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Driving Challenge At Harrah’s Sunday

Published: September 16, 2016 5:00 pm ET

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Eight of eastern Pennsylvania’s most talented drivers will duel over eight races Sunday at Harrah’s Philadelphia racetrack for local sulkysitting bragging rights – and a $40,000 first prize – in the $100,000 ‘Summer Sizzle’ Drivers Challenge Championship.

The championship is proudly co-presented by the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association and Harrah’s Philadelphia.

The eight finalists – Simon Allard, Pat Berry, Corey Callahan, Matt Kakaley, Andrew McCarthy, Marcus Miller, Tony Morgan, and George Napolitano Jr. – made their way to the challenge championship field during the summer-long ‘qualifying stages,’ which rewarded drivers participating on specially-designated cards at both Philly and the other PHHA track, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

The finalists are listed below, with their age, career wins and money, and number of points accumulated:

The drivers will have their showdown in Races 6 through 13, with the point system to be used based on official order of finish being 35-25-15-10-8-5-4-2 – the same system used in compiling finalists for the various Pennsylvania stakes championships. Drivers would be credited with seven points if a horse they are listed on is scratched; a driver guiding a horse that does not finish would receive zero points. In the instance of a dead heat, the two (or more) places would have their points added and divided.

The ‘Great Eight’ of this driving challenge are chasing some cool cash during the hot afternoon of competition: as noted above, the driver with the most points gets $40,000; behind that prize money runs $15,000 for second, $12,000 for third, and then $10,000-$8,000-$6,000-$5,000-$4,000 down the line.

A tournament such as this one could not be held without the cooperation of horsemen entering their horses for the races, and in saying ‘thank you’ to the horsemen, purses for the eight races of the competition have been raised 20 per cent above the normal scale.

Also on the Sunday afternoon card at Harrah’s Philadelphia are three $35,000 divisions of the Liberty Bell stakes series, this event for three-year-old pacing colts; each class by age/sex/gait will have one turn in the spotlight starting with this card and continuing through Friday, September 30.

Post time for the first of Sunday’s 14 races at Harrah’s Philadelphia is set for 12:40 p.m.


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