December 12, 2022 – by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland

CUMBERLAND, ME – Bruce Ranger’s Twin B Impressive picked up his fourth win in a row at Cumberland Sunday (Dec. 11) taking his second $6,000 Polar Express # 3 elimination leg in as many weeks.

The 13-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight shows no signs of aging, or slowing down, as the ultra-consistent pacer just keeps winning.  Trained by Ranger’s wife Mary Beth and owned by their Nom de Course, The Starter’s Call LLC, Twin B Impressive went right to the front from post five and never had an anxious moment.

Cruising through opening panels of 28.2 and 58.4, he was followed alertly by Kick The Dirt Up (Nick Graffam), with Sports Teen (Kevin Switzer Jr.) first over while passing the stands to the half.

Ranger let out a notch into a 1:27.2 third stanza, keeping the would-be challengers at bay, and cruised home comfortably to defeat the field of seven in 1:57.2 by 1-1/2 lengths.  Kick The Dirt Up finished second with Sports Teen a very close third.

Twin B Impressive paid $5.40 to win the 44th race of his career, pushing his lifetime bankroll to $647,474.

Two additional $6,000 Polar Express # 3 elimination legs were captured by:  Go Sandy Go (Nick Graffam, $9.00 to win in 1:58), and Swellendam (Kevin Switzer Jr., $3.60, 1:57.4).

The top eight money earners that raced in both elimination legs (and enter) will compete in the $15,000 final on Sunday (Dec. 18), with the next eight in the standings going into a $7,500 consolation.  Ties will be drawn by lot.

The $5,500 Open 4 Trot was captured in grand fashion by Namesmuscle for the driving/training, husband and wife team of Mark and Gretchen Athearn.

Leaving from post four, Athearn got the 10-year-old son of Muscle Mass away fourth and took a seat.  Cowboy Charlie (Switzer Jr.) set the 29.3 and 1:01 opening fractions, with Osprey Delta (Mike Stevenson) hot on his heals having left boldly from post six to jump into the two-hole.  Athearn was patient and waited until the final drive down the backside into a 1:30.3 third quarter to pull first over.

Namesmuscle had the momentum coming off the turn, coupled with a tiring leader, to get up in the final strides to win by a neck in 2:01.  Osprey Delta finished second; Cowboy Charlie was third.

Owned by Bill “Yarmouth Lumber” Phipps, Namesmuscle paid $25.60 to win for the 41st time in his career.

Kevin Switzer Jr. enjoyed three wins on the Sunday card.  Bruce Ranger leads all reinsmen at the Cumberland oval for 2022 with 66 victories.  Switzer Jr. is in second place with 55 wins, Walter Case Jr. is third with 48.  Chris Lefebvre is the leading trainer with 29 trips to the Blue Seal winners circle.

The popular Au Revior Retirement Showcase for 14-year-old Standardbreds will be held Saturday, December 17 and boasts 18 total participants.

Our extended pari-mutuel harness racing meet runs for two more weekends, with the first post at 11 am each day.  Next week the racing will carry our normal Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule, however, for Christmas week live harness racing will start on Thursday (Dec. 22), continue on Friday (Dec. 23), and conclude for the Winter Festival on Christmas Eve Day, Saturday (Dec. 24).

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