June 5, 2021 – by Chris Tully for First Tracks Cumberland (Stephanie Gray photos)

CUMBERLAND, ME – Michael McGee made a bold move and put his own Led Schneppelin on the front end of the Maine Amateur Drivers Club (MADC) race Saturday (June 5) at Cumberland.   The move turned out to be the right one, and despite having several competitors try to puncture his lead, the 10-year-old son of Memphis Flash held off all would-be conquerors to capture the $4,200 NW2000 event in 1:59.3.

First it was 83-year-old Robert Nadeau who tried to stick Putnams Storm’s nose in front while some confusion reigned in the back of the pack.  Pulling first over going to the half, the 5-year-old son of A Rocknroll Dance was turned away by a determined McGee and Led Schnepelin.

After Nadeau gets stung and hung past the 5/8, Benson Merrill and Kreacher approached the leader going to the ¾ pole.  Kreacher and Led Schneppelin fought valiantly all the way to the wire, but the latter prevailed by a head to take home the lion’s share of the purse and the bragging rights for this week’s amateur event.

His first win of the season, but 35th of his career, Led Schneppelin is approaching $315,000 in lifetime earnings for owners Michael McGee and Scott McGee.  Trained by Aaron Hall, he paid $10.40 to win.

In the winner’s circle, Michael McGee’s family and friends were greeted by Melanie Locke who presented a ‘swag bucket’ trophy of stable supplies on behalf of the Windham and North Yarmouth Blue Seal Feed stores.

The featured trot of the day was the $4,800 NW4000, captured by Cherry Crown Jewel and driver Matt “Ice” Athearn in 1:59.  Trained by Gretchen Athearn for owner William Phipps, the 9-year-old daughter of RC Royalty took advantage of a perfect two-hole trip that provided for an open length victory following a costly break in the final turn by pacesetter Jimmy Dean.  Cherry Crown Jewel paid $7.20 to win.

Top gun pilot Bruce Ranger enjoyed two wins on the program, as did trainer Marc Tardif.  Aaron Hall got both a catch driving win and a training win in the MADC on Saturday’s card.

Live harness racing from Cumberland is presented each Tuesday and Saturday, through early August.  Post time is 2:30 pm (EDT).  For more information go to our website: firsttrackscumberland.com

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