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Scarborough, Maine - October 15, 2006 ... A large and enthusiastic crowd turned out for Festival of Champions Day at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (10/15) to witness the crowning of the three-year-old champions of the Maine Sire Stakes harness racing program. The expectation of exciting equine thrills reached near fever pitch on the picture perfect autumn afternoon at the southern Maine racing venue, and with nearly $370,000 in purse money on the line, the horse and drivers certainly did not disappoint. Seeley Man capped a lustrous sire stakes campaign by adding the sophomore colt pacing trophy to last year's freshman crown, all the while retaining his perfect 24 for 24 undefeated career win streak. Hustled to the early lead in the $85,233 split by driver Ron Cushing, the Western Maverick - Perfect Launch gelding never felt pressure at any point in the mile as he extended off to an 11-3/4 length margin at the wire. He ultimately stopped the clock in an unhurried 1:55.2, establishing a new divisional track record in the process. "People might have thought we were crazy to spend the amount of money that we did to buy him at the conclusion of his two-year-old season, just to race him in Maine" Ron Cushing remarked, "But I really liked him. Gerry Smith (former trainer) was nice enough to sell him and we were nice enough to pay the price. He's been a very nice horse throughout his career." Now with a career bankroll in excess of $176K, the Heidi Gibbs trained Seeley Man is owned in partnership by Kevin Sywyk, Ben Bill & Will Stable and Florence O'Keefe and was bred by Lynn-Marie Plouffe. Talladega Speed (David Ingraham was second with The Irish Maverick (John Nason third. Western Stepp was another repeat champion on Saturday as the Western Maverick - French Stepp filly earned top three-year-old honors after securing last year's two-year-old championship in a maiden-breaking upset. The win was the 10th of the season for the Western Maverick - French Stepp filly whose career earnings now eclipse the $127K level. Regular pilot Drew Campbell hustled her to her customary front-end seat but was forced to use all his powers of persuasion late as Ladies Love Outlaws (Kevin Switzer, Jr) closed gamely in the $85,233 contest which was clocked in 1:57. "She got a little lazy on the lead today and I was glad to see Junior not fly by me" Campbell said, "But she did hold the other horse off and that's what counts." Owner/trainer James Dunn added, "I was really glad the wire wasn't 30 or 40 feet down the track or we might have got beat. She's certainly earned some good pasture time." Western Stepp was bred in Maine by Dirk Duncan and Sidney Bradley. Ladies Love Outlaws settled for a hard fought runner-up share while Life Is A Short Walk rallied for show. Miss Flaggy Meadow and driver Ivan Davies were also put to a stern stretch test on Saturday, as the daughter of Boy Band - Willing Wind earned the top placing in the $85,201 filly trotting final. She ground out the win in extended overland fashion while withstanding unrelenting late pressure through the lane from Just A Little Evil (Heath Campbell) with the pair reaching the wire nearly in lockstep timed in 2:01.3. "I want to thank breeder Mike Andrew for selling me this horse and Ivan's done a tremendous job with this filly" said owner Jack Kelly of the East Pond Stable, "He's resolved some earlier problems she had through determined experimentation - Ivan really deserves all the credit for her success." "Now I can't wait to watch my son's horse, the Maine-bred Obrigado race in the International Trot at Yonkers", Kelly continued, referring to trainer Paul Kelly, "What a great day for state of Maine harness racing!" Just A Little Evil fell just 3/4 -length short while finishing second. Gonna Kiss Me Or Not (Ron Cushing) was third. Noble Yaz hit a homerun in the $85,185 colt trotting final, pouncing at the ¾-mile marker before extending out to an imposing 4-length margin as driver Nick Graffam triumphantly pointed his whip skyward in celebration. The Noble Venture - Sassy Cathy gelding who was timed in 2:01.1, is trained by Graffam's dad, Michael, for owner/breeder Francis Hanley. "The horse has just been getting better lately" Hanley said, "He and Nick have been melding but the horse just seemed to figure out that he shouldn't be out there fooling around but that he should be getting to the lead and getting the job done. He sure figured it out at the right time!" Dusty Venture (Ivan Davies) settled for second while Pembroke Bada Bing (Heath Campbell was third. With Maine Sire Stakes season has now reaching its successful conclusion, the fall/winter meet will continue at the Downs through the first weekend of December. Live harness racing will be featured weekly on a Thursday through Sunday schedule with a 1:30 PM (EDT) post time. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Scarborough, Maine - October 13, 2006 ... The Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and Scarborough Downs will present the harness racing annual Festival of Champions Day on Saturday October 15, 2016 with first post time slated for 1:30 pm. For the first and only time this season, all the top-rated three year-old Maine-bred racehorses will be gathered in one spot, on one day, as the championships of the Maine Sire Stakes program will be decided, and with nearly $370,000 in purse money on the line, Saturday will be the richest day in state-of-Maine harness racing this year. Seeley Man, undefeated in 23 career starts, has been cast in the 'leading man' role, as the sophomore gelding will attempt to add the three-year-old championship trophy to last year's freshman crown in an almost unheard of bid to sweep the table in the ultra-tough arena of Maine Sire Stakes competition. "This is indeed an historic bid" said Seeley Man's breeder, Lynn-Marie Plouffe of Saco, Maine. "A horse may well have remained undefeated at some point during the 40-plus seasons of the Maine Sires Stakes program, but none have done it in recent years. It takes a special animal to pull off such an impressive feat and we are so proud that Seeley Man has represented our breeding farm in such gallant fashion." Seeley Man was born on March 3, 2013 at the picturesque Dupuis Farm in southern Maine and was trained to a perfect 11 for 11 race record by Gerald Smith for owner Florence O'Keefe as a two-year-old. Retaining a share for herself, O'Keefe sold the budding star at the conclusion of that campaign to a partnership which includes Kevin Sywyk of Swartz Creek, Michigan and the Ben, Bill and Will Stable of Carmel, Maine. The gelding has been effectively driven by Ron Cushing for trainer Heidi Gibbs throughout the 2016 season and has now amassed career earnings in excess of $133,000. A win on Saturday would push his seasonal earnings total to over $100,000 - an eye-popping tally for a horse raced almost exclusively in Maine. The horses competing in these finals are bred, trained and stabled here in Maine, and have been competing in stakes races at the fairs and at tracks around the state all racing season. The top eight horses in each of the four divisions will vie for purses of $85,000 each, which are the largest in Maine horse racing history. "We're so excited to be hosting such an important event in Maine harness racing," said Scarborough Downs owner Sharon Terry. "Our commitment has always been to support the farms, families, and fairs of Maine, and this event is exemplary of all of those things." The fall/winter meet will continue at the Downs through the first weekend of December with live harness racing featured weekly on a Thursday through Sunday schedule with a 1:30 PM (EDT) post time. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Scarborough, Maine (September 27, 2016) ... Scarborough Downs, Maine's premiere horse racing venue since 1950, is set to kick off the fall portion of it's 2016 season on October 14th, featuring live harness racing action on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule with post time slated for 1:30 PM (EDT) daily. Festival of Champions Day will headline the opening weekend action as the Maine Sire Stakes championships for three-year-old Maine-bred trotters and pacers will be contested on Saturday (10/15), with total stakes purses expected to exceed the $350,000 level. The fall/winter meet will continue at the Downs through the first weekend of December with the 2016 closing day scheduled for Sunday December 4th. In addition to live harness racing action, Scarborough Downs features simulcast wagering on all the top north American thoroughbred and harness racing tracks, seven days a week from noon to midnight, in the Inside Track Lounge facility. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs    

Scarborough, Maine (August 7, 2016) ... Harness racing driver Kevin Switzer, Jr joined the prestigious "Mr. 2000 Club" on Sunday (8/7), notching the milestone win with a powerful performance in the $10,000 Howie Bamford Memorial Invitational before an overflowing 'Family Fun Day' crowd at Scarborough Downs. Driving a horse from his father's roster, the 29-year-old Switzer gunned Race Me Villa off the car, positioning his steed close up in the pocket behind the expected speed of A Sweet Ride. The tandem drafted behind daunting fractions (27.4, 55.4 and 1:24.2) before pouncing three-wide off the final turn to secure the narrow victory over the hard-charging Escape The News (Ron Cushing) to stop the clock in 1:54 flat. Bet You (Heath Campbell) rallied for third. Race Me Villa, a 6-year-old son of Village Jolt, is owned in partnership by KDK Standardbreds of Harrington, Delaware, Kathleen Mofield of Bedford, Massachusetts and John Dickens of Kennebunk, Maine. Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page.   By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs           #      

Scarborough, Maine (July 30, 2016) ... Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (7/30) with the harness eacing three-year-old state-bred trotting divisions divided into three splits contested for purses in excess of $10,000 apiece. In the opening stakes split, when Noble Yaz stepped up to the plate, he not only won for the very first time in his career, but he also equaled a track record for 3-year-old trotting geldings in the process. Stopping the clock in 2:00 flat, the son of Noble Venture-Sassy Cathy and driver Nick Graffam etched their names in the Scarborough annals, joining another Maine-bred, Bad Boy Billy, who established the standard during the Maine Sire Stakes Finals of 2009. Way to hit one out of the park guys! Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (July 16, 2016) ... Jasmine K came up smelling like a rose on Saturday (7/16) as she etched her name onto the Scarborough Downs roll of honor, while equaling the track record for three-year-old filly trotters, with an effortless 1:59.3 clocking. Owned, trained and driven by Kevin Switzer of Harrington Delaware, the homebred daughter of Master Lavec/Visioness K tied the standard established by Bibbidi Boo during the 2015 edition of Scarborough's Festival of Champions, and appeared quite under wraps as she extended to a 6-1/4 lengths margin at the wire. The Delaware-bred sophomore apparently is thoroughly enjoying her summer-time sojourn in Maine, so tune in next week to see how much faster she go. This filly can outright fly! Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (June 26, 2016) ... Just one day removed from turning 18 and having his driver's license elevated to "Provisional" status, Matty Athearn wasted precious little time in finding the harness racing winner's circle, securing his very first win at an extended meet in his very first start at the Downs! Check the action in the bike as he teams Southwind Inferno first across the finish line after keeping the pacer brave on the lead on Saturday (7/9) - A promising career has only just begun! Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Scarborough, Maine (June 26, 2016) ... Dan Deslandes, a 23-year-old state of Maine native, recorded the 500th driving win of his career on Sunday (6/26), keeping the harness racing rookie pacer Golden Tree brave on the lead and holding off a finish line onslaught to reach the milestone victory at Scarborough Downs. Golden Tree was the very same pacer with which Deslandes gained his 499th career score just six days earlier at Bangor Raceway, and despite 20 winless drives sandwiched around the pair, the wait certainly seemed worth the bother, in order to secure the landmark win in rein to such an up-and-coming colt. Deslandes, who has called Scarborough Downs and the New England circuit home in recent years, learned his trade on the backstretch of Saratoga Raceway as a teenager, where he jogged for his father while earning a reputation of responsibility as an in-demand warm up option on race nights. Simultaneously, the aspiring driver was putting in his required time in the morning qualifying events at the SpaCity oval in order to be in position to earn his provisional drivers license immediately upon turning 18 years of age. Once elevated to "P" status, he wasted precious little time in finding the winners circle for the very first time, teaming Miss McIvor N down Saratoga's Victory Lane in August of 2010. Deslandes currently resides in fourth place in the standing of Scarborough Downs drivers colony with 31 seasonal wins; and with the man in red and green colors trailing only the likes of Eddie Davis, Jr., Drew Campbell and Kevin Switzer, Jr. - That's pretty good company to keep. Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Scarborough, Maine (June 16, 2016) - Demonstrating a distinct affinity towards harness racing at Scarborough Downs, Midnite Craze has once again etched his name in the record books at the southern Maine harness racing venue. The six-year-old son of Crazed toured the oval timed in a blistering 1:57 flat, during Friday's (6/16) $7500 Free For All event, equaling the fastest trot ever recorded in the track's 66 year history. Confidently handled by driver/trainer Ivan Davies, Midnite Craze now shares local bragging rights with the mare, IPO Blue Chip, who was crowned the track's fleetest trotter in June of 2012. Owned by G Richard Mason, Jr of The Villages, FL, the zippy high-stepper established a new track standard for aged gelded trotters in the process, supplanting the 1:57.1 record set by Waterloo Willie in July of 2013 and equaled by Midnite Craze himself, in his last local appearance, just last November. In addition to back-to-back track record appearances at Scarborough Downs, Midnite Craze can also boast an uncanny record of success at the seaside oval, having now tasted victory in five out his six starts at the Downs, including an impressive current skein of three consecutive Free For All class scores. When Midnite Craze comes to town can a new track record be close at hand? The "Horses for Courses" theory answers strongly in the affirmative! Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough Downs will once again host the biggest party of the season on Kentucky Derby Day (Saturday May 7) but this year, particular local attention will be paid to the "greatest two-minutes in sports", as prominent state of Maine horse owners will saddle one of the morning line favorites in the $2-million classic. Exaggerator, who is owned in portion by Old Orchard Beach brothers, George, Jamie and Michael Kerr, will start from post position 11 on Saturday and has been installed as the 8-1 second choice on the morning line by Churchill Downs. The three-year-old son of Curlin is coming off an explosive victory in last month's Santa Anita Derby, an effort which has been described as "...one of the most impressive of this year's Triple Crown prep races." The Kerr brothers, who traditionally view the Derby via simulcast from the Scarborough Downs Clubhouse, will instead be in attendance at Louisville this year, to witness their colt's historic run for the roses. Doors will open at Scarborough Downs at 10:00 AM on Saturday with a 12-race live harness racing program commencing at 2:00 PM. The Kentucky Derby will then take center stage with post time scheduled for 6:34 PM. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Drew Campbell held the hot hand at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (4-23) as the man in the orange and black colors steered five winners down Victory Lane to grab top harness racing honors in half of the ten races programmed. Campbell, who entered the weekend tied with Eddie Davis, Jr atop the drivers' standings, separated himself from his rival (who went winless) and now tops all contenders with 20 wins on the young state of Maine harness season. Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing every Saturday and Sunday with post time at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Mitchell Cushing made his very first career start as a Provisional Harness Racing Driver at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (4/2) and wasted precious little time in claiming Victory Lane as his very own territory. The son of noted driver, Ron Cushing, whose license was upgraded after celebrating his 18th birthday earlier this year, kept the classy campaigner, Sign Of Thunder, brave all the way to the finish-line, to cap off a perfectly executed gate to wire strategy in the afternoon's first race. While this may have been the first "P" win for Cushing, it was the 50th career winners circle appearance for the 11-year-old Sign Of Thunder, who just so happens to be owned by young Mr. Cushing himself. What a great combination this rookie driver and veteran pacer make! Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing every Saturday and Sunday with post time at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

The 2016 Scarborough Downs harness racing meet opened up to rave reviews on Saturday (3/26) with a generous mix of full fields, speedy miles and blanket finishes on full display, as the enthusiastic opening day crowd roared it's approval. The undisputed stars of the day were trainer Philip "Bo" Sowers and driver Eddie Davis, Jr. who both recorded four wins on the ten race program. The tandem serving notice right from the very first race that this combination of talent would stand as a force to be reckoned with in state of Maine harness racing this season. Davis utilized a patient strategy to claim victory with Clubber Lang, a newcomer to the Sowers roster, sitting a stalking third in the early going of the opening race, before igniting the after burners through a powerful 28-second third quarter, to extend out to an insurmountable lead before coasting to an open-lengths margin timed in 1:56.1. Davis also engineered the winning strategy with two other new arrivals to the Sowers' barn (Body Guard and Lady's Bag Man), before concluding his grand slam day with a victorious nail-biter as Cool Runnings, a member of his own stable, held off a hard charging Sandy Barbie Legacy (Louis Gassbarro, III) by a head at the wire. Sowers' fourth win came in the $6000 feature race event with the 12-year-old veteran, Noble's Grand Slam (Ron Cushing), upsetting the top class contestants at 13-1 odds. With the first of 101 scheduled race cards now in the books, the staff and horsemen at the seaside oval look forward to bringing continued fast paced action to the fans with tomorrow's (3/27) Easter Sunday card set to head to post at 1:30 PM. Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing every Saturday and Sunday with post time at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Maine's 2016 harness racing season is set to commence on Saturday (3/26) as the gates at Scarborough Downs swing open for the 66th year in a row. The Downs will launch the season on a two day a week schedule, racing Saturday and Sunday, with post time slated for 1:30 PM (EST) on both days. Well over 200 horses have entered to qualify this spring, a sharp contrast to the weather plagued 2015 season, so the fields will be full and the competition at a fever pitch, which should certainly test the handicapping skills of the local patrons. "We're extremely happy with the number of horses entered for the opening weekend cards and those numbers should translate into very competitive racing," said Scarborough Director of Operations Steve Cobbett, "Currently the staff is putting the finishing touches on all our preparations and we'll be ready and excited to welcome the large expected crowds on Opening Day." Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing Saturday and Sunday with post time at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (November 6, 2015) - Midnite Craze and driver Ivan Davies equaled the track record for aged gelding trotters at Scarborough Downs on Friday (11/6) spinning an epic mile timed in 1:57.1 to replicate the standard established by Waterlou Willie in 2013. Remarkably, Midnite Craze, a recent New York import who now sits a perfect two for two in state of Maine competition, never saw the wood throughout the mile, marching second-over through the first time around the half-mile oval before launching a bold three-wide bid up the backstretch. A dogged battle then ensued with the front-running Dagget (Ruel Goodblood, Jr.), with neither trotter giving an inch throughout the heated stretch duel until in the final strides, Midnite Craze extended to the wire a mere half-length on top. The win was the 15th career victory for the five-year-old son of Crazed-Trapezius who is owned by G. Richard Mason, Jr. of Luneburg, MA. Dagget finished second best while Thro Time (Kevin Switzer, Jr) grabbed the show spot. Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing Friday through Sunday at 12:05 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

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