The 50th Anniversary festivities continue at Pocono Downs, with everyone looking forward to an exciting weekend of tremendous racing and events.
Friday, August 21, racing will kick off with a special Post Time of 5:30pm, and the “Legends Race” will start off the night. The race will feature familiar names such as Bill Popfinger; Don Wiest; Jim Williard; Bill Mullin, Syl King Jr.; Eddie Nickle; and Joe Antonelli. There will also be a special Winner’s Circle trophy presention by Pocono’s first leading driver, J.D. Dennis, Sr., and Gene Daisey, who drove in 1965 as well. Horsemen from the past to the present are all invited into the Circle for the presentation and a group photo. After the 10th race, Wilkes Barre Mayor Thomas M. Leighton will present a proclamation honoring the track for their 50th anniversary and their contribution to the community.
Immediately following the races on Friday night, there will be a free concert on the apron with a Tribute to Motown featuring The Fellas; and a Tribute to the Supremes, featuring Encorz. The time for the concert will be approximately 9:30pm. A $1 Coors Light draft drink special will be at the track apron bars only for the concert fans. After the concert, fans with the coupon from the live racing program can grab their “Decades of the Downs” 1965 t-shirts on the apron, while supplies last.
Saturday afternoon, August 22, former manager and Major League baseball player Pete Rose drops in for pictures and autographs in the racing lobby from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. This is a wristband-only event, and wristbands are available starting at 1:00pm in the lobby. Authorized photos will be signed, and are available at the event.
Then the action shifts to the famous 5/8 mile oval with the $2.3 million Super Stakes Saturday. Representative Eddie Day Pashinski of the 121st Legislative District in Luzerne County will perform the National Anthem to kick off this tremendous night of racing, featuring the Battle of the Brandywine; the Colonial Trot; and the Valley Forge Pace, plus two consolations of each. Also featured on this prestigious night of racing is the Sebastian K Invitational Trot, named after the fastest trotter of all time. The famed trotter will also be honored with a special retirement ceremony after the 4th race on the card, featuring owner Michael Knuttson; driver/trainer, Ake Svanstedt and Bernie Noren; along with James Simpson from Hanover Shoe Farms. Special collectible Sebastian K color photos will be available for fans after the ceremony. A special 50th Anniversary souvenir beer mug will be given away to fans with the coupon from the live racing program starting at 9:00pm at the Trackside Concession area on the apron. Programs are on sale starting at 5:00pm.
The Hanover Shoe Farms Mares Invitational Pace and the USTA Invitational Pace have also been added to this stellar card of racing, with a purse of $50,000 to each.
Immediately following the races, at approximately 10:30pm, will be a spectacular fireworks display featuring music of all five decades from 1960’s to the present. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for a good spot on the apron.
Plenty of food will be available on the apron both Friday and Saturday with food trucks Dominic’s; Big Belly BBQ; Johnny Rockets; and Doc Popcorn ready to go with something for everyone’s appetite. The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame will be on hand with items for sale as well.
In the racing lobby both Friday and Saturday will be a special display of memorabilia from the past 50 years for fans to enjoy. Included are old photos; trophies; programs, and more.
As always, parking and admission are free at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and valet parking is also free.