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Pocono Downs Harness Racing

Pocono Downs race track is a harness racing track near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It's widely acknowledged as one of the best smaller-sized tracks in America. Live racing dates are usually held from April to October.

Pocono Downs race track hosts several important harness racing stakes events each year. Among these are the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, the Max Hempt Memorial Pace, the James Lynch Memorial Pace and the Reynolds Stakes.

Pocono Downs race track has a 5/8-mile oval track. The length of the stretch is 490 feet and its surface has a stone aggregate base; the body is largely composed of stone dust; and has red rock screenings in the top layer.

The Grandstand can accommodate up to 3,000 while the clubhouse can hold up to 500. The stable, meanwhile, can accommodate up to 900 horses.

Pocono Downs Race Track Records

TROT

2 Year Olds

TYPE HORSE TIME DRIVER DATE
Colt

Filly

Gelding
KendrickHanover

Beignet Hanover

HR's Miller Gold
1:57.1 (1:56.2)
1:57.2 (1:56.1)
2:00.3 (1:58.0)
J. Takter

Mike Simons

Todd Schadel
8/28/98

7/12/03

7/15/03

3 Year Olds

Colt

Filly

Gelding
SJ's Caviar

Windylane Hanover
Helluva Hush
1:54.1* (1:54.1)
1:55.2* (1:54.3)
1:55.2 (1:55.0)
R. Blanton, Jr.

Ron Pierce

D. Chellis
7/22/01

8/17/02

6/29/03

4 Year Olds

Horse

Mare

Gelding
ENS Snapshot

Lifelong Victory

Springtop
1:54.3 (1:54.1)
1:54.2 (1:54.2)
1:56.0 (1:55.0)
M. Simons

M. LaChance

D. Chellis
6/24/03

7/28/96

7/11/98

5 Year Olds & Older

Horse

Mare

Gelding
Feisty GG

French Bait

Norwell Shadow
1:56.2 (1:53.4)
1:56.0 (1:53.3)
1:54.4 (1:53.2)
Wm. Lambertus

K. Sizer

C. Huckabone
8/23/98

8/09/98

8/31/97

PACE

2 Year Olds

TYPE HORSE TIME DRIVER DATE
Colt

Colt

Filly

Gelding
Pro Bono Best

Whatanartist

Gordon's Jin MS

Make A Success
1:52.0 (1:51.1)
1:52.0 (1:51.1)
1:52.3* (1:52.3)
1:52
(1:52)
W. Case, Jr.

Brian Sears

W. Hennessey

W. Mike Wilder
7/22/00

9/21/02

8/18/02

9/21/02

3 Year Olds

Colt

Filly

Gelding
Jenna's Beach Boy
Gordon's Jin MS

Mark's Superstar
1:51.2 (1:50.1)
1:51.0* (1.51.0)
1:50.3 (1:50.0)
W. Fahy

Brian Sears

M. Wilder
5/13/95

7/06/03

9/08/02

4 Year Olds

Horse

Mare

Gelding
Space Shuttle

She's a Great
Lady
Charlie Scooter
1:50.3 (1:49.2)
1:51.0
(1:51.0)
1:52.1
(1:50.2)
W. Case, Jr.

K. Sizer

S. DeCample III
6/10/00

8/31/96

5/18/02

5 Year Olds & Older

Horse

Mare

Gelding
Stand Forever*

Time Frame N

Shadow Dance
1:50.0 (1:49.1)
1:52.2 (1:52.0)
1:51.0 (1:50.3)
J. Moiseyev

M. Simons

R. Wojcio
5/31/97

6/08/02

8/24/96
* Track Record
( ) World Record 5/8 mile track

OTHER DISTANCES

DIST. HORSE TIME DRIVER DATE
5/8
mile
11/16
mile
1 & 1/16 mile
1 & 1/4 mile
Lieut Harkie

Maverick

Rebel Chris

Sweet Talking Guy
1:14.2

1:18.2

2:20.1

2:29.2
A. Minieri

K. DiBenedetto

C. Vitale

S. DeCample
9/30/79

7/09/92

5/08/87

6/06/92

History of Pocono Downs Race Track

A crowd estimated at 12,000 showed up for Pocono Downs' opening on July 15, 1965. The race track costs an estimated $7 million to build and among its founders were James and Anna Jean Durkin.


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The track record during that inaugural season was 2:00.4, established by a horse named Heineken. The record for a trotter was 2:02.2 by Singing Arrow. From 1965 through 1981, there were only 100 horses to break the two-minute barrier.

From 1970 to 1980, thoroughbred racing was held at Pocono Downs race track when the Shamrock Racing Association shared the track. Pocono Downs race track briefly ceased operations in mid-1972 and served as an evacuation center for residents displaced by the great flood brought about by hurricane Agnes.

Penn National Gaming, Inc., the track's parent company, purchased Pocono Downs race track for $47 million in November of 1996 from the estate of the late Joseph B. Banks.