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Great Northeast Open Series Preview

Published: April 28, 2019 2:57 pm ET

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The 2019 edition of the Great Northeast Open Series in Pennsylvania will be getting underway in just a few days’ time, and organizers with the series have released a preview of what is to come.

Some of North America’s top older trotters and pacers will be spending many a weekend day from May to early September at either The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono or Harrah’s Philadelphia, racing in the 2019 edition of the GNOS.

The GNOS is a series that will weekly offer $30,000 races involving three classifications: an Open pace, an Open trot, and a Filly and Mare Open pace. The Open paces will take place at one track on a given week, while the Open trot and F&M Open pace will take place at the other. If the Open pace is at Pocono in a given week, it will be held on Saturday night. All other GNOS races will be held on Sundays (afternoon cards at Philly, nighttime at Pocono).

Exceptions to these basics start right on Opening Day for the series, this coming Saturday, May 4, Kentucky Derby Day: Philly will be open that day and will hold the Open trot and F&M Open pace on that card; while Pocono will host a doubleheader and will have the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Pace, its traditional Derby Day feature, during the nighttime action.

Other variations: on Sunday, May 26, Philly will host all three classes in their traditional big-money Invitational races, which are designated GNOS races; and on Saturday, June 29, Pocono will hold $75,000 events for the Open trotters and the F&M Open pacers during its giant Sun Stakes Saturday (the Franklin Pace will not be a GNOS event, but the Open pacers will have a GNOS opportunity at Philly Sunday afternoon).

Each starter will receive 25 points, and then points will be given based on order of finish, on a 50-25-12-8-5-4-3-2-1 basis. The top point earners throughout the summer will qualify for their respective $100,000 Great Northeast Open Series Championships at the distance of one and a quarter miles during a Monday twilight, September 9 card at Pocono, along with the eight $40,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series Championships. This Pocono program will serve as the culmination of a $2.5-million Pennsylvania Statewide Stakes Championship Weekend, which will include the three-year-old PA Sire Stakes Championships at the Meadows on Saturday afternoon and the two-year-old PA Sire Stakes Championships at Philly on Sunday afternoon.

The inaugural GNOS Championships, also held at one and a quarter miles, produced a world record effort by Pocono-based Open trotter Homicide Hunter, who won in 2:22.2 and soon afterward would go on to become the world’s fastest trotter with a historic 1:48.4 victory at the Red Mile. Western Joe won the Open pace Championship in 2:20.2 (only three-fifths of a second off the world record for the elongated distance); Bettorhaveanother won the distaff GNOS Championship in 2:21.3.

Pocono will draw for its Saturday card on Monday at 9 a.m. Philly will draw for its Saturday card on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

(PHHA / The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono / Harrah’s Philadelphia)

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