April 28, 2024, by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland (Joe Shaw photos)

CUMBERLAND, ME – Former National Amateur Driver of the Year Todd Whitney showed he still has ‘what it takes’ when he guided All It Takes to a wire-to-wire victory in Saturday’s (April 27) $5,000 Maine Amateur Driving Club (MADC) race at Cumberland, Maine.

Scoring from post six, the veteran reinsman had to hustle his charge from the starting gate to make the lead going into the 29 opening panel.  Held at bay until that marker by 1-5 favorite Furious Beach (Michael Girouard), the pair were on top and managed to catch a quick breather while heading to the 59.1 half, with the favorite now glued to his helmet.

Past the 1:28.3 third stanza Riproy (Benson Merrill) pulled the three hole and was all alone first over as the field rolled through the final turn following Whitney and the 7-1 longshot All It Takes. 

As they straightened out for the stretch drive the favorite Furious Beach ducked along the pylons and made a frantic bid to pass the leader.  With every stride the pair exchanges glances, but to no avail as the leader, All It Takes showed that he still had ‘all it took’ to hold on and score by half a length in 1:59.

Trained by David Sawyer and owned by Wil Dubois, the 10-year-old son of Mach Three picked up the 33rd win of his career and his first of the season.  He paid $16.00 to win.  Riproy finished third.

For Todd Whitney, it was his first drive of the season, and he made it a winning effort.  Participating in harness racing since 1998, this was the 179th victory of his career.  Whitney earned USHWA’s National Amateur Driving Champion title in 2009.

As always, the MADC is sponsored by the Blue Seal Feed Stores of North Yarmouth and Windham, Maine.

The $6,000 featured pacing race of the day was captured by Ranaldi (Drew Campbell) in 1:57.3.  Trained by Cain MacKenzie for owner Common Kings Stable, the 5-year-old son of Western Maverick paid $25.20 to win.  Bet On Joe (Bruce Ranger) finished second; Tim McMiki (Mike Stevenson) was third.

The swiftest race of the day was seized by 2023 Maine Sire Stakes star So Rock N’ Roll who scored by nine lengths in 1:56.3.  Driven by Andy Harrington for trainer Larry Dancer, the 4-year-old son of Western Maverick is owned and was bred by the Leighton’s, paying $4.40 for his second win of the season.

Driver Dan Deslandes had another driving double on the program.  Jeff Deslandes and Larry Dancer picked each up two training wins.

Racing resumes at First Tracks Cumberland on Friday (May 3) and Saturday (May 4, Kentucky Derby Day) with post time slated for 3:15 pm each day.

In addition, the public can watch and wager on the 150th renewal of the Run for the Roses from Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY.  The highly anticipated Kentucky Derby is this Saturday (May 4), with programs, big screen television viewing and betting all available at the Fairgrounds, provided by First Tracks Cumberland.  The track’s new and improved snack bar is operating with a great selection of food and drink options.

First Tracks Cumberland Spring/Summer meet will continue throughout the Spring and early Summer months with regular racing on Friday and Saturday each weekend during the extended pari-mutuel meeting, which runs through August 3.

For additional information, visit our website at firsttrackscumberland.com, or find us on social media at https://www.facebook.com/FirstTracksCumberland/