How To Watch And Bet The Kentucky Derby in PA: Three Harness Tracks Racing On Derby Day 2021

Posted By Kevin Shelly on April 23, 2021

Following a crazy year in horse racing, often without fans in stands, Kentucky Derby Week is kicking off.

Festivities in KY begin Saturday, April 24, in Lexington, then there is Kentucky Oaks Day next Friday for three-year-old fillies, and the big race is the following Saturday, May 1. The post is at 6:50 p.m.

In early odds, undefeated Essential Quality, a distinct grey horse with more than $2.2 million in earnings, is the Derby favorite at 3/1.

Last season the Derby was postponed until September. The Triple Crown was run out of order, with the Belmont first featuring Pennsylvania-linked Tiz the Law.

Where to watch and bet the Kentucky Derby in PA

If you’re looking for Kentucky Derby betting options in Pennsylvania, you’ll have your pick.

Apart from race tracks and off-track wagering properties known as OTBs, horse players can wager from the comfort of home or at a retail PA sportsbook by betting on their phones.

In Pennsylvania, online horse betting is popular at apps including TVG’s PABets as well as FanDuel Racing. If you sign up using our link and bonus code, you can get a risk-free win bet up to $300 on PABets, or a 50% match bonus up to $250 on the FanDuel Racing app.

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If you prefer simulcast betting and the racetrack atmosphere to view the Run for the Roses, you also have that option in PA.

Half of Pennsylvania horse tracks will be going along for the ride, tapping into the event’s long tradition and the 147th running of the event.

Three tracks are racing on Derby day

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono

Address: 1280 Pennsylvania 315, Wilkes-Barre

Harness racing at the Downs begins at 12:30 p.m. Guests may watch from the live Racing Apron just outside the simulcast area. However, no Derby broadcast on the Jumbotron outside.

But the race is viewable in the simulcast area and screens in the Pacer’s Clubhouse, which will not be serving food or drink. However, a small portable bar will operate at an access escalator.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack

Address: 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Chester

Harness racing at Harrah’s begins at 12:40 p.m. There will be live music and food and drink, including juleps, on the deck and grandstand from 1 p.m to 7 p.m., as well as strolling entertainers.

The track is a featured setting in the Netflix movie Concrete Cowboy. The Derby broadcast is visible outside as well as in the simulcast area. And the event is touted as child-friendly.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Address: 210 Racetrack Rd., Washington

Harness racing at The Meadow’s begins at 11:25 p.m. There will be food trucks outside, and beverages are available. Patrons can see The Derby on a big screen outside. Broadcasts are also at the H Lounge, in the simulcast area, and at the sportsbook.

Not racing on Derby Day are the state’s three thoroughbred tracks:

  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Parx Racing at Parx Casino
  • Presque Isle Downs & Casino

While they won’t have live racing, Penn National Race Course will host a family-friendly viewing party at 2 p.m. “with simulcast of the races, music, food trucks and more.”

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Gregory Payan

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Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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