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PORTLAND PRESS HERALD DARKROOM
The future of Scarborough Downs

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    The future of Scarborough Downs - Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Drivers pick up the pace at the start of a harness race at Scarborough Downs. Annual revenue has fallen from $4.2 million in 2004 to $2.8 million in 2015, a track spokesman says.

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    Warm ups prior to time trials at Scarborough Downs, photographed in May, 1988. (1988 Press Herald File/John Patriquin)

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    The future of Scarborough Downs - Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Doris Tousignant is the only person in line to place a bet at Scarborough Downs during a live racing card on Friday.

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    People line up at betting windows in June 1971. The record for highest total wagers in one day was $508,000 on Sept. 6, 1987.

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    The future of Scarborough Downs - Kelley Bouchard/Staff Writer | of | Share this photo

    Clouds are reflected in the grandstand windows at Scarborough Downs. Some of the windows are missing and boarded up. Built in 1950, the track first hosted thoroughbred racing and later switched to harness racing.

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    Opening day at Scarborough Downs on March 3, 1990. Record attendance was set on June 29, 1980, when 9,133 people visited the track.

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    The future of Scarborough Downs - Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    One recent weekday drew about 60 bettors to the grandstand. They wagered a little more than $2,500 in total, which means the Downs made about $250. On a good day, you’ll see 300 spectators at the track.

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    People gather in the lower grandstand area of Scarborough Downs in June 1971. The Downs operators paint a bleak picture of their current situation, noting that races on a recent weekday drew about 60 bettors to the grandstand, which has several boarded-up windows.

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    The future of Scarborough Downs - Kelley Bouchard/Staff Writer | of | Share this photo

    The betting counter at Scarborough Downs, which drew huge crowds in the past but struggles today with increasing competition from internet betting and casinos in Oxford, Bangor and elsewhere.

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    The future of Scarborough Downs - Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Horses hit their pace at the start of a race at Scarborough Downs. There are other tracks suitable for harness racing in Cumberland, Oxford and Fryeburg.

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    The future of Scarborough Downs - Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Paula Smith, left, and Linda Abbott stand alone on the Scarborough Downs track apron awaiting the final live race on Friday afternoon.

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    The future of Scarborough Downs - Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Foot traffic is light in the lower grandstand at Scarborough Downs during a live racing card on Friday. “I feel like I’m being held under water,” said owner Denise Terry. “How long can you survive without breathing?”

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    The future of Scarborough Downs - Kelley Bouchard/Staff Writer | of | Share this photo

    Trainer Randy Bickmore gives a pat to Glow Stick, one of 15 horses he keeps in the Scarborough Downs barns that are expected to close for an environmental violation. Glow Stick has won about $100,000 for her owner.

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    The future of Scarborough Downs - Kelley Bouchard/Staff Writer | of | Share this photo

    One of a few piles of horse manure sits near the barns at Scarborough Downs. The track’s owners say they have been cited for polluting nearby marshes and must close the barns.

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    The future of Scarborough Downs - Kelley Bouchard/Staff Writer | of | Share this photo

    A horse and driver train at Scarborough Downs. The Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association made a last-minute effort to negotiate a solution to the manure problem so the horses could have stayed in the barns through the end of the racing season on Dec. 4, to no avail.

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