September 29, 2021 – by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland

CUMBERLAND, ME – Driver Ron Cushing and trainer Heidi Gibbs swept both of the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings at the First Tracks Cumberland Fair on Tuesday (Sept. 28).

In the opener Cushing made a bold, three-wide move down the backstretch with Edelman to prevail by a close head in 1:58.2 over pacesetter Hollywood Skeeter and Nick Graffam.  Trained by Heidi Gibbs for Kevin Sywyk and Ron Cusing, the son of Western Maverick now has four wins on the season.  Wagering favorite American Maverick (Andy Harrington) finished third.  Edelman paid $12.40 to win and was also bred by Ron Cushing.

Confident with his charge and his post position, Cushing came right back in race four to wire the field in 1:58 with A Sweet Bidda Luck.  Trained by Heidi Gibbs for owner Scott McKenzie, the son of Western Maverick was bred by Lynn-Marie Plouffe and picked up his fifth victory of the year.

A Sweet Bidda Luck

Whatawinwillie (Andy Harrington) finished second; Lord Magnetic (Matt Athearn) was third.  A Sweet Bidda Luck paid $3.60 to win.

The fastest race of the day was won by Airspinder in 1:55.4 and driver Drew Campbell.  Fond of the First Tracks Cumberland surface, the son of No Spin Zone earned his tenth victory of the season, his third at the historic Southern Maine oval.  Trained by Chris Lefebvre for Michelle Lefebvre and Brian Aaskov, Airspinder paid $3.80 to win.

For top reinsman Drew Campbell, it was his fourth victory of the day.

Wednesday’s (Sept. 29) card features a $7,500 Free for All Trot as well as two divisions of the Maine Amateur Driving Club Series, sponsored by Blue Seal Feeds.  The current point leader going into the sixth week of competition on the Maine Fair circuit is Benson Merrill (53); in second place is Mike Girouard (38); and third is Derek Howes (18) who recently represented the club at the Delaware (OH) County Fair in the USTA’s Tim Fouts Memorial Amateur Driving Championship, finishing a close second.

Post time is 1:00 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, then remains at 1:30 pm for the final three days of racing at the First Tracks Cumberland Fair through Sunday (Oct. 3).

Racing resumes at First Tracks Cumberland for our winter meeting, beginning November 3rd and racing through December 31, 2021.  Post time 11:00 a.m.

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