Big Opening Night at Ocean Downs
BERLIN- Ocean Downs opened its 59th season of live racing last Saturday with a big crowd and a big performance by one of the historic track's most prolific drivers.
Just over 3,100 harness racing fans filled the grandstand at Ocean Downs last Saturday for the first night of the summer live meet and they were treated to a driving triple by Raymond 'Shorty' Brown, who won three times to get his season off to a great start. Brown followed Saturday night's three wins with two more on Sunday night to take the early lead in the drivers' standings.
Brown drove three-year-old filly Wynnfield Molly to victory in the second race on opening night for the first of three victories. He also drove five-year-old Sometimes Grace across the finish line first and finished his big night with another win behind It Fits in the last race of the evening.
On Sunday, Brown collected two more wins to bring his early victory total to five just two days into the 2007 live meet. His first victory on Sunday came behind six-year-old gelding Bold Xample and later drove to victory an eight-year-old gelding Catch The Heat, which is trained by his wife Carolyn with the help of their children.
The Browns live close to the historic track near Ocean Pines and have a strong connection to Ocean Downs. They maintain a stable nearby of four horses that race at Ocean Downs. 'They're telling me what to do when I do right and, of course, when I do wrong,' said Brown. 'We're here to have fun. We're home.'
Brown was Ocean Downs' driving champion for three straight years from 1999 to 2001 and finished second for four straight years from 2002 through 2005. Last year, he finished third behind Harness Track of America's Driver of the Year Anthony Morgan and W. David Hill III.
After a fast start last weekend, live racing resumed at Ocean Downs on Wednesday. The live meet will be held on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer until August 25. As always, admission and parking are free. Ocean Downs also offers simulcasting daily from some of the top tracks in the country.