June 24, 2022, by Chris Tully for First Tracks Cumberland (Stephanie Gray photo)
CUMBERLAND, ME – Captain Nash sprinted to the top in the $6,500 Open II Pace at Cumberland on Friday (June 24) and never looked back, securing their position as his week’s top gun in the upper echelon of Maine sidewinders, and re-writing his own track record in the process.
Driver Bruce Ranger wasted little time in securing his control of the tempo, clearing just past a 26.4 opening panel, following a push by Call Me Maverick (Mike Stevenson) to test the favorite’s meddle. As the field approached the half, Nagle (Dan Deslandes) was the first to move into the outer flow, followed by Roll With Dom (Drew Campbell).
After a 56.2 breather, Ranger let out a notch and Captain Nash responded by adding some separation on the rest of the field. Just past a 1:24.3 third-quarter, the leader was on top by four, and looking for more.
Captain Nash finished strong while Ranger had his whip tucked in 1:55, a new track record for an older pacing horse, and paid $4.20 to win the featured race of the day.
Owned by Reginald Duguay and trained by Richard Bartlett, the 6-year-old Captaintreacherous stallion picked up his fifth win of the season and eighteenth of his career. Nagle finished second; Roll With Dom was third.
The afternoon card began with two divisions of the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes for 3-year-old trotters. The first $11,986 division, an early non-wagering event for sophomore fillies was captured by Maplewood Slugger in 2:04.2 by driver Andy Harrington for trainer John Nason and owner/breeder Maxine Hadlock. Trainer Valerie Grondin picked up the next two spots with Pembroke Honcho (finished 2nd) and Pembroke Faye (3rd). All three were by trotting stallion Pembroke Slugger.
The first race on the betting card, the second $11,739 MSBS div. for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings was captured by Katahdin Mark in 2:03.2 for trainer/driver Gary Hall for breeder(s)/owner(s) James Kelley Jr. and Betsey Kelley. Katahdin Mark, a son of Noble Venture, paid $12.80 to win. Chamorro finished second; Wild Venture was third.
Walter Case Jr. led all drivers on the program with three trips to the Blue Seal Feeds winners circle, while Matt Athearn had two winners.
Racing resumes Saturday (June 25) at First Tracks Cumberland at our regular post time of 4 pm, featuring an full twelve race card, including a division of the Maine Amateur Driving Club series.
A week from Saturday First Tracks Cumberland will host Family Fun and Value Day at the iconic Southern Maine oval. On Saturday (July 2) fans can enjoy a meet and greet with their favorite harness drivers, specials on food and drink, as well as our inaugural Cumberland Derby where fans can enter to win $500 in total cash prizes based on their picks and the official order of finish in the designated race. Giveaways and a big day of harness racing will also be provided.
The final race on both Friday and Saturday features our 20 cent Hi-Five (Pentafecta), with a low takeout of 16%. Cumberland’s extended pari-mutuel meet races through July 23.
More information can be found on our website: https://firsttrackscumberland.com and on our Facebook page: First Tracks Cumberland.