Scarborough Downs to open on Saturday

by Michael M. Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

Scarborough, Maine — The winter that would not end might continue to hold New England in its icy grasp, but a new day is set to dawn as the 2007 harness racing season springs to life at Scarborough Downs on Saturday afternoon, April 14.

The drivers, trainers and equine athletes have awakened from their three month slumber — well rested and expertly prepared to face the challenges that await them during the next nine months as racing roars back to life in this southern Maine hamlet. An ambitious four day a week schedule has been planned at the seaside oval.

In direct response to the removal of the 36-year-old hub rail and lighting system, The Downs will vacate its customary evening timeslot to feature an all-afternoon expanse of harness racing action throughout the meeting. Monday and Tuesday afternoon cards that are designed to appeal to the vast American simulcast network will be featured.

Robert Marston, who has boldly moved his stable right on the grounds at Scarborough this season, is well pointed to defend last year’s leading trainer title. He will send three horses to post on the Opening Day card — all three highly regarded on the morning line — with Hathaway Writer rated the 5-2 favorite in the featured eighth race.

Jason Bartlett, last year’s top stick at The Downs, returns in dramatic fashion, being named to drive in all but one of Saturday’s dashes. He will be joined along the pylons by chief rival, Drew Campbell, who finished just six wins behind on the 2006 leader’s board. The Scarborough faithful are anxiously awaiting the renewal of this professional, yet intense battle for raceway supremacy.

To compliment the outstanding card of harness racing on opening day, Scarborough Downs is proud to host an appearance by the Maine Standardbred Pleasure Horse Association whose members, with their retired racehorses, will serve as honorary marshals throughout the program. Information will be available in the Scarborough Downs clubhouse regarding this organization’s valiant efforts at retraining and placement of retired race veterans into new homes.

Post time for Saturday’s inaugural performance is slated for 3:45 p.m. (EDT) as the action returns to the live side on the big time oval at Maine’s showplace of harness racing — Scarborough Downs.

Scarborough Downs proudly features live harness action every Monday, Tuesday and Saturday afternoon with first post scheduled for 3:45 p.m. (EDT). The popular Sunday matinees get underway quite promptly at 12:05 p.m.

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