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Pocono Paddock Gets Rave Reviews


Published: March 19, 2009 3:03 pm ET

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The new multi-million dollar paddock at Pocono Downs came “alive” Thursday morning as the initial qualifying races of the 2009 harness racing season got underway.

And a light sprinkle and cool temperatures with a sloppy racetrack couldn’t dampen the spirits and enthusiasm of horsemen working in the state-of-the-art paddock for the first time. More qualifying races will be conducted Tuesday and Friday of next week.

From the man, the reviews for the new indoor paddock were very favourable.

“It’s a first-class facility and I’m proud to say I race at this track,” said Mickey Peterson, trainer/driver who has been a regular at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for many years. “I would expect nothing less from the management of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. They are a first-class operation all the way, They spare no dollars.”

Syl King Jr., who has been racing standardbreds at the Northeastern Pennsylvania racetrack for more than 40 years, said he thought he wouldn’t live to see a new paddock being used by the horsemen.

“I love it,” added King Jr.

“When you work together with management goods thing happen,” said Sam Beegle, a member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association (PHHA). “Everyone is excited to be working with such fine facilities.”

“Our new paddock is spacious and beautiful,” said Bill Mullin, another longtime driver/trainer/owner at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

“We’ve gone from hell to heaven,” kidding said Mike Mourad, trainer.

“I wish my father were here to see this,” said Jim Fortna, whose late dad, George, drove and trained horses at Pocono Downs when the track first opened its doors back in 1965. “It’s certainly spacious. I’ll need roller skates to get around.”

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs will open its live racing season Wednesday night (April 1) with a post of 6:30. The season will run through November 21 with evening racing Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays with Saturday afternoon cards at 1.

(Pocono Downs)

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