News from Scarborough Downs!
They’re off to the Races at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine– March 25, 2017 … Saturday (3/25) heralded the start of the 2017 racing season in Maine and despite the persistent overcast conditions, it was a great day to be at the track!
A huge Opening Day crowd gathered to watch and wager and cheer their favorites home as the horses and drivers strutted out onto the raceway to put on the big show in what was the 67th consecutive Opening Day at the venerable southern Maine racing venue.
Always as good as money in the bank, top-rated driver Eddie Davis, Jr. claimed victory in the first dash of the season, sending a pacer from his own stable roster, CHECKISINTHEMAIL, to a sterling gate to wire victory with the majority of fans cashing tickets on the 1-2 favorite, but it was driver Jimmy Whittemore who held the hottest hand on Saturday, as the state of Maine native grabbed top honors in 3 of the 8 races programmed.
Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing on a Saturday and Sunday schedule with first post time slated for 1:30 PM (EDT).
Qualifying Races Postponed at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine– March 17, 2017 … Opening Day for the 2017 harness racing meet at Scarborough Downs remains on track for March 25, although the preliminary round of qualifying races have been rescheduled for Tuesday (3/21) and Wednesday (3/22).
The prep races were originally set to be held on Saturday (3/18) morning, but close to two feet of drifting snow from winter storm Stella, necessitated the schedule change in order to complete a thorough job of track preparation, and thus ensure the safety of the horses and horsemen who will be competing.
Not only Scarborough Downs, but race tracks up and down the east coast have been struggling to deal with the aftermath of this week’s powerful storm. Monticello Raceway (NY) lost three programs of racing, while Pocono Downs (PA) was forced to postpone their opening day card from Saturday (3/18) to Tuesday (3/21).
Realizing the anticipation that both the fans and horsemen hold for the start of the 2017 state of Maine harness racing season, the Downs is pleased to be able to remain on track for its originally scheduled opening day.
Beginning on Saturday, March 25, Scarborough Downs will feature live harness racing on a Saturday and Sunday Schedule with post time slated for 1:30 PM (EDT).
Unbeaten Seeley Man scores 24 th consecutive win during Festival of Champions Day at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine– October 15, 2006 … A large and enthusiastic crowd turned out for Festival of Champions Day at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (10/15) to witness the crowning of the three-year-old champions of the Maine Sire Stakes program. The expectation of exciting equine thrills reached near fever pitch on the picture perfect autumn afternoon at the southern Maine racing venue, and with nearly $370,000 in purse money on the line, the horse and drivers certainly did not disappoint.
Seeley Man capped a lustrous sire stakes campaign by adding the sophomore colt pacing trophy to last year’s freshman crown, all the while retaining his perfect 24 for 24 undefeated career win streak. Hustled to the early lead in the $85,233 split by driver Ron Cushing, the Western Maverick – Perfect Launch gelding never felt pressure at any point in the mile as he extended off to an 11-3/4 length margin at the wire. He ultimately stopped the clock in an unhurried 1:55.2, establishing a new divisional track record in the process.
“People might have thought we were crazy to spend the amount of money that we did to buy him at the conclusion of his two-year-old season, just to race him in Maine” Ron Cushing remarked, “But I really liked him. Gerry Smith (former trainer) was nice enough to sell him and we were nice enough to pay the price. He’s been a very nice horse throughout his career.”
Now with a career bankroll in excess of $176K, the Heidi Gibbs trained Seeley Man is owned in partnership by Kevin Sywyk, Ben Bill & Will Stable and Florence O’Keefe and was bred by Lynn-Marie Plouffe.
Talladega Speed (David Ingraham was second with The Irish Maverick (John Nason third.
Western Stepp was another repeat champion on Saturday as the Western Maverick – French Stepp filly earned top three-year-old honors after securing last year’s two-year-old championship in a maiden-breaking upset. The win was the 10 th of the season for the Western Maverick – French Stepp filly whose career earnings now eclipse the $127K level.
Regular pilot Drew Campbell hustled her to her customary front-end seat but was forced to use all his powers of persuasion late as Ladies Love Outlaws (Kevin Switzer, Jr) closed gamely in the $85,233 contest which was clocked in 1:57.
“She got a little lazy on the lead today and I was glad to see Junior not fly by me” Campbell said, “But she did hold the other horse off and that’s what counts.”
Owner/trainer James Dunn added, “I was really glad the wire wasn’t 30 or 40 feet down the track or we might have got beat. She’s certainly earned some good pasture time.”
Western Stepp was bred in Maine by Dirk Duncan and Sidney Bradley.
Ladies Love Outlaws settled for a hard fought runner-up share while Life Is A Short Walk rallied for show.
Miss Flaggy Meadow and driver Ivan Davies were also put to a stern stretch test on Saturday, as the daughter of Boy Band – Willing Wind earned the top placing in the $85,201 filly trotting final. She ground out the win in extended overland fashion while withstanding unrelenting late pressure through the lane from Just A Little Evil (Heath Campbell) with the pair reaching the wire nearly in lockstep timed in 2:01.3.
“I want to thank breeder Mike Andrew for selling me this horse and Ivan’s done a tremendous job with this filly” said owner Jack Kelly of the East Pond Stable, “He’s resolved some earlier problems she had through determined experimentation – Ivan really deserves all the credit for her success.”
“Now I can’t wait to watch my son’s horse, the Maine-bred Obrigado race in the International Trot at Yonkers”, Kelly continued, referring to trainer Paul Kelly, “What a great day for state of Maine harness racing!”
Just A Little Evil fell just 3/4 –length short while finishing second. Gonna Kiss Me Or Not (Ron Cushing) was third.
Noble Yaz hit a homerun in the $85,185 colt trotting final, pouncing at the ¾-mile marker before extending out to an imposing 4-length margin as driver Nick Graffam triumphantly pointed his whip skyward in celebration.
The Noble Venture – Sassy Cathy gelding who was timed in 2:01.1, is trained by Graffam’s dad, Michael, for owner/breeder Francis Hanley.
“The horse has just been getting better lately” Hanley said, “He and Nick have been melding but the horse just seemed to figure out that he shouldn’t be out there fooling around but that he should be getting to the lead and getting the job done. He sure figured it out at the right time!”
Dusty Venture (Ivan Davies) settled for second while Pembroke Bada Bing (Heath Campbell was third.
With Maine Sire Stakes season has now reaching its successful conclusion, the fall/winter meet will continue at the Downs through the first weekend of December. Live harness racing will be featured weekly on a Thursday through Sunday schedule with a 1:30 PM (EDT) post time.
Unbeaten Seeley Man Headlines Festival of Champions Day at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine– October 13, 2006 … The Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and Scarborough Downs will present the annual Festival of Champions Day on Saturday October 15, 2016 with first post time slated for 1:30 pm.
For the first and only time this season, all the top-rated three year-old Maine-bred racehorses will be gathered in one spot, on one day, as the championships of the Maine Sire Stakes program will be decided, and with nearly $370,000 in purse money on the line, Saturday will be the richest day in state-of-Maine harness racing this year.
Seeley Man, undefeated in 23 career starts, has been cast in the ‘leading man’ role, as the sophomore gelding will attempt to add the three-year-old championship trophy to last year’s freshman crown in an almost unheard of bid to sweep the table in the ultra-tough arena of Maine Sire Stakes competition.
“This is indeed an historic bid” said Seeley Man’s breeder, Lynn-Marie Plouffe of Saco, Maine. “A horse may well have remained undefeated at some point during the 40-plus seasons of the Maine Sires Stakes program, but none have done it in recent years. It takes a special animal to pull off such an impressive feat and we are so proud that Seeley Man has represented our breeding farm in such gallant fashion.”
Seeley Man was born on March 3, 2013 at the picturesque Dupuis Farm in southern Maine and was trained to a perfect 11 for 11 race record by Gerald Smith for owner Florence O’Keefe as a two-year-old. Retaining a share for herself, O’Keefe sold the budding star at the conclusion of that campaign to a partnership which includes Kevin Sywyk of Swartz Creek, Michigan and the Ben, Bill and Will Stable of Carmel, Maine.
The gelding has been effectively driven by Ron Cushing for trainer Heidi Gibbs throughout the 2016 season and has now amassed career earnings in excess of $133,000. A win on Saturday would push his seasonal earnings total to over $100,000 – an eye-popping tally for a horse raced almost exclusively in Maine.
The horses competing in these finals are bred, trained and stabled here in Maine, and have been competing in stakes races at the fairs and at tracks around the state all racing season. The top eight horses in each of the four divisions will vie for purses of $85,000 each, which are the largest in Maine horse racing history.
“We’re so excited to be hosting such an important event in Maine harness racing,” said Scarborough Downs owner Sharon Terry. “Our commitment has always been to support the farms, families, and fairs of Maine, and this event is exemplary of all of those things.”
The fall/winter meet will continue at the Downs through the first weekend of December with live harness racing featured weekly on a Thursday through Sunday schedule with a 1:30 PM (EDT) post time.
Twin Trotting Records Fall at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (August 26, 2016) … On what, at first glance, appeared a rather pedestrian Scarborough Downs program, speed quickly became the order of the day as two trotting records for four-year-old trotters were rewritten in impressive style during the course of the Friday (8/26) twilight performance.
Tango Pirate, a recent Saratoga import who was up in class off a dominant win last weekend, charged hard from the gate in the opening event with Dan Deslandes calling the shots from the sulky. The duo were never seriously challenged throughout the mile, gliding to victory in a sterling 1:58.1 and eclipsing the previous four-year-old gelding benchmark of 1:58.2 which was established by Names Muscle just five weeks prior.
Tango Pirate, the son of Crazed-Celia Bleue is owned and trained by Eddie Fournier, Jr of Auburn, Maine.
The standard for four-year-old mares was also lowered later on the Friday card with Cherry Crown Jewel and driver Mark Athearn grinding their way to a torrid 1:57.4 score while demolishing the previous track record of 1:58.3 set almost one year ago to the day by Bryan’s Angel.
Trained by Athearn’s wife Gretchen, the daughter of RC Royalty-Nowerland Kristen is owned by William Phipps of Yarmouth, Maine.
Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 P.M.
Kevin Switzer, Jr records 2000th driving win at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough , Maine (August 7, 2016) … Kevin Switzer, Jr joined the prestigious "Mr. 2000 Club" on Sunday (8/7), notching the milestone win with a powerful performance in the $10,000 Howie Bamford Memorial Invitational before an overflowing ‘Family Fun Day’ crowd at Scarborough Downs.
Driving a horse from his father’s roster, the 29-year-old Switzer gunned Race Me Villa off the car, positioning his steed close up in the pocket behind the expected speed of A Sweet Ride. The tandem drafted behind daunting fractions (27.4, 55.4 and 1:24.2) before pouncing three-wide off the final turn to secure the narrow victory over the hard-charging Escape The News (Ron Cushing) to stop the clock in 1:54 flat.
Bet You (Heath Campbell) rallied for third.
Race Me Villa, a 6-year-old son of Village Jolt, is owned in partnership by KDK Standardbreds of Harrington, Delaware, Kathleen Mofield of Bedford, Massachusetts and John Dickens of Kennebunk, Maine.
Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 PM.
Dan Deslandes notches 500th career driving win at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (June 26, 2016) … Dan Deslandes, a 23-year-old state of Maine native, recorded the 500 th driving win of his career on Sunday (6/26), keeping the rookie pacer Golden Tree brave on the lead and holding off a finish line onslaught to reach the milestone victory at Scarborough Downs.
Golden Tree was the very same pacer with which Deslandes gained his 499 th career score just six days earlier at Bangor Raceway, and despite 20 winless drives sandwiched around the pair, the wait certainly seemed worth the bother, in order to secure the landmark win in rein to such an up-and-coming colt.
Deslandes, who has called Scarborough Downs and the New England circuit home in recent years, learned his trade on the backstretch of Saratoga Raceway as a teenager, where he jogged for his father while earning a reputation of responsibility as an in-demand warm up option on race nights. Simultaneously, the aspiring driver was putting in his required time in the morning qualifying events at the Spa City oval in order to be in position to earn his provisional drivers license immediately upon turning 18 years of age.
Once elevated to “P” status, he wasted precious little time in finding the winners circle for the very first time, teaming Miss McIvor N down Saratoga’s Victory Lane in August of 2010.
Deslandes currently resides in fourth place in the standing of Scarborough Downs drivers colony with 31 seasonal wins; and with the man in red and green colors trailing only the likes of Eddie Davis, Jr., Drew Campbell and Kevin Switzer, Jr. - That’s pretty good company to keep.
Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 PM.
Midnite Craze in Track Record Performance at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (June 17, 2016) – Demonstrating a distinct affinity towards racing at Scarborough Downs, Midnite Craze has once again etched his name in the record books at the southern Maine harness racing venue. The six-year-old son of Crazed toured the oval timed in a blistering 1:57 flat, during Friday’s (6/17) $7500 Free For All event, equaling the fastest trot ever recorded in the track’s 66 year history.
Confidently handled by driver/trainer Ivan Davies, Midnite Craze now shares local bragging rights with the mare, IPO Blue Chip, who was crowned the track’s fleetest trotter in June of 2012.
Owned by G Richard Mason, Jr of The Villages, FL, the zippy high-stepper established a new track standard for aged gelded trotters in the process, supplanting the 1:57.1 record set by Waterloo Willie in July of 2013 and equaled by Midnite Craze himself, in his last local appearance, just last November.
In addition to back-to-back track record appearances at Scarborough Downs, Midnite Craze can also boast an uncanny record of success at the seaside oval, having now tasted victory in five out his six starts at the Downs, including an impressive current skein of three consecutive Free For All class scores.
When Midnite Craze comes to town can a new track record be close at hand? The “Horses for Courses” theory answers strongly in the affirmative!
Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 PM.
Drew Campbell Wins Five at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (April 23, 2016) – Drew Campbell held the hot hand at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (4-23) as the man in the orange and black colors steered five winners down Victory Lane to grab top honors in half of the ten races programmed.
Campbell, who entered the weekend tied with Eddie Davis, Jr atop the drivers’ standings, separated himself from his rival (who went winless) and now tops all contenders with 20 wins on the young state of Maine harness season.
Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing every Saturday and Sunday with post time at 1:30 pm.
Cushing Cruises to First Scarborough Score
Scarborough, Maine (April 2, 2016) – Mitchell Cushing made his very first career start as a Provisional Driver at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (4/2) and wasted precious little time in claiming Victory Lane as his very own territory
The son of noted driver, Ron Cushing, whose license was upgraded after celebrating his 18 th birthday earlier this year, kept the classy campaigner, Sign Of Thunder, brave all the way to the finish-line, to cap off a perfectly executed gate to wire strategy in the afternoon's first race.
While this may have been the first "P" win for Cushing, it was the 50th career winners circle appearance for the 11-year-old Sign Of Thunder, who just so happens to be owned by young Mr. Cushing himself.
What a great combination this rookie driver and veteran pacer make!
Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing every Saturday and Sunday with post time at 1:30 pm.
Sweet day for Sowers at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (March 26, 2016) – The 2016 Scarborough Downs race meet opened up to rave reviews on Saturday (3/26) with a generous mix of full fields, speedy miles and blanket finishes on full display, as the enthusiastic opening day crowd roared it’s approval.
The undisputed stars of the day were trainer Philip “Bo” Sowers and driver Eddie Davis, Jr. who both recorded four wins on the ten race program. The tandem serving notice right from the very first race that this combination of talent would stand as a force to be reckoned with in state of Maine harness racing this season.
Davis utilized a patient strategy to claim victory with Clubber Lang, a newcomer to the Sowers roster, sitting a stalking third in the early going of the opening race, before igniting the after burners through a powerful 28-second third quarter, to extend out to an insurmountable lead before coasting to an open-lengths margin timed in 1:56.1.
Davis also engineered the winning strategy with two other new arrivals to the Sowers’ barn (Body Guard and Lady’s Bag Man), before concluding his grand slam day with a victorious nail-biter as Cool Runnings, a member of his own stable, held off a hard charging Sandy Barbie Legacy (Louis Gassbarro, III) by a head at the wire.
Sowers’ fourth win came in the $6000 feature race event with the 12-year-old veteran, Noble’s Grand Slam (Ron Cushing), upsetting the top class contestants at 13-1 odds.
With the first of 101 scheduled race cards now in the books, the staff and horsemen at the seaside oval look forward to bringing continued fast paced action to the fans with tomorrow’s (3/27) Easter Sunday card set to head to post at 1:30 PM.
Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing every Saturday and Sunday with post time at 1:30 pm.
66th Opening Day on Saturday at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (March 25, 2016) – Maine’s 2016 harness racing season is set to commence on Saturday (3/26) as the gates at Scarborough Downs swing open for the 66 th year in a row. The Downs will launch the season on a two day a week schedule, racing Saturday and Sunday, with post time slated for 1:30 PM (EST) on both days.
Well over 200 horses have entered to qualify this spring, a sharp contrast to the weather plagued 2015 season, so the fields will be full and the competition at a fever pitch, which should certainly test the handicapping skills of the local patrons.
“We’re extremely happy with the number of horses entered for the opening weekend cards and those numbers should translate into very competitive racing,” said Scarborough Director of Operations Steve Cobbett, “Currently the staff is putting the finishing touches on all our preparations and we’ll be ready and excited to welcome the large expected crowds on Opening Day.”
Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing Saturday and Sunday with post time at 1:30 pm.
Midnite Craze equals track record at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (November 6, 2015) – Midnite Craze and driver Ivan Davies equaled the track record for aged gelding trotters at Scarborough Downs on Friday (11/6) spinning an epic mile timed in 1:57.1 to replicate the standard established by Waterlou Willie in 2013.
Remarkably, Midnite Craze, a recent New York import who now sits a perfect two for two in state of Maine competition, never saw the wood throughout the mile, marching second-over through the first time around the half-mile oval before launching a bold three-wide bid up the backstretch. A dogged battle then ensued with the front-running Dagget (Ruel Goodblood, Jr.), with neither trotter giving an inch throughout the heated stretch duel until in the final strides, Midnite Craze extended to the wire a mere half-length on top.
The win was the 15 th career victory for the five-year-old son of Crazed-Trapezius who is owned by G. Richard Mason, Jr. of Luneburg, MA.
Dagget finished second best while Thro Time (Kevin Switzer, Jr) grabbed the show spot.
Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing Friday through Sunday at 12:05 pm.
Summer Meet Concludes, Maine Sires Featured at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough , Maine (September 13, 2015) – The closing day card of the summer meet at Scarborough Downs was headlined by the Maine Sire Stakes program as the three-year-old colt pacing division arrived on the scene, forming two splits, each contested for a purse of 11,682.
Pembroke Maverick made things look extremely easy in the opening division as the prohibitive 1-5 favorite effortlessly grabbed the lead before reaching the quarter pole, never to be seriously challenged throughout. Driven by Heath Campbell for owner William Varney of Bangor, Me, the home-bred threw in a blazing final quarter of 28.4 as he extended out to a 4-3/4 length margin at the wire, timed in 1:57.4
The win was the seventh of the season for the son of Western Maverick-Migrane who has been deftly handled throughout his career by trainer Valerie Grondin.
Sailor Jerry (Michael Graffam) threw in a game rally bid during the third quarter, but could close no further than the runner-up position. Lew's Maverick (Eddie Davis, Jr) raced in the trailing spot for most of the mile but surged late to secure the show dough when the dust had finally settled.
Reckless Rebel kept the Grondin stable from doubling their pleasure in Stakes competition on Sunday though, as the Kevin Switzer, Jr piloted entry pounced from the pocket at the wire to finish a mere whisker in front of the heavily backed Pembroke Wildcat, in the second Maine-bred contest of the day.
Owned by the East Pond Stable of Oakland, Me and trained by David Crochere, the son of Western Maverick - Madonna Hanover scored his fifth win of the season in 1:58.1, while gaining revenge over his chief rival after finishing second best to Pembroke Wildcat in four consecutive starts.
Pembroke Wildcat (Heath Campbell) led throughout the entire mile only to fall just shy at the wire. Alittlebitrocknroll (Drew Campbell) who never saw the wood, threw in an ultra game effort to persevere for third.
Scarborough Downs will reopen for the fall season on October 16 racing a three day per week schedule of Friday through Sunday with post time slated for 1:30 p.m. (EDT). The Downs will play host to the “Day of Champions” on October 24 when the finals for all eight Maine Sire Stakes divisional finals will be contested on a single program for the very first time, in what should prove to be the richest card of harness racing ever put together in the state of Maine.
Upsets and Favorites abound in Maine Sire Stakes at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (September 15, 2015) – The two-year-old colt pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program made it’s final appearance at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (9-15) before heading out on their upcoming fall fairground swing. The assembled stakes stars provided plenty of thrills for the fans in attendance, spinning tales of extremes, with both long shots and favorites persevering in the $11,000-plus twin splits.
Poocham Rocket scored the major upset in the first stakes division of the day as the freshman son of Western Maverick-Yeah Baby N sat the patient pocket trip behind the heavily favored Ball Don’t Lie before pouncing to victory with a determined stretch run, crossing the wire one-length in front, while rewarding his backers to the tune of 7-1 odds.
Nick Graffam executed the perfect driving maneuvers for owner G. Russell Austin of Westmoreland, NH, stopping the clock in a lifetime best 2:00.1.
Ball Don’t Lie (Gary Mosher) gave way late as he settled for the runner-up pacing while Just Call Me Nosey (Mark Athearn) survived a tight photo to gain the show dough.
Seeley Man remained perfect on his career in the second division, scoring his 7 th win from as many appearances, with driver Kevin Switzer, Jr controlling the tempo from the word “Go”.
Owned by Florence O’Keefe of Old Orchard Beach, ME, the son of Western Maverick-Perfect Launch crossed the wire on top by an 8-plus length margin while pacing the mile in an extremely unhurried 1:59.2
Lord Maverick (Heath Campbell) stalked from the pocket throughout the mile but could advance no further than second best. Wish Granted (Ruel Goodblood, Jr) rallied for third, finishing in the show spot for the third consecutive time.
Live racing resumes at Scarborough Downs on Sunday with post time slated for 1:30 p.m. (EDT) featuring the three-year-old colt pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program. Sunday will also be the closing day of Scarborough’s summer meeting as the Downs will go dark while the fall fairground circuit takes center stage.
Scarborough Downs will reopen for the fall season on October 16 and will play host to the Day of Champions on October 24 as the finals for all eight divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program will be contested on what should prove to be the richest card of harness racing ever put together in the state of Maine.
Seeley Man Streaks to Track Record at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (September 5, 2015) – Seeley Man continued with his dominant freshman season on Saturday (9/5) as the Maine-bred sensation extended his undefeated streak, scoring his sixth consecutive win, in his $11,392 division of the Maine Sire Stakes at Scarborough Downs.
Owned by Florence O’Keefe of Old Orchard Beach, Maine and trained by Gerald Smith, the two-year-old son of Western Maverick-Perfect Launch toyed with his competition throughout the mile, extending out to an effortless 2-3/4 length advantage at the wire, timed in a career best 1:58.3.
That clocking established a brand new track record for two-year-old geldings, supplanting the previous benchmark of 1:58.4 by Mainiac Matt (David Ingraham) which had stood the test of time since 2007.
The victory behind Seeley Man was one of four on the program for winning teamster Kevin Switzer, Jr.
Ball Don’t Lie took top honors in the other Maine Sire Stakes split of the day, stopping the clock in 2:00.2 for winning driver Gary Mosher – one of three wins on the card for Mosher.
Live racing is proudly featured next week at Scarborough Downs on Thursday through Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30.
Shane Taggart Scores 1500th Career Driving Win at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (August 30, 2015) – Shane Taggart recorded his 1500th career driving win on Sunday (8/30) at Scarborough Downs, reining Pan Taylor home from off the pace to secure the milestone victory.
Taggart who calls Maine home, has maintained a roster of horses on the Scarborough backstretch for years while dividing his time driving primarily at the Downs and at Plainridge Racecourse in Massachusetts.
The 37-year-old teamster is a career purse winner of over $3.8-million.
Live racing is proudly featured next weekend at Scarborough Downs on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30.
Bryan’s Angel in Track Record Performance at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (August 28, 2015) – The weekend's action got off to a blistering start at Scarborough Downs as record breaking speed was generated, in long shot fashion, in just the second event of the Friday (8-28) twilight card.
Bryan's Angel impressively became the fastest winning four-year-old mare in the 65 year history of the Downs after driver John Beckwith aggressively sent the striking miss to an early lead after stacking the field three-deep to a quarter timed in a moderate 29.1. The tempo picked up from that point though as the daughter of Cash Hall-Paradise Quickie soon opened up what would prove to be an insurmountable advantage to stop the clock in 1:58.3 while coasting to a six-length margin of victory.
The zippy effort supplanted the previous divisional benchmark of 1:59.4 which had been set by Orderingin and Heath Campbell in 2014.
Bryan 's Angel is owned by Danbry Racing Inc. of Allentown, NJ and is trained by Shannon Watson and returned a hefty $43.60 to win.
Live racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs on Friday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30.
Pembroke colts double their pleasure in Maine Sires at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough , Maine (August 2, 2015) – The Maine Sire Stakes program made a brief reappearance at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (8-15), taking a respite following a short Bangor swing and a breather before heading out for a weeklong appearance at the Skowhegan Fair.
In the first of two splits for three-year-old pacing colts, Pembroke Maverick regained his good steady stride, effortlessly gliding to his 4th stakes victory of the season after sporting inconsistencies of gait in both his most recent appearances along the fairground circuit. Driver Heath Campbell utilized a powerful burst of speed to quickly grab command at the midway point, only to then throttle his charge back down toward a leisurely clocking of 1:56.2 en route to claiming the lions’ share of the $11,391 purse.
The son of Western Maverick-Migraine is owned by William Varney of Bangor, Maine and trained by noted stakes conditioner Valerie Grondin.
Sailor Jerry (Michael Graffam), who cut respectable early fractions before giving way to the eventual winner, finished a strong runner-up while HarttAttack (Gary Mosher) claimed the show dough.
The consortium of Campbell, Grondin and Varney doubled their pleasure in the $11,567 second division as Pembroke Wildcat took full advantage of an early bobble by the well-backed HardcoreJohnyPawn to vault to an almost uncontested lead despite scoring from the outside wing. The path to victory was not as effortless as the one previously charted by his stablemate though, as the son of Western Maverick-Saluki Hanover was forced to withstand a competent late charge from Reckless Rebel, before crossing the wire by a scant margin, on top in 1:58.
Reckless Rebel (Kevin Switzer, Jr) settled for the hard fought bridesmaid share while Paris Beau (Gary Mosher) rallied smartly for third.
Live racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs on Friday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30.
Cat Has A Kitten Remains “Purr-fect” at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (August 2, 2015) – Cat Has A Kitten kept her perfect sophomore season intact on Sunday (8/3) as the graceful Maine-bred won her fifth consecutive start and her 4th in a row in Maine Sire Stakes competition.
Deftly handled by driver Heath Campbell, the three-year-old daughter of Western Cyclone-Lady Katie pounced to the lead just past the half and then proceeded to toy with the competition, like a calico would a captured mouse, before extending out to a 3-1/2 length margin at the wire in a more than adequate time of 1:57.2.
The "ferocious feline", owned in tandem by Anthony Sivik, Jr and the KDK Standardbreds and who is trained by noted stakes conditioner, Valerie Grondin, claimed the lion's share of the $12,462 purse.
Eat Your Enemy (John Nason) saw her own undefeated season come to a conclusion while settling for the runner-up placing while Ms Casey Mac (Gary Mosher) held firm for the show.
Live racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30.
Freshman Colts Rule the Roost as Maine Sire Stakes Return to Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (July 26, 2015) – Maine Sires Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/26) as the two-year-old colt pacers supplanted their freshman sisters who had toiled their trade before the fans just the day prior. Fifteen rookies headlined the matinee card, split into two division, each going for purse money in excess of $11,000.
Ball Don't Lie "tipped off" the action as Gary Mosher teamed the son of Neutralize-Ms Jeanne Marie to an imposing 3-1/2 length margin of victory in the $11,742 opening stakes split, timed in 2:01.3.
The colt won in his very first career start for the Ben Bill & Will Stable and trainer Eric Bickmore and delivered the 5992 career driving win for Mosher who is fast closing in on the 6000 win milestone.
Wish Granted (Ruel Goodblood, Jr.) and The Irish Maverick (John Nason) finished in lockstep to dead heat for runner-up honors.
Seeley Man remained undefeated on his young career as the Western Maverick-Perfect Launch gelding impressively imposed his will during the $11,566 second division with Kevin Switzer, Jr teaming for trainer Gerald Smith.
Owned by Florence O'Keefe, the precocious youngster extended his win streak out to three in a row while equaling his lifetime Mark of 1:59.4.
Lord Maverick (Kevin Switzer) rode the deuce to gain the bridesmaid share while Pembroke Willie (Heath Campbell) finished 18-length back in third.
Live racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30.
Freshman Fillies Frolic as Sire Stakes return to the Downs
Scarborough, Maine (July 25, 2015) – Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Saturday as 13 state-bred two-year-old fillies took over the limelight in twin splits contested for purses in excess of $11,000 per division.
Pembroke Bambino turned the tables on apparent deep-stretch defeat in the first $11,391 stakes contest of the twilight program, as the daughter of Baron Biltmore-Fully Committed took full advantage of a costly misstep by the post time favorite Life Isa Short Walk, who rolled off stride while on the lead with the wire right at hand.
The win established a maiden standard of 2:05.2 for the William Varney owned home-bred who is trained by Valerie Grondin and was driven to victory by Heath Campbell.
Seriously Sarah (Gary Mosher) was elevated into the runner-up placing after Life Isa Short Walk (David Ingraham) was set back to third for a lapped on break at the wire.
Former Scarborough driving champion Kevin Switzer returned to the raceway on Saturday following an extended Delmarva swing and quickly re-established himself as one of the most strident forces in Maine Sire Stakes action with an insistent sort of win behind LadiesLoveOutlaws in the $11,567 second stakes division.
In her very first lifetime start, the daughter of Keystone Rodeo, out of the blue hen mare, Dynamite Donna sprinted home to an 8-3/4 length domination, while establishing a respectable maiden standard of 1:59.2 for owner/driver/trainer Switzer.
Racing For Rick (Ron Cushing) settled for second after briefly grabbing the lead from the eventual winner, while Wonderdust (Wallace Watson),who followed along in third throughout the mile, eventually finished in that position.
Maine Sire Stakes races return to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/26) as the two-year-old colt pacers will take center stage.
Live racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30.
Freshman Trotters Headline Maine Sire Stakes Action
Scarborough, Maine (July 19, 2015) – The two-year-old segment of the Maine Sire Stakes program made its first appearance of the 2015 season when the freshman trotters invaded Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7-19) with one division of fillies and one division of colts lending their luster to the eleven race program.
Hes A Castoff proved much the best in the $12,008 colt split as driver Mark Athearn sent his charge smartly to the lead and never to look back, extending out to a leisurely 5-1/4 length margin at the wire while taking a brand new lifetime mark of 2:05.3.
The son of Current Cast - Celebrity Woman extended his career streak of perfection to two in a row for co-owners Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight and legendary state of Maine Hall of Fame trainer, Don Richards.
Pembroke Bada Bing (Heath Campbell) stalked from the pocket to secure the runner-up spot while Dusty Venture (Ivan Davies) followed the leaders twice around the oval for the show dough.
The mutuel entry of GonnaKissMeOrNot (Noble Venture-Wild Pine Princess) and Just A Little Evil ((Noble Venture-Crying Photo) overcame posts seven and eight respectively to secure the top two placings in the $11,850 filly division.
GonnaKissMeOrNot and driver Ron Cushing relentlessly attacked the pace-setting StartActnLikeALady (Gary Hall) through a contentious second half, before clearing by 3-lengths to the wire, and stopping the clock in a maiden breaking 2:08.3. The filly is owned in partnership by Kevin Sywyk, Lynne-Marie Plouffe and Ron Cushing and trained by Heidi Gibbs.
Just A little Evil (Heath Campbell) rallied for second while StartActnLikeALady recovered from a break in the final turn to secure third.
Maine Sire Stakes action returns to Scarborough Downs next weekend with the two-year-old filly pacing divisions being showcased on Saturday (7/25) and the freshmen colts taking center stage on Sunday (7/26).
Warrawee Nonsuch equals track record at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (July 18, 2015) – Sterling speed was the order of the day at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (7-18) as Warrawee Nonsuch traveled the lightning fast oval timed in 1:53.1, equaling the second fastest mile ever recorded in the 65 year history of the seaside oval.
Handled expertly by driver David Ingraham for trainer Joseph Nelson, the 6-year-old son of Jereme's Jet also equaled the track record for older geldings, joining a former member of the Nelson roster, Wholly Louy (Gary Mosher) as co-standard bearer; a record which has stood since 2012.
Shady Sabrina (Kevin Switzer), Scarborough's reining distaff pacing queen, was the first to stop the clock at 1:53.1 way back in 2010, while Hotrod Falcon (Walter Case, Jr) continues to boast the ancient overall track standard of 1:52.4 set during the 1993 edition of the Presidents Pace.
Pembroke Prayer scores 65th career win
Scarborough, Maine (July 11, 2015) – Millionaire trotter, Pembroke Prayer doggedly tracked down an accomplished field to claim top honors in the $6000 Free For All trotting event at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (7/11), getting up in the final strides for the 1:59 clocking.
With Heath Campbell in his customary driver’s seat, the classy son of Like A Prayer – Super Earl scored the 65 th win of his storied career to the delight of owner/breeder William Varney of Bangor, Maine. The win was the fourth of the season for the 11-year-old wunderkind who continues to show no mercy to his younger competitors. .
Like a fine wine, Pembroke Prayer continues to excel with age.
Dominating Performances in Maine Sires
Scarborough, Maine (July 9, 2015) – Tropical Trice continued her pursuit of Sire Stakes perfection as the Maine-bred daughter of Current Cast-Sharra Blue Chip won her second consecutive state-bred battle to remain undefeated in the sophomore program as the Maine Sire Stakes sophomore trotting divisions returned to Scarborough Downs on Thursday (7/9).
Driver Ron Cushing once again showcased the filly's tenacious ability while engaging the front-running Kisses (Kim Ireland) in a dogged overland battle through the final two-furlongs before gliding to the wire in a leisurely 2:02.5 for owner and namesake Joseph Trice and trainer Heidi Gibbs.
Rhonwen (Ivan Davis) threw in a strong rally bid to secure the bridesmaid share while Kisses settled for third best.
Pembroke Jack B returned to form in the first colt split of stakes competition on mid-week card, making amends for a costly pre-start break in last week's contest and delighting the crowd by paying dimes to dollars as the prohibitive 1-9 betting favorite in the $11,433 contest.
The three-year-old son of CR Power Glide-Dark Lady won for the 6th time in his career at the urging of driver Heath Campbell, claiming a new lifetime mark of 2:03.3 in the process. The Maine-bred is trained by Valerie Grondin for owner/breeder William Varney.
Noble Neeley (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) was second while Wyatt Hayes (David Ingraham) finished third.
Broadway Cast sought and won revenge over Sampsonofravencast in the final $11,658 stakes split of the twilight card as the sons of Current Cast repeatedly engaged each other in a determined give and take battle to turn the tables over last week's outcome. The Don Richards trained entry took a brand new lifetime mark in the process, stopping the clock timed in 2:00.2 in harness to driver Mark Athearn, for noted co-owners Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight.
Sampsonofravencast (Ron Cushing) settled for second best while Just Say Mo (Kim Ireland) was third.
Eat Your Enemy Dines in Style in Maine Sires
Scarborough, Maine (July 3, 2015) – The Maine Sire Stakes program made it's second consecutive appearance at Scarborough Downs on Friday (7/3) as the three-year-old filly pacing divisions took center stage in twin splits contested for purses of $11,668 per.
Everything old was new once again on Friday as Eat Your Enemy served bold notice that she was more than up to the task of defending her freshman Sire Stakes Championship while winning at first asking to launch her three-year-old season, taking a brand new lifetime speed record (1:59.4) for driver/trainer John Nason.
The daughter of Western Maverick/Smooth As Ice sat the patient pocket trip before igniting the afterburners around the 5/8th's bend, sprinting clear to a handy 6-1/2 length lead at the wire, much to the delight of co-owners Carolyn Corso and Lynn-Marie Plouffe.
Stella's Big Girl (Heath Campbell) rallied for the runner-up share while Toast Of The Meadow (Kevin Switzer, Jr) parlayed an early front-running strategy for the show.
Cat Has A Kitten toyed with the competition in the other stakes split building upon a promising lifetime best prep effort (1:55.3) at Harrington Raceway to easily hold the competition at bay in a more leisurely 1:58 clocking on Friday.
Owned in tandem by Anthony Sivik, Jr and the KDK Standardbreds, the daughter of Western Cyclone/Lady Katie was making her first start from the Valerie Grondin stable after prepping for former trainer Kevin Switzer at Harrington. She was driven to victory for noted stakes teamster Heath Campbell.
Analyze (Michael Graffam) was second while Daydreamer Jo (Gary Mosher) finished third.
Cushing Doubles Down in Maine Sires at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (July 2, 2015) – The Maine Sire Stakes program made its 2015 debut at Scarborough Downs on Thursday (7/2) as the Heidi Gibbs/Ron Cushing roster served serious notice that they would be key players in the state-bred sophomore trotting divisions.
The tandem sent out winners in both splits with Sampsonofravencast kicking the action off in high gear, overcoming the extreme outside post to take a new lifetime mark (2:02.1) in the $12,216 colt division.
The son of Current Cast/Raven’s Ruby is owned in partnership by Joseph Trice and Ron Cushing and was bred by the Thunderbolt Farm.
Saving the best for last though, Tropical Trice slew the previously undefeated Bibbidi Boo to claim the lion’s share in the $12,226 filly division, an effort which featured a daring pocket-pulling maneuver at the ¾-mile marker followed by a doggedly determined stretch battle, resulting in the upset clocked in 2:01.4.
The daughter of Current Cast/Sharra Blue Chip is also owned by Joseph Trice and was bred by noted Maine stalwart, Richard Hartley.
Maine Sire Stakes action continues on Friday (7/3) as the three-year-old filly pacers will take center stage in twin splits being contested for $11,668 per. Post Time for the twilight performance is 4:30 p.m. (EDT).
Five Wins for Kevin Switzer, Jr
Scarborough , Maine (June 27, 2015) – Kevin Switzer, Jr held the hot hand at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (6/27) winning five of the eight dashes carded on the twilight program.
Switzer, who has been dividing his time driving at all three racing venues along the New England circuit, made an emphatic statement while making his first appearance of the week in southern Maine, claiming victory in both of the co-featured events on Saturday’s card. The man in blue and black kicked of his day steering Randy Bickmore’s Glow Stick to her fifth consecutive win in the $6000 Distaff Free For All before closing out his day with a 1:54.1 walk in the park with Scott McKenzie’s A Sweet Ride in the $6000 colt and gelding feature.
Sandwiched in between were Winner’s Circle appearances with Fairytale Prince, Rose Alba and Western Rival.
Switzer, whose name is featured prominently on Sunday’s matinee program remains cemented strongly in second place upon the Scarborough Leader’s Board, trailing only perennial powerhouse Drew Campbell in the standings.
A Sweet Ride Just Misses in Track Record Bid
Scarborough, Maine (June 20, 2015) – Fast miles have become the order of the day at Scarborough Downs this season so the fans could have been forgiven if they viewed A Sweet Ride's 1:53.2 win in Saturday's (6/20) $6000 feature pace as just another "day at the office" event. At second glance though something special had transpired on a rather chilly late spring day in Maine as the six-year-old son of Dontgetinmyway effortlessly paced to the fourth fastest mile ever recorded in the 65 year history of the Downs.
After being locked in with pace during a fourth place finish last weekend, driver Kevin Switzer, Jr sent his charge with sharp determination to the early lead on Saturday, clipping through zippy panels of 27.1, 56.1 and (the seldom seen) 1:24.2 while holding solid sway over a determined bunch en route to cruising to the 2-1/2 length margin of victory.
The win was the 4th of the season for the Jamie Gerard trainee who was recently purchased by owner Scott McKenzie of Saco, Maine.
BP Diet Food (Dan Deslandes) rode the perfect pocket trip to runner up honors while JJ's Jet ( Drew Campbell) parlayed a first over challenge to the third place showing.
A Sweet Ride's sterling effort was just 1/5th of a second off the track standard for older geldings.
Impressively, only existing track record holders have ever paced faster at the Downs included therein the older gelding standard bearer Wholly Louy's 1:53.1 mile in 2012, Shady Sabrina's epic mare record of 1:53.1 taken in 2010, and Hotrod Falcon's immortal overall track record of 1:52.4 taken during the 1993 edition of the Presidents Pace with Walter Case, Jr steering the course.
"And that's on a chilly night! He'll pace 1:52 or better on a warmer day!" Kevin Switzer, Jr could be heard exclaiming as he guided the speedy steed into the Scarborough winner's circle.
If that is indeed the case, the harness fans in Maine are in for the time of their lives this season.
Fleet Filly in 1:54.2 at Scarborough
Scarborough, Maine (June 14, 2015) – The week-long speed show continued at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (6/18) as the track remained lightning fast while the horses and drivers took full advantage of the favorable conditions to put up eye-popping miles to the delight of the fans.
Ashlee's Cool Gal became the latest to test the tele-timer on Sunday as the Maine-bred mare blazed around the oval to secure a brand new lifetime Mark of 1:54.2 with driver Drew Campbell calling the shots for trainer Stephen Murchison. The win broke a four-race skein of runner-up placings for the Randy Tompkins owned Maine-bred and was one of three trips down victory lane for Scarborough's top rated pilot on Sunday.
The sterling clocking was the third fastest yet recorded this season at the Downs and fastest by a mare, trailing only Destination Moon N (1:53.4) and Only The Lonely (1:54.1) for top honors on the speed meter.
With summer weather heating up, talented horses plying their trade and fans flocking to the stands this year, the party never ends at Scarborough Downs.
Dandy Day for Don Richards Stable
Scarborough, Maine (June 13, 2015) – Fans at Scarborough Downs would have been forgiven if they thought they had been caught in a time warp on Saturday (6/13) as a couple of kingpins from the 1980's came center stage on a perfect late spring evening to show the young fellas a thing or two about harness racing.
With both a feature class trot and pace co-headlining the strong card, Don Richards, the 82 year old stalwart whose name has been associated with many, if not most, of the biggest events ever staged in state of Maine harness racing sent two top campaigners to the post. Retired from driving for two seasons now, the perennial fan favorite and winner of over 4200 career dashes named fellow state of Maine standout Ruel Goodblood, Jr., the winner of nearly 4500 races himself, to catch drive.
And when the dust had settled, the veteran campaigners claimed victories in both top-level events.
Whata Winner, a brand new addition to the Richards roster took the pike route to score his 30th career win, stopping the tele-timer in a blistering 1:57.4. The classy trotter co-owned by Thomas Dillon of Anson, Maine and Terrax, Inc of Longwood, Florida added to his imposing $700K-plus career bankroll with the zippy win which clocked just 3/5th-second off the track record.
Not to be out down by his accomplished new stablemate, Destination Moon N blasted off to an early lead secured by a blistering .27 opening panel before deftly holding the field at bay in a jam packed photo finish which featured 5 horses all with in 1-3/4 lengths at the wire. Owned by Diamond Creek Racing of Wellsville, PA, the gelding recorded one of the fastest miles ever registered at the Downs, stopping the clock in 1:53.4, and like his stablemate falling just 3/5th-second shy of equalling the existing track record.
As summer heats up and with accomplished top-level talent flocking to Maine this season, track records across the state appear in serious jeopardy indeed. And with Richards and Goodblood once again making serious noise at the height of the class ladders, the young guns would be well advised to take notice.
Switzer Sizzles at Scarborough - Wins Five on Saturday
Scarborough, Maine (May 30, 2015) – Kevin Switzer, Jr remained the hottest commodity at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (5/30) as the torrid teamster escorted five winners down victory lane, one day after notching four top scores during Friday’s card.
With nine wins already in hand this weekend, Switzer now takes over sole possession of second place in the Scarborough drivers standings with 34 seasonal scores, sitting 15 wins back but closing in on leading pilot Drew Campbell.
Live harness racing is featured weekly at Scarborough Downs with the Friday card now going to post at 4:30 p.m. (EDT), a special 2:00 post time on Belmont Stakes Day while the popular Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30 p.m.
Only The Lonely in Near-Track Record Mile
Scarborough, Maine (May 23, 2015) – Making his very first state of Maine start on Saturday (5/23), Only The Lonely with driver Eddie Davis, Jr., just missed equaling one of the oldest Track Records on the Scarborough Downs books when they stopped the tele-timer in 1:54.1. The effort came within whiskers of matching Prince Ebony's standard for aged stallions set during the 1990 edition of The Presidents Pace, Scarborough’s then marquee invitational, with driver Ron Pierce getting the entry home in 1:54 flat.
The mile was the fastest recorded yet in 2015 at the Downs.
Only The Lonely is the latest addition to the roster of Scarborough’s 2014 Trainer of the Year, Bo Sowers and is owned by David MacDonald of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The five-year-old son of Western Ideal was insistently driven to an early lead through a contentious 28 second opening panel and maintained that front-seat advantage throughout, coasting to a 6-1/4 length margin at the wire, pretty much under wraps.
We've got a feeling that Prince Ebony’s ancient standard which has stood the test of time for nearly 25 years, may be in jeopardy soon with this new fleet stallion setting up shop at the Downs.
Live harness racing is featured weekly at Scarborough Downs with the Friday and Saturday cards going to post at 4:00 p.m. (EDT) while the popular Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30 p.m.
Wisher on the Move at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough , Maine (May 10, 2015) – Trainer Adrian Wisher, Jr. made an immediate impact upon moving his stable to Scarborough Downs this weekend, winning six races from seven entered to sport a hefty .857 Universal Trainer Rating following his first appearances of the 2015 season in state of Maine competition.
Wisher divvied his wins equally among the Saturday and Sunday cards with a mixture of horses racing fresh off the shelf scattered in with a few campaigners who have recently been battle tested along the mid-Atlantic circuit.
His well conditioned and well classified charges, a hallmark of the approach Wisher traditionally takes toward success on the raceway, also benefited from the services of Maine’s two top drivers from last season. Kevin Switzer, Jr teamed four roster members down victory lane (part of Switzer’s tally of seven winners on the weekend) while Drew Campbell, the meet’s leading driver thus far this season, took victory laps with two.
Live harness racing resumes next weekend at the Downs with a special 2:00 p.m. (EDT) post time on Preakness Saturday while the popular Sunday matinee will go to post at 1:30 p.m.
Eric Davis Scores First Win at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine ( Sunday, April 26, 2015) – Eric Davis became the latest member of the famed Delmarva harness racing family to etch his name in the winner’s ranks at an extended meet, as the 18-year-old steered Big Heart from off to pace to grab top honors on Sunday (4/26) at Scarborough Downs.
The red and white Davis family colors, so familiar to fans up and down the eastern seaboard, get their latest redesign this season as Eric follows in the footsteps of his father Eddie Davis, Jr. and grandfather Eddie Davis Sr. On his maternal side, mother and noted trainer Janet Stevenson Davis and harness driving uncle Mike Stevenson were surely beaming with pride.
The win was actually the second in Davis’ career but his first since being elevated to provisional driver status following his 18 th birthday, and his first at Scarborough Downs.
Live harness racing resumes at Scarborough Downs on next Saturday, Kentucky Derby Day, with a special 2:00 p.m. (EDT) post time. The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30 p.m.
Eddie Davis, Jr wins Four at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough , Maine (Saturday, April 25, 2015) – Eddie Davis, Jr. held the hot hand at a chilly Scarborough Downs on Saturday (4/25), as the Delmarva invader scored four wins on the card despite the brisk conditions.
Davis began his day with a family style victory, steering Devil’s Embrace N to his first trip to the winners circle since 2012. The 12-year-old Kiwi import is owned by Davis and conditioned by his son Eric.
Davis then went back-to-back for Scarborough’s defending trainer of the year Bo Sowers, scoring the second consecutive win for claiming pacer, Allen The Optomist, before masterminding the 58 th career win for the ultra-classy Print It.
The man in the red and white colors capped off his grand slam afternoon with a gate to wire rampage behind Sam Lucky which represented one of two wins on the card for trainer Steven Vafiades.
The successful day launched Davis into sole possession of second place in the Scarborough drivers’ standings with 17 seasonal tallies, just 10 wins behind Drew Campbell who is currently the top rated UDR driver in North America.
Live harness racing resumes at Scarborough Downs on Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. (EDT) post time. Next Saturday, Kentucky Derby Day, Scarborough will go to post at 2:00 p.m.
Drew Campbell Cops the Fifth at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, April 18, 2015) – Leading driver Drew Campbell wasted precious little time following up on last Sunday’s six trips down Scarborough Downs’ Victory Lane as the man in the orange and black colors continued to tally victories at a near record clip. On Saturday (4/18) Campbell added to his imposing tally, claiming top honors in five of the eleven dashes carded.
Included in the five wins were a couple from Campbell’s very own roster as he extended Remix’s (1:58.2) win streak to three straight. He then claimed the lion’s share of the $6000 Winners Over pace, mounting a determined bid with JJs Jet, to wear down the front-running Mr Nice Guy while stopping the clock in 1:56.4, the third fastest time recorded this season at the Downs.
No stranger to the creation of fast miles, Campbell helped spin the fleetest journey of the season earlier on in the card as Ashlee’s Cool Gal scored her second consecutive victory timed in 1:55.2, just 2/5 th-second off her lifetime best.
Campbell ’s successful day was rounded out with wins behind Check Don’s Pulse (1:57.1), the second in a row for the Steve Vafiades trained pacer, and the first seasonal win for Bettor’s Night (2:00) who hung tough to survive a late challenge in the finale.
The defending driving champion at the Downs, Campbell has now cemented his lead in the early 2015 standings with his 22 seasonal scores nearly doubling those of his closest competitor.
Live harness racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs every Friday, Saturday at 4:00 p.m. (EDT) with the popular Sunday matinee scheduled to get underway at 1:00 p.m.
Drew Campbell Grabs Six-pack at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, April 11, 2015) – Every Sunday is “Fun Day” at Scarborough Downs, where six Budweiser drafts (on special) would cost a fan a mere $12 in the Winner’s Circle Lounge. This Sunday (4/12) though, driver Drew Campbell put together a six-pack of a different kind out on the racetrack, riding roughshod over an accomplished driving colony en route to winning six of the ten races carded.
The Campbell Cavalcade quickly went into motion on Sunday, winning the very first race of the day with Kevin Gee’s new trotter, LUVINUISFUN in a seasonal best clocking before securing the first of two wins for trainer Dick Bartlett with the trotter NANNY MCPEE making her first start of the year a winning one. The most impressive winner from the Bartlett Roster though was WISHING YOU WELL. Campbell steered the rookie three-year-old from far off the pace in the colt’s very first lifetime start, to stop the tele-timer in an impressive 1:58.
The most impressive tally of the day came next as Campbell piloted the Maine-bred ASHLEE’S COOL GAL to her first win of the season timed in 1:56.1, the fastest time recorded thus far on the young Scarborough Downs season. Her win was one of three consecutive trips down victory lane by members of trainer Stephen Murchison’s roster.
Campbell also got two entries home from the Steve Vafiades shed-row, first behind CHECK DONS PULSE (1:58.4) before closing out his torrid day with SKYWAY SHANIA’s 1:57.2 speed-show in the finale.
Campbell now sits firmly in command of the Scarborough driver standings as the third week of the meet comes to its conclusion. The man in the orange and black colors now holds 17 wins to his credit, six up on Gary Mosher with whom he started the weekend tied.
Live harness racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with post time slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
JJs Jet Scores Fastest Mile of Young Scarborough Downs Season
Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, April 11, 2015) – JJs Jet rocketed back into the Scarborough Downs consciousness on Saturday (4/11), as the Drew Campbell driven/trained entry finally tasted victory while making his third upper-class appearance of the 2015 season.
Owned by Bruce Maxwell of St. John, N.B., Canada, the 6 year-old gelded son of Jereme’s Jet launched a determined first over campaign to engage last week’s top class winner, Ellie’s Best Dream (Ron Cushing) before putting the mare away in deep stretch. JJs Jet then stopped the tele-timer in a sterling 1:57.2, the fastest clocking yet of the young Scarborough Downs season.
Ellie’s Best Dream, the lone mare in the field raced strong from the 8-hole today, holding for the place. Fear Itself (Nick Graffam), making his very first start of the season completed the top three.
Live harness racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs every Saturday and Sunday with post time slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
"Wild About Saffron" on Easter
Scarborough , Maine ( Sunday, April 5, 2015) – . Easter is a time for family gatherings and celebrations but in Maine, Easter is also a time for harness racing excitement. The Gretchen Athearn Stable effectively combined both traditions on Sunday (4/5) as three generations of her family teamed up to set the holiday table at Scarborough Downs by engineering victories in both halves of the Daily Double.
General Bill Brown proved capable of a successful launch to his 2015 campaign as the New York Sire Stakes graduate won fresh off the shelf after exiting the Empire State trenches last fall in favor of the Pine Tree State battlegrounds in the spring. The four-year-old son of Crazed, now owned by William Phipps of Yarmouth, Maine coasted to an impressive victory with driver Mark Athearn calling the shots from the sulky.
The fun continued in the very next dash as Saffron scored an upset win for Team Athearn, crashing the board at 14-1, while holders of the $30 win tickets could be heard singing a verse from the old Donovan song, Mello Yellow, “I’m just mad about Saffron, Saffron’s mad about me”.
Sun day’s success concluded a profitable weekend for the Athearns who, combined with Saturday’s winner, Daggett, scored victories with three of the five horses they sent to post.
Live harness racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs every Saturday and Sunday with post time slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
Ron Cushing tops the charts at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough , Maine (Saturday, April 4, 2015) – . Despite facing inclement conditions and chilly temperatures, driver Ron Cushing continued his torrid ways on Saturday (4/4), winning three of the eight races programmed at Scarborough Downs, with all three winners coming from his very own roster.
Cushing served notice from the very first bugle call that Saturday would belong to him, as he soared gate to wire in the opener with Kevin Sywyk’s Vodka Is Terror. The 6-year-old post time favorite, held firm to score the 20 th win of his career, but more impressively keyed a robust $749.60 Trifecta return despite his favored status.
Driving for his son Mitchell later in the card, Cushing once again chose the pike route while extending the veteran Sign Of Thunder’s seasonal undefeated streak to two, before closing out the day by claiming the lion’s share of the $6000 Winners Over purse with Sywyk’s newly acquired mare Ellie’s Best Dream, besting an accomplished field of geldings in the process.
Cushing’s sensational Saturday pushed his name to the top spot in both the Driver and Trainer Standings after three sessions of the 2015 season. His six driving wins now equal the seasonal total of fellow teamster Gary Mosher but more imposing is Cushing’s complete domination of the trainers’ ranks, where the man in the maroon and gold silks has won with six of the nine entries he has sent to post.
Live harness racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs every Saturday and Sunday with post time slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
Grand Slam Gary Comes Up Big at the Downs
Scarborough , Maine (Sunday, March 29, 2015) – . Veteran teamster, Gary Mosher, put on a driving clinic Sunday (3/29) at Scarborough Downs as the man in the red and green colors claimed victory in four of the ten races programmed.
The career winner of more than 5900 races kept everything “family style” in the early going, kicking off the day by claiming victory in both ends of the daily double with horses owned by his son Garrett Mosher. The proud Dad made back to back visits to the winner's circle, first with Wildcat Ideal and then with Pembroke Boogie, keying a fan favorite $9.60 gimmick, much to the delight of the large crowd of punters assembled on the crisp New England afternoon.
With the popular winners in the rear view mirror, the fans discounted Mosher's chances later in the card as Joseph Nelson's Warrawee Nonesuch snuck past them paying $21.20 to win in the 8 th. The six-year-old gelding not only snuck past the players but also past the heavily favored JJ’s Jet (Drew Campbell) to deliver the perennially powerful Nelson his first training win at the Downs in over a year.
Charlie By Far capped off Mosher's grand slam performance returning $41.60 in the finale to the fans that stuck around and believed.
Live harness racing resumes next weekend at Scarborough Downs with cards going to post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) on both SATURDAY and Sunday.
Opening Day A Rousing Success!
Scarborough , Maine (Friday, March 27, 2015) – After suffering through a historically tough winter, southern Maine's harness racing fans came out in droves to witness the birth of the 2015 meet at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (3/28). The faithful crowded the stands and cheered from the fences as ten ultra competitive races were showcased on a track groomed to perfection by a track crew who have worked tirelessly to combat whatever Mother Nature has had to throw at them.
"People responded to the lure of the horses and the great promotions we offered for Opening Day" said Downs' General Manager Martina Mitchell, "It was one of the largest and most enthusiastic Opening Day crowds in recent memory and all of us here at the track are committed to build upon today's momentum."
Drew Campbell wasted precious little time in establishing the fact that he was hungry to defend his 2014 Scarborough drivers' championship as he steered the winners of the day's first two races down victory lane, nabbing the natural daily double with Kevin Gee's LUVNUISFUN in the first and Douglas Smith's RD MISTY in the second.
Campbell then gave way to others in the deep and talented driver’s colony as Eddie Davis, Jr. trumped all teamsters by scoring three wins from the ten races programmed. Included in that tally were AMERICAN PLAN and LEAP OF FAITH, two horses owned by William Fischer of Newfield, Maine.
Dan Deslandes was the other driver to win multiple events on the day as he closed out the program by securing top honors in the both ends of the late daily double with Pam Gauthier and Katlyn Waterhouse's LUCKY MAC, followed quickly by Anthony D'Amico's newly acquired, CARRIE ANN.Live harness racing resumes at the seaside oval on Sunday (3/29) with a ten race matinee program which gets underway at 1:30 p.m. (EDT). Moving forward, Scarborough Downs will race next weekend on Saturday and Sunday with post times adjusted to 1:00 p.m.
Opening Day on Tap - Saturday (3/28) at 4:00 p.m.
Scarborough, Maine (Thursday, March 26, 2015) – Scarborough Downs will kick off its 65th season of racing excitement on Saturday afternoon (3/28) with post time slated for 4:00 p.m. (EDT) while offering a ten race program featuring purses in excess of $29,000.
"We made it through a long hard winter here in southern Maine, historically hard" said race secretary David Sawyer, "but despite the long odds and frozen conditions, the horsemen came through with an adequate horse population for Opening Weekend. The mix of local veterans along with a big influx of fresh new faces should make for fun and competitive racing."
Scarborough's driving colony will remain one of the deepest to be found at any small market harness track in North America with 2014 Downs driving champion Drew Campbell joined by the reigning North American UDR pilot, Kevin Switzer, Jr. in the top two slots.
Returning from a winter stint at Dover Downs, Eddie Davis, Jr's familiar red and white silks will once again grace the seaside oval, to be joined by those of veteran teamsters like Gary Mosher, Ron Cushing, Chris Long and Dude Goodblood. On the near horizon, the fans await the mid-spring arrival of the ever popular David Ingraham and Heath Campbell who have (wisely) wintered in Florida.
Youth will be served on the track by the breakout talents of drivers Dan Deslandes and Nick Graffam, who will be joined this year by 18-year-old Eric Davis (Eddie's son), as he becomes the latest generation from the famed racing family to make his pari-mutuel debut.
Food and beverage specials will delight the fans once they arrive for the races with a Friday Happy Hour second to none, featuring $2.00 draft beer specials, $4.00 Jameson Whiskey drinks and $4.00 9-inch pizzas.
Beer and BBQ take center stage on Saturday with more of the popular $2.00 drafts and a delicious $5.00 BBQ chicken dinner while Sunday will surely be "Fun Day" at the Downs with $1.00 hotdogs, $2.00 drafts and $4.00 Bloody Marys.
Scarborough Downs will feature live harness racing on Saturday at 4:00 with the Sunday matinee swinging into action at 1:30 this season. Friday racing (4:00 post) joins the line up on April 3rd.
Qualifying Races Scheduled at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (Friday, March 6, 2015) – Following her wintertime offerings of frigid temperatures and blankets of snow, Mother Nature is slowing loosening her grip on southern Maine as the harness racing industry anxiously awaits the start of the 65 th season of racing at Scarborough Downs, and the announcement of the qualifying schedule is a sure sign that the birth of the 2015 meeting is just around the corner.
Qualifying races will be held on Wednesday March 18, Saturday March 21 and Tuesday March 24 with first post time slated for 10:00 AM. Horsemen are asked to enter their horses either by written or electronic declaration by 9:00 the day prior.
Opening Day of the 2015 season at Scarborough Downs is scheduled for Saturday March 28 with a 4:00 pm (EDT) post time followed up by the popular Sunday matinee set to kick off at 1:30.
Campbell and Sowers Claim Top Honors as 2015 Meet Concludes at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough , Maine ( Sunday, December 21, 2014) – . Closing Day marked the conclusion of the 2014 meet at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (12-21) with competitive racing and recognition of seasonal achievements being the hallmark of the day while the New England Harness Writers Association joined the track to help dole out the hardware.
Drew Campbell , the perennial powerhouse among a very competitive drivers colony secured yet another Drivers Championship in 2014, spinning together a grand slam performance on the closing day card to augment his meet's leading tally to 199 seasonal scores. Currently the third rated UDRS driver in North America, Campbell closed out the year in identical fashion to the way he began it, winning both the first and final dash of the nine month meet.
Philip "Bo" Sowers secured the very first Scarborough Trainers Championship of his career, surviving a late charge from the Randy Bickmore Barn to claim top dog status after sending 49 winners to the post during the year. Sowers joins a handful of state of Maine horsemen who are ranked among the leading campaigners in North America in 2015, with his roster currently ranked fourth in the continental trainers standings sporting a hefty .380 UTRS.
With 2014 now fully engraved in the archives, all eyes are set on the dawn of a new year and continued success, with the 2015 meeting, the 65th in the history of Scarborough Downs, set to begin on March 28.
Red Bullet Keeps on Firing as Six 14-Year-Olds Retired at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough , Maine (Saturday, December 20, 2014) – . In what has become one of the most anticipated days in state of Maine harness racing, the 8th annual Standardbred Retirement Ceremony took place at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (12-20). Six tried and true veteran racehorses took their final bows in front of their adoring fans with custom embroidered coolers and ample bunches of carrots replacing the traditional gold watches of the human retiree set.
By rule, all standardbred racehorses must hang up their bridles at the conclusion of their 14-year-old seasons and Scarborough Downs in cooperation with the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association and the Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association remain committed to sending them off to their new careers in style.
Included in this year's ceremony were; Bolero Loupet (1:51), Freedom Of Speech (1:52.4), Pacific Sonata (1:54.3), Red Bullet (1:52.4), Redstone Ruckus (1:49.4) and Sammys Honor (1:57.3).
In a unique twist on the celebration, the classy Red Bullet made the 440th and final start of his career in the race just prior to the retirement ceremony. Owned by Douglas Gray of Lewiston, Maine, the gritty son of Life Sign - Lady Largo dug out a game third place showing in his swan song appearance, the 13th time the veteran warhorse has finished in the show spot this season.
The 2014 meeting at Scarborough Downs has now entered deep stretch with just one performance remaining on the calendar. The seasonal curtain comes down on Sunday (12-21) with a nine-race program scheduled to get under way at 12:05 PM (EST).
Kevin Switzer Jr Wins 1500 th Career Harness Race
Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, November 22, 2014) – Kevin Switzer, Jr. registered a milestone moment at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (11-22) as the man in the blue and black colors scored the 1500th win of his driving career, behind the front-end speed of the veteran pacer Fulla Fire.
With 12 days of racing left in the season, Switzer remains the leading dash winner in the state of Maine this year with 369 trips down victory lane, but more impressively, leads all harness drivers in North America with an imposing UDRS rating of .413, a full 10 percentage points ahead of James Morrill, Jr., his closest rival in the standings.
After being feted in the winner's circle by his family, friends and fellow teamsters Switzer took time to reflect on his good fortune this year.
"It took a little bit longer to get here than it probably should have but I'm making up for lost time now. Of course, all the credit goes to my family for standing with me day after day, especially my wife and son. I wouldn't be where I am today without their love and support."
"I also need to thank all the trainers and their owners who have made my job easier by putting me up on some solid horses this year. I remember when I went to Pompano I went 1-for-70 and I knew I was a better driver than that but when you've got no stock you can't get it done. Having good stock to drive was never a problem this season."
All along the state of Maine circuit and especially at Scarborough Downs, getting that stock into the winner's circle has never been a problem for Switzer either, as he closes out 2014 on a high note - With eyes fully fixed on continued success just beyond the horizon.
Switzer Solidifies Lead for State of Maine Dash Title
Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, November 08, 2014) – Even as mid-autumn temperatures struggle to get into the 40 degree range, Kevin Switzer, Jr. continues to hold the hottest hand at Scarborough Downs and on the Saturday (11-8) matinee program the man in blue and black steered five winners down victory lane. The five-bagger brings his state of Maine leading tally to 345 wins on the season and inches the 27-year-old teamster to within 22 scores of his 1500th career victory lap.
In other developments at the Downs, conditioner Bo Sowers vaulted to the top spot in the trainers standings on Saturday as he sent four winners to post from his prolific roster. Currently, Sowers stands three wins ahead of last year's champion, the perennially powerful Randy Bickmore.
Live harness racing is now featured three days a week at Scarborough Downs with first post scheduled at 12:05 PM (EST) on Friday through Sunday.
Sassy Sarah Delivers Birthday Surprise at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough , Maine ( Sunday, October 26, 2014) – Classy racehorses come in all shapes and sizes and their names pepper the program pages at Scarborough Downs. While it's tough to beat the back-class and experience of a veteran warhorse, the special ones generally find a way to come to the forefront when placed upon a big stage even now, as they approach the twilights of their careers.
One of those magical moments developed on Sunday (10-26) at Scarborough Downs as the 13-year-old mare, Sassy Sarah, took to the track for the 290th time in her career while in search of her 63rd lifetime win. What at first glance might have appeared just another day at the office for the workaday racehorse, who has been a stalwart and fan favorite on the state of Maine circuit for years now, turned out to be one of those occasions whose performance help cement the status of legend.
While sent to the post by owner/trainer Lisa Saindon as usual, the backdrop to this story was the fact that Lisa was celebrating her birthday by racing two members of her stable on Sunday. Her trotter, Keystone Stately could only manage a fifth place showing earlier in the card but Sassy Sarah had grander celebration plans in mind as she rallied boldly around the final bend to extend out for the well earned and equally well timed victory – Delivering the best birthday present any racehorse could ever give her owner.
Birthday cake for Lisa, carrot cake for Sassy Sarah and congratulations all around for the feel good story of the week at Scarborough Downs.
Maine Sire Stakes Champions Crowned at Scarborough Downs
Mary Rose Of Topaz capped a magical season in the $85,001 filly pacing final as she secured her 11th stakes win of her sophomore campaign. Kevin Switzer, Jr., driving for trainer Ralph Andersen and owner Andrew Card, waited for the field to settle before making his move toward the lead. From that point the victory never seemed in peril. Even when the upstart, Pembroke Lynn attempted to come alongside through the final turn, the champion's grit and determination shone through as she dug in deep before gliding to the wire in an unhurried clocking of 1:59 flat.
"She gets a little hot leaving out sometimes so I let her settle a bit before letting her leave on her own," Switzer explained, "and then when that horse came at us in the last turn I wasn't too concerned, all I said to her was 'please don't run!'"
“I want to thank Ralph Andersen for giving me the opportunity to drive her this year," Switzer continued. "She such a nice filly that quite honestly, anybody could drive her. All the credit goes to Ralph for getting her and keeping her so good all year."
Dual Stakes eligible, her final engagement of the season will be at Plainridge Racecourse in the Finals of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes program.
Pembroke Lynn (Heath Campbell) capped off an outstanding stakes season for the Grondin/Varney/Campbell triumvirate by securing the runner-up placing. Danville Sweetheart (Gary Mosher) rallied for the show.
The $85,044 colt pacing final appeared to be the deepest on paper, and the outcome did not disappoint. David The Saint took full advantage of scoring from the rail to secure the dream pocket journey as the Mark Athearn-teamed entry followed Blackmalin and Kevin Switzer, Jr. twice around the oval. When the outer flow began to falter around the final turn, Athearn pulled the pocket, cleared to the lead, and crossed the wire on top as a huge contingent of "Team Athearn" fans roared their approval.
"He'll always pass one horse and that's all I had to get past today," Athearn commented after receiving a kiss from his wife Gretchen, who is also the horse's trainer, "He's been good all year and will always dig in when they come at him so I felt pretty confident as we turned for home."
David The Saint is owned by the team composed of Norman St Clair, Donald Harmon, Sr and Gretchen Athearn. The son of Neutralize took a brand new lifetime mark of 1:58.1 en route to scoring his fifth win of the season.
Maynard B held on to secure runner-up honors while Pembroke Newt (Heath Campbell) rallied for third.
Pembroke Castaway soared coast to coast en route to victory in the $84,936 colt trotting final, handily defeating an accomplished field of state-breds to secure his sixth consecutive win. Driver Heath Campbell confidently called the shots, teaming the son of Current Cast, for trainer Valerie Grondin and owner William Varney of Bangor, Maine with the mile timed in 2:00.1, just 1/5th of a second off the divisional track record established by Bad Boy Billy, another Maine-bred, in 2009.
Winless in nine starts as a two-year-old, Pembroke Castaway became the dominate force in
"He just got right at the right time" Heath Campbell remarked, "He just didn't race hard last year but put it all together as a three-year-old. He's turned into a pretty nice colt."
Star Studded Cast (Mark Athearn) rode the pocket trip to the runner-up placing while CCC (Kim Ireland) held steady for third.
The prodigy of stallion Current Cast completed the sweep of the trotting finals as Shes A Castoff secured the 11th win of his sophomore season to lay claim to the colt trotting crown in what turned out to be a rather contentious battle for the 84,654 purse offering. Driver Ruel Goodblood, Jr was intent on sending Shes Castoff to her customary front end seat but encounter a stiff early challenge from the Gary Mosher teamed Kate At The Gate who kept the favored entry at bay until well past the 3/8th pole. Once on the lead, Goodblood, braced and ready for the eventual stretch challenge, kept his filly brave to the wire, holding off the challenger to the tune of a 1-3/4 length margin.
"I wasn't too anxious" driver Goodblood remarked, concerning taking all that early air, "We'll just let her record speak for itself. She grew up a lot from her two-year-old season (when she went winless) got a lot smarter and got a lot better."
Shes A Castoff is owned in partnership by Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight and trained by Hall of Fame conditioner, Donald Richards.
Despite the expert tactics from driver Gary Mosher, Kate At The Gate finished second to her rival for the seventh time this season, while Hermione K (Wallace Watson) finished third, hitting the board for the very first time in her career in this her biggest engagement.
Harness racing continues throughout the fall at Scarborough Downs on a three-day schedule, Friday through
Bibbidi Boo Completes Undefeated Season in Maine Sire Stakes Championships
Scarborough, Maine ( Sunday, September 7, 2014) - The old saying, "As Maine goes, so goes the nation" never rang more true than on Sunday (9-7) at Scarborough Downs as the Maine-bred filly, Bibbidi Boo, wrapped up a brilliant undefeated season while continuing to lead the national standings as the winningest two-year-old filly trotter in the land.
Leaving alertly from post 7, the daughter of Noble Venture never encountered a serious threat with driver Heath Campbell confidently calling the shots from the front-end seat to secure the lion's share of the $57,329 purse. Owned in tandem by William Varney and Lynn-Marie Plouffe, the Valerie Grondin trainee secured her 10th consecutive victory in a track record clocking of 2:01.4, supplanting the previous benchmark of 2:03, established by her stable mate, Pembroke Mistress, just one month earlier.
"She's been simply awesome all season long" said driver Heath Campbell, "She's required no vet work, never been sick and absolutely loves to race. What more can you ask for?"
Rhonwen (Ivan Davies) sat the pocket trip throughout to secure runner-up honors while Kisses (Kim Ireland) followed the top two twice around the oval to remain third best.
Just Say Mo took top honors in the $57,229 colt trotting final rallying three-wide off the final turn after sitting next to last throughout most of the mile. The 2:03 victory march represented a maiden score for the son of Boy Band who is owned in partnership by Heidi Gordon and driver/trainer Kim Ireland.
"He's always closed good" Kim Ireland remarked, "And the last three weeks he's been getting better and better. I though he had a pretty good chance coming into this race."
"It really was his biggest race" Kim's wife Wendy Ireland chimed in, "I want to thank Heidi for her confidence in our stable and I really appreciate what Scarborough Downs did today to host these finals."
Pembroke Jack B (Heath Campbell) returned to early season form, just getting bested at the wire by 3/4-length to finish second. Broadway Cast (Mark Athearn) was sent to the gate as the post time favorite but could rally for no more than third.
The $57,357 colt pacing division came down to a battle between two brothers as Drew and Heath Campbell piloted the Valerie Grondin trained entry of Pembroke Wildcat and Pembroke Maverick. The duo jockeyed for early position before Pembroke Maverick and driver Heath Campbell settled on the lead and with his sibling-driven stable mate ensconced in the pocket, girded for the expected stretch duel. That battle came as advertised with Wildcat just nosing out Maverick at the wire as Drew Campbell raised his whip in triumph.
"I had the 8-hole so I had to wing it" Campbell remarked, "I left out of there just looking for a hole but when none developed I just kept going. I told Heath to come back around and it's a good thing too because when he did my colt came right up on the bit."
When asked about raising his whip, Campbell remarked, "We just lost our mother earlier this year so when we crossed the finish line together I said to Heath, 'This one's for Linda'. I know she was looking down on us today."
Owned by William Varney, the son of Western Maverick scored the 6th win of his rookie season in a track record clocking of 1:57.2, trumping the previous benchmark of 1:58.4 established by another Main-bred, Maineiac Matt in 2007.
Seabliscuit and driver Michael Graffam rallied to secure the third place finish.
The $57,268 filly pacing final continued with the day's theme of razor close finishes as Eat Your Enemy rallied three wide off the final turn while navigating a last to first route on her way to winners circle glory with driver/trainer John Nason engineering the winning strategy for co-owners Carolyn Corso and Lynn-Marie Plouffe. The daughter of Western Maverick stopped the clock in a lifetime best 2:01.2 while lighting the board to the tune of a $29 win ticket.
"Want to see how many fingers I had crossed?” Carolyn Corso quipped following the winners circle ceremony. "It really feels wonderful and there are so many people to thank. It's really a team effort and we are so very happy for all of them. Oh, and she does not live up to her name, she's a very sweet little filly in the barn."
"I came by her name after reading the wording on a Nike tee shirt and just knew it was the perfect name for a horse" Lynn-Marie Plouffe explained adding, "I've never had such a career year as this, with two great horses both wining stakes finals. It's been a long time coming. I guess you never get tired of it."
Ms Casey Mac (Gary Mosher) who set the early fractions just got caught on the wire before settling for second. Analyze (Michael Graffam), the post time favorite who set up the outer flow and gave live cover to the eventual winner was third.
In other track news, Panchester United equaled the second fastest mile ever recorded at Scarborough Downs with his 1:53.1 score in the $8,000 Free For All, with Drew Campbell driving the horse out to the wire, only to fall 2/5th-second off the ancient overall track record which was established by Hotrod Falcon and Walter Case, Jr back in 1993.
With the summer meet concluded, Scarborough Downs heads into a five week hiatus as the fall fairground season takes center stage in Maine. The Downs will reopen to begin its fall meeting on October 10th racing a three day per week schedule of Friday through Sunday with post time slated for 1:05 PM (EDT). Simulcast wagering continues at the downs 7 days a week from noon to midnight throughout this month's shutdown.
Sibling Rivalry Equine Style at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine ( Sunday, August 31, 2014) - Sibling rivalry is not a condition limited solely to the human race and that was never perhaps more clear than on Sunday (8-31) at Scarborough Downs as two race mares, full sisters, matched strides to the finish line and fell just inches shy from finishing in a dead heat.
The sisters, A As Glory and Carl's Glory were both sired by Carlspur out of the brood mare Dies Morning Glory. They were born a year apart from each other, bred by Andrew Ward of New Brunswick, Canada, and grew up in the same field before heading out to their respective careers. Fate conspired to bring the sisters together once again on Sunday though as they drew the 3 and 4 holes in the second race at Scarborough and what a reunion it must have been as they awaited the call to post.
As is often the case when siblings compete, big sister A As Glory beat up a bit on her little sister on Sunday, just pouncing past her at the wire to post the narrowest of victories, but with both mares classified as $4000 claiming sorts, a rematch or two throughout the fall harness season in Maine is almost assured.
In other track news, driver Eddie Davis, Jr. dominated the action on Sunday, scoring five wins from the eight race program. The other three victory laps were claimed by driver Dan Deslandes.
The summer meet concludes next weekend with Saturday’s post slated for 4:30 PM (EDT) and the Sunday matinee scheduled to begin at 1:05 PM. The two-year-old championships of the Maine Sire Stakes will be decided on Sunday with freshman consolation bouts co-anchoring the Stakes Final card. Total purses for the day are expected to approach the $250,000 threshold.
LP’s Shyla Shines in Maine Sire Stakes Action at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, August 30, 2014) - The three-year-old filly pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program made its final preliminary appearance at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (8-30) before sending the ladies out on their late summer fairground swing. The fillies split out into three divisions as they vied for their share of nearly $30,000 in stakes purses.
The field for the first $9850 stakes split raced single file style through the first half-mile as heavy favorite, Cheryl Leigh and driver David Ingraham effortlessly grabbed the early lead while establishing rather soft fractions. Pembroke Lynn finally strayed from the parade route near the midway point as she aggressively made overland progress from the trailing position at the behest of driver Heath Campbell only to find her forward progress stall as she was challenged by the bend as she entered the clubhouse turn. Before she could regain momentum in the straightaway though, Mike Cushing pulled the pocket with Shurfine Babycate to test the rested leader only to fall victim to the very next bend as they reached the final turn.
All the while though, Kevin Switzer steered LP's Shyla along the conservative inside path, improving position as others took their turn in the outside lane, and itching to take his shot late. The strategy proved sound as the daughter of Southwind Mountain rallied to score her second career victory for co-owners Elisha Lafreniere and Tammy Sowers timed in a career equaling best of 2:00.3.
Cheryl Leigh retained her perfect on the board ratio his season as she fell back for second while Shurfine Babycate survived a judges inquiry to hang on for third.
A photo-finish print never smelled so sweet as Mary Rose Of Topaz and Big Bad Rose matched strides to the wire in the second $9850 stakes division with Mary Rose Of Topaz holding off her persistent challenger to secure her 6th consecutive stakes score. Steered down victory lane by driver Kevin Switzer, Jr for owner Andrew T. Card, the prolific winner, a daughter of Ashlee's Big Guy, persevered through a judge’s inquiry for a possible pylon rule violation in deep stretch before eventually extending her skein in a leisurely clocking of 2:01 flat.
Big Bad Rose (Greg Bowden), last season's freshman champion placed in the runner-up spot for the third consecutive start while Danville Sweetheart (Eddie Davis, Jr) held firm for the show.
The third $10,076 stakes event of the day saw Fast Pat absolutely inherit the early lead as her nose was the only nose anywhere near the gate at the start. Her driver, Gary Mosher, engineered a fortuitous trip featuring generously tepid fractions throughout but the advantage lasted only until mid-stretch as Shadytouch and Mike Cushing roared three-wide off the final turn to rally for their 2nd straight stakes score. Owned by Darrell Tibbetts, the daughter of Shady Character was race timed in 2:02 flat.
Fast Pat settled for the bridesmaid share this week after breaking through to the stakes winner's column in her last appearance. Dansan Flicka (David Ingraham) rallied for the show.
The Maine Sire Stakes program will next visit Scarborough Downs on Sunday (9-7) as the two-year-old championships will be decided. Freshman consolation bouts will co-anchor the Stakes Final card next weekend with total purses for the day expected to approach the $250,000 threshold.
Maine Sires and Track Record highlight Sunday Scarborough Downs Card
Scarborough, Maine ( Sunday, August 24, 2014) - Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (8-24) as the three-year-old pacing colts split out into twin nine-horse fields contested for matching purses of $10,597.
Alittlebitcountry capitalized on a rare inside starting spot to reclaim his winning ways in the first stakes split of the afternoon. After getting away in the top-three at the start, David Ingraham steadied his charge at the rail before tipping the son of Ashlee's Big Guy wide into the final turn as the tandem tracked down David The Saint at the wire. The victory was the 4th of the season for the James Smallwood owned and trained state-bred who took a zippy new lifetime mark of 1:57.1 in the process.
David The Saint (Mark Athearn) settled for second after aggressively grabbing the lead just past three-parts while Pembroke Newt (Heath Campbell) had his two-race win streak halted as he could rally for no better than third best in the contest.
The win streak did continue for Fast Del in the second stakes division though as the Maine-bred son of Fast Company claimed his third consecutive top tally for the Ben Bill & Will Stable. Driver Gary Mosher leisurely steered the outside path from the get go before eventually gaining the lead as the field approached the 5/8th pole. Once on the point though, instead of tiring, the colt appeared re-energized as he distanced himself from the field with every stride. Even as the pack began to close in late, Mosher sat chilly and unworried as he let his charge glide across the wire in an unhurried clocking of 1:58.
Drama King (Dan Deslandes), the early pacesetter, held on for the runner-up share while Maynard B (Greg Bowden) closed in late to garner the show dough.
In other news, the third oldest divisional track record to be found on the books was broken on Sunday as the Donald Richards owned and trained colt, The Fighter, toured the oval in 2:00.3, becoming the fastest three-year-old trotting stud to ever win a race at Scarborough Downs. Driven to victory by regular pilot Mark Athearn, the effort supplanted the previous benchmark of 2:00.4 established back in 1997 by Kentucky Yankee and the legendary driver, James Dougherty.
Of particular note here, Dougherty and Richards, lifelong friends, have teamed up to campaign many racehorses over the years so it is profoundly ironic and perhaps perfectly fitting, that a Richards trainee should replace a Dougherty charge in the local annuls.
Live racing continues for two more weeks at Scarborough Downs on a two day a week schedule with the Saturday cards scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) and the popular Sunday matinees kicking off at 1:05 p.m.
Fillies Frolic In Maine Sire Stakes Action At Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, August 16, 2014) - Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (8-16) as the three-year-old filly pacing division visited the seaside oval for the fifth and final time this year in preliminary leg competition before embarking on their late-summer fairgrounds swing. The state-bred fillies split out into three dashes with slight upsets sneaking up on the punters in the first two splits before order would be restored by a heavily backed favorite in the final stakes event of the day.
Shadytouch took full advantage of drawing into the weakest of the three flights on Saturday as the daughter of Shady Character settled third in the early going before swinging three-wide off the final turn to just get up at the wire in a jam packed photo finish. Handled by driver Mike Cushing for owner Neal Tranten, the sophomore lass took a new lifetime mark of 2:01 as she won for only the second time in her career in the $10,076 split.
Big Bad Rose (Greg Bowden) threw in a game runner-up placing in extended overland fashion as she appeared to be on the verge of regaining her outstanding freshman championship season form. Sweet Catastrophe (Kevin Switzer) rode the conservative inside path for third.
Veteran driver Gary Mosher utilized his vast array of talents to dictate the terms from the get go in the $10,075 second division as he confidently steered Fast Pat to the early lead before awaiting the expected challenge of heavily favored Cheryl Leigh. Mosher stung the bettor's choice to the quarter, in an adequate clocking of 29.3, before finally cutting her loose just past the 3/8th pole. Fast Pat then sat the pocket trip behind the softened up leader, biding her time covered up before pouncing to victory at the wire. The daughter of Neutralize scored her maiden win for owner Ben Bill and Will Stable timed in 2:00.4 while lighting the board at 11-1 odds.
Princess Wave (Heath Campbell), who appeared much sturdier in the turns this week, charted a game first-over trip as she ground it out for the place. Cheryl Leigh (David Ingraham) faded slightly at the wire as she settled for third best.
Anticlimactically, the third and final split of the day offered little of the unexpected as the streaking Mary Rose Of Topaz effortlessly claimed the early advantage only to play a rousing game of catch-me-if-you can to the wire. With regular driver Kevin Switzer, Jr in action at the Skowhegan State Fair, trainer Ralph Andersen took to the seat on Saturday to engineer the winning strategy, enabling the daughter of Ashlee's Big Guy to claim her 5th consecutive stakes victory for veteran owner Andrew T. Card in the $9850 contest. The mile was clocked in an unhurried 2:00.3.
Shurfine Babycate (Michael Cushing) sat the pocket seat throughout to gain the bridesmaid share, while B Glamorous ( Drew Campbell) rode the wood for third.
Live racing continues throughout the summer at Scarborough Downs with the Friday and Saturday cards scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) and the popular Sunday matinees kicking off at 1:05 p.m.
Maine Sires Win Caps Huge Day for Kevin Switzer, Jr
Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, August 9, 2014) - Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (8-9) as the three-year-old filly pacing division took center stage with the sophomore lasses divided into three splits contested for purses totaling just shy of the $30,000 mark.
Five fillies finished within a length of each other in the first split with Cheryl Leigh persevering by a mere nostril over the front running Princess Wave after taking the battle to the pacesetter from just before the midway point. With driver Kevin Switzer handling the reins, Princess Wave lost ground and struggled in every turn allowing Cheryl Leigh and David Ingraham to take the advantage in the bends, but the plucky filly bounced back gamely in the straight-aways to even out the score. The battle was on though as the duo matched strides through the stretch with the outcome decided by one of the tightest photo finish prints in recent memory.
Cheryl Leigh, a daughter of Fast Company and the blue hen brood mare Think Of Me Fondly, is owned by Roland Cole of Wells, Maine. The win, timed in 2:01.1, was her fourth of the season from just six appearances.
Princess Wave settled for the bridesmaid share as she recovered from last week's off-the-board outing, the first such effort of her career. Dancers Pass (Wallace Watson) rallied from far off the pace to secure her 2nd straight third place showing.
Both the photo finish camera and Scarborough's fifty-year-old tote board got a major workout as the second division crossed the wire with the gorgeous long shot, On Wings Of Silver and driver Wallace Watson persevering by the slightest of margins over the pacesetting favorite, Big Bad Rose. On Wings of Silver returned bars of gold at the Mutuels on Saturday as she was sent to the gate at generous 24-1 odds for proud owners Robert and Diane Frazier of Kennebunk, Maine as they watched their home-bred daughter of Berley take a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4.
Big Bad Rose (Greg Bowdon), last season's freshman champion finished second best with B Glamorous (Heath Campbell) grabbing the show dough.
Mary Rose Of Topaz extended her winning streak to four consecutive scores while speeding in pillar to post for driver Kevin Switzer, Jr. in the final stakes dash of the day. Once on the lead, the daughter of the near-millionaire stallion, Ashlee's Big Guy, never appeared in peril as owner Andrew T. Card's home bred has now found the best stride of her career as summer begins to wane.
LP'S Shyla (Kevin Switzer) clinging to the old adage that two seconds equal a win, laid claim to runner-up status for the second straight week while Fannie Porter ( Drew Campbell) finished in the top three for the first time in her stakes career.
Of particular note, the streaking Mary Rose of Topaz gave teamster Kevin Switzer, Jr. his fifth driving win on the Scarborough program to go along with three wins earlier in the day at the Topsham Fair for a grand total of eight top tallies in state of Maine action on Saturday. While the stakes win was certainly the most lucrative victory lap of the day, the most satisfying surely was the 1:53.4 tour of the Topsham Fairground oval behind Art Of Illusion as the duo established a blazing new track record at the mid-coast venue. This effort obliterated the former Topsham benchmark of 1:55.3 established in 2012 by Mr Nice Guy and Kevin Switzer, Sr.
Live racing continues throughout the summer at Scarborough Downs with the Friday and Saturday cards scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) and the popular Sunday matinees kicking off at 1:05 p.m.
Pembroke Mistress Jilts Her Competition - Sets Track Record at Scarborough Downs
Pembroke Mistress was first to score, taking the early lead and never looking back, spinning a performance that would cause her name to become etched in the Scarborough Downs record books. The youngster claimed her share of the track record for two-year-old fillies on Friday, joining a fellow Maine-bred, Iza Bella (Ivan Davies) who had established the standard of 2:03 during the freshman Sire Stakes Finals of 2010.
The daughter of CR Power Glide continued along her now familiar course as she grabbed the lion's share of the $9615 purse while remaining undefeated in stakes competition, running her string of success to six straight wins. Owned and bred by William Varney of
Rhonwen (Ivan Davies) secured her third consecutive runner-up placing while Comcast (Mark Athearn) once again this week settled for third best.
Bibidi Boo nearly matched her stable mate’s record setting accomplishment while dominating action in the $9614 second division of fillies with driver Heath Campbell calling the shots from his customary seat. She mimicked the front end strategy of her barn roommate and extended out to a 3-3/4 length margin at the wire only missing her share of the track record by a mere fifth of a second. Owned in partnership by William Varney and Lynn-Marie Plouffe, the daughter of Noble Venture remains undefeated on her career as she secured her sixth consecutive score on the picture perfect afternoon.
Jazz Show Shirley (Michael Graffam) grabbed the runner-up placing as she made her first career appearance sturdied by the addition of trotting hobbles. Kisses (Kim Ireland) recovered from an early misstep to rally for third place honors.
The Grondin juggernaut ended at that point as the freshman colts took over center stage in their segregated $10,129 stakes split. Sampsonofravencast effortlessly tread the boards on Friday as he glided to his second consecutive stakes victory in a lifetime best of 2:04.2 for driver/trainer and co-owner Ron Cushing. The son of Current Cast remains as solid as Sears, having now finishing either first or second in all lifetime appearances, much to the delight of her other co-owner, Joseph Trice.
Half Time (Ivan Davies) held firm at the wire for the place while Broadway Cast (Mark Athearn) turned near tragedy into a respectable third place effort as he recovered from an early bobble to rally into the number.
In other track news, the trotter Orderingin eradicated one of Scarborough's oldest divisional track records on Friday as the four-year-old mare became the fleetest of her age and sex ever to cross the wire on top at the
Live racing continues throughout the summer at Scarborough Downs with the Friday and Saturday cards scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) and the popular
Pembroke Maverick throws Sailor Jerry Overboard in Maine Sires at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (
The son of Western Maverick is owned in partnership by William Varney and trainer, Valerie Grondin.
Sailor Jerry settled for the bridesmaid share for the first time in his career as his undefeated streak was put to an end at six straight. Hardcorjohnypawn (Kevin Switzer) threw in a strong rally to grab the show dough.
The second split ($9979 purse) saw Cruzin Maverick earn his first stakes victory, power-moving his way to a mid-mile lead and holding off the late stretch challenge of Pembroke Wildcat to stop the clock in a new lifetime best of 1:58.2. That clocking, tagged the son of Western Maverick as the fleetest colt in his division so far this season supplanting Pembroke Wildcat's former claim on that honor.
Another son of Western Maverick, Cruzin Maverick was teamed to victory by David Ingraham for owner Stephen La Casse.
Pembroke Wildcat's (Heath Campbell) three-race win streak came to an end as he held on for second while Harttattack (Kevin Switzer, Jr) rallied from far back to get up for third.
In other track news,
Live racing resumes next weekend at Scarborough Downs with the Friday and Saturday cards scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The popular
Streaking Maine-Breds Dominate Sire Stakes Action on Sunday
Scarborough, Maine ( Sunday, July 27, 2014) - Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7-27) as the two-year-old colt pacing division made their second straight appearance. Split into two distinct flights whose makeup differed from last week's lineups, the competition was surely varied yet the results held true to form.
Sailor Jerry rode a perfect five for five career record into battle in the first $10,154 flight and was sent to the post as the prohibitive fan favorite. The Cheyenne Hollywood colt grabbed the early lead which he maintained comfortably throughout the mile until in deep stretch he felt pressure as Pembroke Maverick (Heath Campbell) pulled along side. This being the first time the prolific winner had ever been tested from behind, driver Andy Harrington touched the colt with his whip for perhaps the first time in his competitive career, but unlike Niatross at Saratoga, Sailor Jerry remained upright and true, remaining undefeated for owner/trainer Michael Graffam.
Pembroke Maverick fell just a half-length short as the runner up while Hardcorjohnypawn (Kevin Switzer) rallied gamely for third in a mile which was timed in 2:04.4 over a muddy surface.
The winning streak also continued for driver Heath Campbell's Pembroke Wildcat as the freshman son of Western Maverick claimed his 3rd consecutive top score in the $9978 second division. Owned by William Varney, the gelding glided pillar to post timed in 2:06.1 over a deteriorating track rated 2-seconds off after absorbing the result of a passing thunderstorm.
Apollo's Chariot (Ron Cushing), who had finished second to the streaking Sailor Jerry in each of his last two appearances, had to settle for the bridesmaid share once again today while Western Moment (David Ingraham) just got up over Seablisscuit (Michael Graffam) to grab Show dough.
In other track news, driver Heath Campbell held the hot hand on Sunday steering three winners down victory lane while Kevin Switzer, Jr. celebrated his 27th birthday with a pair of wins on the card.
Live harness racing resumes at Scarborough Downs next week on a Thursday through Saturday schedule with post time set for 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with the Sunday matinee slated for a 1:05 p.m. starting time.
Harness Racing Gives Back Day a Huge Success at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (Friday, July 26, 2014) - Scarborough Downs was privileged to play host to the 4th annual Maine Harness Racing Gives Back charity drive on Saturday (7-26) as members of the racing community combined forces to assist the folks who do the good deeds out in the local community.
Spearheaded by the Maine Harness Horseman's Association (MHHA) and championed by the Maine Amateur Drivers Club, a total of $2067 was raised through raffles and donations. That total will be shared equally by this year's three charities; The Scarborough Food Pantry, the Arthur B Huot House and the Maine Standardbred Welfare Fund.
"The harness racing industry worked hard and dug deep today but it all paid off as we were able to raise good money to benefit these outstanding organizations" said MHHA board member David Crochere, "We recognize the importance of community and stand ready to do whatever it takes to help out people in need."
In other track news, Kevin Switzer, Jr. came to the forefront on Saturday, steering four winners down victory lane, including back-to-back wins behind horses sent out by his mother from the Patty Switzer stable.
Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon with a 1:05 PM (EDT) post time. The matinee performance will feature the return of Maine Sires action as the two-year-old colt pacing division will take center stage in twin nine-horse fields contested for purses in excess of $10,000 per division.
Maine Sires Once Again Dominated by Varney Trotters
Scarborough, Maine (Friday, June 6, 2014) - The freshman trotting divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program returned to action at Scarborough Downs on Thursday (7-24) and the magic continued for Bibbidi Boo as the daughter of Noble Venture once again chose the pike route while extending her unbeaten streak to five consecutive scores in the $9614 contest. Owned in partnership by the tandem of William Varney and Lynne-Marie Plouffe, the state-bred filly deftly circumnavigated the Scarborough course on Thursday without encountering any serious threat to her impressive skein and with driver Heath Campbell barely breaking a sweat during the unhurried (2:05.3) contest before drawing clear for the 4-3/4 length margin.
Rhonwen (Ivan Davies) settled for second while My Sweet Alex (Kim Ireland) held firm for third.
William Varney owned trotters have pretty much dominated the early portion of stakes season in Maine and the mastery continued in the second $9615 filly split of the day with Pembroke Mistress joining her stablemate Bibbidi Boo in receiving winners circle accolades. The daughter of CR Power Glide extended her unbeaten stakes streak to four-in-row as she tracked the early speed of the trotter Kisses (Kim Ireland) before kissing the pace-setter goodbye in deep stretch to get up for the 1-1/4 length win timed in a new lifetime best clocking of 2:05.1 with driver Heath Campbell in his customary seat for trainer Valerie Grondin.
Kisses once again settled for runner-up status, the 4th consecutive time she's played the bridesmaid role, with Tropical Trice (Ron Cushing) third best in the dash.
The Varney/Grondin/Campbell consortium hit pay dirt in the $10,129 colt division as the trio completed the natural stakes Trifecta with a nifty effort from Pembroke Jack B whose undefeated record was put by the wayside just the week prior. Another son of CR Power Glide, he stalked the good early speed generated by Sampsonofravencast (Ron Cushing) twice around the oval while appearing outmatched by the pacesetter. Sampsonofravencast veered wide off the final turn though and seemingly encouraged by the sudden appearance of daylight, Pembroke Jack B drove determinedly up the inside path to persevere by a slight neck at the wire. The mile was timed in a career best 2:06.2.
Sampsonofravencast settled for place with Broadway Cast (Ruel Goodblood, Jr.) recovering from a misstep before the start to rally for third.
Live harness racing continues at Scarborough Downs throughout the weekend with 4:30 PM (EDT) posts on Friday and Saturday. The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:05 PM and will feature the freshman pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program.
Clear Sailing for Sailor Jerry in Sire Stakes at
Sunday, July 20, 2014 (Scarborough, Maine) – Maine Sire Stakes activity returned to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/20) as the 2-year-old pacing colt divisions split out into two dashes contested for purses of $10,153 apiece.
Sailor Jerry steamed full speed ahead as he continued his undefeated streak by scoring his fifth career victory. The Maine-bred son of Cheyenne Hollywood has answered every call this season while being deftly handled by driver Andy Harrington for owner/trainer Mike Graffam. Sailor Jerry sat second in the early going but reclaimed the lead with little trouble at the quarter and from that point on, the race became a mere formality as the freshman colt was never seriously threatened, completing the mile timed in a leisurely 2:00.4.
Apollo’s Chariot (Ron Cushing) was second; Cruzin Maverick (David Ingraham) rallied for third.
Victory was claimed in the second division by Pembroke Wildcat (Heath Campbell), who took a new lifetime mark of 1:59.1 as he insisted on a front-end seat while grinding to the lead through a zippy opening panel of 28.4. The William Varney-owned son of Western Maverick never looked back from that point as he glided to a 5 ¾ length margin to grab his third Maine Sire’s win from four career starts.
Hardcorjohnypawn (Kevin Switzer) was second, while Reckless Rebel (Gary Mosher) was third.
In other news, Drew Campbell held the hot hand, winning three dashes from the nine race card.
Live racing returns to The Downs on Thursday, July 24th as the Maine Sire Stakes 2-year-old trotting divisions come to town, post time: 4:30 pm.
Analyze Grabs Second Straight Stakes Score at Scarborough
Thursday, July 17, 2014 (Scarborough, Maine) - The two-year-old filly pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes Program came to Scarborough Downs for the first time this season on Thursday (7/17) following three consecutive starts at Bangor Raceway. While the location was different, the results remained the same with the top three finishers this week precisely mirroring their placings in last.
Analyze made it look easy as she grabbed her second straight score racing first up into valid fractions before grabbing the lead and being hand-driven to the wire by owner/trainer Mike Graffam. The daughter of Neutralize, owned by the trio of William Arnold, P. Richard Shaw, and Michael Graffam, claimed the lion’s share of the rich $10,343 purse. Time for the mile was 2:00.1.
Cat Has A Kitten (Kevin Switzer) was second; with Eat Your Enemy (John Nason) third.
In other news: Driver Drew Campbell continued to hold the hot hand on Thursday claiming victory in four of the eight races programmed.
Stakes action returns to The Downs on Friday (7/18) with the three-year-old trotting divisions taking center stage. Post time is 4:30 pm.
Dansan Flicka Upsets in Stakes Action at
Saturday, July 12, 2014 (Scarborough, Maine) - Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Saturday as the 3-year-old filling pacing division split out into three dashes contested for purses in excess of $10,000 per.
Dansan Flicka (David Ingraham) took full advantage of a favorable early pace scenario to grab victory at 22-1 odds in the first division. While morning-line favorites Shurfine Baby Cate and Princess Wave hooked up in a determined quest for the top, Dansan Flicka sat patient at the wood.
The front-end frolic continued for much of the mile with Ingraham pulling his charge to power past the softened up duo and secure his pacer’s maiden win timed in 2:01.3.
Dansan Flicka, the daughter of Destry
Princess Wave (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) tasted defeat for the first time this year but held on for second, while On Wings of Silver (Wallace Watson) rallied for the show.
Mary Rose of Topaz (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) continued to show solid improvement as she grabbed her first career victory in the second stakes division. Another early speed duel, this between Fast Pat and Big Bad Rose, created a favorable scenario for the daughter of Ashlee’s Big Guy, who sat third at the rail behind the speed of that robust opening panel. Once taken to the lead, she extended to an easy victory timed in 1:59.3 to the delight of owner, Andrew T. Card of
Fast Pat (Gary Mosher) held for place, while Big Bad Rose (Greg Bowden) settled for third.
Cheryl Leigh (David Ingraham) regained her winning stride in the third division, recovering from her upset loss in stakes competition last weekend. Sitting third throughout the mile, the daughter of Fast Company pounced late to secure the narrowest of victories in a jam-packed photo. Owned by Roland Cole of Wells,
Your Special (
In other news: Driver Kevin Switzer, Jr. held the hot hand on Saturday, scoring four wins from the eleven-race card.
Live racing resumes at the
Smallwood Sizzles in Sire Stakes Action at Scarborough
Sun day, July 06, 2014 (Scarborough, Maine) – Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/6) with the 3-year-old colt pacers taking center stage, racing three splits for purses in excess of $10,000 per dash.
Trainer James Smallwood’s roster came to the forefront on Sunday securing top honors in two of the tree divisions. Drama King (Dan Deslandes) mounted a convincing rally to overcome the unexpected early speed of Dansan Clyde before having to dig down deep to withstand the persistent late charge of Whip Chaser. The win marked the third consecutive trip down victory lane for the son of B Dramatic, who is owned by James Smallwood of Windsor, Maine. The mile was timed in a lifetime best of 2:00 flat.
Whip Chaser (John Nason) was second; Dansan Clyde (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) faded to third.
Alittlebitcountry doubled the pleasure of owner/trainer Smallwood, taking a speedy new lifetime mark of 1:58.4, erasing nearly 5 seconds from his previous best, with driver David Ingraham calling the shots.
The son of Ashlee’s Big Guy, like his stable mate, rallied smartly to secure his first stakes win of the season, out-dueling David The Saint (Mark Athearn) in the stretch to just get up at the wire.
David The Saint was second; With Cracked Ice (Wallace Watson) rallying for the show.
Blackmalin (Greg Bowden) took victory in the third division, reclaiming the form that made him a seven-time winner last season. The son of Shady Character led the field twice around the oval to secure his first sophomore score. Owned in tandem by Florence O’Keefe and Dean Malin, the gelding was never seriously threatened during the mile as he glided to an easy three-length margin, timed in 1:58.2, the fastest stakes split of the afternoon.
Scarborough Downs was pleased to welcome the 3-year-old trotting divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program as they relocated to the Seaside Oval after their divisions were rained out at Bangor Raceway on Friday (7/4).
Three divisions were carded on a non-wagering basis, with Kate At The Gate (Gary Mosher) claiming victory in the filly division, timed in 2:01.3. The daughter of Current Cast is owned by the East Pond Stable of Waterville, Maine.
The colts split out into two divisions with CCC (Kim Ireland), a daughter of Musclini, claiming victory timed in 2:03.2 as she was cheered on by owners Dennis and Deborah Foss of Rye, New Hampshire.
Bickmore claimed victory in the second colt division as he made his very first start under the tutelage of driver/trainer Ivan Davies. The son of Noble Venture, owned by Stephen Hall of Newport, Maine, took a brand new lifetime mark of 2:02.1.
In other news : Driver Drew Campbell continued to hold the hottest hand, scoring five wins on Sunday’s program as he followed up on his grand-slam performance on Saturday.
Live racing returns to Scarborough Downs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of next week at 4:30 pm and Sunday at 1:05 pm.
Varney Trotters Continue Dominance at Scarborough Downs
Thursday, July 03, 2014 (Scarborough, Maine) – Maine sire stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Thursday (7/3) with the two-year-old trotting divisions taking center stage. The appearance marked the second week that the freshman turkey footers graced the Seaside Oval and once again, the William Varney-owned entries dominated.
Bibbidy Boo (Heath Campbell), a daughter of Noble Venture, remained perfect on her career, scoring her third consecutive win in the first $9,440 filly division.
Tropical Trice (Ron Cushing) was second; Jazz Show Shirley (Andy Harrington) was third.
Her stablemate, Pembroke Mistress (Heath Campbell), a daughter of CR Power Glide, remained perfect in stake competition in the $9,430 second division.
Kisses (Kim Ireland) was second; Rhonwen (Ivan Davies) was third.
Campbell made his 3 rd appearance in the Scarborough Winner’s Circle with Pembroke Jack B, who took top honors in the $9,439 colt division. The son of CR Power Glide remained undefeated on his career, securing his third lifetime win, to give owner William Varney the Trifecta of stakes victories.
Sampsonofravencast (Ron Cushing) was second; Half Time (Ivan Davies) was third.
With no further Varney entries in sight, the second colt division was won by Broadway Cast (Mark Athearn). The son of Current Cast is owned in partnership by Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight and scored the first win of his career in the $9,615 dash.
Just Say Mo (Kim Ireland) was second; A Maine Adventure (Wallace Watson) was third.
Live racing continues this weekend at Scarborough Downs on Friday and Saturday at 4:30 and Sunday at 1:05 pm. Sire Stakes action returns to the Downs with the 3-year-old filly pacers on Saturday (4:30) and the 3-year old colt pacers on Sunday (1:05 pm)
Drew Campbell Scores 3,500th Driving Victory
(Sunday, June 29, 2014-
“When I looked at today’s card, I had thought I had a pretty good shot in the last race to hit it,” said Campbell, who was met in the Winner’s Circle by a crowd of cheering fans and horsemen. “But, honestly, I really have to tip my hat to the guys who get 4,000 or 5,000 wins. Man, it’s a lot of hard work.”
In other news: The Maine Sire Stakes 3-year-old colt division made its second appearance of the year at Scarborough Downs on Sunday. Pembroke Newt (Heath Campbell) grabbed victory in the first of three divisions, scooting up the inside path to secure the win and grab the lion’s share of the $10,089 purse. The son of Neutralize is owned by William Varney of
Alittlebitcountry (David Ingraham) was second, while David the Saint (Mark Athearn) was third, beaten just half a length.
Drama King (Dan Deslandes) remained undefeated on the season, grabbing his second consecutive stakes victory in convincing fashion. The son of B Dramattic, owned by James Smallwood of
Zip It (Kevin Switzer) was second; Dansan Clyde (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) was third.
Blackmalin (Greg Bowden) recovered from last week’s disastrous trip to score runner up honors, while Whip Chaser (John Nason) was third.
Live racing resumes on Thursday, July 3rd featuring the 2-year-old trotting divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program. Post time is 4:30 pm.
Maine Sires Kick Off Season on Sunday at Scarborough
Double D Deluxe got things off to a rollicking start, keying a $582.20 exacta, as the Donald Dickison trainee rallied to secure his maiden win over the heavily favored A C’s Meadow Star, who failed to hit the board.
Getting Outta Line (Eddie Davis, Jr.) was second, while Little Big Time (Charlene Cushing) held firm for the show.
The upsets continued in the second division as Fast Del (Gary Mosher), last year’s freshman champion, was unable to hold off the late charge of David The Saint (Mark Athearn), who just got up for the win timed in 1:59.2.
AlLittleBitCounty (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) rallied to complete the top three.
The third and final split produced the biggest payoffs as Drama King (Dan Deslandes) returned $158.60 to win and keyed a $944.80 trifecta payoff as the heavily favored Bad Bet Harry (David Ingraham) could finish no better than third.
Toothpicktycoon (Kevin Switzer) was second.
In other news, Kevin Switzer held the hot hand on
Sire Stakes racing continues next weekend as Scarborough Downs goes to post Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4:30 pm and
Switzer Sizzles Scoring Seven Wins at Scarborough
Saturday, June 07, 2014 (Scarborough, Maine) - Kevin Switzer, Jr. served notice in the early going on Saturday that something special was about to happen at Scarborough Downs as the man in the blue and black colors pummeled an imposing driving colony into submission as he claimed the first of seven wins on the eleven race card. Switzer's prodigious performance was all the more remarkable considering that it was the most scores secured by a single driver since Water Case, Jr. grabbed 8 victories back in 1995. It also included top tallies in both Invitational events carded on the program.
“Walter Case was always a driver I idolized growing up,” Switzer remarked. “He had a talent to keep horses alive and it’s great to be mentioned in his company. I had a little luck to go around combined with a little bit of talent, and I benefited from driving some good horses.”
Sky Keeper, took top honors in the 2nd edition of the $10,000 Triple Crown Trot, demolishing an eight-horse field by multiple lengths in a lifetime-equaling 1:58. The win marked the fourth of the season for the six-year-old son of Lockkeeper who is owned by Irwin Kaplin of Merrick, NY. This newcomer to the Pine Tree State has forged his way to the forefront since joining the Bo Sowers stable after shipping in from the tough Saratoga circuit.
Wolf's Milan (Eddie Davis, Jr) was a hard charging second while Neverdie (Michael Cushing) claimed the show dough.
Trainer Bo Sowers, utilizing the lightning-hot Switzer in the sulky, claimed the third of four wins from his roster on Saturday in the $10,000 renewal of the fabled Dirigo Pace with the classy veteran Art Of Illusion. Quick to the lead and to never look back, the son of Real Artist soared to victory timed in 1:53.2, the fourth fastest clocking ever recorded in the history of Scarborough Downs. A relative newcomer to the local scene since being acquired by owner David MacDonald of Halifax, NS, Art Of Illusion extended his undefeated streak in Maine to four-in-a-row with the impressive score.
Burkentine Hanover ( Drew Campbell) was second with Western Victory (Wallace Watson) rallying for third.
“I thought I had a good shot with both of these horses today,” Switzer reflected. “I want to thank Bo and Tammy Sowers for giving me some great horses to drive today and I want to thank my family for always standing behind me.”
Kevin Switzer, Jr. now moves into second place in the driver’s leaders board with 46 wins, trailing Drew Campbell by three top tallies.
Live racing returns to Scarborough Downs on Thursday with a 4:30 post time; the summer schedule is Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4:30 pm and the Sunday matinee at 1:05 pm.
Art Of Illusion headlines Kentucky Derby card at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (Friday, May 2, 2014) - The eyes of the world are rightly focused on Louisville, Kentucky as Churchill Downs prepares to host the 140th edition of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday (5/3), but here in Maine the local horseplayers will once again be flocking to Scarborough Downs to bask in the Derby Day experience with a down east twist.
The gates at the Downs will swing open bright and early at 10:00 AM with pre-wagering on the
The live Scarborough race card will be headlined by the $8,000 Free For All pace which is slated for race five on the program, and Art Of Illusion, a newcomer to the state of Maine harness scene, will be gunning for his 2nd win in a row.
Art Of Illusion will line up against an accomplished field which includes; Cool Runnings (Eddie Davis, Jr) who will ride a 2-race win streak into battle, Mr Nice Guy (Kevin Switzer) a 2-time winner in Free For All competition already this season, Panchester United (Kevin Switzer, Jr.), who finished 2nd behind Art Of Illusion last weekend, and A Fool For Mark (Shawn Thayer), who will ride a 2-race win streak of his own to the races on Saturday.
The Free For All anchors an extremely strong eleven race program on Saturday.
Other events happening for Kentucky Derby Day at the Downs is the annual “Belle of the
The Downs Club is open for a dining buffet, catered by CVC Catering Group of
For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page.
Davis Wins Three Including Free-For-All at Scarborough
Saturday, April 26, 2014 (Scarborough, Maine) - Eddie Davis, Jr. held the hot hand at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (4/26), steering three down victory lane, but none more impressively than Art of Illusion, who grabbed top honors in the $8,000 Free-For-All.
A newcomer to the State of
Art of Illusion, trained by Bo Sowers, and recently acquired by David MacDonald of
Live racing continues at Scarborough Downs on Sunday, 4/27, with a post time of 1:05 pm.
Nick Graffam: Rookie Pilot on the Move
Sunday, April 13, 2014 – ( Scarborough, Maine) - Nicholas Graffam became the latest in a long line of accomplished horsemen to grace the Scarborough Downs winner’s circle as the 23-year-old rookie pilot secured his very first win in only his second appearance as a provisional driver on Sunday (4/13).
Born and raised on the historic Norton Farm of Falmouth, Maine, the up-and-comer hails from the family lineage which includes noted drivers Loring Norton, Bruce Ranger, Chuck Connors, and his dad, Michael Graffam.
Nick Graffam, driving his own pacer, Samardi Shuttle, secured the second-over journey just prior to the half then tipped his charge three wide off the final turn before drawing clear to the wire. The duo lit the board at 60-1 odds, returning $141.40 to win.
Not to be outdone, Nick’s father, Mike Graffam, secured a win of his own later in the program, steering Deuces N Eights down victory lane; the elder Graffam, being greeted by his protégé in the winner’s circle.
In other news, top-rated driver, Drew Campbell, continued on his torrid streak spinning a grand slam performance from the nine-race card and cementing his status at the top of the leader’s board.
Sunday’s program was highlighted by the Standardbred Retirement Ceremony, which was rescheduled from last December, and featured seven racehorses who went into mandatory retirement at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
Live racing resumes Friday, April 18 th; post time for Fridays and Saturdays reverts to the traditional time of 4 pm; with the Sunday matinee at 1:05 pm.
Mr. Nice Guy Finishes First
Scarborough, Maine (
Kim Ireland, trainer and regular driver of the 9-year-old son of Western Ideal, shook things up in the sulky this week, naming Kevin Switzer, Jr. as his catch driver. Switzer responded by aggressively steering Mr. Nice Guy to the early lead, never to look back, as he held off a determined late-stretch charge by Western Victory (Wallace Watson). The mile was timed in 1:57.
In other news:
Live racing continues next weekend on a Friday/Saturday/
Campbell Scores Grand Slam Performance at Scarborough
Saturday, April 05, 2014 – Scarborough, Maine –
After two sessions of the 2014 season,
Live racing resumes
Opening Day a Success at
As a precursor to what promises to be the deepest driver colony in years, eight different drivers took their turn in the winner’s circle. Of particular note, one of those winning drivers, Eddie Davis, Jr., was making his first state of
In other news,
Live racing resumes