Scarborough, Maine - The young guns held the hot hands at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (11/10) as a pair of twenty-something drivers, Dan Deslandes and Steve Nason, took the old masters to task, winning nine of the ten races programmed. Twenty-one-year-old Dan Deslandes scored five victories on the card, vaulting him into second place in the drivers’ standings, overtaking veteran teamster Gary Mosher in the process. Deslandes now trails top pilot Drew Campbell on the leader’s board by 31 wins. Not to be outdone, Steve Nason, the 23-year-old up-and-comer, engineered a grand slam performance on Sunday, steering four down victory lane. by Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine – The fans at Scarborough Downs were treated to an overpowering performance from driver Drew Campbell on Sunday (10/20) as the meet’s leading driver scored five wins and four seconds on the eleven-race program. His winners included BestFillyNTown (1:58.3), Champagne Charlie (1:57.4), KitKat Du Ruisseau (1:57.1), Passion Moon (1:58.3) and Keystone Stately (2:02.4). “Looking at the program, I thought I could have a strong day today, and it worked out that way,” said Campbell. “I had a bunch of decent horses to drive and they all had good shots.” Entering Sunday’s performance, Campbell was rated the leading UDRS driver in North America, sporting a .410 rating. Aware of his current standing, Campbell downplayed any inference that it motivated his performance today. “No, I don’t think about it a lot,” Campbell remarked. “How long can that last, a week? Maybe the rest of the year. Gilles Barrieau needs about 50 more starts to get into my category and when he does, he’ll have a decent lead over me. ” Campbell continued, “the odds of holding on are slight, but if I’m batting .410, I’m doing my job, I guess.” Campbell remains on top of the Scarborough Downs’ leader board, approaching the century mark with 99 wins, holding an 11-win advantage over closest rival, Gary Mosher. Live racing continues throughout the fall meeting with a Friday/Saturday/Sunday schedule and a 12:05 pm starting time. by Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Saturday, October 12, 2013 (Scarborough, Maine) – The three year old Maine Sire Stakes Championship Finals were decided at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (10/12) and Obrigado wrapped up a spectacular undefeated season scoring his 13th win of the year to grab top honors in the $77,415 colt trotting final. Driven by Heath Campbell for trainer Ivan Davies, Obrigado assumed his customary front-end seat with stablemate Wakefield Fire tagging along in the two hole. At the midway point of the mile, Wakefield Fire pulled alongside of Obrigado, the tandem racing in lockstep up the back stretch before Obrigado pulled away to secure his open length victory. “I felt fortunate and grateful to be able to secure Heath Campbell as my driver this year,” said owner Mike Andrew of Gorham, Maine. “Ivan Davies, my trainer, would normally have driven but had commitments to drive a colt in the same division for his brother. Heath was the right choice.” Wakefield Fire (Ivan Davies) was second; Maine Muscle (Michael Cushing) mounted a strong rally to finish third. Mike Andrew doubled his pleasure on Stake Championship day, winning the $77,442 filly final with his home-bred trotter, Song of Virtue. Driver Ruel “Dude” Goodblood, Jr. hurried the filly to an early lead, inheriting an even bigger advantage, as co-favorite Future Cast rolled off stride approaching the quarter mile marker. That big lead proved instrumental as Race Me Liberty mounted an extremely strong late-mile rally bid, which proved too little too late to overcome Song of Virtue’s margin. “It was a pretty exciting race,” Andrew remarked. “It’s been a long, hard season and there were a lot of talented fillies out there. I’m really happy for Gordon Corey and Allison Hynes. They did a great job training her, and I’m also very happy that Dude got a chance to win a final.” Race Me Liberty (Gary Mosher) was second; Lucy From Hebron (Ivan Davies) got up for third. Darlington Stripe scored the fastest championship victory of the day, stopping the clock in a new lifetime best of 1:56.3 en route to securing her 10th win of the year in the $77,480 filly pacing division. David Ingraham, driving for owner-trainer Stephen La Casse, took the usual front runner off the car on Saturday, settling forth in the early going before pulling at the half to match strides the rest of the way with the front-running Pembroke Violet. “There was plenty of power up front,” said Ingraham. “And I didn’t want to get into a real battle in the early going. When they started to slow it down, I came at them, and I’m not surprised at all that she was able to take a new lifetime mark. She’s been a nice filly all year long.” “I want to thank David,” La Casse chimed in, “he’s handled her expertly all year. I also want to thank my parents, who planted the seed of harness racing with me, and my friend Ivan Davies, who is a great resource and always there to offer advice.” Pembroke Violet (Heath Campbell) was second; Lordy Miss Scarlet (Kevin Switzer) was third. Master of Puppets ground out a well-earned victory in the $77,496 colt pacing final, holding off a determined charge from Neutral Data to cement the narrowest of victories. “I figured Neutral Data was the best and he was behind me,” said winning driver Heath Campbell. “And he had to get by me. We battled to the finish and I held on so the strategy worked out well.” Owner Christine Catabia, in an emotional address, remarked “I’m very thankful to everyone, including, my mother-in-law, David Crochere (trainer), and Heath Campbell.” Mother-in-law Barbara Catabia, took over for tearful Christine and continued, “we only had two little broodmares, Happy Chelsea was the mother of this colt. She was just a little old mare. She died last year, and this is her last colt. We bred them ourselves, we raised them on our farm, we are just a small outfit that came through in a big way today.” Neutral Data (Wallace Watson) was second, with Johnny Fast Cash (Greg Bowden) finishing third. The Championships of the Maine Sire Stakes have now been decided for the 2013 season just as the yearlings for next year’s contest are being broken. As summer turns to fall, the cycle continues. And so it goes. Live racing continues on Sunday at Scarborough Downs with a 12:05 pm starting time. A special Columbus Day card will be featured on Monday, October 14th, also with a 12:05 pm post. by Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine – Scarborough Downs was once again privileged to host the 2-year old championship round of the Maine Sire Stakes program on Sunday (9/8). Nearly $250,000 in purse money was on the line as the races were contested on a picture-perfect late summer afternoon in Southern Maine. Kate At The Gate became the first champion crowned, claiming victory in the $52,111 filly trot final with driver Gary Mosher calling the shots for trainer David Crochere. The filly scored the easy victory, her sixth in a row but not before some anxious moments. Scoring down following the post parade, driver Gary Mosher discovered that the race bike was broken and the duo returned to the paddock for sulky replacement. “It was pretty scary at first when I discovered the bike was broken,” Mosher said. “And with trotting hobbles, you never know where they go when you hook up to a new bike but thankfully we got it right. She’s just a great filly. She does nothing wrong.” Owner Jack Kelley chimed in, “My daughter raised her, my son Paul broke her, and then David Crochere took over. They all did an incredible job. Driver Gary Mosher -- I don’t know if anyone does better than him in Maine.” Kate at the Gate broke well from the gate, quickly inheriting an insurmountable lead before coasting to an open lengths victory. Shes A Castoff (David Ingraham) was second Mill Site Mille (Mark Athearn) was third. Big Bad Rose claimed victory in the filly pacing final, garnering the lion’s share of the $52,400 purse offering, as she secured her fifth win of the season, third in a row. The two year old daughter of Baron Biltmore is owned and trained by Donald Dickison of New Brunswick, and was expertly steered to victory by driver Greg Bowden. As the field sprang from the gate, Fast Pat was hustled to the lead by driver Drew Campbell, speeding to the half in 58.4. Bowden sat patient tracking the early speed then pulling to the outside past the 5/8 mile marker before drawing clear and holding the late chargers at bay. “She’s the model of consistency,” Bowden said, “and I’m so happy for the Dickison family. Great connections. Long time participants in harness racing… I couldn’t be happier for them.” “We raised her from a baby,” Dickison said. “She’s nice to be around, very friendly, and she can go a little bit too. Greg drove her perfect, pulled her at the right time and once she made the lead, we just held our breath from there.” Shady Touch (Michael Cushing) was second; Princess Wave (Heath Campbell) was third. The most emotional victory of the day came in the $52,334 colt trotting final as Maine Cast, the last colt ever bred by the late Roderick Cushing, scored the upset victory. Rounding the final turn, as driver Mike Cushing pulled the trotter to the outside, the cheers of the fans crescendoed to fever pitch as the reality set in that the sentimental choice could win. “When we broke this colt, my dad was having a relapse in his battle against leukemia,” an emotionally spent Cushing explained. “When he was at the hospital and there was nothing left to do for him, all he wanted to do was go home and see the horses. We brought him to the Farmington fairgrounds where many of his friends turned out to welcome him. With my dad in the back, they drove the ambulance right onto the track. I went a training trip with the colt right behind the ambulance, and the last time my dad saw him was looking out the back window.” There was not a dry eye in the house following Cushing’ interview. Maine Cast benefited from the misfortune of heavily favored CCC who had rolled off stride before the word go, but he did what he needed to do to claim the win, with Cushing raising his whip in victory and in salute to his late father. Star Studded Cast (Mark Athearn) was second. Pembroke Castaway (Ruel Goodblood, Jr.), was third. Fast Del claimed top honors in the $52,461 colt pacing final with driver Gary Mosher exhibiting all of the skills and intuition that have earned him more than 5,500 wins during his driving career. Owned by the Ben Bill & Will Stable of Carmel, Maine, Fast Del secured the pocket journey behind Maynard B, who was part of the powerful Gerald Smith trained entry. Approaching the half, Blackmailin, the other part of the entry, pulled to the outside in an effort to set up the outer flow. Mosher, recognizing the danger of having both entry mates racing one-two, decided on the unconventional strategy of pulling the pocket at the midway point of the mile. “I saw him coming and decided to take my chances,” said Mosher. “There was no sense waiting, it was all on the line. I’d beaten Maynard B first up before, so I know my colt was capable, and he came through when it counted.” “He came on late, took time to develop, but he’s a very nice colt. Look for him to have a great season next year.” Maynard B (Steve Nason) was second; David the Saint (Mark Athearn) was third. Scarborough Downs goes on hiatus for the fall fair season in Maine, opening October 11th, racing three days a week: Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 12:05 pm throughout the fall meeting. Scarborough will play host to the Maine Sire Stakes 3-Year-Old Championship Finals on Saturday, October 12th. by Mike Sweeney
Scarborough, Maine - More than $245,000 in purse money will be on the line on Sunday (9-8) as the freshman championships of the Maine Sire Stakes program will be decided in four divisions at Scarborough Downs. Restricted to two-year-old Maine-bred standardbred races horses, these title matches will be part of an extremely strong 12-race program with first post scheduled for 1:05 PM (EDT). The two trotting divisions are headlined by standout performers with Kate At The Gate and CCC both bidding to cap off dominant seasons. Kate At The Gate, a daughter of Current Cast, who is owned by the East Pond Stable of Oakland, Maine, rides a sterling five-race win streak into battle on Sunday as she bids to taste victory for the 8th time from just her 10th career start. Gary Mosher will be in the customary driver’s seat for trainer David Crochere. CCC, a fourth generation Maine-bred, trained and reined by Kim Ireland for owners Deborah and Dennis Foss of Rye, NH, comes to the big dance fresh off a track record performance at the Windsor Fair and will also be gunning for the 8th win of his freshman season. The filly pacing division appears to be the most competitive on the card with multiple entries boasting multiple stakes wins this season. Big Bad Rose, the pride and joy of the New Brunswick contingent, roars to the raceway off a lifetime best outing at the Windsor Fair in last, while Cheryl Leigh and Princess Wave stake their case for championship consideration based on their tally of five wins apiece this year. The central story within the colt pacing division centers around the powerful Gerald Smith juggernaut as his entry of Maynard B and Blackmalin account for 12 seasonal wins combined. The prodigious two-some have absolutely dominated their stakes division, having now hit the board in 19 of 21 starts. The Stakes Championship undercard will be anchored by three $6000 Free For All events which will showcase the crème de la crème of the Scarborough Downs overnight horse population. Gates open at 12:00 noon in anticipation of the 1:05 post time Sunday at Scarborough Downs. A 50/50 raffle will be conducted to benefit the MSBOA Scholarship Fund, and The Downs Club will be open for watching and wagering on the racing action. Admission is free. by Mike Sweeney
July 28, 2013 (Scarborough, Maine) – Trainer Gerald Smith continues to exert dominance over the three-year-old colt division of the Maine Sire Stakes program which was contested at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/28) in three splits, each going for purses in excess of $10,600. Smith added two more win tallies to his seasonal skein, now claming six victories after the completion of four divisional legs. SUMMERWINDS ATLAST tasted stakes victory for the third time this season, rebounding from a disappointing 3rd place finish in his recent Bangor start in which he suffered the indignation of broken equipment. Skipping a week following that unfortunate appearance, the three-year-old son of Western Cyclone reclaimed the winning stride with Greg Bowden driving for owner Florence O’Keefe of Old Orchard Beach. UTAH SKYE (Kevin Switzer) was second, and GOIN MANSTYLE (Wallace Watson) was third. Continuing the success of the Gerald Smith roster, stablemate JOHNNY FAST CASH scored his second consecutive win, third stakes win of the year, and fifth overall top tally. Also owned by Florence O’Keefe, this three-year-old son of NEUTRALIZE was aided in his quest to be the best by driver Greg Bowden. The score was one of three on the program for driver Bowden. Runner up honors went to MASTER OF PUPPETS (Heath Campbell), while ALL DONE FOOLING (Joey Mosher) claimed show dough. In the Gerald Smith-devoid third split, NEUTRAL DATA reigned supreme scoring his second stakes win of the season with driver/trainer Wallace Watson calling the shots for owners Harold and Nancy Dresser of Buxton. WILLY MAC (Gary Mosher) was second and EVERYBODY LIES (David Ingraham) was third. Live racing continues at Scarborough Downs next weekend on Friday and Saturday at 4 pm and Sunday at 1:05 pm. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Harness racing reinsman Gary Mosher continued his firm stranglehold on the top spot of the leader's board by casting a spell over the Scarborough Downs oval on Saturday (4/6), winning five of the ten races on the program, posting a total of 9 wins over the first four performances of the 2013 harness racing meet.
The gates swung open for the 63rd consecutive season at Scarborough Downs as Maine harness racing sprung to life on Saturday in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd.
A competitive ten race program will herald the dawn of the 2013 harness racing meeting at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (March 30), featuring a balanced blend of tough as nails claimers, up-and-coming youngsters, classy conditioned foes and anchored by a stellar grouping of Free For All pacers.
Gary Mosher juggernaut continued at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (September 21) as the man in the familiar red and green colors worked out six winning strategies en route to engineering the most dominant performance by a driver that the local fans have been treated to this harness racing season.
Class came through on Saturday at Scarborough Downs as the harness racing veteran pacer, Mattdultery, crossed over the half-million-dollar mark in career earnings while recording his 28th lifetime win. Now owned by Kevin and Alec Gee of Falmouth, Maine, the 8-year-old son of Real Desire ground out the well-earned victory, racing first over and pouncing late with driver Shawn Thayer calling the shots.
On a sweltering late summer afternoon the crowds gathered at Scarborough to witness the inaugural running of the Irving Richardson Memorial Invitational. Seven top pacers assembled at the Seaside Oval to contest the $9,500 purse offering, and when the dust had settled, a new track record holder had been crowned.
Harness racing rookies and veterans alike came to the forefront at Scarborough Downs this weekend. On Friday third-year, twenty-one-year-old driver, Steve Nason, posted a grand slam driving performance, and disproving the old adage that 'youth will be served,' veteran driver Gary Mosher stepped up to the plate belting a four bagger of his own on Sunday with wins in the first four races on the program.
Bob Sumner has had a gutsful of harness racing officialdom. And the former leading trainer at Yonkers Raceway says he will never train again because of blind bureaucracy. 'Many men and women in prison, and on death row, are serving time for something they didn't do - and I now know how they feel. I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars defending myself because deep down I know I'm innocent.
Dua Don N flaunted his youthful enthusiasm at Scarborough Downs on Friday (April 27), proving that there is still plenty of life left in his old legs, as the 14-year-old secured his first win of this, his final harness racing season at the races.
The most enthusiastic harness racing crowd in decades thronged to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (October 16) to witness the crowning of the 3-year-old Maine Sire Stakes Champions. Over $380,000 in purse money was on the line and the fans were hanging from the rafters as the call to post was first sounded.