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New England harness racing invader She'sjustadelight N (Ron Cushing, $11.20) picked off pace-setting Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) in a two-speed number Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. As the lead suggests, both ladies were put in play, from post position Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. There was some early daylight as Glenferie Bronte N (Mark MacDonald) gapped badly from the three-hole. After a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and :56.4 intermission, Frost Damage Blues (Dan Dube) moved from a distant fourth. That one never really was an issue in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters. 'Bedroom' owned a length-and-a-half entering the lane, but company was coming. She'sjustadelight N edged inside, while last week's victress, Mach it a Par (Jordan Stratton), offered her usual late arrival as this week's slight 2-1 choice. She'sjustadelight N whipped Bedroomconfessions by a neck in 1:53, with Mach it a Par, Frost Damage Blues and Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland) rounded out the payees. For fourth choice She'sjustadelight N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by her driver & Kevin Sywyk and trained by Heidi Gibbs, it was her 13th win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $37.60, the triple returned $102 and the superfecta paid $367.50. Note that since no one took down Friday night's Pick 5, Saturday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $2,041.73 (50-cent base wager, now races 6 through 10). Frank Drucker

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  

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  

Scarborough, Maine (July 2, 2015) – The Maine Sire Stakes program made its 2015 debut at Scarborough Downs on Thursday (7/2) as the Heidi Gibbs/Ron Cushing roster served serious notice that they would be key players in the state-bred harness racing sophomore trotting divisions. The tandem sent out winners in both splits with Sampsonofravencast kicking the action off in high gear, overcoming the extreme outside post to take a new lifetime mark (2:02.1) in the $12,216 colt division. The son of Current Cast/Raven’s Ruby is owned in partnership by Joseph Trice and Ron Cushing and was bred by the Thunderbolt Farm. Saving the best for last though, Tropical Trice slew the previously undefeated Bibbidi Boo to claim the lion’s share in the $12,226 filly division, an effort which featured a daring pocket-pulling maneuver at the ¾-mile marker followed by a doggedly determined stretch battle, resulting in the upset clocked in 2:01.4. The daughter of Current Cast/Sharra Blue Chip is also owned by Joseph Trice and was bred by noted Maine stalwart, Richard Hartley. Maine Sire Stakes action continues on Friday (7/3) as the three-year-old filly pacers will take center stage in twin splits being contested for $11,668 per. Post Time for the twilight performance is 4:30 p.m. (EDT). 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  

  Last season's top pacers, a healthy mix of native New Englanders, along with stables returning from other parts of the country, make up the first draws of the 2015 season at Plainridge. Fans will be treated to a newly renovated racing and simulcasting area that becomes the first step of a new era for harness racing in New England at Plainridge Park Casino.   Opening day at the Massachusetts track takes place this coming Wednesday (April 15) with a 4:00 P.M. post time. The nine race card is headlined by the return of Burkentine Hanover, the fastest pacer at Plainridge in 2014. Trained and driven by Jim Hardy, Burkentine Hanover is the likely morning line favorite in the $6,000 open event. Three challengers - Wheelaway, Western Victory and Trigger Finger - all notched multiple victories in the top class at Plainridge last season.   Perennial training and driving leaders such as Hardy, Steve Nason and Mike Eaton might face challenges from a pair of Maine horsemen returning to action at Plainridge. Ron Cushing, currently the top conditioner at Scarborough Downs, makes his seasonal debut on Thursday as well as Kevin Switzer Jr., who was the top driver in the PineTreeState in 2014 scheduled to drive on both Wednesday and Thursday. Eddie Davis Jr. is also slated to drive on the meet's initial programs.   Within the past few days several trainers from outside the six state region have arrived in the area, including Shawn Answeeney (New York), Bryce Fenn (Florida) and Scott Rollins (New Jersey).   The spring schedule at Plainridge features racing on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons at 4:00 P.M., and also on Sunday afternoons at 1:00 P.M. On June 24th Plainridge Park Casino, the state's first gaming facility, will open its doors to the public.                        

Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, April 4, 2015) -. Despite facing inclement conditions and chilly temperatures, harness racing driver Ron Cushing continued his torrid ways on Saturday (4/4), winning three of the eight races programmed at Scarborough Downs, with all three winners coming from his very own roster. Cushing served notice from the very first bugle call that Saturday would belong to him, as he soared gate to wire in the opener with Kevin Sywyk's Vodka Is Terror. The 6-year-old post time favorite, held firm to score the 20th win of his career, but more impressively keyed a robust $749.60 Trifecta return despite his favored status. Driving for his son Mitchell later in the card, Cushing once again chose the pike route while extending the veteran Sign Of Thunder's seasonal undefeated streak to two, before closing out the day by claiming the lion's share of the $6000 Winners Over purse with Sywyk's newly acquired mare Ellie's Best Dream, besting an accomplished field of geldings in the process. Cushing's sensational Saturday pushed his name to the top spot in both the Driver and Trainer Standings after three sessions of the 2015 season. His six driving wins now equal the seasonal total of fellow teamster Gary Mosher but more imposing is Cushing's complete domination of the trainers' ranks, where the man in the maroon and gold silks has won with six of the nine entries he has sent to post. Live harness racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs every Saturday and Sunday with post time slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT) For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (Friday, August 08, 2014) - Maine Sire Stakes harness racing action returned to Scarborough Downs on Friday (8-8) as the two-year-old trotting state-breds headlined the late summer performance, only to once again find the roster of the Valerie Grondin Stable stealing the spotlight. Pembroke Mistress was first to score, taking the early lead and never looking back, spinning a performance that would cause her name to become etched in the Scarborough Downs record books. The youngster claimed her share of the track record for two-year-old fillies on Friday, joining a fellow Maine-bred, Iza Bella (Ivan Davies) who had established the standard of 2:03 during the freshman Sire Stakes Finals of 2010. The daughter of CR Power Glide continued along her now familiar course as she grabbed the lion's share of the $9615 purse while remaining undefeated in stakes competition, running her string of success to six straight wins. Owned and bred by William Varney of Bangor, Maine, the precocious filly has yet to face any serious threat to her superiority, winning on Friday by an unhurried 5-3/4 lengths as driver Heath Campbell only briefly allowed her her head. Rhonwen (Ivan Davies) secured her third consecutive runner-up placing while Comcast (Mark Athearn) once again this week settled for third best. Bibidi Boo nearly matched her stable mate's record setting accomplishment while dominating action in the $9614 second division of fillies with driver Heath Campbell calling the shots from his customary seat. She mimicked the front end strategy of her barn roommate and extended out to a 3-3/4 length margin at the wire only missing her share of the track record by a mere fifth of a second. Owned in partnership by William Varney and Lynn-Marie Plouffe, the daughter of Noble Venture remains undefeated on her career as she secured her sixth consecutive score on the picture perfect afternoon. Jazz Show Shirley (Michael Graffam) grabbed the runner-up placing as she made her first career appearance sturdied by the addition of trotting hobbles. Kisses (Kim Ireland) recovered from an early misstep to rally for third place honors. The Grondin juggernaut ended at that point as the freshman colts took over center stage in their segregated $10,129 stakes split. Sampsonofravencast effortlessly tread the boards on Friday as he glided to his second consecutive stakes victory in a lifetime best of 2:04.2 for driver/trainer and co-owner Ron Cushing. The son of Current Cast remains as solid as Sears, having now finishing either first or second in all lifetime appearances, much to the delight of her other co-owner, Joseph Trice. Half Time (Ivan Davies) held firm at the wire for the place while Broadway Cast (Mark Athearn) turned near tragedy into a respectable third place effort as he recovered from an early bobble to rally into the number. In other track news, the trotter Orderingin eradicated one of Scarborough's oldest divisional track records on Friday as the four-year-old mare became the fleetest of her age and sex ever to cross the wire on top at the Downs. Driven by Heath Campbell for owner Kyle Gibbs, the daughter of Majestic Son stopped the clock in 1:59.4 eclipsing the standard of 2:00 established by D D's Copter and driver Raymond Tremblay in the 1993 version of the Legislators Trot, which was, in those days, the richest trotting event in Maine. The old record had been most recently matched by Jennys Jammies and driver Rob Dinning in 2009. Live racing continues throughout the summer at Scarborough Downs with the Friday and Saturday cards scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) and the popular Sunday matinees kicking off at 1:05 p.m. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (Sunday, July 27, 2014) - Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7-27) as the two-year-old colt pacing division made their second straight appearance. Split into two distinct flights whose makeup differed from last week's lineups, the competition was surely varied yet the results held true to form. Sailor Jerry rode a perfect five for five career record into battle in the first $10,154 flight and was sent to the post as the prohibitive fan favorite. The Cheyenne Hollywood colt grabbed the early lead which he maintained comfortably throughout the mile until in deep stretch he felt pressure as Pembroke Maverick (Heath Campbell) pulled along side. This being the first time the prolific winner had ever been tested from behind, driver Andy Harrington touched the colt with his whip for perhaps the first time in his competitive career, but unlike Niatross at Saratoga, Sailor Jerry stayed upright and true, remaining undefeated for owner/trainer Michael Graffam. Pembroke Maverick fell just a half-length short as the runner up while Hardcorjohnypawn (Kevin Switzer) rallied gamely for third in a mile which was timed in 2:04.4 over a muddy surface. The winning streak also continued for driver Heath Campbell's Pembroke Wildcat as the freshman son of Western Maverick claimed his 3rd consecutive top score in the $9978 second division. Owned by William Varney, the gelding glided pillar to post timed in 2:06.1 over a deteriorating track rated 2-seconds off after absorbing the result of a passing thunderstorm. Apollo's Chariot (Ron Cushing), who had finished second to the streaking Sailor Jerry in each of his last two appearances, had to settle for the bridesmaid share once again today while Western Moment (David Ingraham) just got up over Seablisscuit (Michael Graffam) to grab Show dough. In other track news, driver Heath Campbell held the hot hand on Sunday steering three winners down victory lane while Kevin Switzer, Jr. celebrated his 27th birthday with a pair of wins on the card. Live harness racing resumes at Scarborough Downs next week on a Thursday through Saturday schedule with post time set for 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with the Sunday matinee slated for a 1:05 p.m. starting time. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine (Friday, June 6, 2014) - The freshman trotting divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program returned to action at Scarborough Downs on Thursday (7-24) and the magic continued for Bibbidi Boo as the daughter of Noble Venture once again chose the pike route while extending her unbeaten streak to five consecutive scores in the $9614 contest. Owned in partnership by the tandem of William Varney and Lynne-Marie Plouffe, the state-bred filly deftly circumnavigated the Scarborough course on Thursday without encountering any serious threat to her impressive skein and with driver Heath Campbell barely breaking a sweat during the unhurried (2:05.3) contest before drawing clear for the 4-3/4 length margin. Rhonwen (Ivan Davies) settled for second while My Sweet Alex (Kim Ireland) held firm for third. William Varney owned trotters have pretty much dominated the early portion of stakes season in Maine and the mastery continued in the second $9615 filly split of the day with Pembroke Mistress joining her stablemate Bibbidi Boo in receiving winners circle accolades. The daughter of CR Power Glide extended her unbeaten stakes streak to four-in-row as she tracked the early speed of the trotter Kisses (Kim Ireland) before kissing the pace-setter goodbye in deep stretch to get up for the 1-1/4 length win timed in a new lifetime best clocking of 2:05.1 with driver Heath Campbell in his customary seat for trainer Valerie Grondin. Kisses once again settled for runner-up status, the 4th consecutive time she's played the bridesmaid role, with Tropical Trice (Ron Cushing) third best in the dash. The Varney/Grondin/Campbell consortium hit pay dirt in the $10,129 colt division as the trio completed the natural stakes Trifecta with a nifty effort from Pembroke Jack B whose undefeated record was put by the wayside just the week prior. Another son of CR Power Glide, he stalked the good early speed generated by Sampsonofravencast (Ron Cushing) twice around the oval while appearing outmatched by the pacesetter. Sampsonofravencast veered wide off the final turn though and seemingly encouraged by the sudden appearance of daylight, Pembroke Jack B drove determinedly up the inside path to persevere by a slight neck at the wire. The mile was timed in a career best 2:06.2. Sampsonofravencast settled for place with Broadway Cast (Ruel Goodblood, Jr.) recovering from a misstep before the start to rally for third. Live harness racing continues at Scarborough Downs throughout the weekend with 4:30 PM (EDT) posts on Friday and Saturday. The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:05 PM and will feature the freshman pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program. by Mike Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Sunday, July 20, 2014 (Scarborough, Maine) - Maine Sire Stakes activity returned to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/20) as the 2-year-old pacing colt divisions split out into two dashes contested for purses of $10,153 apiece. Sailor Jerry steamed full speed ahead as he continued his undefeated streak by scoring his fifth career victory. The Maine-bred son of Cheyenne Hollywood has answered every call this season while being deftly handled by driver Andy Harrington for owner/trainer Mike Graffam. Sailor Jerry sat second in the early going but reclaimed the lead with little trouble at the quarter and from that point on, the race became a mere formality as the freshman colt was never seriously threatened, completing the mile timed in a leisurely 2:00.4. Apollo's Chariot (Ron Cushing) was second; Cruzin Maverick (David Ingraham) rallied for third. Victory was claimed in the second division by Pembroke Wildcat (Heath Campbell), who took a new lifetime mark of 1:59.1 as he insisted on a front-end seat while grinding to the lead through a zippy opening panel of 28.4. The William Varney-owned son of Western Maverick never looked back from that point as he glided to a 5 ¾ length margin to grab his third Maine Sire's win from four career starts. Hardcorjohnypawn (Kevin Switzer) was second, while Reckless Rebel (Gary Mosher) was third. In other news, Drew Campbell held the hot hand, winning three dashes from the nine race card. Live racing returns to The Downs on Thursday, July 24th as the Maine Sire Stakes 2-year-old trotting divisions come to town, post time: 4:30 pm. by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs                                

Thursday, July 03, 2014 (Scarborough, Maine) - Maine sire stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Thursday (7/3) with the two-year-old trotting divisions taking center stage. The appearance marked the second week that the freshman turkey footers graced the Seaside Oval and once again, the William Varney-owned entries dominated. Bibbidy Boo (Heath Campbell), a daughter of Noble Venture, remained perfect on her career, scoring her third consecutive win in the first $9,440 filly division. Tropical Trice (Ron Cushing) was second; Jazz Show Shirley (Andy Harrington) was third. Her stablemate, Pembroke Mistress (Heath Campbell), a daughter of CR Power Glide, remained perfect in stake competition in the $9,430 second division. Kisses (Kim Ireland) was second; Rhonwen (Ivan Davies) was third. Campbell made his 3rd appearance in the Scarborough Winner's Circle with Pembroke Jack B, who took top honors in the $9,439 colt division. The son of CR Power Glide remained undefeated on his career, securing his third lifetime win, to give owner William Varney the Trifecta of stakes victories. Sampsonofravencast (Ron Cushing) was second; Half Time (Ivan Davies) was third. With no further Varney entries in sight, the second colt division was won by Broadway Cast (Mark Athearn). The son of Current Cast is owned in partnership by Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight and scored the first win of his career in the $9,615 dash. Just SayMo (Kim Ireland) was second; A Maine Adventure (Wallace Watson) was third. Live racing continues this weekend at Scarborough Downs on Friday and Saturday at 4:30 and Sunday at 1:05 pm. Sire Stakes action returns to the Downs with the 3-year-old filly pacers on Saturday (4:30) and the 3-year old colt pacers on Sunday (1:05 pm) by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Driver Shawn Gray continued his dominating performance in the Dirigo Pacing Series at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (5/22) claiming victory in both divisions of the second elimination leg of the harness racing Late Closing Series.

Driver Ron Cushing held the hot hand at Scarborough Downs on Friday, parading victorious before the stands a total of four times, despite having his name conspicuously absent from the harness racing lineup when the days Official Program went to press.

Three-time State of Maine Trotter of the Year, Kerogen, gave his all on Easter Sunday (April 4) but his all was not enough to overcome the powerful emergence of a brand-new harness racing force: Tsarina, a 6-year-old NY-bred mare, owned by George Resta, of Annapolis, MD, and trained and driven by Ron Cushing.

Trainer/driver Ron Cushing swept the co-featured Opens at Tioga Downs Sunday afternoon by winning the Open I and Open II in back to back races. In the Open II 9th race, Cushing sent the betting public's 3rd choice Our First Falcon to the front thru an opening panel of 28 seconds. He then led thru middle half fractions of 56.4 and 1:25 before turning on the jets to a final quarter of 27.3 to stop the timer at 1:52.3.

Southbound Trucker, a 6 year old Sharky Spur gelding trained by Aristotle (Art) Stamatien, has been the terror of 2009 at Monticello Raceway. On Wednesday afternoon, February 18 Southbound Trucker scored his fourth win in five seasonal starts against the best pacers on the grounds in the weekly winners/over pace.

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