May 31, 2021 – by Chris Tully for First Tracks Cumberland (Stephanie Gray photo)
CUMBERLAND, ME – When Cumberland conditioner Chris Lefebvre bought Airspinder a few months ago, he was not sure what kind of horse he was going to end up with.
“He had showed some speed, but we knew that he had bad feet. So it was a little bit of a gamble,” exclaimed the 42-year-old third generation horseman. Airspinder, a 5-year-old son of Delaware sire No Spin Zone (by The Panderosa), has won four of his five last starts for owners Michelle Lefebvre and Brian Aaskov, and earned over $10,000 in that 5-week span.
“My Blacksmith sees him once a week and my grooms go through buckets of poultice and hoof dressing!”
But quarter cracks aside, the horse seems to have developed an admirable trait…he likes to pass other horses. “He’s not sure what to do when he gets by them, but he’s learning,” noted Lefebvre. “If there is a rabbit out there he likes to chase them down.”
Stabled at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, Lefebvre (pronounced le-FAVE) has seven horses in his barn and recognizes the unique qualities of his current stable star.
“He is a nice horse and it’s been a lot of fun for me and my wife to watch him race,” noted Lefebvre. “He sort of handicaps himself early because of his lack of early speed.” Clearly, Airspinder makes up for that issue with his powerful closing ability. This became evident to the Lefebvre’s when he won his second start for them at Bangor on April 28.
“He had the two hole, got away 6th and was back over eighteen lengths by the quarter pole. But once he was given racing room he charged home, parked the mile and won in 1:56, with last quarter in :28.1,” Lefebvre recalls.
While horse ownership is fun for Michelle Lefebvre, at her day job she works as a nurse recruiter for Maine Medical in Portland and helps place RNs throughout the state’s hospitals.
“It’s always exciting when they win, but Airspinder has been out of the ordinary,” detailed Michelle Lefebvre. “We don’t always have horses that keep winning…so this has been an extra thrill.”
He was assigned post five in Tuesday’s $6,000 Winners Over $10,000 handicap, programmed as the seventh race, which is the start of the pick four. The only horse outside of him is Sarah’s Lilly (3-1), a mare with $12,000L5 and two wins in her last two ‘winners over fillies and mares’ starts at Cumberland.
Airspinder will also get pressure from Bet On Joe (PP 4, M/L 9-2), a 6-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight that has been racing in the Patriot Series at Plainridge. Trained by Bob Marston and driven by Mike Stevenson, the 11-time lifetime winner shows race times in 1:52.3 & 1:52.4 in his last three starts.
Leading Cumberland trainer Karl Butterfield sends Twomacsoneshadow (Kevin Switzer Jr, PP 3, M/L 4-1) into the mix, having battled with Airspinder in his last two starts and looks to even the score in his favor.
The 5-2 favorite on the morning line, Airspinder gets the services of W. Drew Campbell, a top-five driver at both Cumberland and Bangor, and is currently sixth at Plainridge. The Nova Scotia-native has 5,357 lifetime wins with over $16 million in earnings. This year Drew Campbell has a UDR of .291 with 31 seasonal victories.
Tuesday’s card has ten races programmed with $1 exactas and 50 cent trifectas available in every race.