May 4, 2024, by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland

CUMBERLAND, ME – Power Mitt paid no attention to the tote board as the 8-1 longshot upset Maine’s top trotters to capture the $6,000 feature at Cumberland on Friday (May 3).

When the wings folded several of those from the upper echelon set scurried out for chance at the lead.  When the dust settled J S Peyton (Drew Campbell) made the top, with Warrawee Preferred (Walter Case Jr.) protecting his inside position and forcing 8-5 favorite Knight Angel (Aaron Hall) into third.

As the field approached the 29.1 opening panel, the leader’s stablemate Elegant Dulupin FR (Dan Deslandes) ranged up on the outside to take command.  The seven combatants remained in perfect alignment passing the stands for the first time and through a 59.2 half-mile marker.

At the five-eighths pole track announcer Mike Cushing exclaimed, “now Knight Angel has thrown his hat into the ring as he steps into the outer flow.”  Kevin Switzer Jr. and Power Mitt used that live cover to come second over from fifth as the pack tightened up dramatically as they passed the paddock draw gate.

Just past the 1:30.3 third panel Knight Angel had moved up to the lead and had nearly passed Elegant Dulupin FR, with Power Mitt now three-wide and rolling through the final turn.  With Knight Angel unable to get by Elegant Dulupin FR and Power Mitt steamrolling down the center of the track, the troika battled wheel-to-wheel down the stretch.

With all of the screaming and shouting of a heavy weight title bout, Power Mitt prevailed in the final steps to win by a measured length in 2:01.  Motto (Bruce Ranger) came flying on the far outside to get up for second.  Knight Angel finished third.

Trained by Bob Marston for owner Dana Goding, the 5-year-old son of Explosive Matter paid $18.40 to win back-to-back starts.

Driver Andy Harrington picked up three wins on the card, all from the stable of his wife Sara Harrington.  Larry Dancer also enjoyed a training triple.  Aaron Hall, Bruce Ranger and Kevin Switzer Jr. all grabbed driving doubles.

Cumberland Outrider ‘Sherry’ Cushing with LEO (Joe Shaw photo)

Harness racing resumes on Saturday (May 4) at First Tracks Cumberland (post time 3:15 pm) where fans and bettors can also watch and wager on all the action from Churchill Downs, including Saturday’s 150th Run for the Roses.  Doors open at 12 noon on Derby Day for the full-card simulcast of horse racing’s biggest day, with a host of food and beverage options available all day at the iconic Cumberland Fairgrounds. 

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.

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