1950: Scarborough Downs opens as a saddle-horse or thoroughbred racetrack. Built in 73 days at a cost of $1.5 million, the facility’s initial investors include Robert Verrier and Fred Snow of Scarborough and Joseph Cianchette of Pittsfield. Workmen had moved 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt and laid out 1,000 tons of steel and 2 million feet of lumber to build the grandstand, clubhouse and stables. The grandstand seats 6,500 and the clubhouse holds 2,500, with parking for 6,000 vehicles and jobs for 500 Mainers, including clerks, cooks and ushers.

1969: Ogden Corp., a billion-dollar New York conglomerate, buys the Downs, makes about $1 million in improvements and introduces sulky or harness racing to the facility.

1979: Joseph Ricci and Gerard Davidson, a psychiatrist from Massachusetts, founders of the controversial Elan School in Poland, Maine, buy the Downs as Davric Maine Corp.

1980: Record attendance is set on June 29 when 9,133 people visit the track.

1980: After a pair of fires destroy two barns and kill 15 horses, Ricci razes and replaces 15 wooden horse barns with six cinder-block structures that have 60 stalls each.

1985: Ricci spends $3 million to expand and renovate facilities at the Downs, including a refurbished track and a new clubhouse, using $2.2 million in insurance claims after the original clubhouse burned down in 1983.

2001: Ricci dies and his wife, Sharon Terry, takes over his interest in Davric Maine Corp. and its ownership of the Downs.


Comments are not available on this story.