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Great Northeast Series worth $1.8 million at Harrah's Philadelphia and Pocono
Saturday, April 28, 2018 - by PHHA/Pocono and Harrah's Philadelphia

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Wilkes-Barre, PA --- The fastest of the northeastern U.S.’s older performers will have approximately $1,800,000 of weekly competition available to them May through September, as the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association (PHHA), in conjunction with The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono (Pocono) and Harrah’s Philadelphia (Philly), introduces the Great Northeast Open Series for quality male pacers and trotters and fast-class mare pacers.

The series will provide racing opportunities for these three classes every week, going for $30,000. The fast-class pacers will compete at either Pocono or Philly (Saturdays at Pocono, Sundays at Philly), with the trotters and mare pacers forming a doubleheader at the other track on Sundays. An exception comes during opening week, on Kentucky Derby Day (May 5), when the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Invitational at Pocono starts that division’s series action that Saturday night. The trotters and mares will tussle on a special Saturday afternoon card at Philly.

All the races at Pocono are night events and all the Philly action during the afternoon.There will also be $30,000 series races on Sunday (May 27) the “Super Sunday” Invitational card at Philly, and for the open pacers on June 23 (Pocono) and July 1 (Philly), during the period when Pocono features its Sun Stakes Saturday eliminations and finals, which includes the Franklin Pace for older pacers. The May 27 Super Sunday races at Philly count for points in the series; the Franklin races do not.

Horses will earn points on a 50-25-12-8-5-4-3-2-1 (ninth onward) finish, with 25 points awarded for each start to encourage continuous competition in the Great Northeast Series. The top point-earners will be eligible for their respective $100,000 Great Northeast finals, which will be held at Pocono on Sunday (Sept. 2), at a distance of 1-1/4 miles, providing a division fills at least six legs. Sept. 2 is also the night of the $1,000,000+ Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships for 3-year-olds, also to be held at Pocono, which should make that Labor Day Weekend night of racing one of the best in all of harness racing.

There will be no nominating or starting fees for the Great Northeast Series. The normal declaration days are: at Pocono, Monday for Saturday events and Tuesday for Sunday; at Philly, Wednesday for Sunday. Scratch time is usually the day following. Trainers and owners will be limited to one starter per event in the weekly legs, and two entrants in the finals. A minimum of seven entrants will be required to race a weekly event.

Any questions about the Great Northeast Series and confirmation for declaring/scratching dates and times, should be directed to the Racing Secretary at the two host ovals – Joe Auger at Harrah's Philadelphia, 484.490.2222, and Rick Kane at Pocono, 570.831.2228.

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