Welcome to Skowhegan Raceway!

"Home of the Fastest Race in Maine"

Achilles Blue Chip - August 16, 2014

 

Race Office opens Sunday August 14, 2016
Phone: 207-474-9022

Race Dates, Track Records & Results - Listed Below

 

2016 Race Dates

August 14 through 20

   Post Time @ 1pm
   Pari Mutuels open @ 12pm

 

View 2016 Results

 

Track Records

Pace:
In 1988 the first 2:00 mile record was broken at Skowhegan State Fair by Marc Mosher on Blizzbee. The time of the mile was 1:59:2. Blizzbee was owned by Walter H. Hight, II and Thomas Dillon.

On August 21, 2010 Rodeo Du Ruisseau set the State Mark during the Hight Invitational with a pace of 1:52.3, driven by W. Drew Campbell. The previous pace record was set in 1993 by Hotrod Falcon 1:52.4 at Scarborough Downs.

The State Record was once again broken at the Skowhegan State Fair on August 16, 2014 by Ron Cushing on Achilles Blue Chip with a pace of 1:51.4.

Skowhegan Raceway continues to hold the State Record as of August 2015.

Trot:
The current trot record is 1:57.3 broken on August 18 of 2005 by Pembroke Prayer driven by Heath Campbell. Previous records held by Pembroke Marvel in 2005 & Pembroke Spice in 2009, both driven by Heath Campbell.

SKOWHEGAN STATE FAIR TRACK RECORDS

Pace

Two Year Old Filly

1:59.4

8/18/2015

LADIESLOVEOUTLAWS

Kevin Switzer

Two Year Old Gelding

1:57.3

8/10/2014

PEMBROKE WILDCAT

Heath Campbell

Two Year Old Colt(tie)

1:59.2

8/15/2011
8/21/2015

DENVER CYCLONE
FATHER OFTHE YEAR

Wallace Watson
Michael Downey

Three Year Old Filly

1:56.4

8/14/2011

MAEVE

Kevin Switzer

Three Year Old Gelding

1:54.4

8/16/2015

LETSMAKEAWISH

Kevin Switzer

Three Year Old Colt(tie)

1:57.3

8/21/1993
8/15/2010

SPENDALLTHE MONEY
KATAHDIN BOY

Kevin Switzer
Shawn Gray

Four Year Old Mare

1:55.2

8/15/2014

FIRE CAN FLY

Ron Cushing

Four Year Old Gelding

1:53.1

8/22/2015

PEMBROKE SCORPIO

Heath Campbell

Four Year Old Horse

1:56.2

8/22/1998

WESTERN COMET

Heath Campbell

Aged Mare (tie)

1:55.0

8/17/2013
8/16/2014

GRACIE GRACIE
LUV A LOT HANOVER

Gary Mosher
Kevin Switzer, Jr.

Aged Gelding

1:52.3

8/21/2010

RODEO DU RUISSEAU

W. Drew Campbell

 

Aged Horse

1:51.4

8/16/2014

ACHILLES BLUE CHIP

Ron Cushing

All Age Track Record

Trot

Two Year Old Filly

2:03.0

8/15/2014

BIBBIDI BOO

Heath Campbell

Two Year Old Gelding

2:02.2

8/19/2010

CRANMEADOW EXPRESS

Paul Battis

Two Year Old Colt

2:04.2

8/19/2015

HES A CASTOFF

Mark Athearn

Three Year Old Filly

2:00.1

8/16/2015

BIBBIDI BOO

Heath Campbell

Three Year Old Gelding

1:58.3

8/19/2009

BAD BOY BILLY

Leigh Fitch

Three Year Old Colt

2:01.4

8/18/2010
8/14/2014

CURRENT IMAGE
FIRST CLASS CAST

Mark Athearn
Gary Mosher

Four Year Old Mare

1:59.1

8/16/2014

ORDERING IN

Ron Cushing

Four Year Old Gelding

1:59.3

8/20/2005

PEMBROKE MARVEL

Heath Campbell

Four Year Old Horse

2:00.0

8/19/2000

PINE MAGIC

Kim Ireland

Aged Mare

1:58.2

8/22/2009

PEMBROKE SPICE

Heath Campbell

 

Aged Gelding

1:57.3

8/18/2015

PEMBROKE PRAYER

Heath Campbell

All Age Track Record

Aged Horse

2:01.1

8/17/2002

PINE MAGIC

Kim Ireland

 

 

Track History

Updated August 2015

Harness racing at Skowhegan State Fair has been a feature since the late 1800’s according to early fair brochures. In those days horse racing was a popular sport and everyone from farmers to businessmen would brag about who had the fastest horse in the area.
The information below was provided by S. Kirby Hight who has been a long time association member and supporter of Skowhegan State Fair.

Enoch Hight from Norridgewock, Maine who was S. Kirby Hight's grandfather, had a horse named Ino that raced at Skowhegan State Fair in 1877. He was one of the best racehorses in the country at the time. They would race for purses of $50.00 to $375.00.
There was no Pari-mutuel betting at that time as it was illegal. But this did not stop people from betting among themselves in some back room or out of the way spot.

There were many great Grand Circuit stables and drivers in Maine during the 1920’s and 1930's. There were stables names like Makwinney and Sullivan from Machias and Link Keene from Norridgewock who trained for the Woolworth Stable. Drivers Pierce Chappell and Avery drove many of the Woolworth stable's horses to victories. John Braden and Jackson Gratton were also great driving rivals during those years. Many of their best horses were raced at the fair which was a great treat for patrons in those days. The Woolworth family is still racing horses today on the Grand Circuit.

A local man named Fred Pooler built a horse barn on the fairgrounds in the late 1920's and kept his stable of horses there which consisted of a few Grand Circuit horses. In the 1940's and 1950's Walter H. Hight who was S. Kirby's father, kept a large stable at the fairgrounds under trainers Townsend and Ackerman. His horse Brewaway was 2nd in the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio and his horse Cynical Way was 5th in the Hambletonian which is considered the 'Kentucky Derby' for trotters.

Before the starting gate was introduced, horses used to start a race by lining up at the head of the stretch and then the judge would yell Go if they were lined up fairly and No Chance if they were not lined up. Sometimes they would have to score 6 or 7 times before the judge would let them go. What a mess sometimes! It would have been impossible to have pari-mutuel betting under those circumstances. It would look to the crowd like the judge was cheating!

In 1946 Walter H. Hight went to Lexington, Kentucky where the first starting gate was introduced. He had an engineer from Lexington design a starting gate and commissioned Smith’s Machine Shop of Skowhegan to make it and mount it to a 1946 Chevrolet pickup truck. One Sunday in July it was tried in Skowhegan and it worked fine. A local man who owned a horse with a record of 2:19 would not go behind it because he thought the gate was not fast enough. He soon found out differently!

The trial was a success and the starting gate was used at the fairs for the rest of the year and of course since then has been used continually. - S. Kirby Hight

In 1988 the first 2:00 mile record was broken at Skowhegan State Fair by Marc Mosher on Blizzbee. The time of the mile was 1:59:2. Blizzbee was owned by Walter H. Hight, II and Thomas Dillon. On August 21, 2010 Rodeo Du Ruisseau set the State Mark during the Hight Invitational with a pace of 1:52.3, driven by W. Drew Campbell. The previous pace record was set in 1993 by Hotrod Falcon 1:52.4 at Scarborough Downs. The State Record was once again broken at the Skowhegan State Fair on August 16, 2014 by Ron Cushing on Achilles Blue Chip with a pace of 1:51.4. Skowhegan Raceway continues to hold the State Record as of August 2015.

The current trot record is 1:57.3 broken on August 18 of 2005 by Pembroke Prayer driven by Heath Campbell. Previous records held by Pembroke Marvel in 2005 & Pembroke Spice in 2009, both driven by Heath Campbell.

In the spring of 1999 a fire destroyed the grandstand and pari-mutuel facilities. The new modern and larger grandstand will host Demolition Derby; evening shows and harness racing events. In 2001 new Archers, Signs and Quarter Poles were added to the racetrack. In 2002 a new Race Paddock was built, named the Forrest "Bud" Stevens Memorial Paddock, for his participation in events and his contributions to the fair.

Skowhegan State Fair is known all over the country as a great harness racing fair and many of the top horses and Grand Circuit drivers like Gary Mosher and Walter Case still love to race here because of the friendly and hospitable welcome they receive from the fans.

On behalf of Skowhegan State Fair, we would like to welcome you to stop by this August to ENJOY THE RACES!