June 19, 2021 – by Chris Tully for First Tracks Cumberland (Stephanie Gray photos)
CUMBERLAND, ME – Driver Nick Graffam and trainer Mike Graffam teamed up to sweep both Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers on Saturday (June 19) at Cumberland.
The father and son duo started Justcallmecasey in the opener and the race could not have worked out any handier. When wagering favorite Tally Two made a costly break behind the gate, Graffam protected his cat bird position with Justcallmecasey and was content to follow in the two hole for both circuits and pounce on the pacesetting Diamond District (Gary Mosher) in the homestretch to win in 2:00.1
Owned by Ben Bill and Will Stable, the sophomore daughter of Deuce Seelster was bred by Kristina Hall. Breaking her maiden in the process, the filly paid $18.80 to win. Pembroke Legend finished third.
There was nothing ‘handy’ about the second division, however, as Pembroke Ali (Drew Campbell) apparently crossed over too quickly in front of Jopasamazingrace (McGwire Sowers) setting off a chain reaction of interference breaks. Nick Graffam driving Schoodic Lady avoided the chaos and finished second behind Pembroke Ali, but was placed first as the latter was placed sixth for interference.
Schoodic Lady is a 3-year-old daughter of Deuce Seelster, trained by Michael Graffam, and was bred and is owned by Ben Bill and Will Stable. By default, she also broke her maiden today.
The Graffam’s have had these two fillies since they were weanlings, and caretaker Stephanie Gray noted, “They have been professional race horses from the very start. Always very focused on their jobs.”
The $6,500 Winners Over Trot was captured by Cherry Crown Jewel, giving the mare her third win in five starts for driver Matt “Ice” Athearn and trainer Gretchen Athearn. The 9-year-old daughter of RC Royalty wired the field in 2:00 and paid $4.60 to win. Little Macabee (Aaron Hall) finished second, J-S For Justice (David Ingraham) was third.
Newcomer Dalton Lee made his Maine Amateur Driving Club debut a memorable experience, coming from last to first in the final half win with Baywood Shadow in 2:00.2. Trained and owned by Christopher Dubois, the 8-year-old son of Stand Forever paid $13.40 to win.
Winning Chip (Chris Lefebvre) finished second; Bettorific (Adam Gray) was third.
Dan Lambert, Assistant Manager of the North Yarmouth Blue Seal Feeds location was on hand to make the MADC trophy presentation to the winning amateur connections.