WILKES-BARRE PA – Some of North America’s best older trotters and pacers will be spending many a weekend day from May to early September at either The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono or Harrah’s Philadelphia, racing in the second year of action for The Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS).
The GNOS is a series that will week offer $30,000 races involving three classifications: an Open pace, an Open trot, and a Filly & Mare Open pace. The Open paces will take place at one track on a given week; the Open trot and F&M Open pace will take place at the other. If the Open pace is at Pocono in a given week, it will be held on Saturday night; all other GNOS races will be held on Sundays: afternoon cards at Philly; nighttime at Pocono.
Exceptions to these basics start right on Opening Day for the series, this Saturday, May 4, Kentucky Derby Day: Philly will be open that day and will hold the Open trot and F&M Open pace on that card, while Pocono, will hosts a doubleheader, will have the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Pace, its traditional Derby Day feature, during the nighttime action.
Each starter will receive 25 points, and then points will be given based on order of finish, on a 50-25-12-8-5-4-3-2-1 basis. The top pointearners throughout the summer will qualify for their respective $100,000 Great Northeast Open Series Championships at 1¼ miles during a Monday twilight, September 9 card at Pocono, along with the eight $40,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series Championships. This Pocono program will serve as the culmination of a $2,500,000 Pennsylvania Statewide Stakes Championship Weekend, which will include the 3YO PA Sire Stakes Championships at The Meadows on Saturday afternoon and the 2YO PA Sire Stakes Championships at Philly on Sunday afternoon.
The inaugural GNOS Championships, also held at 1¼ miles, produced a world record effort by Pocono-based Open trotter Homicide Hunter, who won in 2:22.2 and soon afterward would go on to become The World’s Fastest Trotter with an historic 1:48.4 victory at The Red Mile. Western Joe won the Open pace Championship in 2:20.2 (only 3/5 of a second off the world record for the elongated distance); Bettorhaveanother won the distaff GNOS Championship in 2:21.3.
Pocono will draw for its Saturday card on Monday at 9 a.m.; Philly will draw for its Saturday card on Tuesday at 9 a.m.