Scarborough, Maine - The young guns held the hot hands at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (11/10) as a pair of twenty-something drivers, Dan Deslandes and Steve Nason, took the old masters to task, winning nine of the ten races programmed. Twenty-one-year-old Dan Deslandes scored five victories on the card, vaulting him into second place in the drivers’ standings, overtaking veteran teamster Gary Mosher in the process. Deslandes now trails top pilot Drew Campbell on the leader’s board by 31 wins. Not to be outdone, Steve Nason, the 23-year-old up-and-comer, engineered a grand slam performance on Sunday, steering four down victory lane. by Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine – Real horses wear pink! With October being breast cancer awareness month, Scarborough Downs is doing its part to raise awareness and funds by holding the first-ever Drive for the Cure Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 26th and 27th, to benefit Susan G. Komen Maine. Post time is 12:05 pm (both days). “My oldest family friend and my boss’s wife were both diagnosed with breast cancer, and both beat it and are cancer free,” said event organizer and horse owner, Katy Waterhouse. “Last year, one driver let me paint his race bike pink in their honor, and it grew from there. This year, it’s an entire weekend raising money for research and awareness.” Twelve races over the course of the two-day event are sponsored by area businesses and organizations to raise money, and many of the horses racing will be decked out in pink ribbons in their manes, will wear pink brow bands, and feature pink equipment. Drivers participating in the Drive for a Cure races will add pink armbands to show their solidarity for the cause as well as donate their 5% driver’s commissions. In addition to a 50/50 cash raffle, pink Drive for the Cure bracelets will be for sale ($3) as well as handmade pink horse brow bands ($15). For $1, horse owners can get a pink ribbon painted on their horse’s shoulder, and for $1 per chance, patrons can enter a raffle to win a pink fleece horse cooler, handmade by horse owner, Cindy Pelletier. One hundred percent of all monies raised will go to Susan G. Komen Maine. Representatives from the organization will be at the track during the event. “We are so excited to take part in such a unique event,” said Phyllis Cohn, Community and Public Relations Specialist for Susan G. Komen Maine. “And we’re thrilled to partner with Scarborough Downs, the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association and the entire harness racing community in Maine to help support such an important cause.” Saturday’s program also features the $8,000 Irving Richardson Memorial Invitational Pace, slated for Race 10. Sunday’s race programs will be printed on pink paper. Admission to the track is free. For more information, contact Susan Higgins, Director of Marketing at 207-883-4331 x1002 or via email at email@example.com. You can also visit the Scarborough Downs website at www.ScarboroughDowns.com. Susan G. Komen Maine is online at www.KomenMaine.org. by Susan Higgins 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
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
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
Friday, August 09, 2013 (Scarborough, Maine) - CCC continued his dominance in Maine Sire Stakes action at Scarborough Downs on Friday (8/9) extending his undefeated State-bred streak to six. The two-year-old son of Musclini defeated his arch rival Bickmore in only their second head-to-head meeting. CCC is owned by Dennis and Deborah Foss of Rye, NH, and was trained and driven to victory by Kim Ireland. Susan Higgins
Scarborough, Maine (Thursday, August 8, 2013) - CCC, the undefeated Maine Sire Stakes star du jour, will bring his five-race win streak to Scarborough Downs on Friday afternoon set to test his mettle against all the top contenders in the freshman colt trotting division which, for the first time this season, draws into one single 9 horse field going for the enhanced purse offering of $10,809. Driven and trained by Kim Ireland for owner Dennis and Deborah Foss, the prolific winner will match strides for only the 2nd time this season with his chief rival, Bickmore, a trotter who himself will ride a three-race win streak into the much anticipated battle. In their only other meeting, CCC defeated Bickmore by the margin of a head back on July 5th at Scarborough Downs - that was the last time that Bickmore tasted defeat. Maine Sire Stakes rules have innocently conspired to keep these two trotters apart for much of the season as the numerically challenged division has been split and raced in dashes containing as few as 4 or 5 horses. When the box closed at Scarborough this week though, while 9 colts were entered only 8 were declared eligible and the division was drawn into one split. Stephen La Casse, trainer of Icantelluonething, the horse declared ineligible, challenged the ruling alleging an incorrectly charted line from the Northern Maine Fair, an allegation which was proved correct, and the race was then ordered redrawn into a 9-horse field scoring 8 abreast with one trailer. This redraw dramatically changes the complexion of the race with CCC trading in the coveted post 3 for a seat behind the 6 screen. Bickmore lost his spot on the gate as he was forced to trade in the favorable post 4 for the uncertainty of the trailing 9 spot. Both CCC and Bickmore have relied on early gate speed to dominate their opponents this season but that strategy now becomes a bit more risky as the two-year-old trotters will be asked to do something they have never done before; CCC perhaps to leave from the outside wing in a 9-horse field and Bickmore to navigate the possible traffic and confusion sometimes found from the second tier. In any event, the race becomes a much more interesting contest from a wagering perspective as the two Stakes stars, who have generally been sent to the post at 10 or 20 cents to the dollar, should command significantly more relative value at the mutuel windows on Friday and with steady starters posted to the inside on the gate, a major upset is certainly not out of the question. First post for Friday's card at Scarborough is slated for 4:00 PM (EDT) with the showdown between CCC and Bickmore scheduled for race five. Live racing continues throughout the weekend with Saturday's card going postward at 4:00 PM and the Sunday matinee, featuring the 9th annual Family Fun Day festival, getting underway at 1:05 PM. by Mike 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
Thursday, July 25, 2013 (Scarborough, Maine) - The great Maine-bred standardbred trotter, Pembroke Prayer, stands on the brink of achieving millionaire status as he gears up to make the 250th start of his storied career on Friday (7-26) at Scarborough Downs. The nine-year-old son of Like A Prayer now stands less than $2,000 from breathing the rarified air of Millionaire Row and will cross over the threshold on Friday if he should win Scarborough's $4,500 fifth race, scheduled to go to post at approximately 5:00 PM (EDT). Pembroke Prayer is co-owned by prominent horsemen Mark Ford and William Varney and was foaled at Varney's farm in Bangor, Maine during the spring of 2004. The accomplished trotter therefore holds the distinction of being the richest racehorse ever to be born in the Pine Tree State. A terror of the upper-level set throughout his career, Pembroke Prayer has tasted victory a total of 51 times during his career and has been feted in the winners circles of 16 different racetracks across America, having taken his lifetime mark of 1:53.3 last season at Pocono Downs. His most notable state of Maine win came at Scarborough Downs in 2010 as he defeated world Champion Enough Talk in the $50,000 Joseph Ricci Memorial Trot, stopping the tele-timer in a then-track record of 1:57.3 to best one of the greatest field of trotters ever assembled in the Pine Tree State. "The track has been buzzing with anticipation ever since Pembroke Prayer's name came out on the overnight sheet this week," said track announcer Mike Sweeney. "We can't wait to see this great campaigner back in front of the fans at Scarborough. He's coming off a handy win at Bangor last week and draws into a rather manageable field at the Downs so, while nothing is ever guaranteed, it looks like we'll have a great chance to witness history on Friday." Currently housed in the stable of Valerie Grondin, Pembroke Prayer will be driven by familiar pilot Heath Campbell. by Susan Higgins
Driver Kevin Switzer and members of the Harness Racing community present Dr. Lynn M. Bak of Make A Wish Maine, a check for $6,165.40, the total amount raised for "The King Drives for The Kids" fundraiser.
Harness racing driver, Kevin Switzer, Sr., a tough guy in the sulky who has a penchant for winning (he's referred to affectionately as "The King"), also has a soft spot for the kids.
Krystle Campbell of Medford, MA, one of the victims of the Patriots Day bombing at last month's Boston Marathon, will be memorialized in a winner’s circle ceremony on Monday (5/27) at Scarborough Downs.
Beautiful, strong and well-conditioned racehorses are always the center of attention on the track at Scarborough Downs but last Saturday, that attention shifted to horses in need, as members of the Maine Amateur Driving Club presented a check in the amount of $,1985 to the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals.
The gates swung open for the 63rd consecutive season at Scarborough Downs as Maine harness racing sprung to life on Saturday in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd.
The Scarborough Downs staff is busy gearing up for Opening Weekend as the 108-day, 2013 live harness racing meet gets underway on Saturday, March 30th at 4 pm and Sunday, March 31st at 1:05 pm.
Due to the snow storm heading to Maine on Tuesday, Scarborough Downs has canceled its harness racing qualifiers for Wednesday, March 20th at 10 am.