SKOWHEGAN — Unlike many years, last month’s Paul Bunyan Invitational at Bangor Raceway did not provide a preview of the Walter H. Hight Invitational. Mr. Perseverance, the winner of the Paul Bunyan, will not race the Hight Invitational today at the Skowhegan State Fair. Two horses in today’s race, Real Special and Haveford Hanover, did race in the Paul Bunyan. Real Special finished third, while Haveford Hanover was fourth.

Six horses will race the Hight Invitational today. The purse is $12,000, and like last year, there’s a a $4,000 bonus for the winner if it breaks the track record, 1 minute, 52.3 seconds, set in 2010 by Rodeo Du Ruisseau.

Last year’s race was won by Wholy Louy, with a time of 1:53.3.

Today’s forecast calls for temperatures in the high 70s, with no chance of rain. That means the track should be in good shape and fast for the Hight’s 3:40 p.m. post time.

“It should be a beautiful day. The track’s in great shape,” said Walter Hight, the grandson of the race’s namesake. “They’ll be flying.”

Late Night Flight has the fastest time in the field, running a 1:50.2 at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania earlier this year. In 20 starts, Late Night Flight has three wins, and has finished in the money nine times. Ron Cushing, ranked fourth in the state in the latest driver standings with 80 wins this year, will drive Late Night Flight. Late Night Flight has the highest earning this year, $28,419, in the field.

While Late Night Flight has the fastest time in the field this year, Viper Hanover has had the most success, albeit in the fewest number of races. Viper Hanover has four starts, with two wins and two third place finishes. Viper Hanover’s fastest time of the year, 1:57.2, was also run at Pocono Downs.

Real Special has six wins in 14 starts, and has finished in the money 12 times. Kid Carson has three wins in 11 starts, to go along with two second place finishes and two thirds. Kit Carson’s best time of the season, 1:54.0, is the second-best time in the field.

Haveford Hanover has 24 starts, the most in the field, and has three wins. Players Ball had six wins in 22 starts this year.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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