Summer of speed in Maine harness racing

3:56 PM, Aug 30, 2010   |    comments
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SCARBOROUGH, Maine (NEWS CENTER)- Maine race horses are going faster than ever.  Records are falling.  A horse by the name of Rodeo du Ruisseau has set a new state record turning in a 1:52 and 3/5 at the Skowhegan State Fair.

A week later, the same horses raced at Scarborough.  This time, Shady Sabrina nipped Rodeo du Ruisseau.  The winning time of 1:53 and 1/5 was the track record for a female (distaff) horse.

Two weeks earlier, Rodeo du Ruisseau had turned in a time of 1:54 flat, which set a record at Scarborough for an aged pacer.

"It's the summer of speed," said Susan Higgins Communications Director at Scarborough Downs. "We think Saturday was the fastest day of racing that Maine has ever seen."

That prompts a check of statistics.  On Saturday August 28, all twelve races went in less than two minutes.  That's not unusual these days.  Of the 85 horses that raced, only five did not turn in a sub two-minute performance.  Four of those were in the same race.  While speed is important to the race fan, most will say that competitive racing is even more so.

To understand how fast horses are going, one must have some understanding of the sport.  Each race has a "condition" that a horse must meet to be in a race.  For example, the "condition" may be "Non-winners of $1500 in the last five starts."   Such a race was won on Saturday by Sun Beau Slick in 1:55 and 1/5.  He managed the victory by just a head over Lavros Vision N who was also clocked in 1:55 and 1/5.  Last in the race was Four Starz Gala in 1:57 and 1/5.  It wasn't so long ago that 1:57 and 1/5 would have won a big stakes race in Maine.

So the "Summer of Speed" rolls on with amazing performances at Maine tracks.  Rodeo du Ruisseau's state record is a popular one as his owner and trainer Dick Robertson is one of the most well liked people at the raceway.  1:52 and 3/5 is a remarkable time that could stand for a while.  And then again, maybe not!


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