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Penn National Race Course
The Penn National Race Course is located in Grantville, Pennsylvania, only 17 miles from Harrisburg. The track opened on August 30, 1972. Penn National offers racing 52 weeks of the year, making it one of just a few tracks in the country to offer year-around racing. One of the most popular races here is the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Handicap.
Penn National Horse Racing
Penn National has a one-mile dirt course and a 7-furlong turf course. Live racing takes place in the evening, with 200 race days on the 2014 calendar.
Major Races and Events
At Penn National there are three major horse racing events held each year even though racing occurs during all 52 weeks of the year. The major events at Penn National include the Penn Mile, the Pennsylvania Governor's Cup and the Fabulous Strike Handicap.
The Penn Mile is brand new, having been raced only once, in 2013. It offers a purse of $500,000, the largest purse in the history of Penn National. The race is for three-year-olds and it takes place on the turf course. It is run in early June. This race is the first of an open stakes program that occurs over two days.
Pennsylvania Governor's Cup
The Pennsylvania Governor's Cup originated in 1973 and was originally run under a two-heat format. Beginning in 1974, the race consisted of just one heat each year. The first handful of years saw the race run on a dirt track. It transferred over to a turf track in 1980. It has run on dirt only once since 1980.
Fabulous Strike Handicap
The Fabulous Strike Handicap was inaugurated in 2012, with a purse of $200,000. It is run on the eve of Thanksgiving each year. The purse in 2013 was $250,000. The race is for three-year-olds and up and they run six furlongs. This race is named for one of the most successful Pennsylvania-bred horses in history.