May 21, 2022, by Chris Tully for First Tracks Cumberland (Stephanie Gray photo)
CUMBERLAND, ME – Last year’s top dogs were up to their old tricks on Friday (May 20) at Cumberland where Bruce Ranger won four and Drew Campbell won three races on the ten race card.
Having finished a tight ‘one-two’ in last year’s drivers’ standings, the Maine-standouts were back at it again, looking to reinvigorate their winning ways. The seven total victories were enough to move to two sulky stars into four-way tie for second place in the deep Southern Maine drivers’ colony.
Ranger started the day by picking up the early Daily Double with Magic Bob. The 5-year-old son of Kadabra is owned and trained by Dennis Whittemore, and scored wire-to-wire in the opener to pay $5.20 to win. It was his first win of the season in 2:02.1.
The Maine-native came right back to take the latter half of the double with heavy favorite Sugardaddycontrols, a 3-year-old son of Control The Moment. Owned by The Green Machine Stable and trained by David Crochere, it was the first pari-mutuel victory for the Ontario-bred sophomore pacing gelding, taking a seasonal mark of 2:00.4.
The man in the Red and Gold colors came back to take race five with Richsnortherndream, in another front-end folly, scoring in 1:59.3. Owned by Diane Dunn and Bradford Veilleux and trained by James Dunn, the Prince Edward Island-bred trotter paid $7.80 to win.
Ranger returned to the Blue Seal Winners Circle in race nine, the $6,000 Open II Trot feature with Broadway Giant. Utilizing another catch-me-if-you-can tour, the veteran reinsman put the 8-year-old son of Broadway Hall right on the front end and never relinquished the lead.
Scoring from post four, Ranger posted comfortable fractions of 29.2 and 1:00.2 for the opening two panels. Favorite Northern Skyway was the first to challenge, tipping first over at the half and getting to within a nose of the leader into a 1:29.3 third quarter. As that attempt never materialized, Little Macabee tipped off that cover to challenge to no avail.
Owned and trained by Ron Patoine, Broadway Giant paid $9.40 to win in 1:59.4, his second victory in a row. Little Macabee finished second, Warrawee Preferred was third.
Drew Campbell won the third race by 8-1/4 lengths with Mack’s Gold Band, the sixth with Gettin Gone by 6-3/4 lengths, and the eighth with Duck N Roll, which were all on-the-engine efforts.
Tallying up the days’ events, four drivers have now moved to within one victory of first place in the Cumberland drivers’ standings, which is currently held by Dan Deslandes at 16. Matt Athearn, Drew Campbell, Bruce Ranger and Kevin Switzer Jr are all tied for second place with 15 wins a piece.
The featured $4,800 cond. pace on the Preakness Day (May 21) card shows Readyfortheladys (post 6, Aaron Hall) looking to get off the schneid with a string of three bridesmaid finishes. Moving up in class off of two consecutive victories is The Shining (post 4, Drew Campbell), who looks to keep his winning streak alive. Supreme Mach N (post 2, Bruce Ranger) is also fresh off a victory in a comparable lower class. Race six carries the 20 cent Superfecta, and is part of the Pick-6 (races 3-8).
Racing fans and bettors will be able to watch and wager on this Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, the 147th renewal of the middle jewel of the Triple Crown from Pimilco Race Course.
Full Preakness Day programs will be available and betting windows will be open for the first post at 10:30 am, which will be broadcast live from the Maryland Jockey Club in Baltimore, Maryland. There will be TV monitors covering all the Thoroughbred action, and the Trackside Pub concession stand will also be open in the Fairgrounds grandstand.
Post time for the Spring/Summer meet is now 4 p.m. on both Fridays and Saturdays, with the extended pari-mutuel meeting racing each weekend through July 23.
The final race on both Friday and Saturday features our 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.