Harness racing is a staple at several Agricultural Fairs around the State. Fairs including Presque Isle have had harness racing for well over 100 years. Presque Isle is where a lot of horsemen got their start. Phil Sowers originally from the Fredericton area spent a lot of time racing in Presque Isle when they held a several week summer meet.
Phil Bo Sowers:" Presque Isle has been a fixture for me. My wife and I were talking I think i missed one year since I was 13. It is in our calendar every year to make sure we come back."
Sowers is now based in Windsor and he has a stable of over 30 horses. In 408 starts this year he has 71 wins 62 seconds and 53 thirds
Sowers:" I got real good owners that provide me with some nice horses and it makes my job much easier."
Bo's son 18 year old McGwire has been in the sulky for the majority of those starts
Sowers:" McGwire has stepped to the plate. I put him in a spot that a lot of 18 year old's likely couldn't deal with. He is driving the whole stable of 30 or 35 horses. He has adapted well. He has had some off days and bad drives, but overall he has had more good than bad."
McGwire picked up his first pari mutual win last year in Presque Isle and that is still a highlight for him
(McGwire Sowers):" It felt real good. I had a lot of my family come over from Canada to watch me drive."
Sowers registered his 100th career win last month .He also has six wins this week in Presque Isle.
Sowers:" For an 18 year old it couldn't be better. My dad has a good stable and that has helped a lot too. He gave me the opportunity to drive the whole stable."
The 18 year old said that is on the job training and he has learned a lot in the past year
Sowers:" Every time out you learn something new. It is pretty exciting."
Many of the top horsemen the Country got their start on Maine tracks and now are successful on major tracks around the Country. Sowers hopes that he is able to have success outside the state too.
Sowers:" I am hoping to make the move to New York this winter and work my way down to New Jersey at the Meadowlands Race track and see how that goes."