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Littleton's Dream finds harness racing success

September 12, 2012
LITTLETON — A horse born and raised in town had a solid season harness racing at Scarborough Downs in Maine. Littleton's Dream is a two-year-old filly owned by Bruce and Maxine Hadlock. They have owned horses for three decades.

The swift horse took a three-race winning streak into action at the Scarborough Downs final on Sunday. She finished in third place. According to Bruce, the filly's finish in the race earned a 12 percent share of the purse of $52,309. Before the final, Littleton's Dream had nearly $26,000 in winnings.

Maxine discussed how the horse's name came about. The concluding line of the movie "Pretty Woman" is "Keep on dreaming." Maxine thought that would be a great horse name, but she found out the name was already in use. Littleton's Dream grew from the original idea.

Based on the program from Sunday's action, there appears to be a great deal of competition in the harness racing world. The description of Littleton's Dream noted that she goes "into battle today as these fillies tussle for the lion's share" of the purse offering.

The program described Littleton's Dream as a "fleet early mover" on the track. There are two types of strides in harness racing. Littleton's Dream is a trotter. That means she moves her legs forward in diagonal pairs, first with the right front and left hind legs. A pacing horse uses lateral leg movement, with right side legs moving first.

Bruce noted that trotter horses have a greater chance of breaking their stride in a race. A horse that breaks stride must be pulled back and lose ground, or be subject to disqualification.

Littleton's Dream spent a year in Florida for training. Bruce noted that it is common for harness racing horses to have a full year of training before turning competitive in their second year of life.

Her trainer is Jeff Deslandes.

The Hadlocks have found success with other horses. Maplewood, for example, has won about $140,000. Road Show Star, a half-sister of Littleton's Dream, also found success in races recently.

The couple has two horses on the harness track in Saratoga Springs, New York. There has been other Hadlock horses race in Canada. Bruce noted that the industry there is under more financial pressure that in the United States.

The Hadlocks have raised about 50 horses in the 30 years at their Meadow Street farm. Bruce said much has changed on Meadow Street since the start of their effort. Development has led to Home Depot and Lowe's becoming the Hadlock's neighbors.

Littleton's Dream will be racing next season, as well. She has certainly done her town proud. The stride that makes her appear to fly will hopefully continue to serve her, and the Hadlocks, well.

Garnett Hill
Salmon Press
Northern Human Services
Parker Village
Martin Lord Osman
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