Pennsylvania horse breeders and racing fans alike are looking towards the home stretch with the announcement of the 2016 Pennsylvania Classic host, the Downs at the Mohegan Sun Pocono. As the track prepares for the upcoming race, others anxiously await the Sire Stakes as the purses are set at $350,000 for races in September.
“We are pleased to announce Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs as the site for the inaugural Pennsylvania Classic,” said Jonathan Newman, State Harness Racing Commission Chairman. “This will be a marquee event so we felt it was very important that the selected site would assist with promotion of this first-time event. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs will ensure that this will be one of the richest harness races in the United States.”
The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is celebrating its 50th anniversary of racing and has experience with large races such as the Breeders Crown, the Sun Stakes Saturday, the Adios race, and the Max C. Hempt Memorial Pace. The Downs is often recognized for its quality horses and premiere track, featuring a new paddock, fresh landscaping, a jumbo screen, rich purses, a simulcast room, a leveled apron, trackside concession stands and a tremendous racetrack surface that has provided for many world records.
Currently, $800,000 is earmarked, through the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission, for the 2016 Pennsylvania Classic for three-year-old pacers. The pair of Pennsylvania Classic races will be open to Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old pacing colts and fillies nationwide. Purses are an estimated $700,000 for the colt race and $350,000 for the filly race.
As the downs gears up for the high stakes at the 2016 Pennsylvania Classic, others affiliated with the harness racing industry anxiously await for the Sires Stakes Finals in September. The dates and locations for the stakes are as follows:
September 5th – Sire Stakes Three-Year-Old Championship at Pocono Downs
September 7th – Stallion Series Three-Year-Old Championships at Harrah’s Philadelphia
September 10th – Stallion Series Two-Year-Old Championship at Harrah’s Philadelphia
September 11th – Sire Stakes Two-Year-Old Championships at the Meadow’s Downs