Competition Leads To $60,000 Opens In PA
Published: April 25, 2011 12:20 pm ET
Last Comment: April 25, 2011 6:01 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
Pocono Downs’ race secretary, Rick Kane, said Monday morning that because he and Joe Auger, his counterpart at Chester Racetrack, were competing for the same horses to fill the top-class races at the two Pennsylvania racetracks, an agreement was reached to alternate races and offer double purses.
According to a report by harnessracing.com, Pocono had been offering $30,000 purses for its Open pacers, open trotters and open fillies and mares pacers, while Chester offered $35,000 purses for the same classes. With the alternating agreement, the purse for each class has been increased to $60,000, the highest overnights in the history of both tracks.
“We were vying for the same horses between us and Chester, so instead of going head and head with each of us racing for $30,000 and $35,000, we can double the purse,” explained Kane.
A $60,000 Open Pace for fillies and mares is the feature race at Pocono on Tuesday, with eight lining up behind the gate. The same race -- with a $30,000 purse -- attracted five horses on April 12 and nine horses on April 19. Over the last two weeks at Chester the fillies and mares feature attracted fields of seven and six, respectively.
Kane said with the final of the six-week Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway scheduled for Saturday, April 30, he expects more horses to fill the fillies and mares open. He said that during the week that the $60,000 Opens are raced at Chester, he will write a winners-over for the top classes.
“Yes, the Matchmaker finishing will help,” said Kane. “I also think that most of the horses in the opens will go back and forth (between Pocono and Chester).”
Kane said that while the top race for fillies and mares had been on Tuesdays at Pocono and Thursdays at Chester, both tracks have moved that class to Wednesdays beginning May 4. The top trots will remain on Friday, while the Open Pace at Pocono and Chester will go postward on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.