June 30, 2021 – by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland
CUMBERLAND, ME – Southwind Terror continued to do what he does best: win at Cumberland.
Tuesday (June 29) the 11-year-old son of Camluck made his sixth visit to the iconic fairgrounds winners circle, winning the $5,200 top conditioned pace of the day in 1:55.1 with regular driver Nick Graffam at the controls. In fact, Southwind Terror has never lost a race at First Tracks Cumberland and is currently enjoying a five-race winning streak, where is has consistently been the wagering favorite.
How the horse ended up, and stayed in the barn of trainer Christopher Hitchcock is nothing short of a miracle as a search on the USTA’s Pathway indicates that Southwind Terror has had over 25 different individual owners in his lifetime.
“My brother Mike bought him for our owner Mike Pease from a trainer in Saratoga back in 2019, well before the pandemic,” explained Chris Hitchcock.
“At that time we had 30 horses in the barn, and we worked together. Then, when everything shut down, my brother Mike moved most of the stable to Ohio. I stayed in Maine with a few and got a full time job in the landscaping industry.”
Southwind Terror made the rounds in the Buckeye state, first racing at Scioto when they were the first track to reopen. Then the horse got claimed. Over the ensuing year, the horse went to Dayton, then Northfield, then Rosecroft. Over a year later trainer Chris Hitchcock got him back.
“He’s not the easiest horse to be around. He can be tough,” noted Hitchcock. “But his caretaker Emma (Libby) does a great job with him. She puts poultice on his feet the night before he races, walks him, grazes him, and feeds him carrots. Grass—lots of grass. When it’s not too hot he gets turned out after he races. Emma really does a great job with him.”
So what’s the key to all the success?
Hitchock says matter-of-a-factly, that “Every horse has their lucky streak, he’s just sharp now. With only four horses in the barn we can give them all the attention they deserve.”
Interestingly, a horse that also seems to be getting some attention nowadays is this horse’s “brother” Southwind Amazon. Both are 11-year-old sons of Camluck, both were bred and raised in 2010 by Southwind Farms in New Jersey, and both are on a winning streak.
Southwind Amazon is from the Artsplace mare Artoonist and is the co-leading dash winner in North America with 11 seasonal victories and just set the 1:52 all-age track record at Northville in Michigan. Southwind Terror is from the Abercrombie dam Tattoo Hanover, which gives these two star pacers an abundance of the same blood. In addition, they were born just two weeks apart in the same foaling barn in Pennington, NJ.
Hitchcock does not seem to be too concerned about losing him for his $8,000 optional claiming tag. “I just wish that I had four more just like him. You have to treat them same if you have 5 or 35—I believe in them getting good care.”
In other racing action, it only took three tries for Walter Case Jr. to return to the winners circle, something the tenth all-time leading dash winning driver has done over 11,000 times. Tuesday (June 29) ‘Casey’ sprung Trotting For Cash from the starting gate from the outside post six and never looked back. Case steered the 4-year-old son of Cash Hall to a 2:01.3 victory for trainer James Dunn and owner Diane Dunn. He paid $12.80 to win.
Following a four year absence, Case had two starts on Saturday (June 26) and came right back to win the opener on Tuesday, where he had three additional drives on the nine race card. Drew Campbell and Nick Graffam both had driving doubles.
Live harness racing from Cumberland is presented each Tuesday and Saturday through July 31, post time is 2:30 pm, with two additional dates added Wed. & Thurs., Aug. 4 & 5 with 11 am posts. For more information go to our website: firsttrackscumberland.com
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