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Scarborough, Maine (October 24, 2015) - Harness racing trainer/owner Mike Graffam with Analyze displayed her talents to the large Scarborough Downs crowd that were denied last year as this daughter of Neutralize, in 2014, was a bit off trying to overcome a sickness in those finals. This year in good health she did the same overland march again but this time she carried herself all the way to the winners circle in a lifetime equaling best of 1:59. William Arnold, Richard Shaw, and Michael Graffam, all of Maine, own this tough sophomore pacer who had to get it done from post position eight. Mike Graffam, who also trains Analyze, owns the mare to this filly, Analytical, and has another possible champion on the way as he also owns the full brother to this filly by the name of Heisenberg For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Bill Ellis for Scarborough Downs

The Festival of Champions at Scarborough Downs started off in track record form with Seeley Man and regular harness racing pilot Kevin Switzer, Jr., doing his usual, grab the lead and never look back, routine. The son of Western Maverick, in all of his 11 undefeated races, has always been on top at every quarter pole marker. Seeley Man not only capped off his freshman year undefeated for owner Florence O'Keefe of Old Orchard Beach, ME., but he also equaled the track record for two year old pacing colts in 1:57.2. Trainer Gerry Smith commented that this is a special kind of colt and his full capabilities have yet to be seen. Seeley Man upped his seasonal earnings to $74,296 with this 9½ length romp and recorded his lifetime fastest mark. Seeley Man is the first foal of Perfect Launch. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Bill Ellis for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (October 24, 2015) - Well the combination of Campbell, Grondin and Varney added another smiling face to the Festival of Champions as Lynn Marie Plouffe, who co-owns with Varney, saw Bibbidi Boo set a new track record for three year old filly trotters in 1:59.3 at Scarborough Downs. Bibbidi Boo grabbed the early lead then surrendered to favorite Tropical Trice for just a short period as then Campbell asked for some speed and some distance and got it as she trotted away at the 5/8's marker and went on in the easiest of fashions. Dr. Denise McNitt asked Lynn Marie Plouffe about this filly and Plouffe said that she wanted to sell her but couldn't find a buyer so she asked Varney if he wanted a piece and the rest is history. Speaking of history, Bibbidi Boo, as a two year old was undefeated going 10 for 10. This year the wins were not as plentiful but the purse money won was at just over $75,000. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Bill Ellis for Scarborough Downs    

Scarborough, Maine (October 21, 2015) - Scarborough Downs will play host to the inaugural edition of The Festival of Champions on Saturday October 24 with harness racing post time slated for 1:30 PM (EDT). For the first time in the 41 year history of the Maine Sire Stakes program all eight championships will be decided on a single race day and with purses in excess of $500,000, Saturday's card will represent the richest day ever in state of Maine harness racing. All the top horses and drivers will be gathered at Maine's premier racetrack on Festival Day but the star attraction might well be a two-year-old colt named Seeley Man who will be looking to cap a brilliant, undefeated freshman campaign with a win in his divisional championship race. Seeley Man is trained by longtime harness participant, Gerry Smith of Old Orchard Beach, Maine and will be driven by top-rated pilot, Kevin Switzer, Jr. "It's not easy to get a colt through the stakes with an undefeated record although it has been done on a number of occasions" Smith remarked during the post position draw (Seeley Man drew post position six), "But I'm particularly proud of that fact that Seeley Man has been charted on the lead at every quarter-mile mark in every race that he's ever contested. I'm pretty sure that no Maine Sires horse has ever accomplished that feat before." Festival of Champions will be the marquee day of harness racing in Maine this season. A total of twelve races will be carded on the day with the first call to post sounded at 1:30 pm. Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing Friday through Sunday at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. Michael Sweeney

Scarborough, Maine (September 12, 2015) - The two-year-old colt pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program made it's final appearance at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (9-12) before heading out on their upcoming fall fairground swing. The assembled stakes stars provided plenty of thrills for the harness racing fans in attendance, spinning tales of extremes, with both long shots and favorites persevering in the $11,000-plus twin splits. Poocham Rocket scored the major upset in the first stakes division of the day as the freshman son of Western Maverick-Yeah Baby N sat the patient pocket trip behind the heavily favored Ball Don't Lie before pouncing to victory with a determined stretch run, crossing the wire one-length in front, while rewarding his backers to the tune of 7-1 odds. Nick Graffam executed the perfect driving maneuvers for owner G. Russell Austin of Westmoreland, NH, stopping the clock in a lifetime best 2:00.1. Ball Don't Lie (Gary Mosher) gave way late as he settled for the runner-up pacing while Just Call Me Nosey (Mark Athearn) survived a tight photo to gain the show dough. Seeley Man remained perfect on his career in the second division, scoring his 7th win from as many appearances, with driver Kevin Switzer, Jr controlling the tempo from the word "Go". Owned by Florence O'Keefe of Old Orchard Beach, ME, the son of Western Maverick-Perfect Launch crossed the wire on top by an 8-plus length margin while pacing the mile in an extremely unhurried 1:59.2. Lord Maverick (Heath Campbell) stalked from the pocket throughout the mile but could advance no further than second best. Wish Granted (Ruel Goodblood, Jr) rallied for third, finishing in the show spot for the third consecutive time. Live racing resumes at Scarborough Downs on Sunday with post time slated for 1:30 p.m. (EDT) featuring the three-year-old colt pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program. Sunday will also be the closing day of Scarborough's summer meeting as the Downs will go dark while the fall fairground circuit takes center stage. Scarborough Downs will reopen for the fall season on October 16 and will play host to the Day of Champions on October 24 as the finals for all eight divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program will be contested on what should prove to be the richest card of harness racing ever put together in the state of Maine. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

BANGOR, Maine — Police have released the identity of the racetrack employee who was killed Wednesday in an accident at Bangor Raceway. Edwin “Ed” Reynolds, 64, of Machias died Wednesday afternoon after a starting gate vehicle struck him while he was on the track, Bangor police Sgt. Tim Cotton confirmed in a Thursday morning news release. Reynolds was a longtime employee at the track, where he did groundskeeping and managed the stables, according to previously published reports. He was active in the racing community, owning and breeding horses as well.   An internal investigation has been launched, and Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway officials are cooperating with Bangor police and fire personnel and Maine State Police, according to company spokesman Dan Cashman. Races at the Bangor track scheduled for Monday and Tuesday have been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date, Cashman said. Cashman has said the company planned to bring in grief counselors to help employees. Bangor police said they would release no further information Thursday about the incident. By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff Reprinted with permission of the bangordailynews.com site Watch bangordailynews.com for udpates. Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.

Scarborough, Maine (September 5, 2015) - Seeley Man continued with his dominant freshman season on Saturday (9/5) as the Maine-bred harness racing sensation extended his undefeated streak, scoring his sixth consecutive win, in his $11,392 division of the Maine Sire Stakes at Scarborough Downs. Owned by Florence O'Keefe of Old Orchard Beach, Maine and trained by Gerald Smith, the two-year-old son of Western Maverick-Perfect Launch toyed with his competition throughout the mile, extending out to an effortless 2-3/4 length advantage at the wire, timed in a career best 1:58.3. That clocking established a brand new track record for two-year-old geldings, supplanting the previous benchmark of 1:58.4 by Mainiac Matt (David Ingraham) which had stood the test of time since 2007. The victory behind Seeley Man was one of four on the program for winning teamster Kevin Switzer, Jr. Ball Don't Lie took top honors in the other Maine Sire Stakes split of the day, stopping the clock in 2:00.2 for winning driver Gary Mosher - one of three wins on the card for Mosher. Live racing is proudly featured next week at Scarborough Downs on Thursday through Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs    

Scarborough, Maine (August 30, 2015)  Harness racing driver Shane Taggart recorded his 1500th career driving win on Sunday (8/30) at Scarborough Downs, reining Pan Taylor home from off the pace to secure the milestone victory. Taggart who calls Maine home, has maintained a roster of horses on the Scarborough backstretch for years while dividing his time driving primarily at the Downs and at Plainridge Racecourse in Massachusetts. The 37-year-old teamster is a career purse winner of over $3.8-million. Live racing is proudly featured next weekend at Scarborough Downs on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (August 28, 2015) - The weekend's action got off to a blistering start at Scarborough Downs as record breaking speed was generated, in long shot fashion, in just the second event of the Friday (8-28) harness racing twilight card. Bryan's Angel impressively became the fastest winning four-year-old mare in the 65 year history of the Downs after driver John Beckwith aggressively sent the striking miss to an early lead after stacking the field three-deep to a quarter timed in a moderate 29.1. The tempo picked up from that point though as the daughter of Cash Hall-Paradise Quickie soon opened up what would prove to be an insurmountable advantage to stop the clock in 1:58.3 while coasting to a six-length margin of victory. The zippy effort supplanted the previous divisional benchmark of 1:59.4 which had been set by Orderingin and Heath Campbell in 2014. Bryan's Angel is owned by Danbry Racing Inc. of Allentown, NJ and is trained by Shannon Watson and returned a hefty $43.60 to win. 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. Michael Sweeney

Scarborough, Maine (July 18, 2015) - Sterling speed was the order of the day at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (7-18) as Warrawee Nonsuch traveled the lightning fast oval timed in 1:53.1, equaling the second fastest mile ever recorded in the 65 year history of the seaside oval. Handled expertly by driver David Ingraham for trainer Joseph Nelson, the 6-year-old son of Jereme's Jet also equaled the track record for older geldings, joining a former member of the Nelson roster, Wholly Louy (Gary Mosher) as co-standard bearer; a record which has stood since 2012. Shady Sabrina (Kevin Switzer), Scarborough's reining distaff pacing queen, was the first to stop the clock at 1:53.1 way back in 2010, while Hotrod Falcon (Walter Case, Jr) continues to boast the ancient overall track standard of 1:52.4 set during the 1993 edition of the Presidents Pace. 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

For more than two decades, the Paul Bunyan Pace has been a staple of New England harness racing, the signature race of each Bangor Raceway season.   In 2015 the Bunyan Pace has evolved into a three week event, with Bangor and its sister track PlainridgePark each hosting $8,000 legs to determine the field for the $25,000 final to be held in Maine on July 20th.   On Monday the second preliminary is the feature race of the day at PlainridgePark. A Sweet Ride, a winner in 1:53 for Kevin Switzer, Jr in last week's leg at Bangor, has been installed as the 7-5 favorite. Only The Lonely, runner-up in the first preliminary leg, will be handled once again by Eddie Davis, Jr., and has been tabbed as second choice in the race at 5-2.   However last week's successful duo likely faces a stiff challenge from a pair of newcomers. Calvin B, from the powerful Heidi Rohr Stable, scored 2015's fastest mile at Plainridge, stopping the teletimer in 1:51.3. Denver Dolly, who enjoys the services of leading driver Jim Hardy, established a new lifetime mark of 1:52 while winning an open event at Plainridge earlier this meet.   Monday's field also includes Western Victory, the 2014 Paul Bunyan champion. On the board in 10 of 13 appearances this season, the defending champ will be handled by local favorite Wallace Watson. Twin B Spy, a three time winner at the Massachusetts track this season, gets the services of Dude Goodblood, who is rapidly closing in on his 5,000th career driving victory.   The Paul Bunyan preliminary leg has been carded as race five on a solid twelve race card that also features the Harness Horsemen's Association of New England Pace.   Plainridge Park races each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday with first post scheduled at 4:00 P.M.  

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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Tropical Trice continued her pursuit of Sire Stakes perfection as the Maine-bred daughter of Current Cast-Sharra Blue Chip won her second consecutive state-bred battle to remain undefeated in the sophomore program as the Maine Sire Stakes sophomore trotting divisions returned to the harness racing meeting at Scarborough Downs on Thursday (7/9). Driver Ron Cushing once again showcased the filly's tenacious ability while engaging the front-running Kisses (Kim Ireland) in a dogged overland battle through the final two-furlongs before gliding to the wire in a leisurely 2:02.5 for owner and namesake Joseph Trice and trainer Heidi Gibbs. Rhonwen (Ivan Davis) threw in a strong rally bid to secure the bridesmaid share while Kisses settled for third best. Pembroke Jack B returned to form in the first colt split of stakes competition on mid-week card, making amends for a costly pre-start break in last week's contest and delighting the crowd by paying dimes to dollars as the prohibitive 1-9 betting favorite in the $11,433 contest. The three-year-old son of CR Power Glide-Dark Lady won for the 6th time in his career at the urging of driver Heath Campbell, claiming a new lifetime mark of 2:03.3 in the process. The Maine-bred is trained by Valerie Grondin for owner/breeder William Varney. Noble Neeley (Kevin Switzer, Jr.) was second while Wyatt Hayes (David Ingraham) finished third. Broadway Cast sought and won revenge over Sampsonofravencast in the final $11,658 stakes split of the twilight card as the sons of Current Cast repeatedly engaged each other in a determined give and take battle to turn the tables over last week's outcome. The Don Richards trained entry took a brand new lifetime mark in the process, stopping the clock timed in 2:00.2 in harness to driver Mark Athearn, for noted co-owners Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight. Sampsonofravencast (Ron Cushing) settled for second best while Just Say Mo (Kim Ireland) was third. 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. Mike Sweeney

Scarborough, Maine (July 3, 2015) - The Maine Sire Stakes program made it's second consecutive appearance at Scarborough Downs on Friday (7/3) as the harness racing three-year-old filly pacing divisions took center stage in twin splits contested for purses of $11,668 per. Everything old was new once again on Friday as Eat Your Enemy served bold notice that she was more than up to the task of defending her freshman Sire Stakes Championship while winning at first asking to launch her three-year-old season, taking a brand new lifetime speed record (1:59.4) for driver/trainer John Nason. The daughter of Western Maverick/Smooth As Ice sat the patient pocket trip before igniting the afterburners around the 5/8th's bend, sprinting clear to a handy 6-1/2 length lead at the wire, much to the delight of co-owners Carolyn Corso and Lynn-Marie Plouffe. Stella's Big Girl (Heath Campbell) rallied for the runner-up share while Toast Of The Meadow (Kevin Switzer, Jr) parlayed an early front-running strategy for the show. Cat Has A Kitten toyed with the competition in the other stakes split building upon a promising lifetime best prep effort (1:55.3) at Harrington Raceway to easily hold the competition at bay in a more leisurely 1:58 clocking on Friday. Owned in tandem by Anthony Sivik, Jr and the KDK Standardbreds, the daughter of Western Cyclone/Lady Katie was making her first start from the Valerie Grondin stable after prepping for former trainer Kevin Switzer at Harrington. She was driven to victory for noted stakes teamster Heath Campbell. Analyze (Michael Graffam) was second while Daydreamer Jo (Gary Mosher) finished third. 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

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