It was another afternoon of harness racing at the Northern Maine Fair. The horses and drivers are putting on a show on the track and there are several sets of eyes who are watching to make sure the drivers are following the rules. Shane Bacon is the presiding judge and is high above the track Rene Cloukey has the story
Shane Bacon is the Presiding Judge at the Northern Maine Fair. He says “The job here is to basically referee the game you have got to look at like a basketball official and the game is only as good as the officials are. If you have got some people up here who really care and understand you are now protecting the integrity by officiating correctly meaning, if there’s infractions out on the track, you have to call those things. Place horses when horses need to be placed and if you aren’t doing that you are really hurting somebody else.”
Bacon has been involved in harness racing on several levels for over 30 years. He stepped into the cat bird’s seat as a judge a few years ago and he said that his goal is to be fair
Bacon says “I have a good rapport with our drivers here as a judge and they respect me i respect them. They know that I know this game and I know it well and that is what they respect and I will be fair in the decision making. The biggest thing about being a judge is you need to be fair to everybody.”
His voice might be familiar to long time harness racing fans. he was the track announcer in Bangor over 30 years ago and also was the announcer in Lewiston in the mid 80′s Bacon also has announced at some of the larger tracks in the northeast.
Bacon says “ I have worked at Pocono Down in Wilkes Barre, PA and that is a fine track. It is one of the top in the country right now. I worked there from 2000 to 2008 . I also worked at Chester that is at Harrah’s in Philadelphia and I worked there the first meet it opened up and I do Yonkers I fill in there.”
The presiding judge says there are several outstanding drivers in the state and many of them have raced all over the country at various times in their career.
The Presiding Judge says “The drivers are as good as anywhere and we are very lucky to have the talent that we have here, the trainers and drivers, but we have some very talented drivers here. If you live right here in the area it’s a great time to come out and see some really good racing.”