SKOWHEGAN — It’s been a good year for Western Comfort. Coming into Saturday’s Walter H. Hight Invitational at the Skowhegan State Fair, Western Comfort had nine wins in 18 races, plus three second-place finishes and three more thirds.

Add another win for an even 10.

Driven by Kevin Switzer, Jr., Western Comfort pulled away from the rest of the six horse field over the second half-mile, holding off a charge by Doubleshotascotch and driver Heath Campbell, to win the Skowhegan Fair’s feature race. A Place Out West, driven by Michael Cushing, was third.

“(Western Comfort) won six in a row, eight out of nine,” Switzer said. “He’s been drawing outside. Today, the outside paid off, and we got right to the front.”

Western Comfort won with a time of 1:54.4, two seconds off the state record set in last year’s Hight Invitational by Rodeo du Ruisseau. The winner of the last two Hight Invitationals, Rodeo du Ruisseau was going for a third straight win. Driven by W. Drew Campbell, Rodeo du Ruisseau placed fifth.

Western Comfort paid $11.80. The trifecta paid $617.

Western Comfort led throughout the race, but at the half mile, it was close with Doubleshotascotch and Rodeo du Ruisseau.

“I knew it was going to be a tough trip. I knew if I could get the front, control the pace, I’d have a good shot. (Doubleshotascotch) is a good horse. He gave it all he’s got. My horse was just a head better today,” Switzer, who leads all Maine drivers in wins (129 as of last week) this year, said.

Western Comfort’s fastest time of the year, 1:54.0, came on June 18 at Scaborough Downs.

“We were able to get the front today, and play catch me if you can from there,” Switzer said. “The horse was real good today.”

With a quarter mile to go, A Place Out West was in sixth place, but charged hard down the stretch to move up to third.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

 


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