Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, December 07, 2013) Driver Shawn Thayer mastered the mud at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (12/7) to become the latest member of the Mr. 1,000 Club. A native of Hermon, Maine, Thayer has been a regular participant along the Pine Tree Circuit for two decades now and was the driving champion at Scarborough Downs during the 2012 meeting. The benchmark win came with a member of Thayer's own stable roster, ITSALLABOUTMIKE. The six-year-old son of Dragon Again was a prolific winner this year, and secured his 16th win of the season. The pacer is owned by Marc Reynolds of Hermon, Maine. As is the tradition at Scarborough Downs, Thayer was joined in the trackside winner's circle by his fellow drivers and fans who offered a hearty congratulations to their compatriot. Thayer will help close out the meeting at Scarborough Downs as we enter the last two weekends of the season, racing Saturdays and Sundays with a 12:05 pm post time. Closing day is Sunday, December 22, and will feature our annual Standardbred retirement ceremony for 14-year olds. by Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine - Driver David Ingraham pieced together a masterful performance at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (10/27), teaming four winners from the nine-race program, while securing his 6,500th career win in the process. The milestone win came while driving No Surrenders, a five-year-old son of Art Major, owned by Omer Burke and trained by Thomas Richardson. The mile was timed in 1:57.4; the fifth win of the season for the pacer. The fifty-one year old state-of-Maine native returned to his old stomping grounds this summer following multiple successful campaigns at Pompano Park. Ingraham entered the day needing three wins to reach his goal, with precious little time to get it done as Sunday was his last day racing in Maine before returning to Florida for the winter. “I knew I was getting close to sixty five hundred, and wanted to get the win in front of friends here at The Downs,” remarked Ingraham, “Since today was my last day racing in Maine, I was really glad to get it done today.” Ingraham has always enjoyed success wherever he’s ventured, having held leading-driver status at tracks all up and down the eastern seaboard. With Maine temperatures dropping as the seasons change, Ingraham appears wise to be chasing the sun, setting up residency and rejoining his family at his adopted home track of Pompano Park next weekend. Live racing continues throughout the fall meeting with a Friday/Saturday/Sunday schedule and a 12:05 pm starting time. by Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine – The fans at Scarborough Downs were treated to an overpowering performance from driver Drew Campbell on Sunday (10/20) as the meet’s leading driver scored five wins and four seconds on the eleven-race program. His winners included BestFillyNTown (1:58.3), Champagne Charlie (1:57.4), KitKat Du Ruisseau (1:57.1), Passion Moon (1:58.3) and Keystone Stately (2:02.4). “Looking at the program, I thought I could have a strong day today, and it worked out that way,” said Campbell. “I had a bunch of decent horses to drive and they all had good shots.” Entering Sunday’s performance, Campbell was rated the leading UDRS driver in North America, sporting a .410 rating. Aware of his current standing, Campbell downplayed any inference that it motivated his performance today. “No, I don’t think about it a lot,” Campbell remarked. “How long can that last, a week? Maybe the rest of the year. Gilles Barrieau needs about 50 more starts to get into my category and when he does, he’ll have a decent lead over me. ” Campbell continued, “the odds of holding on are slight, but if I’m batting .410, I’m doing my job, I guess.” Campbell remains on top of the Scarborough Downs’ leader board, approaching the century mark with 99 wins, holding an 11-win advantage over closest rival, Gary Mosher. Live racing continues throughout the fall meeting with a Friday/Saturday/Sunday schedule and a 12:05 pm starting time. by Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine ... The excitement of harness racing will be at its normal pulsing pitch on Saturday (10-19) but the focus of the horsemen and fans alike will be centered around raising funds for charity as the third annual, Maine Harness Racing Gives Back Day is held at Scarborough Downs. Sponsored in tandem by the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association, the Maine Amateur Drivers Club and Scarborough Downs, the altruistic event will this year benefit the Maine Society for the Protection of Animals, Camp Sunshine and the Wounded Warrior Project. Proceeds from these sponsors will guarantee a minimum donation of $1000 per charitable cause. Four races featuring the members of the Maine Amateur Drivers Club (MADC) will be contested on Saturday with all commissions directed toward these worthy organizations and leading amateur pilot, Bo Sowers, will be competing in all four. "I've been listed to drive some pretty decent horses on Saturday" Sowers remarked, "And of course I'll be trying my best to win. The real winners though will be the charities that we're racing for; that's what this day will be all about" The MADC is comprised of both aspiring young drivers and veterans teamsters. While they are not the everyday stars of the sport, they are all accomplished horsemen and women who enjoy coming together for weekly competition. Prohibited from accepting monetary consideration in order to maintain their amateur status, the 5% commission normally paid to drivers is held in account for charitable purposes. Featured during the program will be a 50/50 raffle as well as a raffle offering a two night golf and stay package for two at the Samoset Resort in Rockland, Maine with proceeds directed toward the charities. First post for Saturday's Maine Harness Racing Gives Back card is slated for 12:05 PM (EDT). by Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Saturday, October 12, 2013 (Scarborough, Maine) – The three year old Maine Sire Stakes Championship Finals were decided at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (10/12) and Obrigado wrapped up a spectacular undefeated season scoring his 13th win of the year to grab top honors in the $77,415 colt trotting final. Driven by Heath Campbell for trainer Ivan Davies, Obrigado assumed his customary front-end seat with stablemate Wakefield Fire tagging along in the two hole. At the midway point of the mile, Wakefield Fire pulled alongside of Obrigado, the tandem racing in lockstep up the back stretch before Obrigado pulled away to secure his open length victory. “I felt fortunate and grateful to be able to secure Heath Campbell as my driver this year,” said owner Mike Andrew of Gorham, Maine. “Ivan Davies, my trainer, would normally have driven but had commitments to drive a colt in the same division for his brother. Heath was the right choice.” Wakefield Fire (Ivan Davies) was second; Maine Muscle (Michael Cushing) mounted a strong rally to finish third. Mike Andrew doubled his pleasure on Stake Championship day, winning the $77,442 filly final with his home-bred trotter, Song of Virtue. Driver Ruel “Dude” Goodblood, Jr. hurried the filly to an early lead, inheriting an even bigger advantage, as co-favorite Future Cast rolled off stride approaching the quarter mile marker. That big lead proved instrumental as Race Me Liberty mounted an extremely strong late-mile rally bid, which proved too little too late to overcome Song of Virtue’s margin. “It was a pretty exciting race,” Andrew remarked. “It’s been a long, hard season and there were a lot of talented fillies out there. I’m really happy for Gordon Corey and Allison Hynes. They did a great job training her, and I’m also very happy that Dude got a chance to win a final.” Race Me Liberty (Gary Mosher) was second; Lucy From Hebron (Ivan Davies) got up for third. Darlington Stripe scored the fastest championship victory of the day, stopping the clock in a new lifetime best of 1:56.3 en route to securing her 10th win of the year in the $77,480 filly pacing division. David Ingraham, driving for owner-trainer Stephen La Casse, took the usual front runner off the car on Saturday, settling forth in the early going before pulling at the half to match strides the rest of the way with the front-running Pembroke Violet. “There was plenty of power up front,” said Ingraham. “And I didn’t want to get into a real battle in the early going. When they started to slow it down, I came at them, and I’m not surprised at all that she was able to take a new lifetime mark. She’s been a nice filly all year long.” “I want to thank David,” La Casse chimed in, “he’s handled her expertly all year. I also want to thank my parents, who planted the seed of harness racing with me, and my friend Ivan Davies, who is a great resource and always there to offer advice.” Pembroke Violet (Heath Campbell) was second; Lordy Miss Scarlet (Kevin Switzer) was third. Master of Puppets ground out a well-earned victory in the $77,496 colt pacing final, holding off a determined charge from Neutral Data to cement the narrowest of victories. “I figured Neutral Data was the best and he was behind me,” said winning driver Heath Campbell. “And he had to get by me. We battled to the finish and I held on so the strategy worked out well.” Owner Christine Catabia, in an emotional address, remarked “I’m very thankful to everyone, including, my mother-in-law, David Crochere (trainer), and Heath Campbell.” Mother-in-law Barbara Catabia, took over for tearful Christine and continued, “we only had two little broodmares, Happy Chelsea was the mother of this colt. She was just a little old mare. She died last year, and this is her last colt. We bred them ourselves, we raised them on our farm, we are just a small outfit that came through in a big way today.” Neutral Data (Wallace Watson) was second, with Johnny Fast Cash (Greg Bowden) finishing third. The Championships of the Maine Sire Stakes have now been decided for the 2013 season just as the yearlings for next year’s contest are being broken. As summer turns to fall, the cycle continues. And so it goes. Live racing continues on Sunday at Scarborough Downs with a 12:05 pm starting time. A special Columbus Day card will be featured on Monday, October 14th, also with a 12:05 pm post. by Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Friday, October 11, 2013 – (Scarborough, Maine) - Saturday (October 12) marks the richest day of the Maine harness racing season as over $330,000 in purse money will be up for grabs at Scarborough Downs, with championship glory gleaming in the eyes of 32 Maine-bred hopefuls as they gather to do battle on the biggest day of their racing careers. Chief among them will be Obrigado, a three-year-old son of the exciting stallion, Boy Band, who will put his seasonal undefeated record on the line as he bids for his 13th top score of the year. Owned and bred by Michael Andrew, the strapping trotter will be handled by his customary pilot, Heath Campbell, scoring from post number two after being installed as the prohibitive even-money morning line favorite. A daughter of Boy Band, Song of Virtue, also owned by Michael Andrew, has been given a big chance to join her brother in seeking Sire Stake acclaim on Saturday after being made the 8-5 morning line favorite in the filly trotting division. Ruel Goodblood, Jr. will drive for legendary colt trainer, Gordon Corey, from post number three, shoulder-to-shoulder behind the gate with their chief competitor, Future Cast (Mark Athearn), who commands near co-favorite status at 2-1 odds. Darlington Stripe, a nine-time winner this season for owner/trainer Stephen La Casse, will have her work cut out for her from the outside post number six in the filly pacing division, despite being named the 4-5 morning line favorite. Conventional wisdom anticipates driver David Ingraham steering the daughter of Fast Company to her customary front end seat, then girding for the patented late-mile rally of track record holder, Pembroke Violet (Heath Campbell), who has been made second choice by the track odds maker at 2-1. The most wide open of the Sire Stakes contests figures in the colt pacing division where wins have been doled out on an rather equitable basis this year with five of the eight finalists boasting at least four wins apiece. The morning draw was not kind to the top pugilists though as seven-time winner, Master Of Puppets (Heath Campbell), will be forced to strategize from post number six, while the late-season sensation, Neutral Data (Wallace Watson), will bid to extend his three race win-streak from the seven hole. Other activities at the track include a 50/50 raffle to benefit the MSBOA Scholarship Program, an agricultural display, retired race horses, including Snap Dancer, 2008 Joseph Ricci Memorial Trot Winner, who will marshal the races with the Standardbred Performance Society. First post for the eleven-race Championship card is slated for 12:05 PM (EDT), Saturday at Scarborough Downs. by Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine – Scarborough Downs was once again privileged to host the 2-year old championship round of the Maine Sire Stakes program on Sunday (9/8). Nearly $250,000 in purse money was on the line as the races were contested on a picture-perfect late summer afternoon in Southern Maine. Kate At The Gate became the first champion crowned, claiming victory in the $52,111 filly trot final with driver Gary Mosher calling the shots for trainer David Crochere. The filly scored the easy victory, her sixth in a row but not before some anxious moments. Scoring down following the post parade, driver Gary Mosher discovered that the race bike was broken and the duo returned to the paddock for sulky replacement. “It was pretty scary at first when I discovered the bike was broken,” Mosher said. “And with trotting hobbles, you never know where they go when you hook up to a new bike but thankfully we got it right. She’s just a great filly. She does nothing wrong.” Owner Jack Kelley chimed in, “My daughter raised her, my son Paul broke her, and then David Crochere took over. They all did an incredible job. Driver Gary Mosher -- I don’t know if anyone does better than him in Maine.” Kate at the Gate broke well from the gate, quickly inheriting an insurmountable lead before coasting to an open lengths victory. Shes A Castoff (David Ingraham) was second Mill Site Mille (Mark Athearn) was third. Big Bad Rose claimed victory in the filly pacing final, garnering the lion’s share of the $52,400 purse offering, as she secured her fifth win of the season, third in a row. The two year old daughter of Baron Biltmore is owned and trained by Donald Dickison of New Brunswick, and was expertly steered to victory by driver Greg Bowden. As the field sprang from the gate, Fast Pat was hustled to the lead by driver Drew Campbell, speeding to the half in 58.4. Bowden sat patient tracking the early speed then pulling to the outside past the 5/8 mile marker before drawing clear and holding the late chargers at bay. “She’s the model of consistency,” Bowden said, “and I’m so happy for the Dickison family. Great connections. Long time participants in harness racing… I couldn’t be happier for them.” “We raised her from a baby,” Dickison said. “She’s nice to be around, very friendly, and she can go a little bit too. Greg drove her perfect, pulled her at the right time and once she made the lead, we just held our breath from there.” Shady Touch (Michael Cushing) was second; Princess Wave (Heath Campbell) was third. The most emotional victory of the day came in the $52,334 colt trotting final as Maine Cast, the last colt ever bred by the late Roderick Cushing, scored the upset victory. Rounding the final turn, as driver Mike Cushing pulled the trotter to the outside, the cheers of the fans crescendoed to fever pitch as the reality set in that the sentimental choice could win. “When we broke this colt, my dad was having a relapse in his battle against leukemia,” an emotionally spent Cushing explained. “When he was at the hospital and there was nothing left to do for him, all he wanted to do was go home and see the horses. We brought him to the Farmington fairgrounds where many of his friends turned out to welcome him. With my dad in the back, they drove the ambulance right onto the track. I went a training trip with the colt right behind the ambulance, and the last time my dad saw him was looking out the back window.” There was not a dry eye in the house following Cushing’ interview. Maine Cast benefited from the misfortune of heavily favored CCC who had rolled off stride before the word go, but he did what he needed to do to claim the win, with Cushing raising his whip in victory and in salute to his late father. Star Studded Cast (Mark Athearn) was second. Pembroke Castaway (Ruel Goodblood, Jr.), was third. Fast Del claimed top honors in the $52,461 colt pacing final with driver Gary Mosher exhibiting all of the skills and intuition that have earned him more than 5,500 wins during his driving career. Owned by the Ben Bill & Will Stable of Carmel, Maine, Fast Del secured the pocket journey behind Maynard B, who was part of the powerful Gerald Smith trained entry. Approaching the half, Blackmailin, the other part of the entry, pulled to the outside in an effort to set up the outer flow. Mosher, recognizing the danger of having both entry mates racing one-two, decided on the unconventional strategy of pulling the pocket at the midway point of the mile. “I saw him coming and decided to take my chances,” said Mosher. “There was no sense waiting, it was all on the line. I’d beaten Maynard B first up before, so I know my colt was capable, and he came through when it counted.” “He came on late, took time to develop, but he’s a very nice colt. Look for him to have a great season next year.” Maynard B (Steve Nason) was second; David the Saint (Mark Athearn) was third. Scarborough Downs goes on hiatus for the fall fair season in Maine, opening October 11th, racing three days a week: Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 12:05 pm throughout the fall meeting. Scarborough will play host to the Maine Sire Stakes 3-Year-Old Championship Finals on Saturday, October 12th. by Mike Sweeney
Scarborough, Maine (Friday, August 23, 2013) - Driver Steve Nason visited the winner’s circle for the 500th time of his career on Friday (8/23) steering Live It Luv It Dream It to victory at Scarborough Downs. The 23-year-old Nason sat the pocket trip behind the early speed of Suit Up (Drew Campbell) as the tandem followed each other around the raceway through sizzling early fractions. Nason tipped his steed to the outside up the backstretch, just getting up in the narrowest margin while stopping the clock in 1:57.3. “Coming to three-quarters I sensed that Drew’s horse was tiring and when I pulled to the outside I felt pretty confident,” said Nason. “It was tough going to the wire, though. But it felt great to get my 500th -- just as good as my first!” Nason was joined in the winner’s circle by friends and family and members of the driving colony at Scarborough Downs, including his father, accomplished driver, John Nason. “Dad told me to drive smart and don’t think about it,” said Nason, “and as usual, he was right.” Nason, a regular driver at Scarborough Downs, was the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Freeman Parker Award given annually to recognize up-and-coming talent. The man in the red-and-blue colors has certainly lived up to expectations. In other news, Keystone Real Deal made his first appearance at Scarborough Downs a winning one as he toured the oval in a lifetime best of 1:55.4. That clocking represents a brand new divisional track record for three-year-old geldings, supplanting the previous benchmark of 1:56.1 established by SJ’s Character (Ivan Davies) in 2008 and equaled by Fuzzylegsandall (Mark Athearn) last season. Keystone Real Deal was driven to victory by David Ingraham for trainer Bo Sowers. The son of Badlands Hanover is owned in tandem by Mo Coo, Inc. and Jonathan Klee Racing of New York. Live racing continues at The Downs on Saturday, Travers Stakes Day, with a post time of 4 pm, and Maine Sire Stakes action returns to the seaside oval on Sunday with a 1:05 pm start time. by Michael Sweeney
July 28, 2013 (Scarborough, Maine) – Trainer Gerald Smith continues to exert dominance over the three-year-old colt division of the Maine Sire Stakes program which was contested at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/28) in three splits, each going for purses in excess of $10,600. Smith added two more win tallies to his seasonal skein, now claming six victories after the completion of four divisional legs. SUMMERWINDS ATLAST tasted stakes victory for the third time this season, rebounding from a disappointing 3rd place finish in his recent Bangor start in which he suffered the indignation of broken equipment. Skipping a week following that unfortunate appearance, the three-year-old son of Western Cyclone reclaimed the winning stride with Greg Bowden driving for owner Florence O’Keefe of Old Orchard Beach. UTAH SKYE (Kevin Switzer) was second, and GOIN MANSTYLE (Wallace Watson) was third. Continuing the success of the Gerald Smith roster, stablemate JOHNNY FAST CASH scored his second consecutive win, third stakes win of the year, and fifth overall top tally. Also owned by Florence O’Keefe, this three-year-old son of NEUTRALIZE was aided in his quest to be the best by driver Greg Bowden. The score was one of three on the program for driver Bowden. Runner up honors went to MASTER OF PUPPETS (Heath Campbell), while ALL DONE FOOLING (Joey Mosher) claimed show dough. In the Gerald Smith-devoid third split, NEUTRAL DATA reigned supreme scoring his second stakes win of the season with driver/trainer Wallace Watson calling the shots for owners Harold and Nancy Dresser of Buxton. WILLY MAC (Gary Mosher) was second and EVERYBODY LIES (David Ingraham) was third. Live racing continues at Scarborough Downs next weekend on Friday and Saturday at 4 pm and Sunday at 1:05 pm. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Waterloo Willie became the latest trotter to have his name etched in the record books as he threw in the race of his lifetime on a sweltering Friday afternoon, becoming the fastest aged gelding to ever win at Scarborough Downs, stopping the clock in a torrid 1:57.1. Dan Deslandes called the shots behind the six-year-old son of SJ's Caviar for trainer Randy Bickmore and owner Kevin Gee.
Legendary colt conditioner, Elmer Ballard, secured his 99th career Maine Sire Stakes victory on Sunday (6/23) at Scarborough Downs. Ballard’s charge, the three-year-old Stewie, expertly catch-driven by Dan Deslandes, stalked the early pace of the heavily favored Murphy’s Cyclone before pouncing to the narrowest of victories, just getting up at the wire. Stewie, who is a double Maine-bred, was sired by the exciting Maine stallion, Western Cyclone, out of Maine Sire Stakes Champion broodmare, Blond Moment, took a brand new lifetime mark of 1:59.3. Stewie is owned in partnership by Robert Croteau and Elmer Ballard.
Post time for the Kentucky Derby card at Scarborough Downs is slated for 2:00 PM (EDT) on Saturday May 4, culminating with the simulcast of the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at 6:24 PM.
The first Saturday in May and the world's attention will rightly focus on Louisville, as the latest crop of top rated thoroughbreds vie for immortality and Kentucky Derby glory.
Harness racing reinsman Gary Mosher continued his firm stranglehold on the top spot of the leader's board by casting a spell over the Scarborough Downs oval on Saturday (4/6), winning five of the ten races on the program, posting a total of 9 wins over the first four performances of the 2013 harness racing meet.
Following fresh on the heels of a successful Opening Weekend, the harness racing schedule at Scarborough Downs expands to include Friday afternoon performances this week with post time slated for 4:00 PM (EDT).
A competitive ten race program will herald the dawn of the 2013 harness racing meeting at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (March 30), featuring a balanced blend of tough as nails claimers, up-and-coming youngsters, classy conditioned foes and anchored by a stellar grouping of Free For All pacers.