Races Cap Off Great Pocomoke Fair

Races Cap Off Great Pocomoke Fair
Races Cap Off Great Pocomoke Fair

POCOMOKE – The sounds of thundering hooves and cheering fans filled the fairgrounds in Pocomoke last weekend as harness racing once again highlighted the Great Pocomoke Fair.

The fair, held Aug. 1-3, is one of only two in Maryland that offers live harness racing. The final day of the event featured eight races that provided local trainers and drivers with the chance for some friendly competition.

“Everyone has a good time,” trainer Brittany Bounds said. “I like it because it’s relaxed and family friendly.”

Horses from Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania competed in Saturday’s races, which included the Ellen Duncan Barnes Memorial as well as the Jack Dolby Stars of the Future race for young drivers. Spectators were also treated to what could be a first of its kind feat, as 10-year-old A Dandy Strike, a horse owned, trained and driven by Gary Botsch, competed in two separate races — one on the pace and one on the trot. She finished fourth in the first race, an event for pacing mares, and went on to finish second in race later in the day for trotters.

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A Dandy Strike, who competed as a pacer and trotter, is shown with trainer and driver Gary Botsch.

“I don’t think it’s ever been done on the same day,” said Botsch, who’s been racing at the Pocomoke Fair since the 1980s. “I took her to the Frederick Fair before and I’ve raced her Wednesday on the trot, Thursday and Friday on the pace and back Saturday on the trot. I’ve seen horses in pari-mutuel races switch over, race one month on the trot and another month on the pace, but I’ve never seen it on the same day. I think this is the only place it’s ever been done.”

The Jack Dolby Stars of the Future race, held each year at the Pocomoke Fair to give drivers under the age of 18 the chance to compete, showcased four teenage drivers. Participants included Joseph Minton, Alec Malone, Wyatt Long and Bryson Dunning. While three of the four competed in the event last year, it was 15-year-old Wyatt Long’s very first race. Long guided FoiledbytheBeach, a pacer owned by Donnie and Nancy Drewer of Delmar and Darryle Dennis of Pocomoke, to an easy victory.

While it wasn’t the fastest race of the day, one of the final races of the day showcased two senior horses, 11-year-old Warrawee Monarch and 14-year-old Castle Rock. Though Warrawee Monarch crossed the wire first for driver Barton Dalious, Castle Rock, driven by Terry McClements, hung on for second in what his connections say will be the final race of his career. The pacer, who has been owned by Frankford, Del., horseman Andrew Markano for the last decade, won a total of 27 races and more than $155,000 during his lengthy career.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.