Pocono Downs to host 2008 Adios

by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Hershey, PA — The Meadows and Pocono Downs announced today that the 2008 Delvin Miller Adios, the track’s signature race and one of the sport’s premier events for 3-year-old pacing colts, will be conducted at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in 2008. The announcement was made here at a Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission meeting.

Construction of the Meadows Racetrack and Casino is in full swing, limiting the track’s ability to provide an acceptable venue for the event. While The Meadows entertains fans in the Adios Room for live and simulcast racing, that facility seats only 250; Adios Day crowds have reached 7,000.

Eliminations are set for Aug. 1, with the final to go on Aug. 9. Several companion stakes — the Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old pacing fillies and the Gov. David L. Lawrence for freshman pacing colts — also will be contested at Pocono Downs on Aug. 9. All other Grand Circuit races typically staged during Adios Week will be raced at The Meadows.

Dale Rapson, vice president of racing for Pocono Downs, said: “It is an honor to host the Adios at Pocono in 2008; the Adios will be the richest event raced in Pocono racing history. We thank the Meadows for thinking of us when looking for an alternative site.”

“We believe it is in the best interest of racing to showcase Adios XLII at Pocono Downs this year,” said John Marshall, vice-president-racing for The Meadows. “We deeply appreciate the cooperative spirit of Pocono Downs, which enables us to keep the Adios in Pennsylvania.”

Industry leaders applauded the collaboration of the tracks.

“Hanover Shoe Farms is elated to see these two racetracks cooperate to the betterment of the Pennsylvania racing industry,” said Jim Simpson, president and CEO of Pennsylvania-based Hanover. “The Adios is the greatest race in Pennsylvania harness racing, and it’s heartwarming to know the tradition will be uninterrupted.”

The Adios was launched in 1967 by the late Delvin Miller, founder of The Meadows, and has provided a showcase for some of the sport’s legendary 3-year-olds. Ralph Hanover, winner of the 1983 Pacing Triple Crown, captured “The Pace for the Orchids,” as did five “Horse of the Year” laureates — Albatross, Abercrombie, Beach Towel, Precious Bunny, and Cam’s Card Shark. Fourteen divisional champions have strengthened their credentials with Adios victories.

Both tracks will work together to bring traditional Adios Day promotions and activities to Pocono Downs. Roger Huston, who has called the last 32 editions of the Adios, will call the action for the three events at Pocono Downs.

The Meadows looks forward to the grand return of the Adios in 2009.

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