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Pocono Stakes Nominations Due Feb. 15

Published: January 2, 2019 9:40 am ET

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Horsepeople are reminded that nominations should be postmarked by Feb. 15 for the many and varied early and late closers that will highlight the 2019 racing season of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The famed northeastern Pennsylvania oval will begin the 134-day race meet on March 16.

Starting off the season – right from opening night – will be a new late closer, The Secretary’s Series, with six different divisions and no nomination fees. An initial group of three divisions will be programmed for four-year-old and older pacing horses and geldings, pacing mares, and trotters, with separate mare divisions if entries warrant for the trotters. These three events will be for non-winners of $50,000 in 2018 for those that have started 10 or more times in 2018. The three preliminary legs will each go for a purse of $12,500, with $25,000 finals.

The second group for the same type of horses will be for non-winners of $75,000 in 2018 for those that have started 10 or more times in 2018. Purses for these events will be $17,500 for the preliminaries and a $30,000 final. If a horse won less than $50,000 in 2018 with the required ten starts, he or she can also enter the parallel division of this second late-closing series, to be raced entirely after the completion of the first group.

The Bobby Weiss Late Closing Series for three- and four-year-old horses will return this season in April with four events for non-winners of two extended pari-mutuel races or $30,000 lifetime as of and including February 1, 2019. The separate events will be for male pacers, female pacers, male trotters and female trotters. Each Weiss will consist of three $15,000 legs and a $30,000 final. This year there will be consolations for each event.

Returning this year will be the Great Northeast Series for open pacers, pacing mares, and trotters. Legs will go for $30,000, and will alternate between The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Harrah’s Philadelphia from May to September. The $100,000 finals will be held on Monday, September 9 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono going a distance of 1-1/4 miles. In these late closers, each horse that actually starts will receive 25 points along with any points they get from their official placings in each leg. All of the late closers will have no nominating fees, including the Weiss Series for the first time.

The Pennsylvania All-Stars, an early closer for Pennsylvania-sired three-year-olds, will be raced in May and June, with their counterpart three-year-old races in July. Nominations for the three-year-old events of the Pennsylvania All-Stars are due on Feb. 15; nominations for the two-year-old events are not due until March 15.

Sun Stakes Saturday will, once again, usher in the summer portion of the racing season. The finals for the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial three-year-old open trot, $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial three-year-old open pace, $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial three-year-old filly pace and $500,000 Ben Franklin free-for-all pace will be on June 29, with eliminations one week earlier on June 22. If entries for the eliminations warrant, there will be a $75,000 consolation for the Beal, Hempt and Franklin races and a $50,000 consolation for the Lynch.

Complete racing conditions and payment information for all these racing events are listed on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono’s website.

(The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono)

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