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The Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association (PHHA) has announced the creation of a new bonus program for Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack and an increase in the existing bonus at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.  


The current program at Pocono Downs pays an additional 20 percent bonus for winning horses that are Pennsylvania-owned, trained or sired. That amount will increase from 20 percent to 30 percent. At Harrah’s Chester, the conditions will be the same and the bonus will be 20 percent. Both take effect June 1.  


The bonus is payable to winners in overnight races only. Stakes, early and late closers are excluded. As before, qualifying winners will automatically receive the bonus at the end of each month as part of their purse checks. No action is required on their part.  


Last year, approximately $800,000 was awarded at Pocono Downs during a shortened meet due to construction of a new paddock. This year, with a full-length meet at Pocono Downs and the inclusion of Harrah’s Chester, the program is expected to pay in excess of $2.5 million.   According to PHHA president Earl Beal, the program has exceeded expectations, leading to the association’s decision to enhance it.  


“People already know this is a great state to race in. But now, thanks in part to the attention the bonus program has received, they’re also starting to see that it’s a great state to base their operations in,” said Beal. “If you come here, you can buy stock here, train here, stable here and race here. It can be your base of operations for the entire region because Pennsylvania offers the complete package.  


"This program has been successful in every respect, rewarding current Pennsylvania horsemen, attracting new investment and most importantly, delivering the highest-quality racing product in the nation for fans,” he added.