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Case Wins In Return At Scarborough

Published: October 21, 2017 2:07 pm ET

Last Comment: October 23, 2017 10:25 am ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Driver Walter Case Jr. wasted little time in finding his way back to the winner's circle, connecting in the second race of the afternoon at Scarborough Downs.

A large crowd of both veteran and potential new fans thronged the trackside apron as the first bugle sounded; the crowd falling eerily silent in anticipation, as the pacers were introduced over the track’s PA system. When Case’s name was announced the throngs erupted in a spontaneous and extended ovation of cheers and well wishes, so loud and heartfelt, that the track announcer was forced to pause his introduction of the field until the tribute faded.

Case, who seemed caught off-guard and genuinely moved by the reception, turned to acknowledge the recognition by waving toward the fans and vocally thanking them for their support as he scored his pacer in front of the stands.

“The ovation brought me to tears,” said veteran racetrack announcer Lloyd Johnson, “It was a genuine and unexpected outpouring and the sort of demonstration you seldom see at a harness track. I’ve been calling races for 50 years now and I can’t recall anything quite like it.”

After finishing fifth in the first race of the afternoon, Case guided Real Yankee to victory in the second half of the daily double. Case sat the pocket behind Cruzin Maverick (Heath Campbell) through opening fractions of :28.3 and :58 before popping pocket around the five-eighths mark to avoid being locked in and take a shot at the pacesetter. Real Yankee cleared to the front just past the third station of 1:28.1 and made some daylight on the field before drifting out in the stretch and facing a late challenge from Ms Lynette (Mitch Cushing). Case kept his horse brave and held on for the three-quarter length victory in 1:58.2.

Walter’s sister, Kelly Case, while leading a delegation of family and friends onto the track to greet her brother following the race, turned and beckoned to the fans on the apron, “Come on everybody! Come on out to meet Casey in the winner’s circle!”

The track announcer repeated Kelly’s invitation and dozens responded by making the march across the track, while dozens more waited to cheer Case as he exited the winner’s circle following the ceremony.

“I just want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make today possible” a humble and grateful Case said, “The reaction from the fans and everybody was amazing. It feels so good to be back racing in Maine.”

With drives in all 11 of the races carded, Case finished the day with three wins and only finished out of the money with one horse.

The fans’ response to the return of Walter Case Jr. on Saturday serves as a reminder of the excitement that harness racing can still generate.

“The turnout and enthusiasm that was evident at the track on Saturday pleasantly exceeded our expectations,” said Downs’ Vice President Denise Terry, “We thank the fans for their support of both Casey and the track, and we pledge to do all we can to build upon this very successful day.”

Case, the eighth leading dash-winning driver in the history of the sport with 11,041 career wins, received a provisional driving license from the Maine Harness Racing Commission last week, setting the stage for his return to racing in Maine. He was grateful for the opportunity to rekindle his career remarking, “Maine is my home. It’s where my career started, and I’m looking forward to coming back and competing again.”

For the last nine years, Case has lived a relatively quiet life, training horses with his wife in Ohio. His racing career all but ended in 2004 when he was convicted of assault and ended up serving four years in prison. Until now, he had been kept out of the sport by licensing authorities.

(with files from Scarborough)

October 23, 2017 - 10:25 amMr. Case served his

Mike Mobley SAID...

Mr. Case served his punishment and was released - that being the case (no pun intended!) I see no reason why he shouldn't be given another chance.

October 22, 2017 - 4:34 amFans from all over, including

Fans from all over, including me, are searching everywhere to see a video of that win.

October 21, 2017 - 3:12 pmCongratulations Walter, it's

Congratulations Walter, it's to bad I cannot get the races from Scarborough, would have liked to see your first win in a LONG TIME, you may be rusty for the first few weeks but it will all come back, just like riding a bike after a long lay off, you never forget what to do???. Have a good week and once again GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND YOUR WIFE.


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