Burkentine Hanover has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Dirigo despite being bested in his most recent outing in Open competition at Bangor Raceway. The four-year-old son of Cam's Card Shark, owned by Michele Nelson of Temple, Maine, looms off a convincing score at Plainridge Racecourse (1:51.4) just two starts back and a tantalizingly close third place showing in a leg of the Meadowlands' What A Baron series in April where he was raced timed in 1:49.3.
Scarborough's leading driver,, will sulky-sit for trainer Joseph Nelson and score from post two.
Chief to contend will be the classy Art Of Illusion, who remains a perfect three for three in state of Maine competition, included therein, a three length besting of Burkentine Hanover just last weekend. Starting from post three and named the second choice on the morning line at 7-2 odds, this son ofwill once again be handled by driver , Jr. for trainer and cheered on by the Halifax, Nova Scotia contingent headed by owner David MacDonald.
The $10,000 Dirigo Pace Invitational will be contested as race nine of the eleven race Scarborough program on Belmont Stakes Day and is made up as follows:
1. PRAMATIC LIFE ... (Driver TBA) ... 6-1
2. BURKENTINE HANOVER () 5-2
3. ART OF ILLUSION (, Jr.) 7-2
4. MAXINE'S MENACE () 8-1
5 WESTERN VICTORY ()10-1
6. COOL RUNNINGS (Eddie Davis, Jr.) 9-2
7. MR NICE GUY (). 5-1
Other events happening for Belmont Stakes Day at The Downs:
The Downs Club will be open for a BBQ Chicken luncheon, catered by CVC Catering Group of South Portland, for $11.00, which includes meals tax and buffet gratuity. Reservations are recommended, call 207-883-3022.
The Downs will also be giving away a $100 win wager to place on the Belmont Stakes race, along with many gift certificates donated by local businesses. Drawings are free to enter, and take place after race 9 on the live race program (must be 18+ to enter, and must be present to win).
"We are so excited for this day to finally get here," said Susan Higgins, Scarborough Downs' marketing director. "Triple Crown races always bring us great crowds and give the local fans a chance to see the horse racing that is going on right in their own backyard. We've got an exciting line up on the track for Saturday, and if Chrome wins it, we want people to remember that they watched history here with us, at our iconic track. I'm already working on T-shirt artwork!"
For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page.By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs