September 28, 2021 – by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland

CUMBERLAND, ME – Wild Oats picked up his fourth win of the season and Emmajean Jellybean posted win number seven to take their respective $15,967 divisions of the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes (MSBS) for 3-year-old trotters at the Cumberland Fair on Monday (Sept. 27).

Trainer/driver Ivan Davies sat in the two-hole with Wild Oats and got up in the final strides to overtake favorite Pembroke Regal (Gary Mosher, 4-5) to win by a head in 2:00.1.  With the victory, the son of Boy Band sits comfortably in second place in the MSBS point standings for male sophomore trotters.  Wild Oats was bred and is owned by Mike Andrew and paid $5.40 to win.

The fillies trotted into race three for $15,967, and continue to be led by Emmajean Jellybean who captured her victory on the front end to win handily in 2:02.3.  Driven by Steve Wilson for trainer Sherry Cushing and owners R. & J. DiPompo, M. Graham and P. Smith, the daughter of Mister Anson continues to lead the 3-year-old trotting fillies in points.  Continually looking to take a bite out of the ‘Jellybean’ is Pembroke Secret who finished second for trainer Valerie Grondin, and also sits second in the point standings.

Emmajean Jellybean

Emmajean Jellybean paid $3.80 to win.

The swiftest event of the day was captured by Gracie G with driver Andy Harrington for trainer/owner Sara Gibbs.  The 6-year-old chestnut daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven scored in 1:56.4 on the engine, giving her three wins in her last four starts.  Harrington was the only driver to score more than one victory on the Monday card.

There are nine races on the Tuesday program with the first post scheduled for 1:30 pm.  The Cumberland Fair continues through next Sunday (Oct. 3).   

Tuesday is headlined by two $15,951 divisions of Maine Breeders Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts, absent however is point leader Call Me Maverick.

The first split in the opener sees Paxxton (Heath Campbell, post 5) facing off against American Maverick (Andy Harrington, post 3) for this week’s divisional battle royale.

Trained by Valerie Grondin, Paxxton is by Western Maverick and has 2 wins in his last three starts.  American Maverick is trained by Marc Tardif and has a long string of second place finishes and looks to get off the schneid.

The second $15,952 split (race four) has the Heidi Gibbs trained A Sweet Bidda Luck drawing the inside pylon position (Ron Cushing), and will try to hold off Whatawinwillie (Harrington, post 3) for trainer Marc Tardif.  This is the eleventh week of MSBS events for 3-year-old pacers, with the final leg visiting the Fryeburg Fair before the $80,000e finals at Bangor on Oct. 16.

Saturday’s (Oct. 2) card is highlighted by announcer Bill Ellis’ Maine Family Feud, which potentially pits two members of a local harness racing fraternity against one another for fun and bragging rights.  But the driving is serious business, as the licensed drivers will be drawn by lot in the race office, along with the post positions, and the special events carry an increased purse of $5,000 each. 

The scheduled drivers’ families include: Mark & Matt Athearn, Mike & Nick Graffam, Aaron & Ryan Hall, David Ingraham & Kelly Case, Bo & McGwire Sowers, Ron & Charlene Cushing, Drew & Heath Campbell, Gary & Joey Mosher, and John Nason & Andy Harrington.

Each participant will be introduced along with a meet-and-greet, and the winning drivers will toss special Maine Family Feud T-shirts to the crowd.

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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