Racehorse making break for freedom caught trying to hoof it down I-395

Posted May 12, 2009, at 2:03 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A racehorse bolted from Bass Park on Tuesday shortly after noon and took a jaunt down Main Street, according to Bangor police, before being stopped on I-395 near the Route 202 overpass.

Jeremiah Jones was still attached to his sulky when he trotted down Buck Street and onto Main Street at 12:05 p.m.

In pursuit was a man in a pickup truck who pulled up beside the horse. A man in the truck bed was able to grab the reins and stop the horse, but not before the sulky had bumped into the pickup several times.

“The fellow on the back of the truck grabbed the horse,” said Christopher Hitchcock, the truck’s driver.

Nobody was injured.

“It could have been dangerous if that horse had gotten hit,” said Sgt. Paul Edwards of the Bangor Police Department.

The horse was returned to Bass Park and reportedly was none the worse for wear.

“A horse loose on the 395 — this was a good outcome,” Fred Nichols, race secretary for Bangor Raceway, said early Tuesday evening.

Nichols said he had been told that Jeremiah Jones escaped the premises after a training run around the half-mile track. He said that the trainer, Kirk Charles, had just hopped out of the sulky when the horse bolted.

Nichols, who has been affiliated with the Bangor racetrack for 16 years, said Jeremiah Jones isn’t the first horse at Bangor Raceway that has made a dash for freedom, though he noted that it was a relatively rare occurrence.

Several years ago, a horse left the raceway and ambled down to the Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street, where city police cornered it about 3 a.m., Nichols said, though he could not recall the year it occurred.

Ed Reynolds, who manages the barns and store at Bangor Raceway, recalled another episode in which a horse left the raceway and was making its way down Third Street when it was caught.

According to a news item posted on the United States Trotting Association’s Web site, Jeremiah Jones is a 7-year-old pacer. The gelding qualified for parimutuel harness racing Sunday at Bangor Raceway.

Though the horse has yet to race in 2009, he placed second and third in two out of 13 races in 2008 and posted a first-place finish, two second-places and one third-place win in 2007, during which he competed in 27 races.

The USTA also noted that Jeremiah Jones has banked $9,038 over his lifetime.

Attempts to reach Jeremiah Jones’ trainer and owner were unsuccessful Monday evening.

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