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Scarborough, Maine -.The 2014 meeting at Scarborough Downs enters the home stretch this weekend as the horses will be called to the post for the 105th time this year with closing day scheduled for Sunday (12-21). While Sunday's final performance will be a bittersweet occasion, Saturday's card will be a day of celebration with two very special ceremonies interspersed among the day's eleven races. The 8th annual Standardbred Retirement Ceremony will take place mid-way through the program as ten tried and trued veteran racehorses will parade one last time in front of the stands before hanging up their bridles for the final time. By rule, all standardbred race horses must retire at the conclusion of their 14-year-old season and Scarborough Downs, in cooperation with the Maine Harness Horseman's Association and the Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association will come together to fete these equine athletes in what will be a colorful and emotional celebration of their careers. Year end achievement awards, sponsored by the New England Harness Writers Association, will also be presented during the day, in various categories, including the coveted Pacer and Trotter of the Year Awards. Post Time for both Saturday and Sunday's cards is set for 12:05 PM (EST) with Opening Day of the 2015 season at Scarborough Downs slated for March 28th. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, ME---Scarborough Downs has been forced to cancel Sunday's (Dec. 14) live harness racing card due to continued unseasonably warm weather conditions following this past week's extended heavy rain events, which have combined to create unsafe track conditions.  The decision to cancel was made in consultation and in complete agreement with representatives of the track, the Maine Harness Racing Commission, the Presiding Judge and representatives of the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association.  Unfortunately, the likelihood of track conditions improving dramatically in the short term prohibits the carrying forward of this weekend's lost performances but live racing is scheduled to resume next weekend on Saturday and Sunday with a post time of 12:05 p.m. (EST).  The annual Standardbred retirement ceremony which was scheduled for today (Dec. 14) has been rescheduled for next Saturday (Dec. 20).  The clubhouse facility will open for simulcast wagering at 11:00 a.m. as scheduled. by Mike Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (Sunday, November 30, 2014) - Who's that alien-ish looking guy riding the UFO at the Scarborough Downs on Sunday (11-30)? Why under all that mud its none other than 2012 driving champion, Shawn Thayer! He's seen here leaving the winners circle after getting Devil May Care home on top for her third consecutive win and the 42nd of her illustrious career! Looks like it'll be a 3 bucket day for both mare and man back in the paddock here but the mud is always a bit easier to take after a victory lap! - photo by Derek Davis. Live harness racing is now featured three days a week at Scarborough Downs with first post scheduled at 12:05 PM (EST) on Friday through Sunday. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

This weekend's live racing schedule at Scarborough Downs has been seriously impacted by the snowstorm, a power outage and resulting poor track conditions. In a cooperative attempt to accommodate all concerned and to provide additional racing opportunities to the local horsemen as the 2014 racing season winds down, the decision has been made to race Sunday's card as scheduled on 11-30 and to carry Saturday's card to Monday December 1 with a 12:05 PM Post Time. Please note that the grandstand building will not be open on Monday with all wagering to be conducted in the clubhouse facility. Live harness racing is now featured three days a week at Scarborough Downs with first post scheduled at 12:05 PM (EST) on Friday through Sunday. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs    

Scarborough, Maine - Kevin Switzer, Jr. registered a milestone moment at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (11-22) as the man in the blue and black harness racing colors scored the 1500th win of his driving career, behind the front-end speed of the veteran pacer Fulla Fire. With 12 days of racing left in the season, Switzer remains the leading dash winner in the state of Maine this year with 369 trips down victory lane, but more impressively, leads all harness drivers in North American with an imposing UDRS rating of .413, a full 10 percentage points ahead of James Morrill, Jr., his closest rival in the standings. After being feted in the winner's circle by his family, friends and fellow teamsters Switzer took time to reflect on his good fortune this year. "It took a little bit longer to get here than it probably should have but I'm making up for lost time now. Of course, all the credit goes to my family for standing with me day after day, especially my wife and son. I wouldn't be where I am today without their love and support." "I also need to thank all the trainers and their owners who have made my job easier by putting me up on some solid horses this year. I remember when I went to Pompano I went 1-for-70 and I knew I was a better driver than that but when you've got no stock you can't get it done. Having good stock to drive was never a problem this season." All along the state of Maine circuit and especially at Scarborough Downs, getting that stock into the winner's circle has never been a problem for Switzer either, as he closes out 2014 on a high note - With eyes fully fixed on continued success just beyond the horizon. Live harness racing is now featured three days a week at Scarborough Downs with first post scheduled at 12:05 PM (EST) on Friday through Sunday. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. by Mike Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, ME---Due to a power outage caused by an automobile accident, live racing has been cancelled at Scarborough Downs for Sunday (Nov. 9). If power can be restored at some point during the day, the facility may be able to reopen for simulcast wagering. We apologize for the loss of the live card and will keep you updated. by Mike Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - Even as mid-autumn temperatures struggle to get into the 40 degree range, Kevin Switzer, Jr. continues to hold the hottest hand at Scarborough Downs and on the Saturday (11-8) matinee program the man in blue and black steered five winners down victory lane. The five-bagger brings his state of Maine leading tally to 345 wins on the season and inches the 27-year-old teamster to within 22 scores of his 1500th career victory lap. In other developments at the Downs, conditioner Bo Sowers vaulted to the top spot in the trainers standings on Saturday as he sent four winners to post from his prolific roster. Currently, Sowers stands three wins ahead of last year's champion, the perennially powerful Randy Bickmore. Live harness racing is now featured three days a week at Scarborough Downs with first post scheduled at 12:05 PM (EST) on Friday through Sunday. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. by Mike Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - Classy racehorses come in all shapes and sizes and their names pepper the program pages at Scarborough Downs. While it's tough to beat the back-class and experience of a veteran warhorse, the special ones generally find a way to come to the forefront when placed upon a big stage even now, as they approach the twilights of their careers. One of those magical moments developed on Sunday (10-26) at Scarborough Downs as the 13-year-old mare, Sassy Sarah, took to the track for the 290th time in her career while in search of her 63rd lifetime win. What at first glance might have appeared just another day at the office for the workaday racehorse, who has been a stalwart and fan favorite on the state of Maine circuit for years now, turned out to be one of those occasions whose performance help cement the status of legend. While sent to the post by owner/trainer Lisa Saindon as usual, the backdrop to this story was the fact that Lisa was celebrating her birthday by racing two members of her stable on Sunday. Her trotter, Keystone Stately could only manage a fifth place showing earlier in the card but Sassy Sarah had grander celebration plans in mind as she rallied boldly around the final bend to extend out for the well earned and equally well timed victory - Delivering the best birthday present any racehorse could ever give her owner. Birthday cake for Lisa, carrot cake for Sassy Sarah and congratulations all around for the feel good story of the week at Scarborough Downs. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - David Ingraham had the hot hands at Scarborough Downs on Friday (10-17) as the man in Orange and Blue teemed four winners down victory lane, claiming the lion's share in half of the eight races programmed. Included in the tally were two entries from the Rodney Grady Stable, The Midnight Owl and Butn Your Shirt Ed. The final two scores came in both ends of the late Daily Double with the aptly named Sam Lucky and I'm A Lucky Man closing out a very "Lucky" day indeed for Ingraham. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (Friday, October 10, 2014) - History will be made at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (10-11) as the Maine Sire Stakes three-year-old championship round will be contested with total purses on the program standing in excess of $365,000 - The richest day of harness racing ever scheduled in the state of Maine. A big 12-race program will be presented with first post slated for 1:05 pm (EDT) including four Sire Stakes Finals, each to be raced for a purse in the $85,000 range. One of the biggest stars on the program will be Mary Rose Of Topaz, the great sophomore filly, who will be attempting to cap off an outstanding season by scoring her 11th consecutive sire stakes victory. The daughter of Ashlee's Big Guy will be driven by Kevin Switzer, Jr, one of the hottest pilots currently competing on the state of Maine circuit, for noted Massachusetts trainer, Ralph Andersen and owner Andrew Card. She has been made the even money morning line favorite and will start in race number nine. Scarborough Downs kicked off its fall meeting on Friday (10-10) and will race into December on a Friday through Sunday schedule featuring a 1:05 pm post time. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. by Mike Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs  

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 (Sunday, August 31, 2014) - Over $280,000 in purse money will be on the line on Sunday (9-7) as Scarborough Downs once again plays host to the two-year-old Maine Sire Stakes Championship round with first post slated for 1:05 PM (EDT). This season marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the state-bred program. Headlining the card will be the undefeated wunderkind, Bibbidi Boo, who will be attempting to cap her freshman career with a perfect ten for ten win record. The prolific winner makes up part of a powerful mutuel entry with her stable mate, divisional track record holder, Pembroke Mistress who herself sports 7 career wins from 10 starts. The tandem, owned by William Varney, has been installed as the prohibitive 4-5 morning line favorite but will be challenged from an unfortunate draw as they will score side by side from posts 7 and 8 respectively. Sunday will also be Back To The Track Day at Scarborough Downs, featuring an exciting round of Harness Racing Bingo with $500 in prize money distributed to the lucky winners. A free card will be available to all in attendance. This will be the closing weekend of the 2014 summer meet at the Downs with the fall meet set to commence on October 10th featuring a three day a week schedule of Friday through Sunday with post time slated for 1:05 PM. TheDowns will remain open for simulcast wagering throughout the year. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (Sunday, August 31, 2014) - Sibling rivalry is not a condition limited solely to the human race and that was never perhaps more clear than on Sunday (8-31) at Scarborough Downs as two race mares, full sisters, matched strides to the finish line and fell just inches shy from finishing in a dead heat. The sisters, A As Glory and Carl's Glory were both sired by Carlspur out of the brood mare Dies Morning Glory. They were born a year apart from each other, bred by Andrew Ward of New Brunswick, Canada, and grew up in the same field before heading out to their respective careers. Fate conspired to bring the sisters together once again on Sunday though as they drew the 3 and 4 holes in the second race at Scarborough and what a reunion it must have been as they awaited the call to post. As is often the case when siblings compete, big sister A As Glory beat up a bit on her little sister on Sunday, just pouncing past her at the wire to post the narrowest of victories, but with both mares classified as $4000 claiming sorts, a rematch or two throughout the fall harness season in Maine is almost assured. In other track news, driver Eddie Davis, Jr. dominated the action on Sunday, scoring five wins from the eight race program. The other three victory laps were claimed by driver Dan Deslandes. The summer meet concludes next weekend with Saturday's post slated for 4:30 PM (EDT) and the Sunday matinee scheduled to begin at 1:05 PM. The two-year-old championships of the Maine Sire Stakes will be decided on Sunday with freshman consolation bouts co-anchoring the Stakes Final card. Total purses for the day are 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 (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 17, 2014) -.In quick response to being called out by our good friends at Plainridge Racecourse, the drivers at Scarborough Downs answered in kind by partaking in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Sunday (8-17). The water was chilly but the cause was worthwhile and the baton has been passed via of the challenge route to the drivers at Saratoga and Yonkers raceways. In charity and cooperation, the Maine Amateur Driving Club donated their 5% driver's commission ($150) for the day to ALS Research. Check out the video feed via You Tube. 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

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