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2016
3/26 - 9/11
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  Down East Racing at the Downs !     

Scarborough DownsScarborough Downs Logo

Scarborough Downs is a one half mile harness track located eight miles from Portland. It has a winterized, glass enclosed grandstand, and clubhouse which includes a restaurant "The Downs Club". The clubhouse seating 1,050, the grandstand 4,000. Live racing is held during the day and simulcasting is available year round. The stables can accommodate 800 horses. There is parking for 15,000 cars. Scarborough Downs also kicks off and ends the Maine racing season, it also holds the first Sire Stakes races in July and hosts the two and three year finals in October.   

Scarborough DownsSunday Bus Trip

Located only minutes away from Old Orchard Beach Scarborough Downs begin operating in 1950. When it opened Thoroughbreds were the breed of choice and to take advantage of the beach trade, racing was under the lights a novelty back in the 50's.

 Eventually the cost of racing Thoroughbreds became prohibitive and the track was scaled back to a half mile and Standardbreds are now the main attraction. Though old and dated it is arguably the premier spot for racing in Maine trying to hang on for the day when the towns people of Scarborough will allow Casino gambling.

Scarborough DownsWelcome to the Downs

 In 2011 the hard luck track was hit again, the vote that was approved in 2010 in Biddeford was put on a state ballot for whatever reason and was rejected. Scarborough says it will try again in 2013, if their still around. As for racing Scarborough ran it's spring, summer and fall meets, with time off for the traditional Maine Fair Season. Kevin Switzer captured top driver honors.

Scarborough Downs returned in 2012,  helped out by a revenue sharing plan with the racino in Bangor, Scarborough was able to increase their purse structure. Hopefully these additional monies will help keep the  track in business while it tries to get it's own racino license. In the drivers standings Shawn Thayer came away with top honors. Scarborough Downs is on track for the 2013 season.

My first trip to Scarborough Downs was at the tail end of the thoroughbred era in 1971. I remember it was a warm Saturday night in July and the place was packed, in fact it was the only time ever that I had to park in the grass field across the road from the track. My next visit was in the fall of 1978, the thoroughbreds were long gone and standerdbreds were now the breed of choice. On this visit the track was well attended and it was the only time I sat in the grandstand, at one point it was blocked off and never seems to be used.

Since that trip there have been many visits to the Scarborough oval, it became more enjoyable when I found out you could park right near the track and watch the races. I haven't been for a couple of years but it's not the same place it was in the seventies, now it's like only a family and friends type place. The grandstand is pretty run down, there's a logo painted on the floor that's so faded you can hardly tell what it is. There are also banners of what I think are past Presidents Pace winners hanging behind the one or two cashiers, that have seen better days. On the plus side the clubhouse is in a lot better shape, having been rebuilt after the original was destroyed in a fire, it features a second story restaurant overlooking the track.