BERLIN – The 59th annual live racing meet at Ocean Downs concludes Saturday night, Aug. 25 with fireworks and an umbrella giveaway.
Race fans will be treated to a fireworks display after the final race of the evening. There will be at least 10 races on the closing night card with a first-race post time of 7:35 p.m. Admission and parking are free at the Ocean Oval.
A sturdy Ocean Downs golf umbrella will also be given away to the first 1,500 fans purchasing an Ocean Downs racing program. They will be given a coupon, which may be redeemed for the umbrella after the night’s eighth race.
The 40-day meet featured the running of the inaugural Chesapeake Bay Racing Series, which provided a total purse of $100,000 for three races Aug. 15. With each race worth $33,350, those races were the richest at Ocean Downs since 1992 when a $50,000 purse was up for grabs in the ninth and final leg of the North American Pacing Series for 3- and 4-year-olds. Victor Kirby drove two of the winners in the three-race event, including 7-year-old mare Racsan Jenny, who set a new track record for a mile trot with an impressive 1:57.1.
In that 1992 North American Pacing Series, Stylish Cam was the winner in 1:54.2, Driver Kim (Kimothy) Vincent finished third with Storm Fella, a horse Vincent drove and trained. Vincent drove this summer at the ocean where he began his 24-year driving career in 1978 and on Aug. 1, logged his 1,000th career win.
“I was really happy to do it here,” Vincent said. “I drove my first race at Ocean Downs. The horse’s name was CB Ace. He was my father’s [Don Vincent] horse.”
The 2007 summer meet driving honors go to 29-year-old Frank Milby, who had 61 wins after the 38th night of racing. With only three nights remaining, Ray Robinson, Jr. had 51 wins, his best summer on his home track. Robinson, known as “Shorty”, the three-time driving champion from 1999 through 2001, had his previous best meet in 2001 with 47 wins. Milby, who also races at Rosecroft Reaceway where he is also the leading driver, enjoyed his friendly competition with Robinson.
“When you have friends out there like me and “Shorty”, neck and neck … that’s the way it should be,” Milby said.
A horse owned and driven by Frank Milby and trained by his father Don at their home in Cordova, Md. won the Horse of the Meet honors. Seven-year-old mare Twin B Scamper won her eighth race of the summer Aug. 19, pacing the mile in 1:54.2, her best time at Ocean Downs, a half-mile layout.
“I really didn’t think she’d go that fast here, but when you put her into a position to win, she wants to go,” Milby said.
Whitesville Tara, a 6-year-old mare, owned and trained by Gary White and driven by W. David Hill III, also had an outstanding meet. The trotter, who earned Horse of the Meet honors last year, won seven straight races from June 24 through Aug. 8.
The leading trainer this summer was Shawn Armour, who had 25 winners through racing Aug. 22. Joseph Eisenhower, Sr. also had a productive meet with 17 training winners through Aug. 22.
Attendance during the 2007 meet continued to be among the highest at harness tracks, averaging nearly 1,900 nightly.