Scarborough, ME --- Saturday (Oct. 12) marks the richest day of the Maine harness racing season as more than $330,000 in purse money will be up for grabs at Scarborough Downs, with championship glory gleaming in the eyes of 32 Maine-bred hopefuls as they gather to do battle on the biggest day of their racing careers.
|Michael Newman photo|
|Obrigado leads the pack with driver Heath Campbell during 2013 stakes competition.|
Chief among them will be Obrigado, a 3-year-old son of the exciting stallion Boy Band, who will put his seasonal undefeated record on the line as he bids for his 13th score of the year. Owned and bred by Michael Andrew, the strapping trotter will be handled by his customary pilot, Heath Campbell, scoring from post two after being installed as the prohibitive even-money morning line favorite.
A daughter of Boy Band, Song Of Virtue, also owned by Andrew, has been given a big chance to join Obrigado in seeking Sire Stake acclaim on Saturday after being made the 8-5 morning line favorite in the filly trotting division. Ruel Goodblood, Jr. will drive for legendary colt trainer, Gordon Corey, from post three, shoulder-to-shoulder behind the gate with their chief competitor, Future Cast (Mark Athearn), who commands near co-favorite status at 2-1 odds.
Darlington Stripe, a nine-time winner this season for owner/trainer Stephen La Casse, will have her work cut out for her from the outside post six in the filly pacing division, despite being named the 4-5 morning line favorite. Conventional wisdom anticipates driver David Ingraham steering the daughter of Fast Company to her customary front end seat, then girding for the patented late-mile rally of track record holder Pembroke Violet (Heath Campbell), who has been made second choice by the track oddsmaker at 2-1.
The most wide open of the Sire Stakes contests figures in the colt pacing division where wins have been doled out on a rather equitable basis this year with five of the eight finalists boasting at least four wins apiece. The draw was not kind to the top pugilists though as seven-time winner Master Of Puppets (Heath Campbell) will be forced to strategize from post six, while the late-season sensation Neutral Data (Wallace Watson) will bid to extend his three race win streak from the seven hole.
Other activities at the track include a 50/50 raffle to benefit the MSBOA Scholarship Program, an agricultural display, and retired race horses, including Snap Dancer, 2008 Joseph Ricci Memorial Trot winner, who will marshal the races with the Standardbred Performance Society.
First post for the 11-race championship card is slated for 12:05 p.m. (EDT).