May 26, 2024, by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland (Joe Shaw photos)

CUMBERLAND, ME – George Fenno III’s Instant Replay doubled-down on last week’s effort to earn his second seasonal win in a row on Saturday (May 25) at Cumberland Raceway.

Leaving from post four in the $5,500 featured pace, catch driver Dave Ingraham let a few horses go and was content to take a seat in the early going.  Walter Case Jr. was the first to leave with the Tardif Taskforce pupil Deal With It Roman.  Airspinder (Aaron Hall) maintained his pylon position and got away second with wagering favorite Outspoken Man (Bruce Ranger) settling into third through a 29.0 second opening panel.

As the field hit the 58.4 half-mile marker, veteran pilot Ingraham had Instant Replay out and rolling first over and was ranging up on the outside to be third in line at the 1:27.4 third stanza.  As the field swung into the final turn Instant Replay was looking for another repeat performance and had just the pacesetter, Deal With It Roman, to reel in.  The pair battled down the length of the stretch to the wire, with Instant Replay prevailing in the final strides to grab his second victory of the season in 1:56.4.  This was his second start of the year, and 8th lifetime win.

Owned and trained by former U.S. Army military policeman George Fenno III, the 4-year-old son of Lazarus N took a new seasonal mark.  Living up to his Gabe Prewitt-installed moniker, ‘Double Digit’ Dave Ingraham steered the winner to a $13.80 payout.

The horse and his owner, a disabled veteran, were the subject of a feature story this week and noted, “The horse went a monster mile.  We are very proud of him and he has developed a few new followers in the process.”

Speaking of publicity, Maine Amateur Driving Club (MADC) member Hunter Lofthus was the subject of a Chris Lomom-penned feature story in Friday’s Harness Racing Update industry newsletter, and managed to overcome the added pressure to capture his division of the MADC event on Saturday.

Scoring from post four, Lofthus sent Forrest Blu three-wide down the backside to catapult himself into the winners circle, scoring in 1:58.4.  Lofthus is also the trainer and co-owner (with Jamie Gerard) of the 5-year-old son of Roll With Joe, who paid $10.00 to win.

The other MADC division was captured by Todd Whitney with Edelman in 1:57.3.  Trained and co-owned by Brian Lamb (with Ray Rogers), the 6-year-old son of Western Maverick paid $5.20 to win. The MADC is sponsored by the Blue Seal Feed Stores of North Yarmouth and Windham, Maine.

Kevin Switzer Jr. had three wins on the program, further cementing his lead atop the Cumberland leader board with 29 seasonal victories.  Dan Deslandes (21), Drew Campbell (15), Bruce Ranger (14) and Nick Graffam (13) round out the top five.  Through seven weeks of racing, Jeff Deslandes remains the leading trainer with 20 wins.

Racing resumes Friday (May 31).  The First Tracks Cumberland Spring/Summer meet continues 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.  Post time is always 3:15 pm.

Looking ahead, First Tracks Cumberland is proud to offer simulcasting from Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, June 8 for the 156th renewal of the Test of the Champion, the $2,000,000 Belmont Stakes.

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