Day At The Track

Bruce Ranger returning to drive horses again

07:36 AM 12 Oct 2018 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Bruce Ranger, harness racing Bruce Ranger, harness racing Bruce Ranger, harness racing Harness racing
Bruce Ranger with his starting gate on the Maine Fair Circuit this summer
Chris Tully photo
Bruce Ranger (left) with cousin Joe Morris
Roger Huston (left) catching up with Bruce Ranger at the Fryeburg Fair
Lori Graffam photo)
Bruce Ranger (right) with Joe Morris back in 1977 at Scarborough Downs for their annual Parade of Stallions
Previous
1 - 3 of 4
Next

Coral Springs, FL – Harness racing driver Bruce Ranger was once the King of the Pompano Park track in south Florida and before that was the top driver in Maine for years. During his illustrious career he competed in nearly 50,000 races with 8,916 wins and purses won at $36,453,179.

Then on June 27, 2015 after he finished fourth in the last race with Master Of Puppets at Pompano Park, Bruce Ranger walked away from harness racing.

“I was beat back then,” Ranger explained. “Too many accidents, too many mornings jogging or training 15 to 20 horses, then driving in ten or more races at night. My back especially was so sore that I knew it was time to stop.”

Ranger returned to his home state of Maine and began rehabilitation, living in Lewiston. He rested up, started to heal and even got married on September 23, 2016 to Mary Beth Beauregard.

Now enters Joe Morris in the picture.

“My cousin Joe Morris is the one who owns the starting gates up here and it was him that helped get me to get my license and get the job starting the races on the Maine Fair Circuit,” Ranger added.

“If It was anyone else other than him I would have said no thank you,” Ranger said. “If anything, it gave me a reason to see him more often. He is my favorite cousin since I was a kid and has helped me in the past.”

Now, gone from competing in harness racing for more than three years, Bruce Ranger is returning to the races once again as a driver.

His first appearance will be aboard Miss American Bi in the fourth race trot at Scarborough Downs in Maine on Saturday. It’s the $56,437 Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies.

He has one other drive on card in the sixth race, with Saratoga Liz (post two) in the $89,311 Maine Standardbred Breeders Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies. Both horses are trained by Kim Ireland.

“Here comes cousin Joe Morris again,” Ranger said. “He owns Saratoga Liz and put me down to drive and I also got another one of Kim’s (Ireland) horses.”

After being away from racing for more than three years, Ranger is making his comeback with a bang in a couple of major stakes races.

 “I got the itch,” Ranger said. “I was very fortunate to get the chance to learn and become a starting judge and then was able to get hired as the starter for the Maine Fair Circuit this summer.

“I really enjoyed being the starter for the Maine Fair Circuit,” Ranger added. “It peaked my interest to get back on a sulky and drive. But, first I had to get back in shape again. I ate too much of that great Fair food every weekend.”

Getting back in shape for Ranger has been enjoyable.

“During the winters I do a lot of skiing,” Ranger said. “And when not working during the summer I love to go biking. It has really helped me get back into shape and both the skiing and biking is great fun.

“I had really missed the changing of the seasons and wintertime,” Ranger said. “I’d rather be working a snow blower than jogging horses.

So, what are Bruce Ranger’s plans for his return to driving?

“Since I got the itch,” Ranger said. “I’ve been considering driving at Plainridge. They have some green now and their purses are much better than what is available in Maine.

“Why not go down there and race for real money,” Ranger added. “I’ve been there before when they did not have any decent purses. It’s not that far away that I can make the trip.

“I have to see how things go on Saturday,” Ranger said. “I could get behind a horse and right afterwards say “no more” and walk away again. I could also love it and want to do more. We’ll know after Saturday for sure.”

When asked about returning to Pompano Park in Florida where Ranger won more than half of his 8,916 career wins, Ranger said “No thank you. I don’t want to race in the heat ever again. I was born and raised up here in New England and want to say around here.”

By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: