May 9, 2024, by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland

CUMBERLAND, ME – The Pine Tree State’s best trotters just got a pay increase this week, as the ‘winners over’ class of over-achievers will go for $7,000 this Friday (May 10) at Cumberland. 

New arrival Kilauea leads a group of Maine’s fastest diagonally gaited set to go postward for the salary bump as race 9 on the afternoon’s 12 race-card.

Fresh off a 1:56.4 victory at Ohio’s Miami Valley, the 6-year-old son of Kadabra has moved to the barn of Chris Hitchcock and looks for his third win of the season for his new connections.

Named for an active volcano on the Island of Hawaii [pronounced kee-lou-ey-ah], Kilauea has been installed as the early 2-1 morning line favorite with Bruce Ranger down to drive from post 4.

The second choice from post 6 is Armagedon Seelster (5-2, Kevin Switzer Jr.) who is leading seasonal money winner with $22,780 on his card.

Earlier in the day, one of Maine’s favorite daughter’s, Pickmepickme, has come home to roost.

The now 4-year-old multiple stakes winner by Western Maverick has drawn pylon position in race 2, and gets the return services of Walter Case Jr. for trainer Mark Tardif.  With lifetime earnings of $160,546, she is listed at 5-2, just behind Humor Me (2-1, Aaron Hall), an older mare with $180,613 in her career bankroll.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s (May 11) card, the opener features week five of the Maine Amateur Driving Club (MADC) with six part-time reinsmen vying for bragging rights.  The early favorite is Rest Assured (David Zuckerman) listed at 2-1 from the eurorail.  Last week’s winner Furious Beach (Mike Girouard) has been assigned post 6 and is pegged at 4-1.  Fan favorite Putnam’s Storm (Bob Nadeau) scores from post 2.

As always, the $5,000 MADC is sponsored by the Blue Seal Feed Stores of North Yarmouth and Windham, Maine.

The featured $6,000 pacing event is programmed as race 8 and carries six of the state’s faster sidesteppers, including the return of Gordon Corey’s Call Me Maverick.

Next week, horse racing enthusiasts can watch and wager on 149th Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.  Considered the “middle jewel” of the Thoroughbred Triple Crown, the race is known as the ‘Run for the Black-Eyed Susans’ with Cumberland hosting the full-card simulcast on Saturday, May 18. 

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.

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