(WBRE/WYOU-TV)    And they’re off- to an early start! The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Opening night will be earlier for the new season, this Saturday, February 8.

  Post time will be at 5 pm. on Saturday and Sunday nights- February-

    Starting in April, the regular schedule of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday will be in effect.

     Media Day was held on Thursday at Pacers Club House. Race officials announced some of the big races and events that are being planned for the new season.

Vice President of Racing at Mohegan Sun, Dale Rapson talked about the reason behind the early start and why the Downs is a great place to visit.  This is the 55th Year of Harness Racing.

Driver Simon Allard talked about the upcoming Harness Racing Season at Mohegan Sun Pocono.  He is ready for another exciting year!

Tony Carlucci, President and General Manager of Mohegan Sun Pocono spoke about the addition of the Sports Book and how Harness Racing compliments the gaming experience at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Jennifer Starr, Racing Marketing Manager, is ready for another big season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.  She told Eyewitness News about some of the big races coming up.  The prestigious $2 million Sun Stakes Saturday is July 4th, featuring the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot; $500,000 Ben Franklin Free For All Pace; 500,000 Max Hempt Memorial Pace; and the $300,000 James Lynch Memorial Pace. Eliminations will take place on Saturday, June 27th.

   And of course, get ready to show off those hats ladies!  The Kentucky Derby is just a few months away!