June 12, 2021 – by Chris Tully for First Tracks Cumberland

CUMBERLAND, ME – The popular Saturday afternoon card at Cumberland carried the seasonal debut of the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes (MSDS) hosting three divisions of 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers.

Sent off as the 1-5 favorite in the third and final division, the Gordon Corey-trained Call Me Maverick wasted little time taking command of the field.  Leaving swiftly from post five, driver Mike Stevenson sent the sophomore son of Western Maverick right to the top going into the tight first turn at the fairgrounds.

On top the entire mile, it wasn’t until the final stretch drive that Call Me Maverick had any anxious moments.  Following a :28.4 third quarter, Driver Kevin Switzer Jr moved American Maverick off the pylons to challenge the leader, getting to within a head of the ultimate 1:59.3 victor in the final strides. 

“He did his job.  Like all owners and trainers, perhaps we would have liked to see a more formidable performance, perhaps a little more impressive,” stated Gordon Corey, the colt’s conditioner.  “But, ultimately we took home the Lion’s share of the porridge for the day.  So we are thankful for the blessings that we do have.”

Owned and bred by Upland Farm, last season Call Me Maverick had things pretty much his own way, winning 8 of 10 starts and earning $61,774 at age two.  In fact, it seems that in Maine Sired events, if you want to beat a Western Maverick, you will need a Western Maverick.

His dominance in the program is evident as half of the 3-year-old starters are offspring of the World Champion son of Western Hanover.  In fact, in Saturday’s second and third divisions, Western Maverick colts and geldings earned first, second and third money. 

When asked about locking bridles with some of the other foes in the division, Corey opined, “There are a few boys in there that should be reckoned with.  It won’t, by any stretch, be an easy season.  You know, sometimes the individual fights and the year-long battles will result in more than one wounded soldier.”

Call Me Western paid $2.40 to win, with no show wagering allowed.  In other MSDS action, Edelman won the first division, also in 1:59.3, for driver, breeder and co-owner Ron Cushing (with Kevin Sywyk) and trainer Heidi Gibbs.  The second division was captured by Whatawinwillie, also a son of Western Maverick, in 1:59.4.  He was owned, trained and bred by Marc Tardif and driven by Kevin Switzer Jr.  The ‘glamour boys’ division meets again in eleven days at Bangor on Wed., June 23.