Day At The Track

McGwire Sowers - A banner year at Monticello

03:22 AM 30 Dec 2020 NZDT
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McGwire Sowers, harness racing
McGwire Sowers
Geri Schwarz Photo

The Great State of Maine has produced many top trainers and drivers over the decades, McGwire's harness racing lineage and talent may propel him to be the next great driver that hails from the state of Maine.

Sowers, a native of Woodstock, New Brunswick, who currently calls Monticello, New York, home is an up-and-coming driver in the sport of harness racing. Sowers drove his first race when he was only twelve years of age and It was a non-pari-mutuel race at the Cornish Trotting Park in Maine. He finished fifth place in that race which is understandable considering his age. Just think, some people fear horses, but can you imagine sitting behind a 1,000lb animal going at speeds between 30 to 40 miles per-hour. That would be a lot for anybody let alone a pre-teen; but that's what started his journey of driving horses in harness races.

That journey led to driving at the fairs in Maine as a teenager. He gained a great deal of experience racing at those fairs, such as, Windsor, Fryeburg (which is the largest fair in New England) and the closest Maine fair to the Canadian border, the Northern Maine Fair in Presque Isle.

When he was not driving at the fairs during his teenage years, he was back home in Woodstock attending High School, as well as playing the great Canadian sport of hockey in the local Woodstock Minor Hockey Association. When Sowers turned 18 years old on February 25th, 2018, he got his high school diploma early and joined his father Bo, who is a great trainer in Maryland to begin his driving career at Rosecroft Raceway. The reason they were at Rosecroft Raceway at the time, was because it was the off-season for Maine harness racing, and they needed a place to race during the winter.

Rosecroft is where Sowers scored his first career pari-mutuel driving victory. He got it with a longtime team Sowers owned and trained horse by the name of Terem Up Louie. The day was March 11th, 2018 when the duo teamed up for Sowers' first win. They were at 12:1 odds when the starter said go on that day in Rosecroft. It was a deep stretch battle and a crowded finish, but as we know Sowers came out on top with a 1:54.4 victory. Terem Up Louie is still a member of the Sowers team. The duo teamed up for a victory just last week on December 3rd with a 1:59.4 score at Monticello Raceway in which they blew up the tote board- Paying $87 to win!

Terem Up Louie winning on December 3rd

After that first win, the Sowers team relocated back to Maine, where they had raced for many years for the spring, summer, and autumn racing season. On March 31st, 2018, which was the first day back at the now closed for good Scarborough Downs that year, Sowers scored five winners. But overall it was an absolute eye-opening day for all harness racing fans and a very memorable day for the then 18-year-old Sowers.

So far in 2020 Sowers has had a successful year driving at Monticello Raceway as well as other tracks such as, The Downs Mohegan Sun Pocono, Vernon Downs and he even has driven some at The Meadowlands, but Monticello is the track he has had the most success at in 2020. He currently sits in fifth in the drivers' standings at Monticello Raceway with 76 wins, 78 seconds, 76 thirds. While his father Bo is the leading trainer at Monticello Raceway, with 78 wins, 81 seconds, 84 show finishes.

By: Grady Hachey

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