Penn National Brings Back Harrisburg Series

Sixteen overnight starter handicap races scheduled for lower level campaigners.

The Harrisburg Starter Handicap Series, a mainstay of the Pennsylvania racing program more than three decades ago, is returning to the racing calendar at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

The series is written for horses that have started for a claiming price of $5,000 or less since Oct. 1, 2013. It is an opportunity to showcase and reward the overnight campaigners that are the foundation of the track's racing program.

The new Harrisburg Starter Handicap Series will feature four divisions, defined by sex and distance:

The Bow Creek Division: Fillies and Mares, 4 1/2-6 Furlongs
The Grantville Division: Fillies and Mares, 8-10 Furlongs
The East Hanover Division: Colts and Gelding, 4 1/2-6 Furlongs
The PN HBPA Division: Colts and Geldings, 8-10 Furlongs

The series will offer $350,000 in prize money including $340,000 in purses divided over the 16-race event, and a $10,000 trainer bonus that will be divided among those that earn the most points in each division and the overall series of races.

"The Harrisburg Starter Series came out of discussions with our local horsemen's group." said David Bailey, Penn National racing secretary. "We were looking for a feature race that allowed for a large segment of our horse population to participate, while creating a competitive atmosphere."

The series runs from July 5 to Oct. 25.