April 23, 2022, by Chris Tully for First Tracks Cumberland (Stephanie Gray photos)
CUMBERLAND, ME – Fresh off his 2,000th career victory, Mike Stevenson notched another win with his own That’s Some Plan to take the $8,000 Kick-Off Late Closer series #1 final on Friday (April 22) at Cumberland.
Scoring from pylon position, Stevenson got away in the cat bird seat after a flurry of activity at the start. Favorite Librado Hanover (post 4, Aaron Hall) cut the mile, posting a swift :28.1 opening panel, after Seafood King (post 3, Drew Campbell) made a costly break in the first turn.
Getting a perfect trip into a :58.3 half, as the field went down the backside for the final time, Stevenson tipped the 11-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the two hole and blasted to the front. Following a 1:28.2 third quarter, and gaining three lengths on the field by the top of the turn, Stevenson cruised to victory in 1:59.4.
Mike Stevenson trains That’s Some Plan for owner Robert MacNeil, who paid $9.60 to win by six lengths, picking up his 28th career victory.
Northview Punter N (Bruce Ranger) finished second; Librado Hanover hung on to be third.
Two Open Trots also highlighted the perfect afternoon of Southern Maine harness racing, as sunny skies and mid-fifty degree temperatures attracted punters and fans to the Cumberland oval.
The $6,000 Open II-III Trot was captured by Caulfield (Kevin Switzer Jr) who outlasted a late closing Broadway Giant (Bruce Ranger) to prevail by a neck margin in 2:02.1. The 10-year-old son of Kadabra is trained by Bob Marston for owner George Tzikas.
Caulfield paid $4.40 to win his second of three seasonal starts, and 31st victory of his career. Little Macabee (Aaron Hall) finished third.
Warrawee Preferred (Matt Athearn) went wire-to-wire in the $5,500 Open III-IV Trot for his new owner/trainer Ryan Berry. The 11-year-old son of Federal Flex scored his 6th seasonal victory in 2:00.2, having emigrated from Monticello Raceway two weeks ago.
Warrawee Preferred paid $5.80 for his 57th career win. Thruway (Nick Graffam) finished second; And Up We Go (Walter Case Jr) was third.
Saturday’s card features two more Kick-Off LC series finals, with #2 going for $10,000 as race 7, and the top purse of $12,000 offered in #3 in race 9, along with a host of competitive Open Pace events.
Post time for the Spring/Summer meet is set for 3 p.m. on both Fridays and Saturdays, with the extended pari-mutuel meeting racing each weekend through July 23.
The eleventh race finale features our new 20 cent Hi-Five (Pentafecta), with a low takeout of 16%.
More information can be found on our website: https://firsttrackscumberland.com and on our Facebook page: First Tracks Cumberland.