Bangor Raceway’s 27-day extended meet passes the halfway mark this weekend with a very busy three days of racing.
The weekend includes:
The seasonal debut of the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes;
A $3,500 open pace;
Two non-betting learn and earn series;
A visit from some special athletes; and
Two late closer series races and a 12-dash racing card on Sunday.
Last year’s 2-year-old MSBS trotting stakes entrants return to Bangor on Friday night as this year’s breeders stakes sophomore class. Some have returned and some have not, while others have moved on to greater challenges and racing opportunites. And that’s how it is supposed to work.
Part of Friday’s 10-dash program will include 40 Maine Special Olympic athletes, coaches and parents, primarily from the Bangor area, who will be guests of the Maine State Harness Racing Promotion Board and Bangor Raceway.
Athletes will have an opportunity to tour the stable area, watch a farrier shoe a horse, enjoy a hayride and a cookout. Also, Friday’s third race trot is dedicated to Maine Special Olympics and 10 athletes will be in the winner’s circle and have their picture taken with the winning horse and driver.
There are currently 3,313 Olympians enrolled in Maine Special Olympics, representing 128 different Maine communities.
Also on Friday’s racing program is the initial outing of the 3-year-old MSBS trotters. The single trotting division has seven entries and carries a hefty $5,838 purse.
Last year’s 2-year-old trotting MSBS final winner at Scarborough, Race Me Lynn-Marie and driver Kevin Switzer, return as the pole sitter, along with second-place finals winner, Frankenstarr and Gary Hall and third-place finals finisher, Inching My Way and Dick Cluff.
On Saturday night’s eight-race program, the two divisions of the 3-year-old MSBS filly pacers are both wagering events. In the third race on the program, for a $5,721 purse, last year’s 2-year-old final winner, Sue’s Data, drew the rail for owner Harry Badger of Auburn and driver Doug Gray. Last year’s third-place final finisher, Nite Nite Lee and Don Richards return for the MSBS opener for owners Tom Dillon of Anson, Richards of Yarmouth and Walter Hight of Skowhegan.
In the second division, for a $5,917 purse, Winsong China, last year’s second-place filly final winner, returns with Gary Mosher driving for owners Kennebec Winsong Stable of Waterville. Also on Saturday’s program is the opening leg of the Mister Bangor, a late closer for pacers. A field of eight speedy entries is sure to make this a “sub-2-minute” race.
On Sunday’s program, in addition to the 12 wagering events, there are two Learn and Earn Series for 2-year-old pacers with an early post time of 1 p.m. The 10th race feature is a $3,500 open pace with post positions assigned.
The select field of five pacers, from the rail out, include: Loud Applause and Bob Sumner; Postcard Jack and Don Richards; Spend All The Money and Heath Campbell; Comedy Hour and Kim Ireland and Happy Family and EddieCampbell; Comedy Hour and Kim Ireland and Happy Family and Eddie Davis Jr.
Also, two divisions of MSBS pacing colts step onto the track for their first 3-year-old MSBS competition for purses of $5,509 in each division. Last year’s 2-year-old colt finals winner, Guadalajara Harry and Eddie Davis Jr. returns for owners Bob and Yvette Prudenzano, Augusta and Basil Kellis, Wells.
Also competing are second-place final finisher, Toronado and Gary Mosher for owner Valerie Chow of Brunswick and third-place final winner Gaelic Ian with Doug Gray for owner Roosevelt Susi of Cumberland Center.
Pacing Bits – The County Raceway in Presque Isle races its third session tonight with eight live dashes and no double dashes. Quite a demand on the Maine horse supply when you consider Scarborough Downs is racing five sessions a week, Bangor Raceway four weekly sessions and County Raceway, one racing session per week.
The Down East Harness Horsemen’s Association had its first $100 winning combination of owner-trainer last Tuesday night. Owner, Kermit Allen of Blue Hill and Canadian trainer, John Davidson each received $50 after Davidson won the DEHHA designated third race with Allen’s trotter Lenny Joy. It all happens again next Tuesday.