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Plainville, MA --- Harness racing took center stage in the Bay State for the first time since last November as Plainridge Park kicked off their 2020 live racing season on Monday (July 13). With fans watching trackside, the horses put on a solid show despite the long layoff for many entered on the day's card. The first feature of the meet was a $12,000 conditioned pacing event that was won by Victoria's Maverick, who closed with a strong brush down the lane. Victoria's Maverick (Mike Stevenson) got away second behind a headstrong Van Helsing (Matty Athearn), who took the field to the half in :56.2. It was there that Besidetheseaside A (Ron Cushing) came calling and hooked up in a duel with the leader that lasted to the head of the stretch. After taking full advantage of the pace and cover, Stevenson steered Victoria's Maverick inside the tiring Van Helsing and skirted the pylons to the wire where he won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55.   The win came in the first seasonal start for Victoria's Maverick ($6.80) and the purse pushed his lifetime earnings to over $250,000 in only 29 tries. The 4-year-old Massachusetts-bred gelding by Western Maverick is owned by Don Gauthier and Ralph Anderson, who also trains the winner. There were also two $10,000 divisions of the Freedom Trail series for Plainridge-based horses that both provided strong payouts. The first elimination went to Bet On Joe (Mike Stevenson) who sat the pocket behind American Rock (Jim Hardy) until the stretch where he tipped, cleared and cruised home in 1:56. Bet On Joe ($17.80) is owned by Sharon Goding and trained by Bobby Marston. The second split was won by Cherokee Hiflyzane (Drew Monti) who made a move past the five-eighths and overpowered the leading Tixnstones (Jim Hardy) around the last turn. He then held off a fast closing Mansome (Pat Curtain) at the wire to win in 1:53.4. Cherokee Hiflyzane ($10.20) is owned by Barrie Farrar and the winner's trainer, Roger Farrar. Nick Graffam was the hot driver on Monday, winning three races on the card. He blew up the tote board with Pembroke Hat Trick ($38.40) and King Royalty ($21.00) before guiding home the strongly backed Rockin Cougar ($5.60). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (July 16) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

The Final of the fourth annual Holiday Pace Series took place on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The harness racing series had two legs which each went for a purse of $7,500 leading up to Saturday's $20,000 Final. The fastest winner of any division leading up to the Final was Santanna One (Santanna Blue Chip) who scored decisively in leg two in 1:55.1. Drawing post two on Saturday, the Jessica Derue trainee was the public's 1-9 betting favorite. Reckless Rebel (Western Maverick) drew the rail and went off at odds of 9-1 after a second and a fourth place finish in the series' legs. Reckless Rebel yielded to Santanna One in the early going and wound up getting a two-hole trip behind the big favorite. With about 3/8 of a mile to pace, reinsman Jimmy Devaux popped the pocket with Reckless Rebel who powered right past the favorite to open up a big lead past three quarters in 1:26.3 over a track labeled 'sloppy.' Though he tired a bit in the stretch, the George Merton-trained pacer held on to record the win in the Final holding off late bids from Blueberry Heaven (Billy Dobson) and Santanna One, who found a bit of a second wind. Reckless Rebel stopped the timer in 1:56 and paid $21.20 to win in the upset. Blueberry Heaven came on for second to complete a $143.50 exacta while Santanna One had to settle for third and rounded out a triple that came back $199. Reckless Rebel, who is owned as well as trained by Merton, adds his name to the list of previous winners of the Holiday Pace which consists of Moveoutofmyway, Three Handbags and Nitro Glistening. The $10,000 Holiday Pace Consolation went the way of Redhot Romeo who toughed out a first-over journey to win in 1:59.1 with Dylan Huckabone-Miller at the controls. Sunday is closing day for the 2019 racing season and will feature a twelve-race matinee that is set to kick off at 12 Noon. There will be a retirement ceremony for three fourteen year olds that takes place before the races begin on Sunday. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Plainville, MA --- Although she has won at Yonkers Raceway, Bangor Raceway and Scarborough Downs in recent weeks, you'd have to go back to May 16 for Western Stepp's last win at Plainridge Park. But that all changed on Thursday (Aug. 29) when the fast harness racing pacing mare scored an upset win in the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap distaff feature at The Ridge. Western Stepp (Drew Campbell) flew off the wings and took the lead by the eighth pole before yielding that position to Bye Bye Felicia (Jim Hardy) at the quarter where they stopped the clock in :26.2. By the time the race reached the half, there was an outer flow formed and advancing with Life Isa Shortwalk (Matt Athearn) on the point and the heavily favored Hilaria (Mike Stevenson) third over. Now with four in and four out, positions remained unchanged up the backside to three-quarters where Life Isa Shortwalk began to tire allowing a clear path for the pocket-sitting Western Stepp to pop the deuce in front of the three-wide Hilaria. Coming off the turn Western Stepp was under a highly animated drive by Campbell and paced past Bye Bye Felicia. Hilaria was still charging and making up ground fast. However at the wire she came up a neck short behind Western Stepp who boldly hung on to win in 1:52, which was a new seasonal mark. Western Stepp ($16.80) scored her eighth win of the year and 35th lifetime for owner Diane Dunn and ran her career earnings up to $311,401. James Dunn trains the 6-year-old daughter of Western Maverick-French Stepp. Drew Campbell got one for the thumb on Friday winning five races on the card, including a natural hat trick in races five through seven. He visited the winner's circle with Roll With Ann (1:55, $2.60), Kitty Russell (1:55, $20.80), Angel Assault (1:55.4, $4.40), the aforementioned Western Stepp and Chief Altawick (1:54.4, $8.60). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Aug. 30) with post time at 4 p.m. There will be a $15,927 carryover pool for the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta wager in the sixth race on Friday. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Pembroke Wildcat, who was second to Ideal Kiss last week in his return to owner/trainer Brittany Robertson after a $30,000 claim, turned the tables on his rival in the $20,000 claiming handicap pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, taking advantage of a perfect trip to tally in 1:50. Ideal Kiss, going for his fifth straight victory in this company, made the lead despite the outside post nine in 28.1, but then had to post identical middle splits of 27 to keep out challenger Pickled Preacher, himself a winner of four of his last six vs. lesser and stepping up off a claim. While those two argued that wicked 54 middle half, Pembroke Wildcat was tagging along in the pocket for driver Anthony Napolitano, and in the stretch the victorious altered son of Western Maverick proved the strongest by 1¼ lengths. Pembroke Wildcat now sports career earnings of $336,227, and the 1:50 time gave the six-year-old a new mark. In the $17,500 conditioned pace co-feature, the pocket also proved to provide the winning journey, as Sir Pugsley made it two of his last three by coming on late to post a 1:50.3 victory. Driver Pat Berry hustled the son of American Ideal to command before the 27.1 quarter, but Feeling Cam Lucky was out and clambering for the front by that point, and Berry let him go to sit behind midrace fractions of 55.2 and 1:22.4. In the stretch, Sir Pugsley had more pace left than the pacesetter, going by by a neck for trainer Ron Burke and the team of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Scarborough, ME - September 1, 2018 ... The two-year-old harness racing filly pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program made its first appearance of the 2018 season at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (9-1), with twelve entries divided into twin $11,327 splits. The occasion marked the fourth time that the divisional battle call had sounded this year, as the freshmen gals reached the midway point of their sire stakes season. ComingRightAtYou took top honors in the first split, throwing in a steady effort in juxtaposition to some recent appearances, in which the filly had twice failed to maintain stride before and/or after the start. Driver Ron Cushing confidently steered the daughter of Western Maverick-Express Ball N swiftly off the car on Saturday though, putting the competition quickly in line and securing a rather unhurried journey. The strategy enabled them to hold a determined field at bay as they marched through a nifty 59.4 back-half, ultimately reaching the wire under wraps, timed in 2:01.4 for the mile. Trained by Heidi Gibbs for the ownership partnership of Kevin Sywyk and Ron Cushing, the win marked the third career victory lap for the Maine-bred lass. MoonlightAndRoses (David Ingraham) steered an overland course to grab runner-up honors, while Wicked Wanda (Gary Mosher) drafted second-up for the show - both fillies beaten a well-measured half-length by the ultimate victor. The second Sire Stakes division of the day saw JustCallMeBets looking every bit the 1-9 shot that she was sent to post at, as the ferocious freshman dominated the competition while securing her fifth career victory from six lifetime starts. Driver Mark Athearn sent his charge merrily on her way from the get go, gliding to an opening quarter timed in a leisurely 31.4, before sealing the deal at the half as the tele-timer announced a demoralizing 1:03 clocking. The competition chased in vain from that point on as the daughter of Deuce Seelster-JustCallMeRosie coasted toward a 2:03.2 jaunt in the park sort of effort, finishing well in-hand and under wraps, much to the delight of the wagering public and to the chagrin of her co-combatants. The precocious youngster, ever popular at the mutuel windows, is trained by Gretchen Athearn for owner William Phipps. Ms Downeast (Gary Mosher) sat second throughout the mile, ultimately finishing in that position, while we Love Western (John Nason) raced third best. Scarborough Downs will proudly feature live harness racing during the coming week on Thursday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with the popular Sunday matinees getting underway at 1:30 p.m. Maine Sire Stakes racing will be showcased on all three of those days as the three-year-old divisions revisit the raceway. Closing Day of the summer meet is slated for September 15th. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - July 19, 2018 ... The Maine Sire Stakes opened a weekend long engagement at Scarborough Downs on Thursday (7/19) as the three-year-old filly pacing division, divided into twin splits, anchored a well received 8-race harness racing twilight program. The opening stakes division saw Little Honey Badger bolting alertly off the car in a valiant attempt at gaining early supremacy. The David Ingraham piloted entry was immediately met with substantial gate speed to her inside though which forced her driver to abort the early takeoff maneuver and rein the filly back to third. And third they sat as the favored Pembroke Passionly (Heath Campbell) cut the mile with the well regarded JustCallMeDee (Mark Athearn) claiming the pocket seat, and single file style these three raced past the quarter pole marker. As they turned for home though, the battle that was aborted at the start of the race was renewed with great vigor, and the three principles fanned across the raceway as the finish line came into view. Little Honey Badger deftly snuck off the pylon path as she vaulted past her early vanquishers, gliding to a hand-driven lifetime best 2:01.1 speed record in only the second winner's circle appearance of her career. The sophomore daughter of Cheyenne Hollywood-Terri I Fra, owned and trained by Michael Graffam of Falmouth, Maine, claimed the lion's share of the $10,831 purse while returning a generous $27.40 win price to the fans. JustCallMeDee held steady at the wire to secure the brides-mare share while Pembroke Passionly faded back to third. The $10,830 second division featured a rematch between a pair of fillies who had finished first and second to each other in two of their 2018 sire stakes appearances. Cab Bearnaise (Mitchell Cushing), a two-time stakes winner this season had bested Shes A Maverick (John Nason) in her sophomore debut, only to experience the taste of defeat, courtesy of her rival, in their very next match-up. Living up to expectations, the battle was joined immediately, with the gloves coming off as soon as the starter released the field. Cab Bearnaise, holding the inside edge over her rival, was hustled on to the early lead only to be hounded to the quarter mile marker by Shes A Maverick who paced through a torrid 28.1 panel while aired to quarter. Despite a perfunctory challenge up the backstretch and an attempt to rally through the lane, Cab Bearnaise's fate was sealed after that opening salvo as Shes A Maverick stepped off to a lifetime equaling 1:59 clocking, en route to a 2-1/2 length margin of victory. Shes A Maverick, a daughter of Western Maverick-Fiber Art, is trained by John Nason for owner Carolyn Corso of Henderson, Nevada. Cab Bearnaise, by finishing second, continued her mastery of the pari-mutuels with her 4th on the board placing this season. Where Does Time Go (David Ingraham) rode the pylons to grab the show dough. Maine Sire Stakes action will be featured all weekend long at Scarborough Downs with the 2-year-old colt pacing division gracing the seaside oval on Saturday, one day before their sophomore older brothers take over center stage on Sunday. Scarborough Downs will proudly feature live harness racing on Thursday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with the popular Sunday matinees getting underway at 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page. by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Plainville, MA---After getting beat on the front end the last two weeks, Western Stepp switched strategies and found her way back to the winner's enclosure on Tuesday afternoon (June 12) after capturing the $14,000 Fillies and Mares Winners-Over pacing feature in a blanket finish at Plainridge Park. Western Stepp (Drew Campbell) found herself in a familiar position at the start; that being on the front end again. But Campbell changed things up this week allowing Show Runner (Shawn Gray) and Hidden Land (Greg Merton) to go ahead while he was content to sit third. Hidden Land then took the field to the half in :55.4. As the girls paced their way up the backside, Western Stepp pulled from the three-hole and Angel Or Terror (Eddie Davis Jr.) followed in suit from fifth and both started the march towards the leader. At the three-quarters, Western Stepp and Hidden Land locked up on top and were in an all-out battle for the lead. They paced side by side and stride for stride around the last turn when Western Stepp got a slight advantage at the head of the stretch. However Hidden Land wasn't done and Angel Or Terror came flying on the outside while Show Runner rallied up the pylons. But Western Stepp stood tall and held her ground to the wire, winning in 1:52.1 by a mere nose in a finish that saw only three-lengths separate the entire field. The win registered a new lifetime mark for Western Stepp ($19.40) who is owned and trained by James Dunn. It was the 21st lifetime score in only 64 lifetime starts for the 5-year-old daughter of Western Maverick. In the $12,000 distaff co-featured pace, Iced Out (Greg Merton) yielded and early lead before turning a first-over trip at the half into a neck victory in 1:54.3, but only after out-dueling No Shadows (Wally Watson) twice during the last half-mile to get it done. It was the third win of the year for Iced Out ($9.40) who is owned by Little Bapa LLC and is trained by Eric Beach. Drew Campbell had a driving grand slam on Tuesday while Greg Merton hit the circle three times. As a result, Campbell remains in the dash driving lead for the meet with 59 wins on the year, ahead of Merton in second with 55 wins and Shawn Gray who is third with 47 victories. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (June 14) at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Scarborough, Maine - September 2, 2017 ... State-breds were back in action at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (9/2) as the three-year-old filly pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program anchored a well-received twilight card at the harness racing seaside oval. Divided into twin five-horse splits, the victors spun decidedly disparate diatribes as the dust settled; one filly winning for the very first time this season while the other extended her sophomore undefeated streak to eight consecutive scores. The headliner of the year in state of Maine circles remains Pembroke Perfect, a prolific powerhouse who has bravely pieced together a remarkable eight for eight win record, while rampaging through her three-year-old season. More astounding than her current unblemished seasonal record perhaps, is the realization that the daughter of Western Maverick- Perfect Launch has not tasted defeat since July 2, 2016; boasting a win streak that now consists of 14 consecutive victory laps. Regular pilot, Heath Campbell, sat chilly off the gate, idling in the outer flow as the field straightened up the backstretch, before powerfully pouncing to the lead as the quarter pole came into view. From that point on the deal was sealed, with the perfect lass coasting, unchallenged, to a brand new lifetime speed record of 1:57 flat, while claiming the lion's share of the $9391 purse offering. Pembroke Perfect is trained by Valerie Grondin for owners William Varney and Lynn-Marie Plouffe. Persephonie (D. Campbell) sat second throughout the mile and finished in that position while Arabella (N. Graffam) utilized a similar strategy to grab the show dough. Spoxys Girl presented the fans with a slight upset proposition in the other $9393 sire stakes split, as the daughter of Neutralize-Royal Ribbons grabbed the early lead at 3-1 odds, put the entire field in line before reaching the quarter pole, and then withstood a solid stretch challenge from the 1-5 favored Meadows Rosebud;. She stopped the clock timed in 1:59.1 en route to notching the first win of her 2017 season. Pilot Nick Graffam confidently secured the first of his three driving wins on Saturday while sulky sitting for his dad, trainer Mike Graffam, and the ownership group of the Ben Bill & Will Stable of Carmel, Maine. Meadows Rosebud (E. Davis, Jr) settled for the runner-up's share while Poocham Princess (H. Campbell) stayed flat for the first time in three appearances while posting a strong rally for third. Maine Sire Stakes action returns to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (9/9) as the three-year-old trotting classes will take center stage. Scarborough Downs is pleased to present twilight harness racing cards on Thursday and Saturday at 4:30 PM (EDT) with the Sunday matinee heading to post at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Scarborough, Maine - July 30, 2017 ... The three-year-old filly pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program anchored the Scarborough Downs harness racing card on a picture perfect mid-summer afternoon and quite fittingly, Pembroke Perfect continued to flaunt her winning ways on Sunday (7/30). The prolific filly grabbed the lion's share of the $10,017 stakes purse as the daughter of Western Maverick-Perfect Launch scored her fourth seasonal win from four seasonal starts, in the first of two state-bred events for sophomore fillies. Driver Heath Campbell confidently guided the streaking filly to an early lead and then never once twitched a muscle en route to an in-hand glide to the finish line, while the Valerie Grondin trainee posted her fourth consecutive charted line to feature only the number one at each and every pole. The imposing filly, owned by the tandem of William Varney and Lynn-Marie Plouffe, tripped the tele-timer in a fleet 1:58.1. Arabella (N. Graffam) closely stalked the pacesetter throughout the mile to earn the bridesmaid share while Dual Pat's Bug Bug (M. Athearn) hit the board for the first time in 2017 by finishing third. Like the birth of spring, Persephonie burst upon the scene in the second $10,016 stakes split, securing her first win of the season through a determined front end strategy. The daughter of Baran Biltmore-Dynamite Donna who previously had been matched up against either the undefeated Pembroke Perfect or the undefeated Meadows Rosebud in all 2017 stakes starts, took full advantage of Sunday's hidden class relief to the secure the 2:00 score, with driver Heath Campbell claiming his second stakes win of the afternoon. Persephonie is owned and trained by Kevin Switzer. CBF Sunshine (E. Davis Jr.) tracked throughout the mile to secure the runner-up placing while Poocham Princess (G. Mosher) rallied for the show. Maine Sire Stakes action returns to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (8/5) afternoon as the two-year-old trotting divisions take center stage. Scarborough Downs is pleased to present twilight harness racing cards on a Thursday and Saturday schedule at 4:30 PM (EDT) with the Sunday matinee heading to post at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

The Saturday night harness racing feature was the $9,000 Upper level conditioned pace, and it was longshot Del Rio Seelster who pulled the upset at exactly 13-1. Driver Jim Marino took the 8 year old Western Maverick gelding off the gate fifth in the six horse field, then made a sharp first-over move past the ¾ pole, took the lead turning for home, and held off the late charge of Gotta Dream Big (Steve Wiseman) to score by a ½ length in 1:54.0. It was his 5th tally this year in 11 starts, but first win with his current connections - Owner Paul Sanders, of British Columbia, and trainer Sean Lancaster. He paid his backers $28.00 at the windows. Dapper Dan, the 6 year old Minnesota-sired gelding by Clover Steele, who had an earlier career as a pacer, posted his 2nd consecutive impressive trotting win tonight, in 2:01.4 Starting from post 9, Dapper Dan fired out to an early lead, and never looked back, posting fractions of 30.1, 102.1, and 131.4 over the track listed as good. He is owned and trained by Dave Carter, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin and has been driven in both victories by Brian Detgen. Dapper Dan paid $11.20 for every $2.00 ticket. The upper-level condition Trot was captured by Banker Volo (Nick Roland) who was heavily favored and paid $3.60. This 7 year old Stallion by Yankee Glide showed his back class and destroyed a field of nice trotters, scoring the win by 10¼ lengths in 1:56.1 The accomplished trotter is owned by Daniel & Jeralene Roland of Iowa, with Dan handeling the training. Cruzin Coco ( by Voracious Hanover ) scored her 3rd straight Aces win, taking the $7,000 3 year old Minnesota-Sired Filly Pace posting a dominating 5¼ length score in 1:56.1 with Rick Magee aboard, paying $2.80 Drivers Steve Wiseman, Nick Roland, and Rick Magee all scored doubles on the Saturday night card. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Sunday night, June 5 at 6:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $2,575.59. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer  

Scarborough, Maine (October 24, 2015) - There is something special when you have raced the mare of a harness racing champion and that special feeling was felt by owner Dirk Duncan. Dirk raced French Stepp, the dam of Western Stepp, for many years with the assistance of his wife Sharon. Western Stepp, the daughter of Western Maverick, battled a bit in the beginning but held a little something for the end as she went by favorites Racing For Rick and Ladiesloveoutlaws coming for home. Driver Drew Campbell introduced Western Stepp to her first winners circle picture as she went an impressive 1:58.3. Dr. Denise McNitt interviewed emotional trainer Jim Dunn after the race and it was noted that this was his first finals champion. Dunn said that when this filly wasn't racing well early on that many said that she should be turned out. Dunn consulted his wife and she said that he should continue on and continuing on the filly did. Dunn's owner partnership with Duncan should see some more exciting races as the mare of this filly campaigned for 8 years and recording 45 wins in 155 starts. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Bill Ellis for Scarborough Downs

The Festival of Champions at Scarborough Downs started off in track record form with Seeley Man and regular harness racing pilot Kevin Switzer, Jr., doing his usual, grab the lead and never look back, routine. The son of Western Maverick, in all of his 11 undefeated races, has always been on top at every quarter pole marker. Seeley Man not only capped off his freshman year undefeated for owner Florence O'Keefe of Old Orchard Beach, ME., but he also equaled the track record for two year old pacing colts in 1:57.2. Trainer Gerry Smith commented that this is a special kind of colt and his full capabilities have yet to be seen. Seeley Man upped his seasonal earnings to $74,296 with this 9½ length romp and recorded his lifetime fastest mark. Seeley Man is the first foal of Perfect Launch. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Bill Ellis 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 or our Facebook page. Michael Sweeney

Scarborough, Maine (September 12, 2015) - The two-year-old colt pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program made it's final appearance at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (9-12) before heading out on their upcoming fall fairground swing. The assembled stakes stars provided plenty of thrills for the harness racing fans in attendance, spinning tales of extremes, with both long shots and favorites persevering in the $11,000-plus twin splits. Poocham Rocket scored the major upset in the first stakes division of the day as the freshman son of Western Maverick-Yeah Baby N sat the patient pocket trip behind the heavily favored Ball Don't Lie before pouncing to victory with a determined stretch run, crossing the wire one-length in front, while rewarding his backers to the tune of 7-1 odds. Nick Graffam executed the perfect driving maneuvers for owner G. Russell Austin of Westmoreland, NH, stopping the clock in a lifetime best 2:00.1. Ball Don't Lie (Gary Mosher) gave way late as he settled for the runner-up pacing while Just Call Me Nosey (Mark Athearn) survived a tight photo to gain the show dough. Seeley Man remained perfect on his career in the second division, scoring his 7th win from as many appearances, with driver Kevin Switzer, Jr controlling the tempo from the word "Go". Owned by Florence O'Keefe of Old Orchard Beach, ME, the son of Western Maverick-Perfect Launch crossed the wire on top by an 8-plus length margin while pacing the mile in an extremely unhurried 1:59.2. Lord Maverick (Heath Campbell) stalked from the pocket throughout the mile but could advance no further than second best. Wish Granted (Ruel Goodblood, Jr) rallied for third, finishing in the show spot for the third consecutive time. Live racing resumes at Scarborough Downs on Sunday with post time slated for 1:30 p.m. (EDT) featuring the three-year-old colt pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program. Sunday will also be the closing day of Scarborough's summer meeting as the Downs will go dark while the fall fairground circuit takes center stage. Scarborough Downs will reopen for the fall season on October 16 and will play host to the Day of Champions on October 24 as the finals for all eight divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program will be contested on what should prove to be the richest card of harness racing ever put together in the state of Maine. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Scarborough, Maine (September 5, 2015) - Seeley Man continued with his dominant freshman season on Saturday (9/5) as the Maine-bred harness racing sensation extended his undefeated streak, scoring his sixth consecutive win, in his $11,392 division of the Maine Sire Stakes at Scarborough Downs. Owned by Florence O'Keefe of Old Orchard Beach, Maine and trained by Gerald Smith, the two-year-old son of Western Maverick-Perfect Launch toyed with his competition throughout the mile, extending out to an effortless 2-3/4 length advantage at the wire, timed in a career best 1:58.3. That clocking established a brand new track record for two-year-old geldings, supplanting the previous benchmark of 1:58.4 by Mainiac Matt (David Ingraham) which had stood the test of time since 2007. The victory behind Seeley Man was one of four on the program for winning teamster Kevin Switzer, Jr. Ball Don't Lie took top honors in the other Maine Sire Stakes split of the day, stopping the clock in 2:00.2 for winning driver Gary Mosher - one of three wins on the card for Mosher. Live racing is proudly featured next week at Scarborough Downs on Thursday through Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs    

The Maine Sire Stakes program made a brief reappearance at the harness racing meeting at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (8-15), taking a respite following a short Bangor swing and a breather before heading out for a weeklong appearance at the Skowhegan Fair. In the first of two splits for three-year-old pacing colts, Pembroke Maverick regained his good steady stride, effortlessly gliding to his 4th stakes victory of the season after sporting inconsistencies of gait in both his most recent appearances along the fairground circuit. Driver Heath Campbell utilized a powerful burst of speed to quickly grab command at the midway point, only to then throttle his charge back down toward a leisurely clocking of 1:56.2 en route to claiming the lions' share of the $11,391 purse. The son of Western Maverick-Migraine is owned by William Varney of Bangor, Maine and trained by noted stakes conditioner Valerie Grondin. Sailor Jerry (Michael Graffam), who cut respectable early fractions before giving way to the eventual winner, finished a strong runner-up while HarttAttack (Gary Mosher) claimed the show dough. The consortium of Campbell, Grondin and Varney doubled their pleasure in the $11,567 second division as Pembroke Wildcat took full advantage of an early bobble by the well-backed HardcoreJohnyPawn to vault to an almost uncontested lead despite scoring from the outside wing. The path to victory was not as effortless as the one previously charted by his stable-mate though, as the son of Western Maverick-Saluki Hanover was forced to withstand a competent late charge from Reckless Rebel, before crossing the wire by a scant margin, on top in 1:58. Reckless Rebel (Kevin Switzer, Jr) settled for the hard fought bridesmaid share while Paris Beau (Gary Mosher) rallied smartly for third. Live racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs on Friday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. Michael Sweeney

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