October 17, 2017 — In a commission ruling on October 13, Walter Case Jr. received a provisional driving license, setting the stage for his return to racing in Maine this weekend. Lipman & Katz attorney Evan Fisher pursued the case after the prolific harness racing driver was initially denied a racing license by the Maine State Harness Racing Commission when he applied in September. Case will race Saturday and Sunday at Scarborough Downs, his first racing action since Plainridge Park in 2008.
Case was originally denied a driving license in Maine because the Pennsylvania commission denied him a license in 2013. Case was not present at the latest meeting, but appeared through his attorney, Evan Fisher of Lipman & Katz in Augusta. Fisher argued that enforcing the Pennsylvania denial against Case would amount to allowing another state to make the rules for racing in Maine.
Fisher pointed out that the five-year denial from Pennsylvania is too harsh, noting that the Maine rules would not allow for suspension greater than one year. The commissioners agreed.
“Everyone deserves a second chance,” said Fisher. “The commission’s decision is not only good for Walter, but it’s good for the sport and good for Maine’s racing industry.”
Case is one of the greatest harness racers of all time, with more than 11,000 career wins, and has won Harness Tracks of America Driver of the Year three times. He has earned more than $43 million in prize purses as a driver, and he once held the record for most wins in a calendar year.
“Maine is my home. It’s where my career started, and I’m looking forward to coming back and competing again,” said Case.
Since 2008, Case has lived a quiet life, training horses with his wife in Ohio. His racing career all but ended in 2004 when he was convicted of assault and ended up serving four years in prison. Until now, he had been kept out of the sport by licensing authorities.
“Walter Case demonstrated a mastery of the sport throughout his career, and his presence on the track was always a big draw for racing fans. I anticipate that his return will generate a lot of excitement here in Maine and that he’ll continue to draw in fans,” said Mike Sweeney, director of publicity for Scarborough Downs.