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Scarborough, Maine - August 18, 2019 ...The freshman trotters of the Maine Sire Stakes program reached the mid-way point of their eight race season on Sunday (8/18) and as both the fillies and colts duked it out on the half-mile oval at Scarborough Downs, harness racing driver Heath Campbell, with two stakes win on the program, was proven the most prodigious pugilist of them all. A scant field of four Maine-breds answered the call for the colt and geldings division, requiring an early non-betting event to be conducted for a generous $9448 purse offering. All four trotters came to the races with their maiden status firmly intact and three of them left labeled the same, but it was Cashes Ledge (Noble Venture-Rhonwen) who rolled on in confident front running fashion, to post his first career winning performance while tripping the tele-timer in a smart 2:06.2. Heath Campbell earned the first of his two Maine-bred victories while calling the shots for owner/trainer Owen Davies. T Brook Billy (G. Mosher) sat second throughout and finished just that way, while Current Connection (B. Ranger) rode the pylon path for the show. Fillies proved much more plentiful than colts on Sunday though, as 14 Maine-bred lasses split out into a pair of $9948 dashes. Pembroke Whisper completely dominated the first filly contest en route to engineering her third career victory march as Heath Campbell steered the front end course behind the daughter of Noble Venture-Spring Laughter to nail his second stakes score of the afternoon. The impressive filly is trained by Valerie Grondin for stalwart owner, William Varney. The mile, timed in 2:06.4, also featured a stirring and extended battle for runner-up honors as Noble Posey (M. Athearn) and Bisou (K. Ireland) ferociously engaged throughout the final quarter to finish second and third respectively. Saving the best for last though, the final filly split proved to be the most exciting stakes race of the afternoon, as Current Caper out dueled RT's Warrior through an epic stretch battle to preserver by mere whiskers at the wire. Driver Bruce Ranger charted the winning course for the Donald Richards trainee, who broke her maiden in a respectable 2:04.2 clocking. The Daughter of Current Cast-Ally Gal Ridge is owned in tandem by Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight. RT's Warrior (M. Athearn) was magnificent in the bridesmaid role while Sammi K (G. Mosher) finished third. Live racing resumes at 4:30 PM (EDT) on Saturday (8/24) at Scarborough Downs when the $25,000 Ricci Memorial Trot will take center stage to anchor Travers Stakes Day from Saratoga Racecourse. The Ricci Memorial, pegged as the biggest trotting event of the season in Maine, will be augmented by powerful promotions, including a $500 cash giveaway, drawings for Fall Fair Fun Pac Passes to all four of Maine's fall agricultural fairs, and a gift bag drawing after every race. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page.   By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Plainville, MA --- The third leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) for first-year state-breds resumed at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 22) after a one week break and offered four divisions vying for $163,434 in total purse money. First-time series starter Taylor Swiftly and two-time series winner Simple Kaos took different paths to victory but both turned in dominating performances. $40,300 2-year-old filly trot Winner: Taylor Swiftly (Trixton-True Diva) 1:58.2 Owners: Lindy Farms of Connecticut Trainer: Dominico Cecere Breeder: Lindy Farms of Connecticut Mutuel: $2.10 Scott Zeron took Taylor Swiftly off the gate to settle in fourth and watched as Crystalline (Shawn Gray) took command by the quarter. The race progressed to the five-eighths before Ev's Girl (Steve Smith) pulled first-over and Taylor Swiftly was happy to follow with the cover. Crystalline was beginning to trot away from the field around the last turn, opening up a three-length advantage. So Zeron tipped Taylor Swiftly three-deep around Ev's Girl and really got the filly in gear. Taylor Swiftly drew alongside Crystalline at the head of the stretch and as soon as she did, Crystalline broke; leaving Taylor Swiftly to trot home alone under wraps by three-lengths in 1:58.2. It was one start and one win in the MASS for Taylor Swiftly who now joins Ev's Girl and Just Enuf Sass who each have the same win record in this division heading into the final. $40,500 2-year-old colt and gelding trot Winner: Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) 1:57.4 Owners: George Ducharme Stable and Michelle Larson Trainer: George Ducharme Breeder: Michelle Larson Mutuel: $3.00 Simple Kaos (Jimmy Whittemore) left nothing to chance as he bolted for the lead and headed his group at every station during the mile. After going :28.3, :58.1 and 1:27.2 by a gapped two-lengths on top, Simple Kaos trotted away effortlessly to a four-length victory in 1:57.4 while The Fixer (Mark Athearn) outdueled Precision (Steve Smith) for place. Simple Kaos won his three MASS legs by a combined 14-lengths and looks to become a champion next week. $42,334 2-year-old colt and gelding pace Winner: Victorias Maverick (Western Maverick-Perfect Launch) 1:55.3 Owners: Leighton Property and Bruce Plouffe Trainer: Valerie Grondin Breeder: Lynn-Marie Plouffe Mutuel: $3.40 It was gate to wire once again for Victorias Maverick (Heath Campbell) who got little challenge from anyone else in the race. Cutting the quarters in :27.3, :56.4 and 1:26, Victorias Maverick was on top by four heading into the lane and cruised home an easy winner in 1:55.3. Victorias Maverick won by a total of 16-lengths in his three MASS victories and should be heavily favored next week in the final. $40,300 2-year-old filly pace Winner: Karan's Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove) 1:58.1 Owner: Al Ross Trainer: Jim Hardy Breeder: Al Ross Mutuel: NB Karan's Choice (Jim Hardy) sat second behind Cominrightatyou (Ron Cushing) in a two-horse breakaway through fractions of :30, :59.2 and 1:28.4 before pulling in the lane. From there it was a hard fought stretch battle between the two all the way to the wire where Karan's Choice got the advantage to win by a neck in 1:58.1. Karan's Choice will join Victoria's Maverick and Simple Kaos as undefeated MASS finalist. The MASS continues at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Oct. 23) when the 3-year-olds get together for their third and final leg. Five divisions will compete for a total of $163,000 in purse money as they all try to make the final next week. One MASS leg on Tuesday is a non-betting race and goes off at 1:45 p.m. The regular betting card has a post time of 2 p.m. with the MASS events going as race one through four. The MASS finals will be held on Tuesday (Oct. 30) at Plainridge Park with a record $800,000 in purse money to be distributed. Eight divisions will go for $100,000 each and state champions will be determined for age, sex and gait. For more information on the Massachusetts Sire Stakes, log onto By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Scarborough, Maine - June 30, 2018 ... The Mid-Summer Classic Series made a triumphant return to Scarborough Downs on Saturday as a dazzling field of six invitational class pacers answered the call to post for an event that had been absent from the racing calendar since 2012. None shone brighter than StarzNHeaven though, whose game rally bid resulted in a divisional track record timing of 1:53.1, as he laid claim to the title of fastest aged stallion winner in the 68 year history of the seaside oval. The effort supplanted the oldest pacing record on the books, an honor held by Prince Ebony and driver Ron Pierce since they won the 1990 edition of Scarborough's iconic Presidents Pace. The former record was equaled in 2009 by On A Tear and driver Shawn Gray. As the race unfolded, Hickory Icon and driver David Ingraham set blazing early fractions leading the field past the first three poles through torrid clockings of 27.4, 55.4 and 1:24 flat. JJs Jet (D. Campbell) took dead aim on the pacesetter just past the half, pulling to lead the overland charge and providing perfect cover to his brother Heath Campbell who was piloting the heavily favored StarzNHeaven. The perfect cover nearly turned into a nightmare scenario though as JJs Jet rolled off-stride just past the ¾-mile marker, scattering the trailers, including StarzNHeaven who appeared to lose most of his forward momentum. Class showed through though as Heath Campbell and his charge quickly regained their composure, made up all that lost ground in a matter of seconds, and stoically engaged Hickory Icon at the top of the stretch. The six-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Dancinwiththestarz coasted through a hand-driven tour of the lane to post the ¾-length margin over Hickory Icon, while Kenrick N (R. Cushing) rallied for the show. Owned in partnership by Burke Racing Stable of Fredericktown, PA and Donald Emond of Taunton, MA, StarzNHeaven scored his fifth consecutive win during what turned into a triumphant homecoming for trainer Jim Nickerson, a state of Maine native who now plies his trade at Saratoga Raceway. The 2nd elimination leg of the Mid-Summer Classic Series will be held on July 7 with the $25,000 final scheduled for Saturday July 14th. Scarborough Downs will proudly feature live harness racing on Thursday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with the popular Sunday matinees getting underway at 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page. by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - September 2, 2017 ... State-breds were back in action at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (9/2) as the three-year-old filly pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program anchored a well-received twilight card at the harness racing seaside oval. Divided into twin five-horse splits, the victors spun decidedly disparate diatribes as the dust settled; one filly winning for the very first time this season while the other extended her sophomore undefeated streak to eight consecutive scores. The headliner of the year in state of Maine circles remains Pembroke Perfect, a prolific powerhouse who has bravely pieced together a remarkable eight for eight win record, while rampaging through her three-year-old season. More astounding than her current unblemished seasonal record perhaps, is the realization that the daughter of Western Maverick- Perfect Launch has not tasted defeat since July 2, 2016; boasting a win streak that now consists of 14 consecutive victory laps. Regular pilot, Heath Campbell, sat chilly off the gate, idling in the outer flow as the field straightened up the backstretch, before powerfully pouncing to the lead as the quarter pole came into view. From that point on the deal was sealed, with the perfect lass coasting, unchallenged, to a brand new lifetime speed record of 1:57 flat, while claiming the lion's share of the $9391 purse offering. Pembroke Perfect is trained by Valerie Grondin for owners William Varney and Lynn-Marie Plouffe. Persephonie (D. Campbell) sat second throughout the mile and finished in that position while Arabella (N. Graffam) utilized a similar strategy to grab the show dough. Spoxys Girl presented the fans with a slight upset proposition in the other $9393 sire stakes split, as the daughter of Neutralize-Royal Ribbons grabbed the early lead at 3-1 odds, put the entire field in line before reaching the quarter pole, and then withstood a solid stretch challenge from the 1-5 favored Meadows Rosebud;. She stopped the clock timed in 1:59.1 en route to notching the first win of her 2017 season. Pilot Nick Graffam confidently secured the first of his three driving wins on Saturday while sulky sitting for his dad, trainer Mike Graffam, and the ownership group of the Ben Bill & Will Stable of Carmel, Maine. Meadows Rosebud (E. Davis, Jr) settled for the runner-up's share while Poocham Princess (H. Campbell) stayed flat for the first time in three appearances while posting a strong rally for third. Maine Sire Stakes action returns to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (9/9) as the three-year-old trotting classes will take center stage. Scarborough Downs is pleased to present twilight harness racing cards on Thursday and Saturday at 4:30 PM (EDT) with the Sunday matinee heading to post at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Scarborough, Maine - July 30, 2017 ... The three-year-old filly pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program anchored the Scarborough Downs harness racing card on a picture perfect mid-summer afternoon and quite fittingly, Pembroke Perfect continued to flaunt her winning ways on Sunday (7/30). The prolific filly grabbed the lion's share of the $10,017 stakes purse as the daughter of Western Maverick-Perfect Launch scored her fourth seasonal win from four seasonal starts, in the first of two state-bred events for sophomore fillies. Driver Heath Campbell confidently guided the streaking filly to an early lead and then never once twitched a muscle en route to an in-hand glide to the finish line, while the Valerie Grondin trainee posted her fourth consecutive charted line to feature only the number one at each and every pole. The imposing filly, owned by the tandem of William Varney and Lynn-Marie Plouffe, tripped the tele-timer in a fleet 1:58.1. Arabella (N. Graffam) closely stalked the pacesetter throughout the mile to earn the bridesmaid share while Dual Pat's Bug Bug (M. Athearn) hit the board for the first time in 2017 by finishing third. Like the birth of spring, Persephonie burst upon the scene in the second $10,016 stakes split, securing her first win of the season through a determined front end strategy. The daughter of Baran Biltmore-Dynamite Donna who previously had been matched up against either the undefeated Pembroke Perfect or the undefeated Meadows Rosebud in all 2017 stakes starts, took full advantage of Sunday's hidden class relief to the secure the 2:00 score, with driver Heath Campbell claiming his second stakes win of the afternoon. Persephonie is owned and trained by Kevin Switzer. CBF Sunshine (E. Davis Jr.) tracked throughout the mile to secure the runner-up placing while Poocham Princess (G. Mosher) rallied for the show. Maine Sire Stakes action returns to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (8/5) afternoon as the two-year-old trotting divisions take center stage. Scarborough Downs is pleased to present twilight harness racing cards on a Thursday and Saturday schedule at 4:30 PM (EDT) with the Sunday matinee heading to post at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Scarborough, Maine - July 23, 2017 ...The deployment of similar strategies often create similar results, but seldom do we witness those strategies result in the tables being turned on the same two harness racing drivers, in such quick succession, as we did at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/23). Heath Campbell and Mark Athearn though, found themselves both the beneficiary but then quickly the victim, during a rousing game of 'anything you can do, I can do better' as the two-year-old divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program revisited the seaside oval. Pembroke Dancer sped to a brand new lifetime mark of 2:06.2 in the first of two filly divisions, extending her win streak out to two in a row. Driver Heath Campbell took full advantage of the inside post position to secure the early lead, lulling the field to sleep by reaching the half in 1:04.1. The daughter of CR Power Glide-Spring Laughter girded for battle entering the third turn as Wild Bandita (M. Athearn) recognizing the lack of tempo, pulled the pocket well before the 5/8th pole. Twice they challenged the pacesetters and twice they rolled off stride, as Pembroke Dancer held firm to her advantage out on the point. Pembroke Dancer, trained by Valerie Grondin for owner William Varney, earned the largest share of the $9977 purse. Lilly Longwood (D. Ingraham) finished second for the 3rd time in 6 career starts while American Flambé (M. Cushing) secured the show. Mark Athearn turned the tables on Heath Campbell in the $10,272 colt division as the luck of the draw enabled him to take full advantage of the rail to steer He'salilbitnoble to the early lead. Campbell, driving Pembroke Boss Man, was forced to engage the pacesetter with a first over strategy and just as Athearn rolled off stride in the filly division, Campbell's charge made a series of missteps as the tempo picked up, with He'salilbitnoble ultimately coasting to a brand new mark of 2:03.1. The son of Noble Venture-Litany Hanover is trained by Gretchen Athearn for owner William Phipps. Myreh's God Son (R. Cushing) rallied for the runner-up placing while Cinamatic Venture (G. Mosher) finished third. June Carter Cast responded quite favorably to her new driver assignment on Sunday as Wallace Watson's appearance in the seat helped the daughter of Current Cast-Celebrity Image regain her steady stride after back-to-back starts which featured breaks of stride. The Don Richards trainee easily gained the early lead over the compact grouping after a race day scratch reduced the field to four starters, and the filly was never seriously threatened from that point forth, coasting to the win timed in 2:10.3 while claiming the lion's share of the $9801 purse offering. June Carter Cast is owned by Thomas Dylan and Walter Hight. Katahdin Rose (S. Mac Kenzie) hit the board for the first time in her career by finishing second. Dualpatwitchywoman (M. Athearn) recovered from an early misstep to grab the show dough. Maine Sire Stakes action returns to Scarborough Downs on Thursday (7/27) afternoon as the three-year-old colt pacing division takes center stage. Scarborough Downs is pleased to present twilight harness racing cards on a Thursday through Saturday schedule at 4:30 PM (EDT) with the Sunday matinee heading to post at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

The closing day card of the summer harness racing 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. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. Michael Sweeney

The Maine Sire Stakes program made a brief reappearance at the harness racing meeting 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 stable-mate 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. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. Michael Sweeney

Scarborough, Maine (August 2, 2015) - Cat Has A Kitten kept her perfect sophomore season intact on Sunday (8/3) as the graceful harness racing 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. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (July 11, 2015) - Millionaire trotter, Pembroke Prayer doggedly tracked down an accomplished field to claim top harness racing 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 65th 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. 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. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, October 11, 2014) A large and enthusiastic crowd gathered at Scarborough Downs on a chilly October afternoon. The action, though, was hot and furious as the championship round of the three-year-old division of the Maine Sire Stakes Program was contested for purses in excess of $365,000, making Saturday the richest day in the history of State of Maine harness racing. 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 Maine stakes circles as a sophomore. "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 Sunday, with a 1:05 pm post time. Michael Sweeney

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 SayMo 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. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for 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 SouthwindMountain 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 judges 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. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

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 and a 17-year-old track record was broken. 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. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for 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. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, August 9, 2014) - Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (8-9) as the harness racing 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 Albatross 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. DancersPass (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. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

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