News from Scarborough Downs!
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The King Drives for the Kids during the month of June
“Make A Wish is near and dear to my heart. I wanted to do something for the kids, and this was the perfect thing,” said Switzer, showing off his racing colors that have been stitched with the Make A Wish logo that he’ll wear every day he races, along with his racing sulky, which is also emblazoned with the blue Make A Wish logo.
If Switzer drives on every race day at
Switzer also invites any private donations from the public to supplement his driving donations.
“It’s for a great cause. Make A Wish is a wonderful program and I’m going to drive my heart out for these kids.”
Anyone interested in making a donation as part of the King Drives For the Kids program can contact
Memorial Day Race to Honor
Scarborough, Maine (Friday, May 24, 2013) Krystle Campbell of Medford, MA, one of the victims of the Patriots Day bombing at last month's Boston Marathon, will be memorialized in a winner’s circle ceremony on Monday (5/27) at Scarborough Downs.
A blanket will be presented to the winner of the Free For All trot (race seven) by
Scarborough Downs, in coordination with the harness racing industry in
Two additional memorial races will be held on Monday’s 8-race program.
First post for the Memorial Day program at Scarborough Downs is slated for 1:05 PM (EDT). Post time for the Krystle Campbell Memorial will be at approximately 3:00 PM.
Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, May 04, 2013) – The horses and drivers who are normally the stars took a back seat to the fans on Kentucky Derby Day (5/4), as the Scarborough Downs’ faithful responded to the call for donations to benefit the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy. In an effort spearheaded by the Maine Amateur Driving Club (MADC) every part of the harness racing industry, including the fans, pulled together cooperatively, raising a total of $2,671 for the One Fund Boston.
The amateurs donated their 5% drivers’ commissions and while their brothers were toiling on the raceway,
“The fans are unbelievably generous today,” said driver Michael Kravchak, whose helmet was overflowing with dollars. “I’m glad I can do my part today but it’s really the fans who have stepped up to chip in for this great cause.”
Driver Bo Sowers played the leading role on the raceway Saturday, winning two of the three divisions of the Maine Amateur Drivers Club competition; these races all named the Boston Strong Pace.
Other organizations who stepped up to contribute were Scarborough Downs, the Race For ME PAC, New England Harness Writers Association, Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association, and the Maine Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association. One donation in kind that will bear future revenue for the One Fund Boston is a generous donation by Jim Carr of a breeding to World Champion, Big Jim, a stallion who stands at Seelster Farms in Ontario, Canada. Details will be made available shortly concerning how this breeding will be auctioned.
Maine Amateur Drivers Race to Benefit Boston Marathon Victims
Scarborough, Maine (Wednesday, May 1, 2013) … The first Saturday in May and the world's attention will rightly focus on Louisville, as the latest crop of top rated thoroughbreds vie for immortality and Kentucky Derby glory.
New England horse racing fans will join in the celebration too, with the expected overflow crowd at Scarborough Downs anxious to keep tabs on the happenings at Churchill Downs while packing the stands at the venerable southern Maine harness racing facility.
This season though, with the horror of the Boston Marathon bombings still fresh in our collective minds, the attention at Scarborough will also focus on Boston.
The Maine Amateur Driving Club (MADC), an altruistic group of harness enthusiasts, have spearheaded this weekend's effort to raise money in support of The One Fund - Boston by agreeing to donate their driver's commission from three MADC races on the Derby Day card at Scarborough. Following their lead, the rest of the harness racing industry have quickly joined in with; Scarborough Downs, The Race-ME PAC, the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association, the Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and the New England Harness Writers Association all agreeing to contribute toward the effort. Donations from the wagering public will also be solicited throughout the day.
"We always get our biggest crowd of the year on Kentucky Derby Day so we anticipate being able to raise a substantial amount to benefit this charity" said Scarborough spokeswoman Susan Higgins. "We already have commitments totaling $1700 from the harness racing industry and we're hoping to at least double that with contributions from the public. We just can't thank the amateur drivers enough for coming up with this concept - They're a great group!"
The MADC is comprised of both aspiring young drivers and veterans teamsters. While they are not the everyday stars of the sport, they are all accomplished horsemen and women who enjoy coming together for weekly competition. Prohibited from accepting monetary consideration in order to maintain their amateur status, the 5% commission normally paid to drivers is held in account for charitable purposes.
"With the tragic events in Boston, I was thinking it would be a good idea to make a donation to one of the relief funds to help the victims and families" said MADC President, Buddy Burke, "but the way this has quickly gained momentum throughout the harness racing industry is amazing. Our racers stand in unity with Boston's racers - We're just glad that in some small way we could help."
Scarborough's gates will swing open at 10:00 AM (EDT) with windows available to accept wagers on full simulcast of the Churchill Downs card. Live harness racing at Scarborough Downs begins at 2:00 PM with 13 races featured on the afternoon program. The day will culminate with the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby at 6:00 PM.
DeRuntz Denies Mosher His Six-Pack on Saturday at Scarborough Downs
Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, April 06, 2013 ) - Gary Mosher continued his firm stranglehold on the top spot of the leader’s board by casting a spell over the Scarborough Downs oval on Saturday (4/6), winning five of the ten races on the program, posting a total of 9 wins over the first four performances of the 2013 harness racing meet.
Included in the tally were River Waltz N (1:58), Henry’s Choice (2:01), Escape Attack (1:59.2), I Love Too Much (2:04), and Gracie Gracie (1:57).
Nearly trumping Mosher’s effort and keeping the meet’s top stick from securing a 6 th win of the day, Michael DeRuntz, upset-minded with Players Ball, shocked the crowd by besting 2012 Pacer of the Year, Wholly Louy, in an epic mile timed 1:56.2. That clocking represents the fastest race time recorded yet this season at Scarborough Downs. DeRuntz engineered a rare driver/trainer double on Saturday, claiming victory in the finale with his pacer, Nothings Ever Free.
Live racing resumes Sunday at 1:05 pm.
Cactus Creek Headlines Scarborough Downs' First Friday Card
Scarborough, Maine (April 4, 2013) Following fresh on the heels of a successful Opening Weekend, the harness racing schedule at Scarborough Downs expands to include Friday afternoon performances this week with post time slated for 4:00 PM (EDT).
Chomping at the bit to stamp his own unique mark on Scarborough's 63rd season, World Champion pacer, Cactus Creek will make the first start of his 10-year-old campaign on Friday, scoring from post seven in the co-featured eighth race.
Cactus Creek, who passed over the $600,000 mark in career earnings late last season will be guided around the oval by driver Chris Long for trainer Jamie Gerard. Fresh off a crystal March 30th prep effort, the Champ appears to have found an opportune spot to make his latest debut, having been installed as the even money favorite on the morning line.
Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness racing every Friday and Saturday at 4:00 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinee kicks off 1:05 PM.
Amateur Driving Club Gives Back to the Horses Maine
Scarborough, Maine (Wednesday, April 03, 2013) ... Beautiful, strong and well-conditioned racehorses are always the center of attention on the track at Scarborough Downs but last Saturday, that attention shifted to horses in need, as members of the Maine Amateur Driving Club presented a check in the amount of $,1985 to the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals.
Meris Bickford, CEO of the Windham, Maine-based equine rescue organization, was on hand to accept the contribution before an overflowing Opening Day crowd as the
Amateur driving competitions have a long history in the sport of harness racing harkening back to the days when neighbors driving horse-led surreys might match strides on a back country road for no other purposes than sheer enjoyment and perhaps friendly bragging rights. While today's amateur driving clubs are a bit more organized, amateur drivers are still not allowed to accept monetary compensation for their efforts, so the 5% commission normally paid to the drivers in a professional race are held in account and dedicated to charitable causes.
"As responsible horsemen, we recognize the need to care for our horses, both while they are racing and after their athletic careers are through," said leading MADC driver Bo Sowers. "So it was just a logical decision to choose the MSSPA as our charitable recipient this year. Their good work on behalf of neglected horses is admirable and regretfully necessary. We're hopeful that this contribution will go a long way toward realizing our common goals."
The MSSPA is the largest equine rescue organization in the State of
Armbro Brando Steals the Show Opening Day at Scarborough
Scarborough, Maine (Saturday, March 30, 2013) – The gates swung open for the 63rd consecutive season at Scarborough Downs as Maine harness racing sprung to life on Saturday in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd. Class came through in the opener as the venerable Armbro Brando vaulted to the early lead and refused to be passed, securing the 43rd victory of his illustrious career and handing Gary Mosher bragging rights as the first winner of the 2013 meeting timed in 1:58.1.
Armbro Brando, making his first start in the State of
Johnny Z scored a minor upset of sorts and claimed victory in the $5,500 Free For All, roaring from off the pace and drawing clear in the final strides, completing the course timed in 1:56.3. Last season’s driving champion, Shawn Thayer, sat in his customary seat behind the Randy Bickmore-trainee who is owned by Kevin Gee of
Live racing resumes Easter Sunday with 1:05 pm starting time. The following week, the schedule expands to include Friday and Saturday (4 pm post) with the Sunday matinee at 1:05 pm.
Nason Scores Three at Scarborough
His three wins on the program earned him second place in the driver’s standings after the inaugural weekend of racing at The Downs, trumped only by Gary Mosher’s meet-leading four wins.
In other news, track-record holder IPO Blue Chip scored the win in Sunday’s $5,500 Free For All event with Shawn Thayer calling the shots for trainer Randy Bickmore.
Live racing resumes Friday and Saturday (4 pm post) with the Sunday matinee at 1:05 pm.