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Local Horse owners ready for start of racing season.

Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 10:57 AM EDT
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Bridgewater, Maine (WAGM) - Harness racing returns to Bangor tomorrow for the first time this year. Earlier this year we talked to local owner trainer Neal Grass of Bridgewater as he prepared for the start of the year. The racing season was delayed and now three months after the traditional Bangor opening the season will finally begin.

Neal Grass:" We have already lost 70 percent of our season so it is going to be nice finally salvage something."

Earlier this year Grass and his wife Sharon would hook the horses onto the job cart and jog them around their track, but the horses also needed trainiing miles which meant trips to Bangor to train on a half mile track.

Grass:” We have been making several trips to Bangor to train our horses down and get them race ready. We can do slow miles here, but to do our fast miles we have to go to Bangor on a half mile track.”

That has added quite an expense as they have already made over a dozen training trips to Bangor.

Grass:” We have been going twice every five days. We try to put a training trip on them every five days and it has made it costly.”

The horses are enjoying some time in the pasture each day, but the Grasses feel the horses are getting restless and want to race.

Grass:” We get them out every day. We usually come out at 5 or 5:30 in the morning and feed them and then put them out. Mid afternoon we bring them back into do our jogging.”

(Sharon Grass):”I can tell they want to be out on the track. They are race horses and they were bred to run.”

The couple brought all eight of their horses to Bangor last week for qualifying trips and 7 of the 8 met the qualifying standard and can be entered into the box. Two of their horses will be racing on Wednesday and they hope to have several more race on Sunday.

Grass:” I am going to be pretty nervous because it has been so long since they raced and it is going to be a short season. We want them to do well right from the beginning.”

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