises LLC and Susan Oakes. (And she’d be over $1M right now but for an inch, as she was deadheated for the win by stablemate Classic Martine in the world record-DH PA Sire Stakes 3TF Championship race in 2013.)

–On this 16-race card, two drivers won ten of the races, and only five drivers in all won: George Napolitano Jr. and Simon Allard both had five victories (four of Allard’s were trained by brother Rene); Jason Bartlett had 3, Anthony Napolitano had 2, and Marcus Miller had 1.

There were a total of seven miles in 1:50 or better on the card, topped by Dancin Yankee’s 1:48.3; among the drivers, George Nap had three, and Allard two.

American Pharoah jockey Victor Espinoza at Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

Triple Crown fever is striking everywhere, and anticipation is high for American Pharoah’s bid on Saturday, June 6th with the Belmont Stakes.

With a big celebration planned for Belmont Stakes Saturday, the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is excited to announce that jockey Victor Espinoza will be appearing for autographs and photos on Tuesday, June 2 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm in the Racing Lobby.  This is a wristband-only event, and fans may obtain their wristband starting at 1:00pm, with a very limited amount available.

Only the authorized photo, which will be distributed at the signing, will be autographed, and a professional photographer will be on hand for photos, which will then be posted on the Mohegan Sun Pocono Facebook page for sharing.

Belmont Stakes Saturday will be a huge party, with live harness racing at 3:30pm until 5:00pm, and 12 additional races immediately following the 147th Belmont Stakes.  Food trucks; the “Belmont Breeze” in souvenir glasses; and plenty of bars with ice cold beverages will be on the apron for the fans to enjoy in anticipation of post time and history in the making.  American Pharoah merchandise will be for sale on the apron as well.

Victor Espinoza has won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes  three times, riding War Emblem in 2002; California Chrome in 2014; and American Pharoah this year.  As of this date, he is the first jockey in history to enter the Belmont Stakes with a third opportunity to win the Triple Crown.


Friday, February 14th, 2014

A double-header 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 5/8 mile oval in Wilkes Barre, PA on March 22, and for the first few months of the new season, (March through June),  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 28th, 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 & Gelding Pace; and the Ben Franklin Free For All Pace.  Eliminations will take place on Saturday, June 21st.    

 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 September through closing in November.  There will be no live racing the week of September 8th for the annual Oktoberfest celebration. 

 Kentucky Derby Day, May 3rd,, traditionally a huge celebration of racing and partying, will also boast a double-header 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 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, November 22. 


The Biggest Belmont Stakes Party In Northeast Pennsylvania Is Back At Mohegan Sun At Pocono Downs

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Enjoy specialty drinks, great food, racing rewards, cash giveaways and a drink on the house with a Triple Crown victory!

On Saturday, June 9th, the Belmont Stakes takes center stage and once again Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is calling on race fans to celebrate the big race with a jumbo screen, special cocktails and a chance to win some great giveaways and prizes.

The patio, party tent and Pacer’s Clubhouse will all open at 2:00pm for the Belmont Stakes festivities.  From 2:00pm through 6:00pm, guests can swipe their Player’s Club card or Racing Rewards card at any kiosk for a chance to win one of five $1,000 live racing betting vouchers or $5,000 in cash starting after Pocono race 1.  The official drink will be the Belmont Breeze which comes in a special souvenir glass. Food from Johnny Rockets and sweet treats from Ben & Jerry’s will be available for guests and if “I’ll Have Another” wins the Triple Crown, all party goers will be treated to another drink, on the house!

For reservations, call 570.831.2100.

*Restrictions apply.  Must present kiosk coupon. Must be 21 or over, have a valid I.D. and Player’s Club or Racing Rewards card.  Redemption at select bars. Must be present to win betting vouchers and cash.

Also, it’s fitting that on Friday, June 8th, jockey Ron Turcotte of the 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat will be joining Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for a special Signings & Sightings at the race track apron.  Meet the racing legend beginning at 6:30pm.  Race enthusiasts will also be able to purchase a special commemorative Secretariat Belmont Stakes poster for $5.00 and have Ron sign it. Proceeds will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

About Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, owned by the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, is one of the most distinctive and spectacular entertainment, gaming, shopping and dining destinations in Pennsylvania. Situated on 400 acres in Plains, Pennsylvania, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is currently home to 55,000 square feet of gaming space including over 82 live table games, 2,300 slot machines and electronic table games, a variety of dining and shopping options, nightlife, entertainment and live harness racing. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is within easy access of New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. More information is available by calling (1.888.946.4672) or visiting