BERLIN – Live racing returns to Ocean Downs this weekend for the 60th year with the first two days of what will be a 40-day live meet at the historic harness racing track near Berlin set for Saturday and Sunday, June 14-15.
The 40-day summer live meet at Ocean Downs will feature 10 races nightly with the first post-time each night at 7:35 p.m. Live racing will be held each Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and the meet will end a little late this year on Aug. 24.
Opening night will feature an Ocean Downs athletic bag giveaway with the first 1,500 fans receiving a coupon redeemable after the eighth race.
Many of the top harness racing horses, drivers and trainers from all over the mid-Atlantic area will be competing in the live meet at Ocean Downs this summer.
“We have a full barn area,” said Ocean Downs general manager Pete Szymanski. “In fact, we have a waiting list. There are a number of new stables that will be racing here. We got a couple of new barns out of New Jersey.”
Of course, there will be plenty of familiar names and faces around the track this summer for the live meet. Last year’s top driver Frank Milby, who recorded the most wins at the Ocean Oval in 10 years with 67, will be back to compete at the track this summer as will second place driver Ray “Shorty” Robinson, Jr., who collected 53 wins. Also back this summer will be last year’s top trainer, Shawn Armour, who collected a decade-high 27 wins last year.
One of the highlights of the early live meet will be when the famous Budweiser Clydesdales visit Ocean Downs on Saturday, June 21. The entire Budweiser Clydesdale hitch will be at Ocean Downs on June 21 with single horses available for viewing and picture-taking on Thursday, June 19 and Saturday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to noon.
For all the week’s news, see The Dispatch on Friday morning.