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Scarborough, Maine - October 13, 2018 .... Festival of Champions Day, a showcase for the Maine Sire Stakes Championship Round started out cold and wet on Saturday (10/13) but quickly heated up and the sun finally made an appearance half way through the harness racing program. The large crowd at Scarborough Downs was treated to a live band along with many giveaways. The first of Eight Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes races, the $89.007 three year old colt & gelding final trot, was won by the 20 year old driver that is affectionately called "Matty Ice" guiding Mouthpiece into the winners circle. Matt Athearn steered the 3 year old son of Noble Venture-Beluga to a wire to wire performance in a time of 2:02.4 on a track rated as good. The heavily favored entry was on the lead at the quarter, parked to the outside, but when he cleared it was all over as he stormed home with a 5¾ length victory, that could have been a lot more. William Phipps of Yarmouth, Maine owns the winner and the entry mate He'salittlenoble, who couldn't keep his footing heading to three quarters and broke, but still managed to finish third. The trainer for Mouthpiece was as happy as happy could be and smothered her driver/son with hugs and kisses. Next the $89,278 three year old filly trotting final took center stage with all eyes pinned on favorite June Carter Cast who was having a near perfect season with 11 wins in 12 starts. Pembroke Dancer with driver Nicholas Graffam had the benefit of the rail though and used it to his advantage to pull off the minor upset. Trainer and the drivers' father, Mike Graffam, credits the victory to the early scrum between Pembroke Dancer and June Carter Cast. The daughter of Cr Power Glide-Spring Laughter stretched out June Carter Cast in an opening quarter of 29.4. Pembroke Dancer picked up the fight again at the three quarter pole and from there went on to a four length victory in a time of 2:06.3 for the Ben, Bill and Will Stable of Carmel, Maine. Two year old fillies, racing for $56,454 went to post in their respective final with the leading point earner JustCallMe Bets going off as the favorite. JustCallMe Bets grabbed the lead but had company all away around the seaside oval. Cominrightatyou and driver Ron Cushing hampered the favorite throughout the mile and managed a very game second but the outside route was costly. It was the daughter of Deuce Seelster- Guard The Rose, Moonlightandroses and driver David Ingraham that took home the big prize as Ingraham traveled on the outside following Cominrightatyou and picked up the pieces in the stretch with a four length victory for Canadian owner Clark Bustard of Elmwood, New Brunswick and trainer David White. Moonlightandroses won her fifth race in eight starts timed in 2:06.4. The $56,437 two year old fillies trot final saw Lady Victoria, the daughter of Victor Blue Chip-AJ's Baby, wait out a long photo as she and Buena Vita Bebe and Ron Cushing, who attacked on the inside, were noses apart at the wire. Cushing came back to the winners circle but the photo ultimately gave the win to Lady Victoria. Trainer/Driver Ivan Davies started from post eight and after a couple of missteps by the competition found himself grabbing the lead by the quarter with Lady Victoria. Lady Victoria had enough at the wire to hold on recording her seventh win in nine starts for owner Stephan Hall of Newport, Maine in a time of 2:08.4. The other half of the Davies/Hall Entry, Victor's Secret, finished fourth. The combination of driver Drew Campbell and trainer Jim Dunn captured the $15,000 Fillies and Mare Free For All Pace in 2:01.1 with Western Stepp. Campbell who charged from the back of the pack to record a head victory said in the winners circle that the track was heavy and was fortunate that he managed to get the victory. With the knowledge of the track being heavy Drew Campbell tried a different strategy in the $89, 311 three year pacing fillies final. Campbell left with Gonna Hear Me Rohr, the daughter of Western Maverick-Heather K and settled in behind pacesetter Saratoga Liz who was driven by long time veteran Bruce Ranger, who hasn't raced since 2015. Campbell at the three quarter pole tipped and went by Saratoga Liz and coasted home a 13 length winner in 2:01.4 for owner Bradford Veilleux of Greene, Maine and trainer Jim Dunn. Owners Thomas Dillon of Anson, Maine and Walter Hight of Skowhegan, Maine have teamed up year after year and have owned some of the best racehorses that Maine has offered. Ally Way Cast is another outstanding trotter for this pair and one that Tom Dillon said in the winners circle was one of the best that the team has ever owned. In a very uneventful win, Ally Way Cast, son of Current Cast-Ally-Gal Ridge, easily won the $56,426 two-year-old trotting final in a leisurely 2:06.2, ten lengths the best. Dillon credited his success to driver veteran reinsman Gary Mosher and the Maine stalwart trainer Donald Richards. The $56,460 two year old colt and gelding pacing final saw driver David Ingraham and trainer David White team up for another over the road victory. Bait A Hook from post position eight, saw Ingraham take the son of Deuce Seelster-Josie Plumstead to the outside going past the half and from there he grinded past the competition winning in a time of 2:01.2. When asked in the winners circle about his luck from the outside post positions Ingraham stated that the luck wasn't with him on the draw but he managed to overcome the poor positions. The win with Bait A Hook was the second stakes victory of the day for owner Clark Bustard of Elmwood, New Brunswick Canada. The $15,000 Free For All Trot was won in the same fashion that David Ingraham had demonstrated all day. From post position seven, Ingraham had BJ Anthony out and going at the half and he crossed the wire 11½ length victor in 2:02.2 for owner/trainer Dustin Ingraham. The final of the eight Breeders Stakes races saw the three year old pacing colts go to post battling for a purse of $89,321. Race favorite Pembroke Pharoah got away slow and had problems breaking as the field headed towards three quarters. The outside flow was active and Stormyweatherahead came like a thunderbolt with driver Matt Athearn guiding the son of Luckcamotion-Wolf Creek Cupid into the winners circle finishing off a day that the young driver will never forget. Stormyweatherahead won in a time of 2:00.3, seven lengths the best. Matty Ice, the son of Mark & Gretchen Athearn, started his racing career in 2014, and is now the sports newest millionaire with his driving purses now totaling 1,004,673. Stormyweatherahead is trained by Marc Tardif for owner Leighton Property of Waterboro, Maine. With the Maine Sire Stakes season now concluded, racing action in the PineTreeState will be controlled by the overnight ranks, with live racing action continuing at Scarborough Downs every Saturday and Sunday afternoon through December 9th. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By William Ellis for Scarborough Downs and the New England Harness Writers Association

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

Scarborough, Maine - October 11, 2018 .... The Maine Sire Stakes Championship round takes center stage during Festival of Champions Day on Saturday (10/13) at Scarborough Downs, and with over $600,000 in purse money on the line, this will be the richest day in Maine Harness Racing history. Eight Maine Sire Stakes Championship races will anchor the eleven race program which is slated to get underway at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) while a festival atmosphere overtakes the historic grandstand at the southern Maine racing venue. Fans will be welcomed at a special trackside tented pavilion area that has been created specifically for the event. Country Roads, one of Maine's premier country music bands will perform in between races, local food trucks will provide tantalizingly delicious food offerings, and a trackside beer garden will be featured. Local radio station WPOR will be broadcasting live from the Downs throughout the afternoon, registering attendees for a grand prize flyaway trip for two to the CMA Awards Show in Nashville (provided by EMI Records - Nashville). The only place to register for the trip will be at Scarborough Downs on Saturday and the winner will be drawn trackside at 4:30 pm. Admission and programs are free on Festival of Champions Day, and fans will also have the opportunity to enter to win a $1000 Cash Giveaway. Face painting and trackside games will delight the kids on Saturday while everyone will enjoy meeting Luigi, the ice cream eating horse, as he joins the festivities in his trackside pen. "This is the harness racing party they'll be talking about for years to come" said Wendy Ireland, president of the Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association. "We wanted to create a festive atmosphere to help showcase these championship races, and with the help of the Downs, I think we've come up with the perfect mix." Scarborough Downs features live harness racing every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 pm (EDT) through December 9th. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - September 6, 2018 .... Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Thursday (9/6) as the three year old filly pacing division took center stage. Split into twin 6-horse fields for purses of $11,606 and $11,605 respectively, the sophomore stakes stars anchored the twilight program. Shes A Maverick fired the opening sire stakes salvo on Thursday as driver John Nason rifled his charge off the gate, gained the lead before reaching the 1/8th mile marker, and from there enjoyed an advantage which the tandem never relinquished. The filly survived a determined first-over, mid-mile attempt from the eventual third place finishing Perfect Maverick (Ron Cushing), only to drift wide into the stretch where she held off (by a matter of whiskers) a fast closing, inside bid from the post time favorite, Gonna Hear Me Rohr (Drew Campbell). Trained by John Nason for owner Carolyn Corso, the win was the second consecutive score for Shes A Maverick, who put an end to the imposing five-race win streak of Gonna Hear Me Rohr with her effort. In the day's second division, Saratoga Liz blew up the tote board, scoring an imposing win at 11-1 odds, as catch driver Matthew Athearn put the sophomore lass on the lead for the first time this season. From that coveted perch, the duo repelled all challengers en route to securing the second lifetime win for the daughter of Western Maverick-Laughs Last, in a career best 2:00.2 clocking. Tip Em Off (Dan Deslandes) rode the outer rim throughout, yet still held firm for the runner-up placing, while Luck Of The Deal (Eddie Davis, Jr) rallied from last to third to secure the show dough. Maine Sire Stakes racing returns to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (9/9) as the three year old colt pacing division will anchor the twilight program. The three year old trotters invade the Seaside Oval on Sunday. 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. Closing Day of the summer meet is slated for September 15th. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - August 11, 2018 ... A large crowd witnessed the return of Maine Sire Stakes action to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (8/11), bolstered by legions of tourists who flocked from the beaches on the overcast weekend afternoon, as they cheered on twin splits of the sophomore colt pacing division of the state-bred program. ThankYouAllMyFans revved up his engines from the get go in the $10,611 first division, as driver Eddie Davis, Jr attempted to secure the customary front end seat for his home-bred steed, a pacer who had been sent merrily down the highway in each of his last five starts. The Ron Cushing piloted Hoppi would eventually thwart that endeavor though, as the pair of speedball sophomores jockeyed for early position to the quarter, at which point it was ordained that Hoppi would lead the charge from that pole onward, with ThankYouAllMyFans' nose glued right to Cushing's helmet. A rousing, yet strategic game of catch-me-if-you-can then ensued, until the battle was re-joined at the top of the lane. ThankYouAllMyFans pulled to the outside of Hoppi at that point in the mile, as the tandem quite literally matched strides to the wire, before eventually dead-heating for the win in a sizzling 1:57 clocking; a brand new lifetime mark for both. Hoppi, while making his first start of the 2018 season, extended his undefeated streak to a perfect 10 for 10 on his career. The son of Western Hanover-Barbra Ann is trained by Heidi Gibbs for the ownership group of KDK Standardbreds and Florence O'Keefe. ThankYouAllMyFans secured his first win of the 2018 season and has now hit the board in 17 of 19 career starts. The son of Baron Biltmore-Holme In A Moment is trained by Eddie Davis, Jr for the ownership consortium of Janet and Eddie Davis, Jr and Janice Watkinson. Pembroke Pharoah's (Heath Campbell) settled for third best in the contest, as his three-race win streak came to an end. Long shot fever then struck at the Downs in the $10,610 second division as the 14-1 shot, StormyWeatherAhead and driver Matty Athearn wore down the front running combination of Eddie Davis, Jr and the pacer Twelve, in an epic display of strength and stamina. Guided to the outside just past the 3/8th's pole, StormyWeatherAhead appeared to be in uncharted territory as he began his assault on the streaking Twelve, who to that point had not tasted defeat in five consecutive appearances. Stride for stride they duked it out all the way to the wire, with Twelve appearing to hold the upper hand, until a desperate late burst of speed propelled StormyWeatherAhead past his foe at the wire, with mere whiskers separating the two at the finish. StormyWeatherAhead, a son of Luckcamotion-Wolf Creek Cupid, owned by Leighton Property and trained by Marc Tardif, stopped the clock in a career best 1:57.2, while returning a hefty $31.20 for a $2 win ticket. Twelve finished a dead-game runner-up while MyLastDime (David Ingraham) rallied for the show. Maine Sire Stakes action now heads out on its weeklong Skowhegan Fair swing before returning to the Downs in one week's time on Sunday August 19th. Scarborough Downs will proudly feature live harness racing throughout the summer season on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with the popular Sunday matinees getting underway at 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs         #       Virus-free. www.avast.com

Scarborough, Maine - July 26, 2018 ... The Gretchen Athearn roster ran roughshod over Maine Sire Stakes competition at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (7/28) as the Cumberland Fairgrounds-based, family staffed outfit, sent three stakes winners down Victory Lane; two in the very same race! The dominant stable performance was highlighted by a dead heat finish in a $10,589 split of the sophomore filly trotting division, in which ShesAHarleyGirl (Matthew Athearn) doggedly tracked down her stable-mate, DualPatWitchyWoman (Eddie Davis, Jr.) at the wire, to stop the clock in 2:05; establishing brand new lifetime speed records for both. ShesAHarleyGirl, a daughter of Noble Venture-Dynamic Kid is owned in partnership by Joan Harmon, Normand St. Clair and Gretchen Athearn. Not to be denied her fair share of winners circle glory, DualPatWitchyWoman, a daughter of Boy Band-Hs Hallsdeckedout is owned by the tandem of Linwood Higgins and Dual-Pats Farm. American Flambé (Ron Cushing) finished third. The Athearn stable magic worked equally well on both genders of Standardbreds on Saturday as Mouthpiece, another enrollee in the Athearn honors program, continued to state his case for prized student of his class in the three-year-old colt division, which went post-ward for the purse of $10,657. The son of Noble Venture-Beluga who is owned by William Phipps, threw in a strong rally bid en route to securing his fourth win of the season with driver Matthew Athearn guiding the gelding to a steady 2:00.3 clocking, effectively setting the table for the ultimate Gretchen Athearn hat trick. Cinamatic Venture (Gary Mosher) charged hard late to gain the bridesmaid share while Pembroke Boss Man (Nick Graffam) overcame an early misstep to finish third best in the split. Just to spread some of the success beyond the boundaries of the Athearn barn, earlier in the day, June Carter Cash continued to prove an unstoppable force in Maine Sire Stakes action as the push-button filly strode to her fifth win in a row while keeping her seasonal undefeated record intact, in a $10,589 non-betting split of the filly trotting ranks. Driver Gary Mosher never felt pressure as he hustled the sophomore daughter of Current Cast-Celebrity Image confidently off the car, ultimately extending to a 13-length margin at the wire, timed in a career best 2:01.1. June Carter Cast was trained to her 9th career victory by Hall of Fame conditioner Donald Richards for the perennially powerful partnership pair of Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight. Sweet Amy O (John Beckwith) just got up at the wire to secure runner-up honors in the non-betting dash, while Sister Longwood (Heath Campbell) rode the pylons to third. Scarborough Downs will proudly feature live harness racing throughout the summer season on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with the popular Sunday matinees getting underway at 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - July 22, 2018 ... Maine Sire Stakes action made its third consecutive appearance at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/22) as the three-year-old colt pacing division took center stage. In stunning deja vu fashion, everything old was reminiscently new once again on Sunday with two stakes divisions generating the exact same winners from just the week prior. It seems that Pembroke Pharoah has found winning races to his liking. It was only last week that the Baron Biltmore-Migrane colt tasted the sweet nectar of success for the very first time in his career. Apparently he found the experience so pleasing that he came back for a second serving in his very next start, and has now earned the status of "flavor of the month" in Maine Sire Stakes circles. Driver Heath Campbell was once again able to negotiate a prime second-over journey for the up-and-coming sophomore this week, sliding in behind the twice favored My Last Dime (David Ingraham) as the field approached the midway point. Ever game, My Last Dime persistently tracked down the front-running ThankYouAllMyFans (Eddie Davis, Jr), ultimately overtaking his prey at the top of the lane, but equally determined, Pembroke Pharoah once again ascended over his rival at the wire, with the margin of victory not measured in cubits but rather in mere whiskers. Pembroke Pharoah is trained by Valerie Grondin for the ownership consortium of William Varney and Heath Campbell. He claimed top honors in his $10,606 stakes split while stopping the tele-timer in 1:58.4. My Last Dime was vanquished to second best for the second week in a row, while ThankYouAllMyFans held steady for third. A horse named Twelve secured his fourth consecutive Sire Stakes score in the $10,605 second division on Sunday as driver/trainer Eddie Davis, Jr deftly steered his charge on toward an early lead. From that perspective they toyed with the field through moderate fractions, gaining an advantage which they would ultimately never relinquish. Owned by Dean Malin, the Shady Character-Sabine Hanover gelding paced the mile in a leisurely 1:59.3 to score the seventh top tally of his career while simultaneously delivering the 4999th career tally for driver Eddie Davis, Jr. StormyWeatherAhead (Matthew Athearn) rode the perfect pocket trip to earn the bridesmaid share while Just One More Time (Michael Stevenson) sat the pylons to finish third. 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - June 24, 2018 ... The Maine Sire Stakes program made its second seasonal appearance at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (6/24) with the three-year-old colt pacing division taking center stage at the raceway. Thirteen state-breds were divided into two splits which raced for purses in excess of $10,600 per dash. Speed was the order of the day in the $10,605 first stakes division as driver/trainer Eddie Davis, Jr briskly hustled the pacer, Twelve, out to the early lead while simultaneously taking determined air to a quarter timed in 28.1. Despite the torrid opening panel, the son of Shady Character-Sabine Hanover continued to add to his lead at every successive pole, before stepping out to an in hand margin of 5-1/2 lengths at the finish line, stopping the clock in a seasonal best 1:57 flat. Owned by Dean Malin of Gilbertville, MA, the win marked the fourth triumphant effort for the sophomore campaigner. StormyWeatherAhead (M. Athearn) skimmed the wood to finish second, while The DeuceMeister (D. Deslandes) rallied strongly to grab the show dough. As impressive as Twelve was in the opening split, Eddie Davis' bid to claim victory in both stakes divisions was thwarted at the wire, as no fewer than four challengers came flying late after the pacesetting duo, with the stampede ultimately separated by less than two lengths when the dust had settled. As starter Bruce Ranger released the field, Davis sent ThankYouAllMyFans smartly to the lead as MyLastDime and driver Shawn Gray settled solidly in second. With motion coming from the back of the pack approaching the half, Gray calculated that the pocket was not the proper place to be, and he quickly pulled alongside Davis to engage. The duo battled toe to toe throughout the second navigation of the oval, only to be separated by mere whiskers as they crossed the wire in lockstep, with MyLastDime ultimately declared the winner after a careful examination of the photo-finish print. Owned and trained by Alicia Gray, MyLastDime, a son of Baron Biltmore-Twin B Candy took a brand new lifetime mark of 1:58.4 in only his first start of the 2018 season. ThankYouAllMyFans held on for the runner-up placing by the official margin of a nose, while HeyThePartysOver (D. Ingraham) finished third by a scant half-length measure. Maine Sire Stakes action returns to the Downs on Sunday (7/1) when the three-year-old trotting divisions take center stage with post time slated for 1:30 pm (EDT). 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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. by Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - October 14, 2017 ... A large and enthusiastic crowd lined the raceway on Saturday (10/14) as the harness racing finals of Maine Sire Stakes program were contested on a picture perfect mid-autumn afternoon at Scarborough Downs, for total purses in excess of $370,000. Like the day itself, the major headlines going into the finals belonged to Pembroke Perfect as the three-year-old wunderkind put her twelve race seasonal undefeated streak firmly on the line The headlines following the day of competition still belonged to Pembroke Perfect as the powerhouse pacer cruised to the filly championship in an unhurried 1:57 front-running romp, and capped off an extraordinary day that would see her connections secure three of the four divisional championships. The daughter of Western Maverick-Perfect Launch grabbed the lion's share of the $86,183 purse while pushing her seasonal bankroll over the $100,000 plateau and her career tally in excess of $163,000 - All monies earned while racing exclusively in Maine. Driven by Heath Campbell for trainer Valerie Grondin, the filly scored her 21st career win from 23 lifetime starts, much to the delight of co-owners William Varney of Bangor, Maine and Lynne-Marie Plouffe of Saco, Maine. Ms. Plouffe was also the filly's breeder. "Bill and I have owned a few together in recent years and have enjoyed quite a bit of success in our partnership" Lynne-Marie Plouffe remarked. "By the time the foals are weaned we generally make our decision on which ones to keep. Bill wants more horses than I can afford but we jump in together on a few. We picked one out this year. He's a full brother to Pembroke Perfect. Hopefully we get just as lucky with him." Spoxy's Girl (N. Graffam) finished second while Persephonie (D. Ingraham) was third. Prince Of The Forest capped off a brilliant late summer run on Saturday as the son of Baron Biltmore-Barbra Ann coasted gate to wire timed in 1:58.2, to claim top honors in the $85,928 colt pacing division. The win was the seventh consecutive score for the Kevin Switzer trained and driven combatant; extending a streak that began at the Downs back on August 27th, and also represented the colt's 15th career victory lap. "We got lucky to develop a colt as nice as this one" Kevin Switzer said, "It's a strong sire stakes program here in Maine. Well, we've kind of slacked off on the breeding part; we need more mares bred; but its a long program with many legs raced over lots of different tracks for good purses." "You've got to keep your horse strong over a long season to be effective and the crew at the stable did just that. He battled a sore foot this week, they went right to work on him, and he responded to their TLC. Sometimes harness racing really is a team sport." "He's out of the stakes champion Barbra Ann who we also bred and raced" added co-owner Denise Mcnitt, "I swore I'd never breed a double Maine-bred but I did ... And he's awesome!" Prince Of The Forest was bred by and owned in partnership by KDK Standarbreds of Harrington, Delaware and co-owned by Anthony Sivik, Jr of Orono, Maine. Silver Chrome (N. Graffam) was second while Mic Woodrow (D. Campbell) finished third. Pembroke Conifer entered the $86,172 filly trotting final off an extremely light race schedule which saw the daughter of Noble Venture-Wild Pine Princess head to the post only three times prior to the biggest engagement of her career. The strategy proved spot on though as the filly responded to driver Heath Campbell's cajoling, executing a flawless front end strategy, and stopping the clock victoriously timed in 2:04. "I knew it was time to cut her loose" driver Heath Campbell remarked, "She had a couple of tighteners under belt and she was ready. It was a long bumpy road with this filly this year but the cream rose to the top today." Pembroke Conifer is trained by Valerie Grondin for the ownership partnership of William Varney of Bangor, Maine and Lynn-Marie Plouffe of Saco, Maine. The filly was also bred by Ms. Plouffe. Noble One (I. Davies) finished second while Breezin (K. Ireland) secured third. Pembroke Morgan overcame a close examination of the photo-finish print to post the narrowest of margins in the $86,156 colt trotting final, after closing gamely in the lane to track down a determined Happy Hooligan (N. Graffam) by mere whiskers at the wire. Heath Campbell claimed one of his three sire stakes scores by strategically gaining ground in small increments. During three distinct portions of the race, he launched a swoop and tuck strategy, which proved masterfully brilliant in the end, with the clock proclaiming the winning time of 2:00.1. Happy Hooligan just fell short in second while Prydwen (I. Davies) got up for third. When asked about Pembroke Morgan's powerful closing kick, Campbell modestly and proudly replied, "He's a pretty good horse, huh?" And when complimented on his aggressive driving strategy he responded with a grin and his usual wry sense of humor, "Yeah, that was a pretty good drive too, huh?" Good enough on both counts for trainer Valerie Grondin to claim three sire stakes championships on the day for owner/breeder William Varney. And certainly good enough for the Grondin, Campbell and Varney combination to cement their standing as one of the most effective sire stakes combinations in the history of Maine's state-bred program. Scarborough Downs will proudly feature live harness racing every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 PM throughout the fall season, with closing day of the 2017 meet scheduled for December 10th. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - October 12, 2017 ... Scarborough Downs will kick off its fall harness racing meet in high gear on Saturday (10/14) as the folks at the seaside oval once again play host to the championship round of the three-year-old division of the Maine Sire Stakes program. Over $370,000 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 eleven-race program but the undisputed star of the day will be the aptly named pacer, Pembroke Perfect, who will be putting her season-long undefeated streak on the line while attempting to score her thirteenth win of the year in the $86,183 filly pacing division. Owned in partnership by William Varney of Bangor, ME and Lynn-Marie Plouffe of Saco, 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 ninth race of the afternoon card. The imposing filly will score as the even-money morning line favorite as regular driver Heath Campbell once again gets the nod from trainer Valerie Grondin. While all eyes will rightly be on Pembroke Perfect, the other divisions are headlined by feature players in their own right. - Princeoftheforest has been installed as the even-money favorite in the $85,928 colt pacing division as the Kevin Switzer driven and trained gelding rides a dominating six-race win streak into battle on Saturday; - Knella Bella boasts a nifty three-race win streak of her own while shouldering the pressure of being made the 7-5 morning line choice in the $86,172 filly trotting division. Mark Athearn will drive for trainer Gretchen Athearn, - The mutuel entry of Fox Cast (Gary Mosher) and King Cast (Mark Athearn) has been named the 6-5 morning line favorite in the $86,156 colt trotting final after combining to win nine races this season for Hall of Fame trainer, Donald Richards. First post for Maine Sire Stakes Championship performance will be at 1:30 PM and as always, admission is free at family friendly confines of the Downs. Scarborough Downs will proudly feature live harness racing every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 PM throughout the fall season, with closing day of the 2017 meet scheduled for December 10th. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - September 10, 2017 ... The three year old colt pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program headlined the harness racing card as the summer meet at Scarborough Downs came to its conclusion on Sunday (9/10). The field, reduced to five starters, went to post for a purse of $10,328 Princeoftheforest continued his late summer dominance in the class as he posted his third win in a row with driver/trainer Kevin Switzer calling the shots form the sulky. Idling in the outer flow while the early speed horses jostled for position, Switzer powerfully rifled his charge to a commanding lead just past the quarter pole, a lead which ultimately extended out to 5-3/4 lengths as the clocked proclaimed 1:57.1 at the wire. Princeoftheforest, a son of Baron Biltmore out of the stakes champion mare Barbra Ann, is owned in partnership by KDK Standardbreds and Anthony Sivik, Jr. Mic Woodrow (D. Campbell) finished second while Primos Last Rodeo (D. Ingraham) rallied late from last to third. While stakes racing stole the closing day headlines, the real stories of the day belonged to driver Drew Campbell and trainer Ryan Abel who both pieced together five win efforts during the final Scarborough Downs performance of the summer season. Campbell, the meet's leading driver, is in the midst of one of his finest seasons, boasting over twice as many wins as his closest competitor at the Downs this year and is now well within reach of recording his 4500th career victory in the coming weeks. Abel, the meet's top rated trainer, sent five horses to the post on Sunday with all five earning winner's circle photo sessions, including the mare Lady Spartacus, whom Abel drove himself. Live harness racing at Scarborough Downs will resume on Saturday October 15 on a twice weekly schedule, featuring Saturday and Sunday matinees with a 1:30 post time. Opening Day of the fall meet will feature the three-year-old Finals of the Maine Sire Stakes program, Maine's biggest day of harness racing of the season, with purses slated to be in excess of $300,000. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine - September 9, 2017 ... The three-year-old trotting divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program anchored a late summer twilight harness racing card at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (9/9) with the track record setting performance of Lets Get It On stealing the headlines away from his fellow state-breds. Lets Get It All pieced together yet another dominating performance on Saturday, easily taking top honors in the first of two $10,003 sophomore colt trotting splits, easily outdistancing the competition, while laying claim to his 7th seasonal win, timed in a lifetime equaling 1:59.1. That clocking was more than adequate enough to establishing a brand new divisional trotting record, supplanting the previous benchmark of 2:00 set by another Maine-bred, Noble Yaz, during the summer of 2016. Now ensconced in the record books, the three-year-old son of Noble Venture-Bimmelibim was once again deftly driven by Ron Cushing for trainer Heidi Gibbs and the ownership group of Lucia Les, Kenneth Clairmont and Ron Cushing. Happy Hooligan (N. Graffam) was second while King Cast (M. Athearn) finished third. Top honors in the $10,003 second division went to Bruzin, who pieced together a faultless effort while fully capitalizing on the missteps of others as the Kim Ireland driven and trained entry stepped to a lifetime best 2:01.3 clocking. The son of Musclini-Perpetual Notion laid claim to the early lead which quickly extended out to a margin of three lengths as three of the five starters rolled off stride before reaching the 1/8th pole. With the competition unable to make-up the spotted distance, Bruizn confidently marched first to the wire, while notching his 5th career victory for owners Dennis and Deborah Foss. Pembroke Morgan (H. Campbell) overcame his early bobble to finish second while post time favorite Fox Cast (Wallace Watson) never really found his best stride on Saturday and settled for third. Competition in the sophomore filly division has become rather a wide open matter since the recent sidelining of early season top point earner Fuzzy Sweater, and with just 4 weeks remaining until the $75,000 (+) final, the trotter able to gain the most late season momentum might well hold the upper hand. Noble One is certainly stating her case as the most "right now" trotter as she scored her second win in a row on Saturday, trotting to a new lifetime speed record of 2:02.3, with driver/trainer Ivan Davies calling the shots from the sulky. Owned by Douglas Hutchins, the daughter of Noble Venture-Demeter claimed her customary front end seat in the early going before coasting to her third win of the season, while claiming the lion's share of the $10,322 purse offering and simultaneously taking over first place in the seasonal point standings. Knella Bella (M. Athearn) mounted an extended overland campaign to finish a determined second, while Just Like Linda (D. Campbell) parlayed the pocket journey to a third best showing. Maine Sire Stakes action returns to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (9/10) as the three-year-old colt pacers will take center stage, on what will be the closing day of the 2017 summer season at the seaside oval. Scarborough Downs' fall meet will commence on October 14 with racing featured on a Saturday and Sunday schedule with post time slated for 1:30 PM (EDT). For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

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 www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Scarborough, Maine - August 27, 2017 ... The three-year-old colt pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program returned to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (8/27), fully rested off their Union Fair bye week, and fully ready to reengage following that helpful respite. The class, now reduced to a gathering of five harness racing pacers, with 1-1/2 months still left in the sophomore season, took to the trenches to match strides for the $10,103 stakes purse offering. Racing perhaps with a target on his back, the undefeated Alittlebithiphop brought his unblemished eight for eight seasonal record to the raceway and as befits a strong probable favorite, the anticipated short price was heartily accepted by the fans at the windows; the colt promptly made the 1-5 post time favorite. Never one to shy from a challenge though, driver Kevin Switzer, who had his pacer, Princeoftheforest, geared up for a big effort on Sunday, blasted the state-bred off the gate, easily gained the early lead, and forced his undefeated foe to sit an unfamiliar third in the early portions of the mile. The strategy proved masterfully useful as Switzer and his steed set speedy, uncontested fractions while Alittlebithiphop struggled to close ground in an unaccustomed first over attack. Princeoftheforest, the 2016 freshman stakes champion, secured his first win of the current season by an imposing 7-1/2 length margin, romping to victory in a zippy 1:56.3. The son of Baron Biltmore-Barbra Ann is trained and driven by Kevin Switzer for the ownership group of KDK Standardbreds of Harrington, DE and Anthony Sivik, Jr of Orono, ME. Alittlebithiphop (E. Davis, Jr) rallied to secure the runner-up placing while Mic Woodrow (M. Graffam) finished third. Scarborough Downs is pleased to present twilight harness racing on Saturday at 4:30 PM (EDT) with the Sunday matinee heading to post at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

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