No more clipping ballots from the sports section of the Bangor Daily News – it’s all over and the winner is…. sorry, you will have to wait until Saturday night.
The winner of the 1997 BDN Harness Horse of the Year will be announced at The Down East Harness Horsemen’s Association annual winter business meeting, awards banquet and auction on Saturday at Miller’s Restaurant in Bangor.
The business meeting for the Bangor-based horsemen’s group is scheduled in the Crystal Room at 5 p.m., preceded by a social hour. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. with guest speaker Tom Kole, executive director of the Maine Harness Racing Promotion Board.
At 7:30 p.m., the DEHHA will present 10 awards to owners of horses who demonstrated outstanding performances during the 1997 Bangor Raceway extended meet. This year, Down East directors decided not to award trophies, but instead, present winning owners with personalized horse halters with the horse’s name engraved on a brass plate and in the stable’s colors.
Also, the annual Bangor Daily News 1997 Harness Horse of the Year will be presented. The owner of the winning horse is determined from ballots submitted by BDN readers and will receive a silver bowl engraved with his/her name and the date. The horse’s name will also be engraved on a permanent trophy on display at the BDN.
The name of this year’s winning horse will also be added to a painting, along with previous winners of the BDN award, which is located in the entrance of Miller’s off-track betting facility.
Dinner reservations are $15 per person for Miller’s salad bar and are available by calling: Joan Corbett, 942-6197; Wendy Mosher, 848-5303 or Dot Ward, 989-4739. Tickets will also be available at the door.
Additionally, free copies of the 1997 annual Maine Harness Racing Yearbook-Directory, compiled by the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association and the Maine Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association and dedicated to the late Danny Cyr, will be available. The MHHA annual meeting, scheduled for last Saturday, was cancelled because of the severe ice storm that blanketed New England. The MHHA meeting will be rescheduled sometime in February.
Pacing Bits: Don’t forget to register at your local OTB for a chance to win a free trip to Florida, courtesy of the Maine Harness Racing Promotion Board. A grand total of 10 winners will be drawn for “The Snowbirds Trip From Maine,” to Gulfstream Park on March 13-15 to see one of winter’s biggest thoroughbred races, the Florida Derby. The trip includes: round trip air fare from Portland; hotel accomodations; free car rental and box seats for two days of racing at Gulfstream Park.
Two lucky winners will be drawn from participating OTBs at Scarborough Downs, Brunswick, Lewiston, Waterville and Bangor. Entry forms are available at each OTB location. The drawings will be held Sunday, March 8, following the final race at Gulfsteam Park.
Although there is only one official entry blank per person, anyone wagering on live races at Gulfstream Park will have an extra advantage. They may take any losing ticket, write their name and address on the back and deposit in the entry box. Any OTB employee or any member of their immediate family is not eligible to participate and you must be 18 years old to enter.
Congratulations to David Ingraham on his 3,000th win last Saturday at Scarborough Downs. In the final race of the day, Ingraham won with I Need Action, a 6-year-old Falcon Seelster mare, owned and trained by Tom Beckwith of Union and Alan Silva of Texas. The win lifted Ingraham to the 3,000 plateau and it was a catch drive for an ailing Heath Campbell. Ingraham’s special recognition was a long time coming and very well deserved.
The Maine State Harness Racing Commission has rescheduled its meeting to 5 p.m., Jan. 21 at the Augusta Civic Center. The commission will review the rule book to see if any rule changes or clarifications are needed.