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Scarborough Downs to Cease Harness Racing Operation on Saturday What - Scarborough Downs will host its final live harness racing card after 70 years of operation. Where - Scarborough Downs, Payne Rd, Scarborough, Maine When - Saturday November 28, 2020 with first post time scheduled for 12:15 PM Why - Scarborough Downs first opened as a thoroughbred racetrack in 1950 and operated continuously for 70 seasons. Both thoroughbred and harness racing cards were hosted from 1969 through 1971 with harness racing taking over entirely from 1972 onward. Reasons for the closure include; decreases in revenues which occurred with the advent of the opening of the Oxford Casino in 2012; ongoing development of track property following its sale in 2018; operational and financial challenges faced through Covid-19 protocols this season; and the desire of the harness racing industry to transition toward a more modern facility, a desire which the Downs cannot accommodate at this point in time. Scarborough Downs will remain open for simulcast wagering through the remainder of 2020 and has been granted a license by the Maine Harness Racing Commission to begin operations as an Off Track Betting facility beginning in January of 2021. Mike Sweeney

Scarborough, Maine – October 9, 2020 … The 2020 harness racing season will kick into high gear on Saturday (10/10) as the venerable seaside oval once again plays host to the championship round of the three-year-old division of the Maine Sire Stakes program. Over $250,000 in purse money will be on the line as the top state-bred trotters and pacers square off in epic fashion, vying for bragging rights, on what will be the richest day in state of Maine harness racing this year. Four divisional Sire Stakes Finals will be interspersed among the ten-race program but the undisputed star of the day will be the marauding trotter, R T’s Warrior, who will be putting her 2020 undefeated Maine Sire Stakes streak on the line in the $61,194 filly trotting division, as she guns for her seventh state-bred score this year. Owned in partnership by William Phipps of Yarmouth, ME, the prolific filly will bid to add the sophomore championship trophy to the two-year-old hardware she earned last season as she matches strides against an accomplished field from post number four in the fifth race of the afternoon card. The imposing filly will score as the 2-1 morning line favorite as part of a mutuel entry composed with stablemate, Noble Posey, with regular driver Matty Athearn teaming for his mother, trainer Gretchen Athearn. While all eyes will rightly be on R T’s Warrior, the other divisions are headlined by feature players in their own right. She’s A Fireball will figure prominently in the $61,210 filly pacing division as she’ll be sent to the gate as the 2-1 morning line favorite from post number six in the first race of the afternoon. Owned in tandem by Ronald Cushing and Adams Racing LLC, the Heidi Gibbs trainee will seek to double her championship pleasure by adding the sophomore crown to the freshman title she earned last season. Regular teamster, Ron Cushing will be in the driver’s seat. Spatterdash ships in from Plainridge Park in Massachusetts to headline the $61,226 colt pacing division. Owned and trained by veteran horseman, Ralph Andersen, the 5-2 morning line favorite may well challenge the divisional track record after recent back-to-back 1:57 scores at Scarborough Downs. Spatterdash scores from post six in the second race of the afternoon card. Noble Sand Man has been installed as the 5-2 favorite in the $60,803 colt trotting division as noted stakes pilot, Heath Campbell, catch drives for trainer Ivan Davies. Owned and bred by Michael Andrew, the pride of Gorham, Maine rides a three race win streak into battle today and will start from post position two in the afternoon’s fourth race. First post for Maine Sire Stakes Championship performance will be at 1:30 PM and as always, admission is free at the family friendly confines of the Downs. Mask coverings will be mandatory and social distancing will be enforced in compliance with Covid-19 protocols Scarborough Downs features live harness racing on a Tuesday and Saturday schedule with post time slated at 1:30 PM (EDT). In addition to the live on-track experience, people may also watch and wager on Scarborough Downs races at Maine’s OTB parlors, and online at (Maine residents must wager at For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page.

Scarborough, Maine ... The state of Maine continues through a phased re-opening from Covid-19 shutdown and as part of that reopening, the office of Governor Janet T. Mills has granted approval for Scarborough Downs to launch its delayed 2020 harness racing meet. The Downs will kick off their 70th season on Wednesday June 3rd on a spectator-less basis and will continue to race on a three day per week schedule (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) with post time slated at 1:00 PM (EDT). While fans will not be able to attend the races during the initial startup period, the races will be available for watching and out-of-state wagering on the Day at the Track wagering platform ( and/or and on the newly created state of Maine Advanced Deposit Wagering platform ( "We are excited to work in partnership to lead the state of Maine harness racing industry into the 2020 season" said Denise Terry of Scarborough Downs, "It's been a rough few months for the entire nation but in true American fashion we have rolled up our sleeves and done what was necessary to pull through. Maine harness racing has been granted a great chance today and we are determined to do everything necessary to repay the state's vote of confidence." Maine's horsemen and women along with the industry in general have survived this arduous period and are now anxious to get back to work. Racing will be conducted under strict protocols designed by industry leaders that will ensure the safety of all participants and the greater community. This includes enforcement of the governor's 14-day quarantine period for non-residents entering the state. These protocols will necessarily be enforced to the letter and will be available for review at beginning on Monday (6-1). "It's hard to believe that it has been six months since horses have gone behind the gate" said Mike Cushing, president of the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association, "We have been given a great opportunity to get back to doing what we do, and I urge all participants to familiarize themselves with the plan of operation and adhere to it." "The approved risk mitigation plan contains strict safety protocol designed for racing at Scarborough Downs without fans. Please remember that if you are not allowed access to the paddock, you should not come to the track on race days until a plan for spectators is reviewed and approved by the governor." Scarborough's first condition sheet will be published on Friday afternoon with a double draw for Wednesday's and Friday's card to be conducted on Sunday morning (5-31). The box for both days will close at 9:00 AM. Please contact Mike Sweeney (207-252-8873) for further information

BANGOR – Bob or “Simmi” as he was known by his many friends, 51, died unexpectedly April 7, 2020, at a Bangor hospital. He was born Feb. 27, 1969, in Bangor, the son of Robert W. Simmons Sr. and Sally (Sprague) True. Bob attended Hall Dale High School and graduated with a general education degree. Upon his graduation, he spent most of his younger years in the harness racing circuit in various cities and states, a love of which he developed from his mentor Uncle Zeke. While working with horses, he made many lifelong friends that he loved dearly. After he relocated to Bangor, his love of golf became his passion, and he spent countless hours at the Pine Hill Golf Course golfing with his many golfing buddies. He was a devoted Patriots fan and faithfully watched every game! Bob was predeceased by his beloved mom, Sally True; and Nana, Margaret Moody.Surviving, are his two sisters, Shelby Brown and her husband, Mark, Crystal Magee and her husband, Paul; nephews Jason Brown and his wife, Sarah, Chris Brown and his wife, Bethany; great-nephew, Ben Brown. We would like to extend a special thank you for the excellent care and attention Bob received from the nurses and doctors at the DaVita Dialysis Center and the Eastern Maine Medical Center. A special heartfelt thank you to all of his devoted friends that took him in like he was a part of their family. He loved you dearly. A celebration to honor Bob’s life will be held at a later date. Condolences to the family may be expressed at

Scarborough, Maine - August 18, 2019 ...The freshman trotters of the Maine Sire Stakes program reached the mid-way point of their eight race season on Sunday (8/18) and as both the fillies and colts duked it out on the half-mile oval at Scarborough Downs, harness racing driver Heath Campbell, with two stakes win on the program, was proven the most prodigious pugilist of them all. A scant field of four Maine-breds answered the call for the colt and geldings division, requiring an early non-betting event to be conducted for a generous $9448 purse offering. All four trotters came to the races with their maiden status firmly intact and three of them left labeled the same, but it was Cashes Ledge (Noble Venture-Rhonwen) who rolled on in confident front running fashion, to post his first career winning performance while tripping the tele-timer in a smart 2:06.2. Heath Campbell earned the first of his two Maine-bred victories while calling the shots for owner/trainer Owen Davies. T Brook Billy (G. Mosher) sat second throughout and finished just that way, while Current Connection (B. Ranger) rode the pylon path for the show. Fillies proved much more plentiful than colts on Sunday though, as 14 Maine-bred lasses split out into a pair of $9948 dashes. Pembroke Whisper completely dominated the first filly contest en route to engineering her third career victory march as Heath Campbell steered the front end course behind the daughter of Noble Venture-Spring Laughter to nail his second stakes score of the afternoon. The impressive filly is trained by Valerie Grondin for stalwart owner, William Varney. The mile, timed in 2:06.4, also featured a stirring and extended battle for runner-up honors as Noble Posey (M. Athearn) and Bisou (K. Ireland) ferociously engaged throughout the final quarter to finish second and third respectively. Saving the best for last though, the final filly split proved to be the most exciting stakes race of the afternoon, as Current Caper out dueled RT's Warrior through an epic stretch battle to preserver by mere whiskers at the wire. Driver Bruce Ranger charted the winning course for the Donald Richards trainee, who broke her maiden in a respectable 2:04.2 clocking. The Daughter of Current Cast-Ally Gal Ridge is owned in tandem by Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight. RT's Warrior (M. Athearn) was magnificent in the bridesmaid role while Sammi K (G. Mosher) finished third. Live racing resumes at 4:30 PM (EDT) on Saturday (8/24) at Scarborough Downs when the $25,000 Ricci Memorial Trot will take center stage to anchor Travers Stakes Day from Saratoga Racecourse. The Ricci Memorial, pegged as the biggest trotting event of the season in Maine, will be augmented by powerful promotions, including a $500 cash giveaway, drawings for Fall Fair Fun Pac Passes to all four of Maine's fall agricultural fairs, and a gift bag drawing after every race. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page.   By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

After years of struggles, there is a glimmer of hope for the harness racing track, coming off its best financial year in a decade. Since it opened in 1950, Scarborough Downs has been the flagship of the state’s horse racing industry, once referred to as “Maine’s Showplace of Harness Racing.” But when it was sold in January 2018 to a local group of developers, it seemed to mark the final chapter for a faltering racetrack that had the look and feel of a forgotten sport. Not so fast, it turns out. There seems to be a glimmer of hope for the track and the state’s harness racing industry, which has been teetering for at least two decades. Last year, Scarborough Downs posted its first annual revenue increase since 2006. More new horses are being entered in races. And the new owners don’t seem in a hurry to end the racing there. There are still challenges ahead: The buildings need repairs, attendance is low, and many horsemen still take their horses out of state. But the future appears brighter than it has in years. “We’re still thinking that it’s going to continue for the foreseeable future,” said Rocco “Roccy” Risbara of Crossroads Holdings LLC. “We’re pleased with what they’re doing there.” Crossroads Holdings plans to turn the 500 acres off Route 1 into a mixed-used village center known as The Downs. Residential construction is underway, and an agreement has been reached to build a recreational sports complex near the track. The developers also received approval last week for a 154-acre business park. But their long-term plan has never specified what will happen to the racetrack, one of two remaining commercial harness racing tracks in the state, along with Bangor Raceway. “It would be nice to know if this place is going to be around for another 30 years,” said Beth Graffam, whose family stables 50 horses at Norton Farm in Falmouth. No one will guarantee that. There are strong indications, however, that Scarborough Downs will remain open after its lease runs out when the racing season ends in December. Risbara said his group will negotiate a lease extension with the Terry family, the former owners who continue to operate the track. And the developers are conducting a $25,000 feasibility study of the track’s aging 6,500-seat grandstand to determine what can be done to make it more attractive for other events. “We’re trying to figure out what we have and what we can do with it,” Risbara said. Members of Maine’s harness racing community – from owners and trainers to drivers – are watching these developments anxiously. Last year, the state saw its first increase in total handle – money wagered on live racing and simulcasts – in 16 years, boosted by Scarborough Downs. “Scarborough Downs is extremely important to harness racing in the state of Maine,” said Drew Campbell, a driver from Saco. “It’s make or break for a lot of people, whether they stay in the business or not. A lot of people, it’s all they know.” A woman walks through the lower grandstand at Scarborough Downs to place a wager. Live harness racing accounted for just 9 percent of the track’s handle last year. BEN MCCANNA/Portland Press Herald Scarborough Downs’ revenue increased from just over $2.1 million in 2017 to just under $2.3 million in 2018, according to Denise Terry, vice president of finance. That’s an increase of 8.5 percent, halting more than a decade of annual declines that had seen revenue plunge from $4.7 million in 2006. “It was a good year. … I felt like there was a different mood here last year,” said Terry. The track has had initial talks with the developers about extending the lease, “but nothing concrete yet,” Terry said. She expects the lease negotiations to begin before summer is over. Just two years ago, Scarborough Downs officials weren’t sure from week to week if the track would stay open. “It was very discouraging,” said Mike Sweeney, the track’s publicist and race announcer. “I’d come into work every day with the thought in my mind that I didn’t want to be the one to turn the lights out for the last time.” The racetrack appeared to get even more good news when the Maine Legislature passed a bill in June to legalize sports betting, with Scarborough Downs mentioned as a site. But Gov. Janet Mills is holding the bill, delaying its implementation. Even before she did that, Scarborough Downs officials were cautious about what passage meant to the track, offering a statement that said: “We commend the legislature for creating the opportunity to legalize, regulate and tax sports betting in Maine, as it will move the activity away from the black market and increase revenue for the state. But what this means for Scarborough Downs, at this time, is still unclear to us.” Years of revenue declines have taken a toll on the track’s appearance. Some windows in the grandstand are boarded up, fences need to be mended and walls need to be painted. The tote board, which displays the odds for each race and the winner, is hard to read because so many lights are out. The track closed, and then removed, its barns in 2016 after the Environmental Protection Agency determined that seepage from horse manure had contaminated local groundwater. The barns had provided homes to over 300 horses at one time. Last year, new televisions were installed in the lower clubhouse for simulcast racing – an investment that’s paying off. The track’s simulcast handle increased 17 percent from 2017 to 2018, from $7.4 million to $8.6 million. Simulcast wagering accounted for 91 percent of the track’s total handle. Scarborough Downs provides simulcast races in its clubhouse every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (or until the last race is completed) except Thanksgiving and Christmas, giving patrons the opportunity to bet on horse races across the United States. Betting on live harness races was down by $4,298 last year to $812,484, a decrease of less than 1 percent, according to the Maine State Harness Racing Commission. Still, it was Scarborough Downs’ best year in this decade. Since 2010, the live racing handle has dropped each year, most years by well over $100,000. But those total live handle numbers don’t tell the whole story of 2018. Sweeney said Scarborough Downs has been aided by a decrease in race days. For many years, the track had well over 100 racing days per year. Scarborough Downs officials had argued that was too many. In 2017, the state agreed and cut back the number of racing days. This year Scarborough was awarded 76 days, with racing on weekends from April to December and on Thursdays in the summer. Fewer days allows the track to offer larger purses (prize money) in its races – and larger purses attract more horses. The average purse per race went from $3,984 in 2017 to $4,942 in 2018, Sweeney said, making for more competitive races with full entries. In recent years, there were some races with just five horses. “The schedule needed to be truncated,” said Sweeney. “You can get people excited about coming to the track; you just can’t get people excited about coming to the track day after day after day.” Bettors have taken notice. Track officials said the per-race handle for live racing increased by 6 percent last year, from $1,054 per race in 2017 to $1,113 in 2018. All of this was good news for the state’s harness racing industry, which in 2018 saw the first increase in its total handle in 16 years. It was only a 2 percent increase – from $24.5 million in 2017 to $25 million in 2018 – but it reversed a downward spiral that had seen the statewide handle plunge by 63.6 percent since 2002, according to a report prepared for the Maine Harness Racing Commission by the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine. “There is a lot of optimism within the industry that there is an opportunity to right the ship and see growth in the coming years,” said Henry Jennings, executive director of the Maine Harness Racing Commission. That trend may be continuing this year. On May 4 – the busiest day on Scarborough Downs’ calendar because of the Kentucky Derby – the live racing handle at Scarborough Downs was up 21 percent from 2018, Sweeney said. The overall handle, including simulcast wagers, was up 2 percent with an estimated 2,000 fans on hand. On most days with live racing, however, there are maybe a few hundred patrons at the track, many absorbed in simulcast racing on the TV screens. Few people gather on benches outside close to the track. On Derby Day, however, many of the patrons were lined along the fence at the edge of the track. “The crowd is the main thing,” said Maguire Sowers, a 19-year-old driver from New Brunswick who lives in Windsor. “The more people you have, the better it is. As you saw (on Derby Day), it was outrageous. And it’s nice when you make the turn for home in the stretch and you’ve got a horse in the lead and you hear the crowd screaming and cheering. That’s what it’s all about.” It’s a far cry from the 1970s and 1980s, when Scarborough Downs routinely had bustling crowds, including a record attendance of 9,133 on June 29, 1980, when actor Lou Ferrigno was on hand to sign autographs, according to Sweeney. By the 1990s, the crowds had dwindled and the track stopped charging admission and keeping attendance figures. And when Scarborough Downs stopped night racing in 2007 – the light posts had to be removed after the hub rail was removed for safety reasons – the crowds thinned out even more. That forced the track to close its 400-seat restaurant, which now is only open three times a year (for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes). Funds from the Bangor Raceway casino, approved by state voters in a 2003 referendum, have helped to keep the state’s horse racing industry afloat. Ten percent of the funds go toward purses while 4 percent goes directly to the racetracks. Still, the decades-long decline in wagering at Scarborough Downs led to smaller purses, causing many owners and trainers to race their horses out of state, such as at Plainridge Park in southeastern Massachusetts. “They do an absolute five-star, first-class job there,” said Campbell, who won his 5,000th career race earlier this year. “They have a lot of things that they don’t have (at Scarborough Downs).” Plainridge, which includes a casino, opened 20 years ago, one of five harness racing tracks in America to open since 1999. Conversely, 16 harness racing tracks have closed during that time. Plainridge’s purses often exceed $15,000. Campbell races there three days a week and at Scarborough on weekends. State Rep. Don Marean, an independent from Hollis, was a horse owner and breeder in Maine for 35 years but got out of the business because of its uncertainty. He said horsemen will invest in more horses if they have assurances about Scarborough Downs’ future. “We need a plan so we can move forward,” said Marean, treasurer of the U.S. Trotting Association, the national body that oversees harness racing. “The industry will make a comeback once we have something in place that we’re going to be around for a while.” The uncertainty surrounding Scarborough Downs isn’t anything new. “It’s been going on for a very long time, since the late 1980s,” said Todd DuBois, a second-generation horse trainer from Scarborough. No one is expecting a return to the glory days, but there are encouraging signs for Scarborough Downs. Sweeney noted that of the 168 horses that raced in Scarborough on Kentucky Derby weekend, 57 did not race in Maine a year earlier. Those associated with the industry see other positive aspects. Mike Cushing, president of the Maine Harness Horseman’s Association, said he sees more owners and breeders getting involved. “Every facet of the industry is in an upward tick,” he said. People who work in the industry realize they need to appeal to a younger crowd to keep it alive. “If you have been to a track, you recognize the demographic is a bit on the elderly side,” said Jennings.”We have recognized that it’s vitally important to attract younger fans. … It’s a challenge, but I don’t think it’s insurmountable.” Scarborough Downs has pushed hard on social media, with accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Maine Harness Racing Commission spent $10,000 on advertising in 2017. This year, Jennings said, it has $170,000 to spend. If the positives continue, Risbara said there is no rush to close the track. He said the entire development project is expected to take 30 to 40 years. “We’ll keep developing and eventually we’ll figure out what makes sense for the racetrack portion of the site,” he said. “As we start to get occupancies and people living there, it may help (the track). It certainly won’t hurt them, getting people around.” By MIKE LOWE Reprinted with permission of the Portland Press Herald

Scarborough, Maine - July 28, 2019 ... The three-year-old trotting divisions of the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes made their first appearance at Scarborough Downs on Sunday 7/28) after four consecutive weeks spent on the northern harness racing circuit at Bangor Raceway. The filly division split evenly into twin five-horse fields, each racing for identical $9709 purses and the streaking sensation, Just Enuf Sass, wasted precious little time in continuing her sophomore stakes dominance, whipping off her fourth consecutive victory march while cruising, in-hand, to a 6-3/4 length romp. Trained by Joseph Flynn, the impressive daughter of Boy Band-Sassy's Child stopped the clock in a leisurely 2:01.4, with Wallace Watson catch driving for the ownership tandem of Joseph and Edward Flynn. Winning Wind (M. Athearn) finished second while Lady Victoria (I. Davies) was third. Pembroke Vicki claimed top honors in the other filly split as she rode the front-end journey to her third stakes win of the season with Heath Campbell driving for trainer Valerie Grondin. Owned by William Varney, the daughter of Noble Venture-Spring Laughter has now finished either first or second in all five of her sophomore stakes appearances. Buena Vita Bebe (R. Cushing) rallied late to secure the runner-up placing while Kate At The Cup (G. Mosher) settled for third. On the boys' side of the equation, nine colts and geldings were programmed into one $10,682 field with eight scoring behind the gate and one relegated to the second tier. Undeterred by the trailing assignment though, Ally Way Cast nailed his second stakes win in row with veteran driver Gary Mosher calling the shots for Hall of Fame trainer, Donald Richards. Ally Way Cast, last year's freshman sire stakes champion is a son of Current Cast-Ally Gal Ridge and is owned in partnership by Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight. Spot On Gone (I. Davies) recovered from a break behind the gate to finish second while SaltPondNic (D. Ingraham) grabbed the show dough. Maine Sire Stakes action returns to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (8/3) when the three-year-old pacing divisions take to the raceway. Live harness racing is featured three day a week at Scarborough Downs with 4:30 pm (EDT) twilight cards slated for Thursdays and Saturdays while the popular Sunday matinee will go to post at a special 1:00 pm starting time next weekend as the Downs plays host to their 15th annual Family Fun Day Festival. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - July 19, 2019 ... The races scheduled for Saturday July 20th have been cancelled due to the expected high heat indices caused by the heat wave that is bearing down on the east coast this weekend. This decision was reached in joint consultation with represents of the track, the Maine Harness Racing Commission, the Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association, The Maine Harness Horsemen's Association, as well as members of the veterinarian community who all agreed that proceeding with the Saturday card would present unacceptable risks to the participants. At this point, live harness racing is scheduled to resume on Sunday (7/21), weather permitting. The four dashes of three-old-old Maine Sire Stakes originally drawn as part of Saturday's cancelled card will be raced as non-betting events beginning at 11:30 AM (EDT) with the eleven-race pari-mutuel program getting underway at 1:30 PM. A decision regarding the viability of Sunday's card will be made early in the weekend if forecasts continue to predict unacceptable heat indices heading into Sunday. Please refer to the Scarborough Downs Facebook page for further updates. Live harness racing is featured three day a week at Scarborough Downs with 4:30 pm (EDT) twilight cards slated for Thursdays and Saturdays while the popular Sunday matinees go to post at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page.   By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - July 18, 2019 ... Bruce Ranger pieced together a remarkable performance on Thursday (7/18) as the veteran harnes racing driver and "comeback kid" won six consecutive races at Scarborough Downs while completely dominating the nine race mid-week card. The fans, apparently sensing an epic performance in the making, sent Ranger to the gate as the post time favorite in all nine of his appearances, but their faith in the state of Maine native pilot did not begin paying dividends until the Ranger rampage was set loose in the fourth, as he guided Smart Balance through a gate-to-wire victory march for trainer Nicole Hardy. The juggernaut continued with a 1:57.2 score behind a headstrong Shrinkwrap (the second training win of the day for Hardy); Tricia Star (the fifth consecutive win for the Aaron Hall trainee); Plus One (the fourth consecutive win for the Buddy Burke trainee); Pop A Top Pop (one of two wins on the card for trainer Eric Davis); and concluded with San Antony-O (the 63rd career victory for the 14-year-old veteran pacer). Ranger, who is in the midst of his first full season back at the races after coming out of retirement in October of 2018, passed the 9000 career win plateau just last month at Bangor Raceway and sits as the third leading state of Maine native in career wins, trailing only Billy Parker, Jr (11,311) and Walter Case, Jr (11,049). After his six-pack performance on Thursday, Ranger now resides in third place on the Scarborough Downs leader's board with 37 seasonal scores, just 2 wins back of Kevin Switzer, Jr who resides in second place and 14 wins shy of the perennial powerhouse, Drew Campbell, who leads the driving colony at the Downs with 51 top tallies. Live harness racing is featured three day a week at Scarborough Downs with 4:30 pm (EDT) twilight cards slated for Thursdays and Saturdays while the popular Sunday matinees go to post at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page.   By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - July 12, 2019 ... Big League harness racing returns to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (7/13) as the 70-year-old southern Maine racing venue plays host to the $25,000 Mid-Summer Classic Invitational - The biggest race of the 2019 harness racing season. Post time for the eleven race racing card, which will co-feature four divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program, is slated for 4:30 pm (EDT). Last year's Mid-Summer Classic saw JJs Jet and driver Drew Campbell set a new track record of 1:52.3, erasing the longtime standard of 1:52.4 that was established in the 1993 edition of the Presidents Pace by Hotrod Falcon and Walter Case, Jr. This year's field appears fully capable of surpassing that effort. Bettors Fire N, the winner of over $810K and 49 races in his career, has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite. When last seen at the Downs in June, he claimed victory in the Dirigo Pace Invitational, timed in a sizzling 1:53, just 2/5th of a second off the overall track record. Driven by Ron Cushing, he will score from post four. Calvin B will truck up from Saratoga Raceway as state of Maine native trainer, Jimmy Nickerson, makes a homecoming appearance. This razor sharp pacer with a lifetime mark of 1:49.2 will be handled by Nickerson's nephew and regular Scarborough Downs driver, Matthew Athearn, and will score from the coveted rail position. StormyWeatherAhead, a 2019 Maine Sire Stakes divisional champion, will make his first state of Maine appearance of the year for trainer Marc Tardif. The four-year-old Maine-bred sits just three races removed from establishing a lifetime speed record of 1:52.2 at Plainridge Racecourse and will be driven by Kevin Switzer, Jr from post number two. Zack Lee, a 12-time winner already this season, will score from post number three for driver/trainer Dan Deslandes. Capable of stepping off the starting gate in the blink of an eye, this veteran pacer figures to ensure honest fractions, much as he did in his runner-up performance in June's Dirigo Pace. Quick Shot trucks up from Plainridge Racecourse for owner/trainer Kathleen Brewer and will be piloted from post five by Scarborough's leading driver, Drew Campbell. With career earnings in excess of $350K and a lifetime speed record of 1:50.4, this veteran campaigner has now finished runner-up in 5 of his last 8 starts versus top level metropolitan talent. In addition to top flight racing action, the fans will have an opportunity to win concert tickets, a gas grill, and other great prizes during giveaway drawings held after every race on the card. Prizes for this promotion were provided by the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association. An exciting interactive display called the Virtual Reality Driving Experience will be available in the grandstand facility during the entire program, giving fans the chance feel the thrills of driving in a harness race through a cutting edge VR simulation. A $7.00 BBQ chicken dinner along with other gastric specialties will be proudly served up in the Grandstand Grill. Live harness racing is featured three day a week at Scarborough Downs with 4:30 pm (EDT) twilight cards slated for Thursdays and Saturdays while the popular Sunday matinees go to post at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page.   By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Scarborough, Maine - July 4, 2019 ... While the rest of the nation prepared to enjoy patriotic pyrotechnic displays on the Fourth of July holiday, the fans at Scarborough Downs were treated to fireworks of a totally different nature as harness racing driver David Ingraham sizzled through a three win performance en route to scoring the 7500th driving win of an amazing career. Ever the family man, Ingraham secured the milestone win with a veteran campaigner named Jay Bees Grin N who is fittingly enough co-owned by his daughter Kelsie Case Ingraham. The win, a milestone for the racehorse too, was the 40th career victory for the 11-year-old standardbred. A native of Lewiston, Maine, Ingraham cut his teeth along the Pine Tree Circuit before becoming a kingpin at Yonkers Raceway and then later PompanoPark. In recent years, Ingraham and his wife Kelly Case split time between winter campaigns at Pompano and summer sojourns in their native state of Maine, much to the delight of their loyal fans at both locales. Live harness racing is featured three day a week at Scarborough Downs with 4:30 pm (EDT) twilight cards slated for Thursdays and Saturdays while the popular Sunday matinees go to post at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page.   By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

BANGOR, MAINE (WABI) - A huge night for harness racing driver Bruce Ranger. He got his 9000th career win tonight at Bangor Raceway.... Watch the video below.   By Eric Gullickson    Reprinted with permission of  

Drew Campbell put on a clinic of harness driving prowess on Sunday (6/2) winning 6 races on the 10 race program while inching closer to the latest milestone in his sights - Membership into the 5000 career win club. The perennial powerhouse and current leading driver at Scarborough Downs now sits with 4994 lifetime trips down Victory Lane and with a full slate of drives at Plainridge Park and Bangor Raceway scheduled for the coming week, chances are that Campbell will become enshrined as Mr 5000 well before live racing returns to the Downs next weekend. En route to claiming victory in the first five races on the card, Campbell opened the day with a 1:54 front-running score behind Lioness Hanover who, in the process, registered the fastest win time of the 2019 Scarborough Downs meet. He followed that speedy trip up with a pair of off-the-pace journeys with Explosiveafternoon (2:02) and Western Stepp (1:56.4), before returning to the pike-route strategy with the 14-year-old Anderlecht (1:56.3) and CJ Marshall (1:58). Campbell then reverted to the rally-method to secure Thomas B Hanover’s (1:58) third career victory to close out his phenomenal six-pack performance. Live harness racing will resume on Saturday (6/8) at Scarborough Downs with a special 2:00 pm (EDT) post time on the Belmont Stakes Day program. The card will feature three $10,000 invitational events; the renewal of the historic Dirigo Pace, The Shady Sabrina Distaff Pace and The Obrigado Trot, all leading up to the simulcast of thoroughbred racing’s third jewel of the Triple Crown season. Buffet dining will be available in the elegant Downs Club Restaurant for $21 (inclusive) on Belmont Stakes Day and reservations are recommended. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page.   By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

SCARBOROUGH, Maine, April 29, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The Downs development team, Crossroads Holdings LLC, today announces that ESG Associates Inc., a company specializing in recreational developments, has signed an agreement to pursue an athletic venue at The Downs. The Scarborough facility could include pools, ice rinks, indoor and outdoor fields, spectator areas, and other activity space. Currently, EDGE Sports Group (ESG) is conducting a feasibility study to determine what type of amenities should be included within The Downs facility. "This is particularly exciting for us because we've long known that our community wants these types of athletic and recreational amenities," says developer Roccy Risbara. "The Town is pleased with the progress of The Downs project, particularly the accelerated pace of the non-residential buildout," says Scarborough Town Manager Tom Hall. "The involvement of the Edge Sports Group and the construction of a commercial recreation center could serve as a catalyst to anchor the downtown portion of the project. We are eager to participate in the feasibility analysis and see if there is an opportunity for the project to meet the long-standing recreation needs of the community," Hall says. Founded in 2008, Massachusetts-based ESG has consulted on and created athletic venues, sports programs and organized league play throughout New England. The company creates "sports ecosystems" that are geared to meet the unique recreational goals of communities and deliver on unmet needs. "Greater Portland is a growing region and is currently underserved in this capacity. We see a bright future for this type of athletic complex in Scarborough," says Brian DeVellis, President of ESG Associates, Inc. "We look forward to this process and plan to design something specific to the recreational needs of the community and the region," DeVellis says. In early 2018, two lifelong Scarborough families purchased the 500-acre property at Scarborough Downs. Two sets of brothers – William, Marc and Rocco Risbara III, of Risbara Bros., and Peter and Richard Michaud, formerly of Michaud Distributors, purchased this property for $6.7M, after it had been on the market for nearly two decades. The vision for the project is to create a mixed-use community that provides the right balance between residential, commercial and light industrial development in Scarborough. The master plan for The Downs preserves 200-acres of open space and creates ten-miles of recreational trails and sidewalks that will carry pedestrians from one end of the property to the other. The center of the project will be anchored by a downtown district, where the sports complex will be located. This venue will not disrupt or displace harness racing at Scarborough Downs, instead could act as a catalyst to increase visitors to the track. The first phase of residential development at The Downs is underway, which includes 30 single-family homes, 48 condominiums and 48 apartment units. Within weeks, more than 50-percent of the units were sold or under contract. A residential-scale memory care facility will also be under construction later this year as part of this area. The second phase of development, the Innovation District is designed to attract light industrial, technology, manufacturing and retail end-users. This part of the project recently received preliminary subdivision approval from the Town's Planning Board. Development will begin this July, following final State and local approvals. ESG intends to complete its due diligence this summer, with design and permitting immediately following. The facility could be open in Spring 2021. PR Newswire

SCARBOROUGH — A Massachusetts company has signed an agreement to design a sports complex for a proposed village center that’s being developed near the harness racing track at Scarborough Downs. The Edge Sports Group, a company specializing in recreational properties, has signed a letter of intent with the developers of The Downs, a $621 million residential, commercial and light-industrial project that’s under construction at the 500-acre harness-racing venue off Route 1 and the Maine Turnpike. ESG is conducting a feasibility study to determine what amenities would be included at the complex, according to a written statement from The Downs developer Rocco Risbara. It could include swimming pools, ice rinks, indoor and outdoor playing fields, spectator areas and other activity spaces. “This is particularly exciting for us because we’ve long known that our community wants these types of athletic and recreational amenities,” Risbara said. The sports complex would anchor the downtown area that The Downs developers plan to build near the racetrack and grandstand, Risbara said. However, it wouldn’t disrupt or displace harness racing at Scarborough Downs, he said, and it could act as a catalyst to increase visitors to the track. Exactly how the sports complex would be developed, built, owned and operated are details that must be negotiated before ESG finalizes a deal with The Downs, Risbara said, leaving open the possibility that the two companies could form some kind of partnership. Risbara said the sports complex would be a private, for-profit, fee-based facility offering various types of memberships, such as individual, group, league and municipal. “Our goal will be to make it as accessible and inclusive as possible,” said Risbara, whose family operates a construction company that is general contractor for The Downs project. The sports complex would be built where Risbara suggested the town could build a community recreation center when his company was seeking a property tax break from the Town Council last year. Risbara said the complex could address a majority – but not necessarily all – of the town’s recreational and sports needs. Town Manager Tom Hall said he’s pleased with the progress of The Downs project, especially the accelerated pace of nonresidential development. “The involvement of the Edge Sports Group and the construction of a commercial recreation center could serve as a catalyst to anchor the downtown portion of the project,” Hall said in the statement. “We are eager to participate in the feasibility analysis and see if there is an opportunity for the project to meet the long-standing recreation needs of the community.” Based in Bedford, Massachusetts, ESG has consulted on and developed several athletic venues and sports leagues throughout New England. The company aims to design “sports ecosystems” that meet the recreational goals of surrounding communities. It isn’t affiliated with The Edge Academy baseball training facility on Warren Avenue in Portland. “Greater Portland is a growing region and is currently underserved in this capacity,” ESG President Brian DeVellis said. “We see a bright future for this type of athletic complex in Scarborough. We look forward to this process and plan to design something specific to the recreational needs of the community and the region.” ESG intends to complete its feasibility study this summer, then move forward with the design and permitting process. The sports complex could open as early as spring 2021. Sheila Brennan Nee, strategic director of the Maine Sports Commission, said the proposed sports complex at The Downs would complement the current regional inventory of athletic facilities and create the opportunity to bid on larger sports tournaments. “The possible development of new fields and facilities in Scarborough will be exciting to watch as Maine continues advancing as a four-season sports destination,” Nee said. “More amenities better position Maine to attract event owners whose checklists include multiple fields or more than one sheet of ice on the same site or within close proximity when considering a proposal.” Scarborough Downs was purchased last year by two sets of brothers – the Risbaras and the Michauds. The longtime town residents, friends and business owners paid $6.7 million for the sprawling property at the center of town. The racetrack had been struggling for years and on the market for nearly two decades when the brothers stepped forward. The Downs pitched the project as a mixed-use community that would balance residential, commercial and light-industrial development. It also would preserve 200 acres of open space and create 10 miles of recreational trails and sidewalks. Residential construction at The Downs is underway off Route 1, including 30 single-family homes, 48 condominiums and 48 apartments. Construction of a residential facility specializing in dementia care is expected to start later this year. The planning board recently gave preliminary approval for a light-industrial innovation district at The Downs, off Payne Road and Exit 42 of the Maine Turnpike. Site development is expected to start in July, following final state and local approvals. By Kelley Bouchard - The Portland Press Herald Reprinted with permission of The Journal Tribune

(Bangor, ME - April 26, 2019) Current Plainridge Racing Secretary Paul Verrette was named today to that same position for the upcoming harness racing meet at Hollywood Gaming Bangor. The 45-date race meet kicks off Tuesday, May 14. A native, and current resident of Lee, NH, Verrette has served as racing secretary at Plainridge Park Casino since 2000. Verrette has prior experience working in the Pine Tree State with a decade long stint as racing secretary at Scarborough Downs and several Maine fairs. "I'm excited to return to the state of Maine and take on the challenge of the Bangor racing program. Between the two tracks it will be a busy summer and fall but we have good support teams at both locations which should make it work smoothly," said Verrette. "I'm familiar with many of the horsemen racing in Maine and I hope we can coordinate more between our Penn National properties and maybe also introduce some new concepts during the meet," Verrette added. "Paul is a tireless worker who is always looking for ways to improve a racing program. It's a good fit to have Paul overseeing the racing offices for both Penn National harness tracks in the region and in the end should strengthen both locations," said Chris McErlean, Vice President of Racing for Penn National Gaming, Inc., parent company of both Hollywood Casino Bangor and Plainridge Park Casino. Qualifying races at Bangor will be conducted Tuesday, May 7 and Saturday, May 11. The racing schedule through July 19 will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings with a 5 p.m. post time. A special Thursday, July 4 race card will be offered with a 6:30 p.m. post time. After a break in August the track resumes live racing September 10 for a 16-date fall season ending November 5. Christopher McErlean, Penn National Gaming, Inc.

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