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Pocono to celebrate 50th anniversary
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 - by Jennifer Starr, for The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono

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Wilkes-Barre, PA --- On July 15, 1965, the $7 million Pocono Downs opened its doors in Northeast Pennsylvania. Thousands of fans were on hand as Satin Queen was the first to cross the finish line on that sultry summer night.

Fifty years later, 42 tracks have come and gone, but Pocono Downs, now renamed The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, continues to host world-record racing from March to November each year. From August 15-22, the track will honor the past and look ahead to the future with a week of events for the fans to celebrate and honor the rich history and tremendous racing.

A week-long celebration kicks off on Saturday (Aug. 15) with the world-renowned Budweiser Clydesdales making an appearance, and one of the iconic horses doing a special “meet and greet” with fans from 6-7:30 p.m. A wristband is necessary, and will be distributed at 4:00pm on the Sky Bridge. Photos are $5, and all proceeds will be donated to Marley’s Mission, a charity that provides equine-based therapy free of charge to children and their families who have experienced trauma. The Budweiser Clydesdales hitch will promenade on the track during live racing that Saturday night, as well as the night before.

On Tuesday (Aug. 18) and Wednesday (Aug. 19), fans can enjoy live racing and Pocono is “rolling back the prices” to 1965 on soft drinks, hot dogs, popcorn, and soft drinks.

The weekend will be full of exciting events, with a special post time of 5:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday nights. On Friday (Aug. 21) the night will kick off with a special Legends Race, featuring drivers from the past 50 years competing in a thrilling race with a percentage of their purse donated to the charity of their choice. Immediately following the races, fans can enjoy a special Tribute to Motown free concert featuring The Fellas and Encorz, two tremendous groups who will be performing on the track apron.

Saturday (Aug. 22) starts off with an exciting guest dropping by to celebrate the anniversary. Former Major League Baseball player and manager Pete Rose will be on hand for autographs and photos from 4-6 p.m. in the racing lobby. This is a wristband-only event, and wristbands will be distributed starting at 1 p.m. Authorized photos only will be signed, and they are available at the special signing.

Then the action shifts back to the track with a special post time of 5:30 p.m. for the return of the $2.3 million Super Stakes Saturday, with the 3-year-old Colonial Trot; the 3-year-old Valley Forge Filly Pace; and the 3-year-old Battle of the Brandywine Open Pace, plus two consolations of each. Amid the tremendous racing on that night will be the 50th Anniversary Souvenir Beer Mug giveaway, which will take place from 9-10:30 p.m. with the coupon from the live racing program. The special commemorative program will be on sale starting at 5 p.m. in the racing lobby.

Immediately following the stellar Super Stakes Saturday card will be a spectacular fireworks display to cap the tremendous week of events. The approximate start time is 10:45 p.m.

Fans are reminded that the souvenir book “The Golden Era of Pocono Downs” will be available through the remainder of the season, and can be purchased at the program stand. This commemorative book takes a look back at 50 years of racing, events, and statistics, and contains photos of the past and present.

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is truly honored to be celebrating this milestone, and looks forward to a terrific week of fan-friendly events and outstanding racing. For more information on the anniversary celebration, follow us on Twitter @DownsAtMSP, #pcd50; and keep checking back for updates in the racing section of

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