An Early Eye on the Breeder’s Cup

in Horse Racing
An Early Eye on the Breeder’s Cup
Bill Denver/Equi-Photo via AP

With the Breeder's Cup a week and a half away, the competition has been showing up and taking shape. 


Pennsylvania Derby victor To Honor and Serve (pictured above) began warm-ups today at Churchill Downs- home to the Kentucky Derby, but also the more pressing Breeders Cup on November 4th. The competitive 3-year-old dug right in to the famous track, which was still moist from the previous week’s rains. Trainer Bill Mott felt the session went nothing short of "perfect."


Another BCC contender and odds favorite Uncle Mo also put in a serious workout on Sunday at Belmont Park’s training track. Check out video of the one and only Johnny Velazquez warming him up, as well as quick chats with trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Mike repole:


Early Odds and Contenders provided by the venerable DRF

Uncle Mo                    7-2

Havre de Grace          5-1
Flat Out                      6-1
Tizway                        6-1
So You Think             8-1
Stay Thirsty                8-1
To Honor and Serve  10-1
Game on Dude          12-1
Drosselmeyer             20-1
Headache                  30-1


Who are some of your favorite picks? Reach out to us and Facebook and Twitter, let's chat! 

Attention Handicappers: Get ready for the World Series of Handicapping!

in Gambling & Casinos
Attention Handicappers: Get ready for the World Series of Handicapping!

It seems like every 5th person in the horse racing community is a handicapper. Everyone’s got the best stats, best picks, best odds, etc. Well, now’s time to put your money with your mouth is!


Penn National will be having the World Series of Handicappers on October 22th, 2011! Entry is $100, half of which goes to a prize pool, and the other half is for a live account-wagering card.


Here’s how to play:

  • Entrants must bet a minimum of five (5) bets
  • $10 minimum per bet; no maximum bet
  • No maximum on the number of races that may be played
  • WIN wagers ONLY
  • Only one (1) horse per race
  • Any wagers made on any races other than a win wager on the designate contest races, will result in disqualification from the contest
  • Entrants keep all pari-mutuel winnings
  • Contest Tracks: Parx Racing, Belmont, Calder, Monmouth, Laurel, Delaware and Keeneland


Contest tracks include: Parx, Belmont, Calder, Lauren Monmouth, Delaware, Keeneland. 


So, who's the real handicapper? Reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter if you're thinking of joining up! For more info on the event, check out Penn National's website

Have you seen Animal Planet's “Jockeys?” (Well you can, for free!)

in Just For Fun
Have you seen Animal Planet's “Jockeys?” (Well you can, for free!)

In 2009, Animal Planet launched a reality series under their “Surprisingly Human” branding initiative called Jockeys. One could label it as a 'sports-drama,' but it has its fair share of lighthearted moments. The show lasted for 2 seasons with 19 total episodes- but unfortunately it has gone into hibernation.


We’re specifically calling it a ‘hibernation’ because we believe there’s a bright shot at it coming back. If HBO’s Luck does impeccably in the ratings, it would be a wise decision on Animal Planet’s part to make another season. Plus, reality shows are dirt cheap to make- so there’s not much risk involved.


Good news for now is that all seven episodes of the second season are available online for free! Wanna watch it with us? Perhaps we'll recap an episode on a weekly basis. 

Cameo's inlude: 2011 Cotillion winner and Plum Pretty rider Rafael Bejarano, 2010 Breeder's Cup winner and recent Pennsylvania Derby participant Garret Gomez, and the one and only Zenyatta


Let's all write to Animal Planet asking for the show back! After all, how many Pawn Shop-Antique-Bidding shows do we need?

Red-Hot Joe Rocco Jr Brings the Heat and Races for a Good Cause the Governor’s Cup

in Horse Racing
Red-Hot Joe Rocco Jr Brings the Heat and Races for a Good Cause the Governor’s Cup

The weather’s not the only thing on fire this weekend. Yesterday, top jockey Joe Rocco Jr. set records at Delaware Park by winning an unprecedented six races throughout the night. My goodness, six races? Did he even have time to celebrate?

We like to think he chain-raced by jumping off one horse onto another- never touching the ground like the deity he is. 


He’ll be participating in the following races tomorrow, Friday July 29th for Penn National’s Governor’s Cup Weekend:

  • The $100,000 Dauphin Miss Stakes. The night’s opener
  • The five-furlong $32,000 Purina Pink 50 Dash for Hope. 
  • $100,000 Red Carpet Stakes 
  • $100,000 Jennie Wade presented by the one and only Daily Racing Forum. 


It should be noted the night’s second race, The Purina Pink 50 Dash for Hope, is rather special. Purina’s national Breast Cancer awareness campaign takes a portion of each bag of feed sold September through November and donates proceeds to Breast Cancer Research. Don’t have a horse to feed? No problem. Funds will be raised all Friday night through the sale of pink wristbands, Pink 50 hats, and t-shirts. In addition to funds raised throughout the night, the sweethearts at Hollywood Casino will be donating an additional $1,000 on top. 


Remember to check back in for more events, specials, and good times at Penn National Racetrack and Casino! 

Bonus: Joe Rocco Jr.'s IMDb Page

Friday Night’s All Right to Party at Pocono Downs!

in Things To Do
Friday Night’s All Right to Party at Pocono Downs!

What month is it? July?! That came outta nowhere! When did Easter happen? I gotta call my parents. Anyway-

July is the month to party. When July shows up everyone is like “Oh man, I was about to leave but July just got here. Can I crash on your couch?”


Luckily for us, the wonderful people at Pocono Downs know a thing or two about July and are catering the festivities with Friday Nights Under the Lights!


Live music kicks off at 6PM, giving you a half hour to groove the funk out before post time. At 6:30PM the live harness racing you know and love begins! From then on the band fills in between every race, providing for non-stop entertainment until the last horse crosses the finish line! Wash it all down with $1 Coors Light squat cans, $1 hot dogs, and $1 soda and waters! Here’s the lineup for the month of July:

July 1st – MiZ (duo) 
July 8th – The Traveling Wilkes Barreans (trio)
July 15th - Rick and John of Nowhere Slow (duo) 
July 22nd – Rob Brown and Hammer (duo)
July 29th – Kriki (trio)


Be sure to check back in with us for more music, events, and specials at Pocono Downs and the five other PA trackS! 

Betty White's Whip, Or, the First Weekend Racetrip!

in Things To Do
Betty White's Whip, Or, the First Weekend Racetrip!

(Betty White and a horse via Morris Animal Foundation Facebook)


   Welcome to the first installment of The Wednesday Racetrip! Since this is our inaugural post, allow us to offer a bit of introduction:


The Wednesday Roadtrip is a weekly report (duh) highlighting all the recreations, accommodations, and consumptions that our great state has to offer. Pivoted around the six beautiful PA horseracing tracks that stretch all across the state, we promise to provide you with fresh and fun places in every corner of the map! All we ask from you is an open mind and the willingness to get weird.


Today’s Roadtrip is based around the Penn National Racetrack in Grantville, PA!


The Niche

AACA museum
(15 min from track)
All you motor-heads out there, welcome to heaven. They’ve got two amazing stainless-steel cars from 1935, INDY 500 pace cars, and for some reason, Betty White’s Cadillac. The history of four-wheels is written behind these doors.


The Sweet:
Stoudts Brewery, Goods Market and Antiques

(1 hour from Track)
The Stoudts compound is an interesting hub of delightfulness. It features a beer garden, antique mall, Black Angus restaurant, and a “Wonderful Good Market” housing homemade artesian breads and cheeses.

  • Nearby: The Yeungling brewery is a PA namesake that we’re sure you’re already familiar with.

Berks county Wine Trail
(40 min from track)

Wine, oh! Eight wineries of distinctive varieties all within a stones throw of each other. Diversity is the spice of life!


The Neat:

City Island, Harrisburg PA

(25 min from Track)

If this place were a car it’d be a party bus. Or maybe Betty White’s Cadillac. Tons of things to do- Harriburg Senators baseball, riverboat rides, golf, and the adventure-inducing Susquehanna Outfitters just to name a few.

  • Nearby: The State Capitol: It’s our own Versailles- spectacular, inspiring, and as beautiful as Zenyatta in the final stretch. The rotunda itself is a mere 52 million pounds. Free tours are available.

The Sleep:

The Milestone Inn
(25 min from Track)
Take the most luxurious hotel you can dream up, and boil it down to four private rooms and you’ve got the Milestone Inn. Breakfast recipes come straight from the owners grandma- so don’t think you’re gonna get it anywhere else!


Where to Ride, Nearby:

Last but not least: where to ride! The beautiful Kindred Spirits Farm is about an hour west of Penn National, but a drive at any length is worth it. Located at the foot of the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, their expansive trails offer a glimpse of what Pennsylvania trails might have looked hundreds of years ago- wildlife and all.


Browse around our site for all the events, specials, and entertainment actually AT Penn National! Weekend post times for 2011 are Fridays: 5PM and Saturdays: 5PM.


SIDENOTE: Whilst researching the vastness that makes up Pennsylvania, we came up with a few jokes you can keep in your back pocket:

  • Where do musical cows hangout? Moosic, PA.
  • What’s George Orwell’s favorite town? Eighty Four, PA.
  • What’s worth two in the bush? Bird in the Hand, PA.
  • (Omitted Jokes: Intercourse, Pa, Climax, PA, Blue Ball, PA, etc.)

The Times They are a-Changin’ at Penn National

in Horse Racing
The Times They are a-Changin’ at Penn National


A few schedule shifts coming up in Grantville for the rest of the 2011 horseracing season. Beginning in September, the live racing schedule at Penn National will return to a Wednesday through Saturday night schedule (currently replacing Monday and Tuesday night programs). It’s great to see a track accommodating to the weekend warrior in all of us.


Starting July 1, and continuing every Friday and Saturday in July, Penn National will be offering Pick 5 wagers on races 3-7, with a minimum bet of 50 cents! We don’t even know where the ‘cents’ symbol is on the keyboard! Also starting in July: the rakeout rate on the Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 5 will be 25%, with the minimum also lowered to 50 cents.


Also, July 4th post time has been moved up to 5pm! Party!

Chainsaw Carving Is the Manliest Artform Out There (Weekend Roundup 6/17)

in Just For Fun
Chainsaw Carving Is the Manliest Artform Out There (Weekend Roundup 6/17)


First off, there are two very exciting stakes races going on this weekend:

  • Saturday June 18th at Parx: $200,000 Parx Sprint Stakes! 3 & Ups go head to head in a quick 5 furlong sprint!
  • Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Eliminations Live at Pocono Downs! 3 YO Colts and Geldings trot it out for a $25,000G prize! 40LB Head and Pop Rox will be performing at Pocono Downs this night as well! Check em out!


Speaking of which, several great music festivals are going down this weekend.


Gettysburg Festival

  • This culture clashing festival will be wrapping up it’s 10-day run this weekend. Be sure to swing by and check out the food, music, fun, and Gettyburg goodness. Just a quick drive from Penn National!


“I want to be an artist, dad.”
“What kind of artist?”
Chainsaw carving.”
“I love you, son.”  

The National Road Chainsaw Carving festival is going down in southwestern Addison PA. There's nothing quite like a chorus of demolition tools squeeling and screaming in the name of art. It's a balance of brute and finesse that's symbolic of man vs. nature and blah blah blah. It just sounds really cool and if your in southwest PA you have no excuse not to be there. There's even an auction at 3PM on Saturday if your interesting in buying one of the pieces.

5 Reasons Why a Date at the Horse Races Might Get You Lucky!

in Just For Fun
5 Reasons Why a Date at the Horse Races Might Get You Lucky!


Over the past 18 months we’ve been extensively researching this imperative issue by conducting focus groups, collecting surveys, doing laboratory stuff, and doing more laboratory stuff.* We’ve boiled it down to 5 solid reasons why bringing a date to a PA track will make you look suave, seem important, and ultimately make your significant other fall head over heels. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the track-date-success ratio. It’s off the charts, people! Numbers don’t lie!

(One of our many Track Pack PA scientists)


So, here we go. 5 Reasons Why Bringing Your Date to the Track Will Get You Lucky:


1. You will appear smart.
Now, we're sure your quite clever as-is, so this will simply add to your intellectualism. Betting on horses is deceivingly easy. Really. Stick with Win, Place, Show and you’ll look just like Matthew McConaughey in that one betting movie. For brownie points, purchase a program and look at it intently for several minutes before every choice you make.


2. It’s cheap, so you don’t have to be.
Two dollars is the bet-minimum, beers are around the same, and food isn’t much more. Feel free to lavish your date in every amenity the track has to offer. Let them choose a horse because they like the name or because it’s pretty.

For example, check out some of the restaurants at Harrah's Philadelphia!


3. It’s a unique date, therefore making you a unique person.
What, are you gonna go see X-Men? How many X-Men movies do they need? The track isn't at the top-of-mind when someone thinks of date. It'll surprise and intrigue the person you're with, especially if they've never been!


4. It’s an exciting shared experience.
The track is a shared experience. You bet together, against each other, or all willy nilly- as long as your having fun. This prompts conversation, laughing, cheering and even hugging. There’s nothing quite like the final stretch of a photo-finish race. We’ve celebratory-hugged strangers at the track, it’s not a big deal.


5. It really is quite lovely.
All kidding aside, every PA track has beautiful scenery, and is an excellent place to go just to relax and have a good time.


*Although this isn’t true, that doesn’t mean this article is any less valid.


Check out our things to do section for races, events, and more!

Penn National Keeps the Party Going Post-Belmont!

in Horse Racing
Penn National Keeps the Party Going Post-Belmont!

Saturday’s the big night!


The final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, is set to kick off with a post at 6:20PM! Twelve of the finest three-year olds in racing have been entered in the mile and a half race. This includes Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, as well as Preakness victor Schakleford!
Penn National players will be able to make win, place, show, exacta, trifect, and superfecta bets on the race! This will also be the final leg of the Pick Three, Pick Four and Pick Six wagers!


But wait, there’s more!

The fun doesn’t end after the Belmont- in fact, it's just beginning! Penn National has a special twilight post time of 7:00PM, allowing you to ride high on the Belmont excitement! The nine-race local program promises to keep the excitement going until the stars are out!


For more events, specials and live entertainment at Penn National, click here!
To check out our events page, click here!

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