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Earl Beal Jr., president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association, announced that the group’s 2009 bonus program has paid off to the tune of $165,000 during the first month of live racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.


The bonus pays an additional 20 percent for winning horses that are Pennsylvania owned, trained or sired. Qualifying winners automatically receive the 20 percent in a separate check at the end of each month, and no action is required on their part.


This is the second year for the program. Last year, approximately $800,000 was awarded during a meet that was shortened to allow for the construction of a new paddock. However, it is expected that up to $1.5 million could be awarded during this year’s full-length meet.


“The program is functioning exactly as intended, adding an extra layer of competitiveness and excitement to the racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs,” said Beal. “These types of efforts are helping to establish Pennsylvania harness racing as a premier brand in the gaming and wagering marketplace while simultaneously encouraging investment in the Pennsylvania agricultural economy.” (PHHA)