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The Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association (PHHA) has announced a new bonus program for the 2009 racing season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, and the amount could reach $1.5 million.  


The bonus pays an additional 20 percent for winning horses that are Pennsylvania owned, trained or sired. Qualifying winners will automatically receive the 20 percent as part of their purse checks, and no action is required on their part.   This will be the second year in which the PHHA has offered bonuses at the northeastern Pennsylvania oval. The 2008 bonus program was designed to help compensate for a meet that was shortened to allow for construction of a new, $6.2 million paddock. 


Last year, approximately $800,000 in purses were awarded under the old program. Thanks to this year’s full-length meet, along with some added accumulation in the purse account, the 2009 bonus program is expected to award as much as $1.5 million in additional earnings. The program’s performance will be evaluated on a monthly basis.


“Last year’s bonus program added an extra dimension of excitement to fields that were already very tightly competitive,” said PHHA president Earl Beal. “This is a great win-win for fans and our members alike. Any time we can increase the quality of racing and reward Pennsylvania horsemen at the same time, we have to take advantage of the opportunity.”


The PHHA represents represents  horsemen at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack.