Scarborough Downs will permanently close Nov. 28
November 20, 2020
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Scarborough Downs in Portland, Maine, is nearing the end of its 70 years playing host to horse racing. It is scheduled to hold its last live harness racing event on Nov. 28.
Mike Sweeney, the track’s publicist and race announcer, confirmed the track’s closing with the Portland Press Herald. Scarborough Downs has struggled financially for years and horsemen knew the future was uncertain after the track and the surrounding 500 acres was sold in 2018 for $7 million.
Scarborough Downs opened in 1950 with thoroughbred racing. Harness racing was introduced in the 1970s and the track enjoyed its best business years in the 1970s and early ‘80s, when the grandstand was regularly filled.
Mike Cushing, a director of the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association, told the Press Herald that a group has begun planning for a new harness track in southern Maine.
“I think this means a new beginning for harness racing in Maine,” Cushing said.