It’s an earlier-than-usual start for The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono as the harness racing track in Plains Twp. is scheduled to open its 56th season with a 14-race program Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

There are 137 dates on Pocono’s racing schedule. Starting Feb. 13, the track will race on Saturdays and Sundays for the remainder of February. Monday racing will be added in March and Tuesday racing will be added in April, giving the track its normal four dates per week. That schedule continues until October when the track goes back to three dates per week until closing day Oct. 30.

Post time for Saturday, Sunday and Monday programs throughout the season is 12:30 p.m. Sunday post time is 5 p.m.

Among the early highlights on the schedule are the Game of Claims and Bobby Weiss racing series, which spotlights the top horses in the Pocono racing community.

Later, Sun Stakes Saturday is set for Aug. 21 with four massive stakes on the card and purses of more than $2 million. The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships are slated for Sept. 4 with another $1 million-plus in purses handed out.