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The harness racing stars of tomorrow are coming!  The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association, are welcoming the Harness Horse Youth Foundation Camp to the track in Wilkes Barre, PA from Tuesday, July 17 to Saturday, July 21st. Seven girls and three boys between the ages of 12 and 14 will be spending the week learning all about harness racing while working hands-on with the HHYF’s stable of Trottingbred horses. They will learn all about the care and grooming, equipment, conformation, lameness, history, stable management, and equine careers. The camp director, Ellen Taylor, and her counselors, are assisted by Pocono horsemen who volunteer their time for the week with the various learning activities. Also during the week, the campers enjoy several other events, including a night watching the live harness racing action; riding in the starting gate and learning about the duties performed by the starter judge and other track personnel; as well as fun activities after hours, including bowling and a pool party.  The camp concludes on Saturday, July 21st with three exciting races on the famous Pocono oval with the children accompanied by Pocono drivers.  Approximate Post Time for the races is 5:15pm, with an awards ceremony in the Hanover Shoe Farms Winner’s Circle after the races.  All in all, it is a week filled with lots of hard work…and fun! This year, nine children are from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties in Pennsylvania, and one of the campers is from Massachusetts. This camp is one of several across the country being conducted by HHYF this summer.  The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with  harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation was established in 1976 and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs and educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF and its mission, go to www.hhyf.org. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs

Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica, is excited to announce their line-up for Thursday morning (June 28) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Jennifer Starr, the harness racing marketing director at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono; Jimmy Takter, trainer of Manchego; Jordan Stratton, driver of Marion Marauder; and Jim Campbell, trains a slew of horses participating in stakes on Saturday. Starr, the racing marketing director at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, joins the program to talk about the happenings at the track on Saturday. The pair will discusses the races and what the track has available to patrons. Takter, trainer of Manchego, will discuss his champion three-year-old filly. She was victorious against the boys during her elimination and she looks to take them down for the second week in a row in the $500,000 final. Takter told Ken Weingartner that he believes his filly has something left in the tank for Saturday night. Stratton, who drove Marion Marauder last week, joins the show to discuss how the champion trotter handled the 1/2 of Yonkers Raceway. The duo will discuss with Stratton how he feels he can handle the different size tracks going forward and what may be next for the Triple Crown winner. Campbell trains a slew of horses throughout the three big stakes races and consolations Saturday night at Pocono. The pair talks to Campbell about all of the horses he has entered and how he feels they are training up to the big weekend. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive atwww.betamerica.com/BARN. by Michael Carter, for Post Time with Mike and Mike

Saturday, June 30th, the very best of the best harness racing trotters and pacers in North America will descend upon the Downs at MohegaSun Pocono in Northeast PA for Sun Stakes Saturday, when the stars shine SO bright.  All eyes will be on the filly Manchego, now 15 for 15, clocking the fastest in the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot eliminations of 1:52.4, with the gelding Crystal Fashion missing by a nose.  She starts from post 6 and will once again be “against the boys”.  Also in the spotlight will be North America Cup winner Lather Up, entering the final of the Max Hempt Memorial off his powerful 1:49 win in the eliminations, looking like he still had plenty left in the tank for driver Montrell Teague. Lather Up, 7-for-7 this year for trainer Clyde Francis, starts from the not-easy post 7. Ben Franklin 2014 winner McWicked returns to this superstar field, which includes Heaven Rocks A and All Bets Off, who won his elimination after favorite Sintra (also in the final), crossed the wire first but was placed back for a violation of the pylons rule.  The James Lynch Memorial is equally full of star power, with Kissin’ In The Sand drawing the difficult 9 post, and Youaremycandygirl looking to get back to winning form.  The Downs is thrilled to welcome the incomparable Foiled Again on Saturday, racing in the third, a conditioned pace.  The 100th win in the illustrious career of the “Richest Standardbred of all time” is within his grasp!  Foiled Again won the Franklin here in 2013, setting the World Record in his elimination of 1:48, and returning for a thrilling final on a sloppy track in 1:49.2.  The day begins with a special Meet and Greet with Julius “Dr J” Erving in the Racing Lobby at 4:30pm  This is a wristband-only event, with wristbands being distributed at 1:00pm.  A Racing Rewards card is required, and only the distributed authorized photos will be signed. Also on Saturday, the first 300 fans will receive a souvenir cooler pack.  Coupon is required and in the live racing program, available starting at 11:00am.  Redemption is between 9:00PM and 10:00Pm in the lower Grandstand bar.  The promotion is one per fan, while supplies last, with their Racing Rewards card. Post Time is 7:00pm, with plenty of seating on the apron and patio,  as well as free self-parking and free admission. Patio and apron bars will be open with ice cold beverages, and there’ll be a food tent.  No off-property food or beverages are permitted.  Racing for the track in Northeast PA continues through November 17 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday.   

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is pleased to announce our 2018 harness racing season schedule. The track in Northeast PA is looking forward to another tremendous season of racing, with the Breeders Crown returning for the third time. Opening night has been set for Saturday, March 17 at a new Post Time of 7:00pm for all race nights, with the exception of Easter Sunday at 5:00pm and all three Triple Crown nights. In the month of March, racing continues on Tuesday, March 20th; Saturday, March 24th; Sunday, March 25th; Tuesday, March 27th, and Saturday, March 31st. Beginning in April, the track will move to its permanent schedule of Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, with no racing on Monday, April 2nd and Monday, September 10th. Stakes action kicks off in early April with a Late Closing Series, and spring and summer action includes the PA Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds starting in May, as well as the PA All-Stars and PA Stallion Series. All three continue throughout the season, with the 2-year-olds taking center stage starting in July. The PA Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds is on Sunday, September 2. The prestigious $2 million Sun Stakes Saturday is June 30th featuring the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot; $500,000 Ben Franklin Free For All Pace; 500,000 Max Hempt Memorial Pace; and the $300,000 James Lynch Memorial Pace. Eliminations will take place on Saturday, June 23. Breeders Crown 2018 is Saturday, October 27th, with eliminations Friday, October 19th and Saturday, October 20th. According to Dale Rapson, Vice President of Racing Operations, Crown '18 promises to be a memorable one with all twelve races in one night. "We are very excited to bring back the Breeders Crown, and are already planning a great event," he said. The track is working closely with the Hambletonian Society and the PHHA on the spectacular night of racing. "I'm really looking forward to my first Breeders Crown with Pocono," said Mike Harant, Executive Director of the PHHA, "as well as the entire 2018 racing season." A double-header of live racing is once again planned for Kentucky Derby day, Saturday, May 5th, with a first post of 11:00am and the second card approximately 7:30pm. Racing follows the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes and will also be an approximate Post Time of 7:30pm. Plenty of fan-friendly events and promotions are in the works for the season, and opening night will be "50/50 Night". Fans get $50 in free live racing vouchers when they buy $50, and valid on the live racing racing card that evening, while supplies last. Fans get a free live program on opening night starting at 5:00pm, also while supplies last. Additional fun events are planned throughout the season, including celebrity meet-and-greet autograph sessions with several sports stars; giveaway items; and on Kentucky Derby day, the annual "Run for the Roses Hat Revue" which is the contest for the most fashionable hats in several categories with cash prizes. In addition, the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will add the text messaging service for promotional giveaways, as well as updates for fans on upcoming events and big race nights. Fans can opt in starting in March, and regular message and data rates may apply. The stables will open for the season on Thursday, March 1st at 7:30am, and the familiar sight of horses training will soon be the first sign of spring and the 53rd year of racing at the Downs. Qualifying dates have been set for Tuesday, March 6th; Thursday, March 8th; and then every Wednesday thereafter for the remainder of the season. Jennifer Starr

The weather looks sufficiently cold and gloomy on Halloween night, the perfect setting for the Grey Ghost and Poltergeist Pace at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono sponsored by the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. The race with all grey horses is the 4th on the 14 race card.  Post positions were assigned.  Making his 5th start in this Halloween pace is Gotta Love Him for trainer Cindy Weitoish. The 9-year-old veteran’s won this race in 2014 and 2015, and his owners are hoping that his first win this year will be by the light of the ghostly All Hallows’ Eve moon.  He has the third biggest earnings in this field, currently at $208,515, and is 12/1 with driver Austin Siegelman. White Rolls won this race in 2016 with driver Jim Marohn Jr., and the duo re-team for this year.  Michael Hall trains the 4 year old, with odds of 3/1. Another returning “Grey Ghost” is Six Gun, who comes in from racing at Harrah’s Philadelphia.  He’s now in the Paul Stratton barn, and has 5 wins in 26 this year; the gelding is at 5/1 and George Napolitano Jr.’s driver choice. Simon Allard drives Donald Doc, new to Team Allard and to this race.  The 4-year-old is making his first start at Pocono after racing at Tioga.  Another new face is Toejamminmomma for Valeriya Medik, one of three mares in this field, who qualified at Pocono on 10/18 and hadn’t raced since June 11th in the Open at Goshen, finishing 4th. Jim Taggart Jr. steps in to drive.  Anthony Ciuffetelli ships in with Forever Effie, who has been racing at Saratoga, and is 11 for 27 in the money this year.  Andrew McCarthy drives.  Winter Blast at 6/1, returns from Canada for trainer Carmen Auciello, and had a start last week at Yonkers, finishing 5th on a sloppy track.  Eric Carlson has the reins. On what will be Doug Hamilton’s last official night of training before he retires, Stirling Escort enters the race off a 2nd at Pocono this past Saturday evening, and is 4/1 with driver Matt Kakaley. Another new face is Gadsden Hanover trained by Mark Ford.  Racing primarily at Yonkers, the mare is the morning line favorite at 5/2.  Anthony Napolitano drives.  The horses are ready!  The Winner’s Circle is decorated. The Paddock team and racing staff will be in costume!  Bring the kids in costume for a fun night!  There’s plenty of candy and other treats; a special photo area; and the Harness Museum has lots of great souvenirs for sale!  Post Time for the night is 6:30PM. Jennifer Starr 

WILKES-BARRE PA -- Veteran harness racing horseman Doug Hamilton was honored by Pocono and by the local horseman's colony as he retired from training, with management and a huge portion of Pocono backstretch's community gathering in the winner's circle after the third race for the ceremony. The 70-year-old Hamilton, a native of Ontario, drove 3675 winners during his career, and had trained 515 winners since the USTA started keeping records in 1992. The popular Hamilton was carrying on strongly right until his retirement, having won with three of the last eight starters he sent out in his career. Phil Langley, former president of the USTA who had used Hamilton as the trainer-driver for horses he owned, sent a congratulatory note. Langley, who had given the speech when Hamilton was inducted into the Illinois Harness Racing Hall of Fame, said, "It was an honor to work with such a great trainer and gentleman for several years, and I wish him the best in his retirement. He will be missed by everyone in harness racing." Ron Hamstra, who with his father Sam in their Sandbur Farms had horses with Hamilton for over 35 years, drove all the way over from Indiana earlier in the day just to be part of the special occasion. He said after the ceremony, "As a trainer and a gentleman, you couldn't ask for anyone better. As a friend, nothing was too much for him to do in friendship." ******* Trainer Jimmy Takter, who is hoping for success in three days' time at Hoosier Park with a couple of fillies named Ariana G and Manchego in the Breeders Crown , had a distaff from his barn take the $14,000 top-level conditioned pace at Pocono, as the Jennas Beach Boy filly Best Of Jenna reduced her mark to 1:51.2. Driver Andrew McCarthy, who has a favored filly in Friday's Breeders Crown races as well with Caviart Ally, moved the Pocono newcomer to the lead after the quarter and guided her home clear by 1½ lengths over Albany Girl, who in turn had a neck on Amateur Hour for second. Owner Mark Graber is an Indianan, and not the Ohioan who had the well-remembered trotter Overcomer some 30 years ago.   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono

On Saturday, October 21st, the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is proud to welcome former New York Yankees great Don Mattingly for autographs and photos at the racetrack.  The signing will take place from 4:00PM to 6:00PM in the Racing Lobby. This is a wristband-only event, and wristbands will be distributed starting at 2:00PM in the lobby.  Fans may start lining up at 1:00PM, and there is a limited number available. For the signing, authorized photos will be distributed, and only these will be signed.  Fans are welcome to take photos with their cell phones or bring their cameras for a quick photo opp. Live racing immediately follows this great event, with a Post Time of 6:30PM, and 14 races on the card. Parking and admission is free. By Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs

The Harness Horse Youth Foundation Camp returns to the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes Barre, PA the week of July 18-22.  Eleven children between the ages of 12 and 14 will be spending the week learning all about harness racing while working hands-on with the HHYF’s stable of Trottingbred horses.  Among the topics covered will be care and grooming, equipment, conformation, lameness, history, stable management, and equine careers.  During the week, the campers enjoy several other events, including dinner at Pacers Clubhouse and a night watching the live harness racing action; riding in the starting gate and learning about the duties performed by the starter judge; as well as fun activities after hours, including bowling and a pool party. This year, the children are all from across the state of Pennsylvania with the exception of one from Maryland.  The camp is one of several across the country being conducted by HHYF this summer. The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with  harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation was established in 1976 and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs and educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF and its mission, go to www.hhyf.org. Jennifer Starr – The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono's Rainbow Pick 5 carryover is now at $31,281.89 going into the harness racing Sun Stakes Saturday eliminations night, June 24th. The wager is 20 cents, and is on races 10 through 14, which includes eliminations for the James Lynch Memorial; Max Hempt Memorial; Ben Franklin Free-For-All; and the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot. Saturday's Post Time is 6:30PM. Sun Stakes Saturday, with $2 million in purses, is July 1st. Jennifer Starr Racing Marketing Manager Racing Operations

The field is set for the 142nd Preakness Stakes, and the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is in the final preparations for a huge party! Advance wagering is available on Friday, May 19th, Black-Eyed Susan Day, starting at 11:00AM, with doors open at 10:30AM.  Pimlico Post Time is 11:30AM. On Saturday, Preakness Day, doors open at 9:30AM, and the betting windows open at 10:00AM, with Post Time for Pimlico at 10:30 a.m.  Pacer’s Clubhouse will open at 4:00 p.m., by reservation only, 1-888-WIN-IN-PA.  There are still a few reservations left, so call today! Outside on the apron, the Black-Eyed Susans and other beverages will be flowing, and fans can enjoy a free concert featuring Encorz and The Fellas with a Tribute to Soultown.  The concert is from 4:00PM to 6:00PM.  Both groups appeared at Pocono for their 50th Anniversary, and are very energetic and highly entertaining.  Fans can watch the Preakness on the jumbo screen or in simulcast, and live harness racing action starts at 7:30PM. Sunday, May 21st will be exciting for football fans!  Former San Francisco 49ers and Notre Dame QB Joe Montana stops by for a meet and greet in the racing lobby from 5:00PM to 6:30PM.  This is a wristband-only event, and they will be distributed at 1:00PM, while they last.  Only authorized photos will be signed and will be distributed at the event, as well.  A professional photographer will be on hand and photos will be posted on the Facebook page of Mohegan Sun Pocono.  In addition, the Downs is adding a Rainbow Pick 5 starting Sunday, May 21st.  It will be a 20 cent wager, and the opening promo is a $5000 carryover.  The wager will be on the last five races of the card. For all racing events, follow us on Twitter @DownsATMSP. Racing continues Sundays with a Post Time of 7:30PM; and Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday with Post Time 6:30PM. Jennifer Starr – The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono 

Monticello cancels Thursday live program

The rain held off just enough for the gates at the stable entrance of the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono to open on Wednesday morning at 7:30AM.  Soon the stable area was filling up with the sounds of whinnies and laughter as horsemen arrived with their precious cargo, officially kicking off the 2017 harness racing season. Linda and John Kakaley were the first to arrive with Mcsorley’s Mistake and Swiss Platinum, both owned by Charlie and Mary Johnston.  A smiling Linda helped John get the first two horses settled in their stalls before a few more of theirs arrived soon after.  John hit the track to train with Mcsorley’s Mistake as the torrential downpour began, but neither John nor the trotter seemed to mind. Horses for the Peter Pellegrino Stable soon arrived in a trailer driven by Ollie Rose III, and Bucky Angle’s trailer was seen being unloaded by the veteran horseman.  Outrider Tia Shafer’s horses Red and Hollywood., along with pony Niles stepped off the trailer after their long ride from Ohio, and were greeted by hugs from Tia.  Stall applications are still being taken for the stables at https://myhorsemen.mohegansunpocono.com with special reduced rates for the 2017 season.  Call Luann Reynolds at 570-831-2125 for details. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono stable area features an excellent training track; tack shop and farriers; two veterinary clinics; laundry facilities; and a secure area with a guard on the premises 24 hours a day.  Entry is with a license only.  The stable area is minutes from major interstate highways. Racing opens for the season at the renowned 5/8 mile track on Saturday, March 18th..  Three dates have been set aside for Qualifiers; Tuesday, March 7; Thursday, March 9th;  and Wednesday, March 15th.    Jennifer Starr

Spring is just around the corner, and the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is getting the stable area ready for our valued horsemen, with the gates officially opening for the 52nd season on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 7:30a.m.  The gates will remain locked until that time.  All horsemen must have the required paperwork to enter with their horses, along with a valid Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission license, which must be presented upon entry at all times.  Applications are now being taken for stables at https://myhorsemen.mohegansunpocono.com, with special rates for the 2017 season.  For more information, please call Luann Reynolds at 570-831-2125. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono stable area features an excellent training track; tack shop and farriers; two veterinary clinics; laundry facilities; and a secure area with a guard on the premises 24 hours a day.  Entry is with a license only.  The stable area is minutes from major interstate highways. Racing opens for the season at the renowned 5/8 mile track on Saturday, March 18th.     by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs

The 2017 schedule for the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono includes four consecutive nights of racing, and a double-header on Kentucky Derby day, according to Vice President of Racing, Dale Rapson.  A total of 134 race nights and 135 cards are planned for the new season.  Racing opens at the renowned 5/8 mile oval in Wilkes Barre, PA on Saturday, March 18th, with limited days of racing in March, including Tuesday, March 21st; Saturday, March 25th, and Tuesday, March 28th.  In April, racing moves to Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday, with Sunday, April 2nd the 1st leg of the Bobby Weiss Late Closing Series for 3 and 4 year olds, named for the beloved former Director of Track Maintenance.  Bobby retired in 2011, and was responsible for the record-breaking track surface that is maintained today.  The series continues throughout April with the finals on May 2nd and 9th.  There will be no live racing on Monday, April 3rd or Sunday, April 16th. The prestigious $2 million Sun Stakes Saturday is set for Saturday, July 1st, and will feature the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial 3-year-old Trot; the James Lynch 3-year-old Filly Pace; the Max Hempt 3-year-old Colt & Gelding Pace; and the Ben Franklin Free For All Pace.  Eliminations will take place on Saturday, June 24th.  Kentucky Derby day, May 6th, features a double-header with two Pocono live race cards.  Post Time for the first card will be at 11 a.m., and the second will be immediately following the 143rd running of the Derby.  The $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Pace for 4 YO & up will take place on the night card, honoring the late well-known local sportswriter, who was a fixture covering Pocono throughout the years.  In between, there will be the Run for the Roses Hat Review and a huge party on the track apron.  Live racing will immediately follow the second and third legs of the Triple Crown, the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.  Monday, September 4th will be the PA Sire Stakes Championship Finals for the 2YO future superstars with estimated purses of $260,000.  Also on the stakes schedule are the PA All-Stars for 2 & 3YO  in July: and the 3YO PA Stallion Series and PA Sire Stakes starting in May. Post Time for Sunday nights is 7:30p.m., with all other nights 6:30p.m.  In September, October, and November, Monday night Post Time will switch to a 4:30p.m. Post.  The 52nd season of live racing concludes on Saturday, November 25th.  ***Stall applications are now being taken for the 2017 season by calling Luann Reynolds at 570-831-2125.  Special reduced rates are being offered for the new season.  by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono continues their end of year Awards on closing night, Saturday, Novemer 26th, honoring the harness racing driver and trainer of the Year in special ceremonies in the Hanover Shoe Farms Winner's Circle. George Napolitano Jr. will again come out on top of the driving colony, as he has been the pacesetter from practically the first "They are underway!", while trainer Chris Oakes had a terrific end to his local campaign to take home the trainers' title. George Napolitano Jr. was far clear in the drivers dashwinning derby - his total of 359 victories has been eclipsed locally in one season only by the 407 victories "George Nap" rang up last year. This was the 10th year where George led the Pocono drivers colony in sulky successes, and it was the eighth time he posted the highest UDR of the meeting, with a .383 "batting average" with three local cards in 2016 to go. "GNap" got many of his victories behind horses trained by Chris Oakes, as Oakes, winning his third Pocono trainers title, with scorching fractions late in the year, posted 34 PcD victories since October 1 (32 of them driven by Napolitano) to bust open what had been a good battle with three-time defending champion Rene Allard. Closing night will also be a special Fan Appreciation Night, giving back to the loyal fans watching and wagering on Pocono racing all season. Fans can win up to $100 in live racing vouchers and other prizes, printing right from the tote machines starting at 6:00p.m. Pacer's Clubhouse will also be open one final time for the season with dinner starting at 5:00p.m. by reservation only, 1-888-WIN-IN-PA. Pocono will also be airing their special "Farewell video", spotlighting the season's best races; horsemen; and the track team members. The video is produced by International Sound Corporation in conjunction with Pocono Marketing. Jennifer Starr  

WILKES-BARRE PA - Keystone Velocity has been selected as Pacer of the Year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono by the harness racing team, with the same group picking Wilberforce as local Trotter of the Year and Mccedes as Claimer of the Year. Keystone Velocity had already established himself as a piece of harness racing trivia before he first set foot on the racetrack ("At $3000, who was the lowest-priced offspring sold at auction from the last crop of the great sire Western Hanover?"), and had added to his credentials with many placings in important races during his youth. After 22 months away from the racetrack, Keystone Velocity returned to sulky sport competition in mid-May, and he showed a distinct liking for the red clay Pocono oval, posting five wins and a second in nine local starts, good for $54,365 in earnings, and at age eight twice paced in 1:48.2, his lifetime best. Lauretta Galm had owned Keystone Velocity from the time he was auctioned off as a yearling until his last start at Pocono in September, and he earned just a shade under $500,000 for her account. Wilberforce, a gelded son of Caviar Crown owned by Dale Wareham in parternship with trainer Kris Rickert, came to Pocono in June with a 1:56 mark, a last start win over a low-level conditioned field at The Meadows, and little respect from the fans - in his four 2016 victories before shipping eastward, the horse had paid $26.80, $89.20, $10.40, and $18.40. But the four-year-old matured into a rugged high-level performer locally, posting a 13-5-1-3 record, adding $62,320 to his bankroll and lowering his lifetime mark to 1:53.1 in his first victory at Pocono, on July 10, while moving up to the highest regularly-scheduled totting class offered at The Downs. Mccedes, an 11-year-old McArdle gelding, certainly had seen his share of racetrack success before this year, earning $1,310,011 and posting a mark of 1:49.3 at age three. The desire and class of this tough pacer was again evidenced during the 2016 campaign, as on April 16 he went wire-to-wire, throwing a 27.2 last quarter to complete a 1:50.2 mile - just 3/5 of a second behind his lifetime best taking eight years previously! The solid performer, going up and down the claiming class ladder in the $10,000 to $20,000 range, had eight victories this year at Pocono, along with two seconds and two thirds, in 19 starts, and he earned $54,060 at The Downs while "just racing in claimers." He changed hands via the claiming box several times over the season, and virtually everyone associated with him made money with him. All three horses will be honored in special ceremonies in the Hanover Shoe Farms Winner's Circle on Saturday, November 19th; Wilberforce after the 8th; Keystone Velocity after the 10th; and Mccedes after the 12th race. The Driver and Trainer of the Year will be awarded and honored on closing night, November 26th with a full release to follow. Jennifer Starr 

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