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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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com 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

Scarborough, Maine (Friday, August 08, 2014) - Maine Sire Stakes harness racing action returned to Scarborough Downs on Friday (8-8) as the two-year-old trotting state-breds headlined the late summer performance, only to once again find the roster of the Valerie Grondin Stable stealing the spotlight. 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 Bangor, Maine, the precocious filly has yet to face any serious threat to her superiority, winning on Friday by an unhurried 5-3/4 lengths as driver Heath Campbell only briefly allowed her her head. 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 Downs. Driven by Heath Campbell for owner Kyle Gibbs, the daughter of Majestic Son stopped the clock in 1:59.4 eclipsing the standard of 2:00 established by D D's Copter and driver Raymond Tremblay in the 1993 version of the Legislators Trot, which was, in those days, the richest trotting event in Maine. The old record had been most recently matched by Jennys Jammies and driver Rob Dinning in 2009. 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

Scarborough, Maine (Sunday, August 03, 2014) - Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (8-3) and the budding rivalry continued as Pembroke Maverick and Sailor Jerry matched strides for the fourth consecutive week. In all previous showdowns, Sailor Jerry and driver Andy Harrington steered the steady course, gained the lead and held off consistent late challenges from his chief rival. The tables were turned in the $9978 contest on Sunday though as driver Heath Campbell insisted on putting Pembroke Maverick on the early lead with Harrington's colt forced to take the unfamiliar two-hole seat and dog the pacesetter throughout the mile. Campbell's strategy worked to perfection as his charge swelled up on the lead and held firm at the wire to secure his very first career score in a respectable clocking of 1:59.3. 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, Drew Campbell held the hot hand on Sunday as the meet's top rated pilot steered four winners down victory lane to add to his imposing margin atop the leader's board. 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 Sunday matinees kick off at 1:05 p.m. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

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 stayed 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. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

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. by Mike Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

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. by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs                                

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 Hanover, is owned by Dana Childs of Saco, Maine. 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 Billerica, Massachusetts. 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, Maine, the filly secured a brand-new lifetime record of 2:01.1. Your Special (Drew Campbell) was second; Pembroke Lynn (Heath Campbell) rallied from far back for third. 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 Downs on Sunday with a 1:05 pm post. By Michael Sweeney, for 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 3rd 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 SayMo (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) by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

(Sunday, June 29, 2014- Scarborough, Maine) - Drew Campbell, a perennial power house at Scarborough Downs, secured career driving victory #3,500 at the Seaside Oval on Sunday (6/29). Heading into the day, Campbell needed two wins to reach his latest milestone and quickly got on the winning stride, grabbing one of the victories in the second race with a gate-to-wire performance behind the pacing mare, Saturday Night Dancer. Campbell then had to fret the afternoon away waiting until the 12th and final dash before tasting victory once again. "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." Campbell's benchmark win came with the Adrian Wisher-trainee, It Hurts Me, who won in typical front-running fashion, Campbell's trademark tactic. This strategy is so familiar to the local fans that his license plate on his truck proclaims, ISENDEM. 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 Bangor, Maine and trained by Valerie Grondin. 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 Windsor, Maine, paid a generous $15.40 to win in the $10,316 split. Zip It (Kevin Switzer) was second; Dansan Clyde (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) was third. Fast Del (Gary Mosher) last season's freshman champion, regained the winning stride in the $10,314 third flight. Sent to the gate as the bettor's choice, the son of Fast Company is owned by Ben Bill & Will Stable of Carmel, Maine. 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. by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Thursday, June 26, 2014 (Scarborough, Maine) -The freshman trotting division of the Maine Sire Stakes program hit the ground on-stride on Thursday (6/26) at Scarborough Downs. The Maine-bred action was completely dominated by the trio of driver Heath Campbell, trainer Valerie Grondin and owner William Varney, who sent three trotters to the post with all three easily earning trips to the winner's circle. Bibbidi Boo scored top honors in the first filly split, coasting gate to wire timed in 2:06.5 to claim the lion's share of the $9440 purse offering. Co-owned by William Varney and Lynne-Marie Plouffe, the daughter of Noble Venture remains undefeated in her career, a perfect 2 for 2. Pembroke Mistress, a two-year-old daughter of CR Power Glide, followed her stablemate's example, taking the pike route to her first career victory timed in 2:08 in the second filly division, which went postward for a purse of $9,439. The trifecta was completed in the colt trotting division as Pembroke Jack B also glided pillar to post to establish a brand new lifetime mark of 2:06.3, his second win from two career starts. The son of CR Power Glide earned the lion's share of the $10,304 purse. Stakes action continues on Saturday (4:30 pm post) with the 3-year-old filly pacers, and stakes activity wraps up for the weekend on Sunday (1:05 pm post) with the 3-year-old colt pacers making their second appearance at the Seaside Oval. by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Springhill, N.S. native Teesha Symes has been around race horses her whole life. Now 25, she finds herself looking after the top aged pacer, in Canada, for trainer Dr. Ian Moore.  “Three days after I was born we made a stop at the local track - on the way home from the hospital - and ever since then I’ve been around the horses,“ said Symes. The daughter of Charles (Chuck) and Shirley has been all over the continent working with horses and she’s had her hands on some good ones over the years. “I spent about six months working with Shadow Play back in 2008,” she says. “I’ve also looked after Royal Becquet (2009 Gold Cup and Saucer starter), Mr Perseverance (2013 Paul Bunyan Invitational winner in Bangor) and now I’m enjoying my time with State Treasurer (two-time winner of the Molson Pace in London).” State Treasurer, owned by Sally MacDonald of Souris, PE and Paul MacDonald of Regina, SK, has got to be the number one-ranked aged pacer in Canada, right now, with his four straight wins - including his latest victory - a stunning last-to-first swoop, of the field, after making a bobble at the start of the $150,000 Molson Pace. “After he made that break at the start - I found it hard to even watch the race... Especially at the half when he was still sitting last,” Symes explains. “Then he began to pick them off and I made my way closer to the TV to get a better look. For him to get up to win that race was just awesome and to do it beating Foiled Again was just mind-blowing!”   Teesha recalls the second-place finish by Shadow Play to Somebeachsomewhere, in The 2008 Messenger at Yonkers, as one of her most favourite moments in racing. “That race was just so exciting... It was so close and it was a real thrill for me to be a part of that. ” It’s a horse by the name of Anybunny that will forever hold a special place in Teesha’s heart. “He was my favourite,” she says proudly. “I used to kill for the ‘BOOM’ call (Vance Cameron’s Boom! Just like that...) when racing on P.E.I... Sadly we had to put him down last season. He was sixteen then and he just wasn’t going to make it another winter.” Symes spent last summer working with her Dad in Bangor before heading to Dr. Ian Moore’s Florida operation in late October. Now in Ontario, working full-time for Moore, a normal day for Teesha consists of getting up around 5:30 am and heading to the barn - where the work normally finishes up around noon. “We’ve got an awesome team here and Ian is great to work for.” Working as a groom Symes likes to play it day by day. “It’s a lot of hoping for the best and living for the moment,” she says. “I’ve been lucky to have been mentored by my Dad,” she continued. “Guys like Mark Ford, Heath Campbell and Ian have been very good to me along the way too... Ian asked me the other day where he could get two of me, so it’s a nice feeling to get a compliment like that.” So what’s it like to look after the best aged pacer in Canada? “That question makes me nervous,” she replies. “I do my best to look after him like the other horses, but maybe he does get an extra piece of licorice or a few extra carrots now and then.” Another special horse out of the Moore camp this season is the P.E.I.-owned pacing colt Silverhill Shadow. And he’s special for Symes in a unique way too. “My Dad bought his mom (Ruthie Jane) from the Amish back in 2009. We raced her a few times in Charlottetown, PE and then sold her to Casey Gavin - who then bred her to Shadow Play. And from that came Silverhill Shadow.” Teesha likes her basketball, softball and hockey and had once worked with correctional services and the jail in Amhert, N.S., but her heart is and always has been with the horses. ”Growing up working next to Dad... Working with the horses is what I know and it’s what I love. It’s not even work for me...” So any advice to pass along to an aspiring groom? “I’d say work hard and always do your best,” she says. “Sure there are going to be some long days, but this job is so worth it.”   by Shannon "Sugar" Doyle, for Western Fair District

Tucson, AZ --- Dave Palone, the 51-year-old Waynesburg, Pa., native is Harness Tracks of America’s Driver of the Year, the formidable achievement that remains the most difficult award in the sport of harness racing to win. It is the seventh time Palone has won the title! The evidence of the accomplishment is clear in the fact that of the 3,156 drivers who competed for purses in North America in 2013, only six were able to finish in the top 10 in money won, races won and UDR in-the-money percentage. Under the HTA formula, points are awarded on the basis of 25 for first down to one for 25th in the standings in money won, races won, and UDR, with a 25-point bonus for finishing in the top 25 in all three categories. Palone’s 2013 Driver of the Year trophy will be presented as part of the United States Harness Writers' 2014 Dan Patch Awards Banquet Night of Champions, on Sunday (Feb. 23) at Dover Downs in Dover, Dela. Here are the complete standings for 2013 for the top 25 drivers in North America: Drivers--Wins (Rank)--Earnings (Rank)--UDR (Rank)--Bonus--Total Points Dave Palone--645 (2T)--$6,128,869 (12)--.385 (3)--25--85.5 Yannick Gingras--537 (8T)--$14,231,476 (2)--.367 (8)--25--84.5 Tim Tetrick--582 (5)--$16,164,822 (1)--.320 (13T)--25--83.5 Brian Sears--507 (12T)--$13,737,691 (3)--.368 (7)--25--80.5 George Napolitano Jr.--551 (7)--$6,068,813 (14)--.315 (18)--25--64 George Brennan--450 (14)--$9,134,699 (7)--.311 (20T)--25--61.5 Corey Callahan--619 (4)--$9,708,323 (6)--.281--(unranked)--42 Ronnie Wrenn Jr.--714 (1)--$2,480,373 (unranked)--.361 (10)--41 Trevor Henry--529 (10)--$2,458,956 (unranked)--.392 (2)--40 Ron Pierce--537 (8T)--$11,550,300 (5)--.281 (unranked)--38.5 Michael Oosting--511 (11)--$3,535,283 (unranked)--.373 (5)--36 Jim Morrill, Jr.--343 (unranked)--$6,116,760 (13)--.383 (4)--35 Bruce Aldrich, Jr.--645 (2T)--$2,764,419 (unranked)--.316 (17)--32.5 Matt Kakaley--446 (15)--$7,527,717 (8)--.287 (unranked)--29 David Miller--388 (22)--$12,230,914 (4)--.268 (unranked)--26 Winston Campbell--321 (unranked)--$835,983 (unranked)--.416 (1)--25 Aaron Merriman--568 (6)--$4,165,510 (24)--.292 (unranked)--22 Bruce Ranger--254 (unranked)--$1,216,733 (unranked)--.369 (6)--20 Jason Bartlett--362 (24)--$7,136,699 (9)--.260 (unranked)--19 Jim Marohn Jr.--390 (21)--$1,762,040 (unranked)--.331 (12)--19 Jody Jamieson--352 (unranked)--$6,300,192 (11)--.307 (23T)--17 Andy Miller--354 (25)--$7,122,058 (10)--.254 (unranked)--17 Luke Plano--262 (unranked)--$765,014 (unranked)--.363 (9)--17 Heath Campbell--202 (unranked)--$817,779 (unranked)--.349 (11)--15 Chris Page--428 (16)--$2,478,072 (unranked)--.308 (22)--14

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