Maine breds highlight Cumberland weekend

June 14, 2024, by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland

CUMBERLAND, ME – A sure sign of summer is the return of the young, Maine bred Standardbreds to the racetrack.  The weekend kicks off with four ‘Learn and Earn’ 2-year-old Baby Races on Friday (June 14), before the regular card at 1:45 pm.  Then, the Maine Sire Stakes convenes on Saturday (June 15) when Cumberland Raceway will host two $16,000-plus divisions for 3-year-old filly pacers. 

Friday’s (June 14) regular card (post time 3:15 pm) carries 11 races with all of the standard and exotic betting options, including our popular 50-cent Pick-5 (races 3-7) with a low 16-percent take out.

The co-featured $4,800 trots in races 3 and 8 contain several interesting entrants who are moving up after a win, or conversely, some who are looking for a softer landing spot.  In any case, the combinations will give punters plenty of options with the full fields and competitive pairings.

Looking ahead to Saturday (June 15) the triumphant return of the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes witnesses a couple of the top three finishers in last season’s $51,023 freshmen filly final returning to the action.

In the first $16,196 stake race My Sweet Revenge (Kevin Switzer Jr.) has been pegged as the 9-5 second choice from post 6.  Trained by Marc Tardif, the daughter of Western Maverick finished third in last year’s final, but will have to contend with Pembroke Red (Heath Campbell) from post 2.  Trained by Valerie Grondin, the daughter of Thirty Two Red is listed as the 7-5 favorite.

Gowestyounggrace – Stephanie Gray photo

Last year’s champion Gowestyounggrace highlights the second division.  To be driven by Dave Ingraham for trainer Fred Ward Jr., the daughter of Western Maverick has been installed as the 6-5 early morning line favorite from post 4.  Ghost Of You (2-1, Kevin Switzer Jr.) scores outside of the favorite for trainer Marc Tardif, and the Deuce Seelster filly already has a 2:00.3 win this season.

In other action, Instant Replay looks for a repeat performance from his victory last week, scoring from post 2 in the $6,000 featured (race 7) overnight event.  Regular pilot Walter Case Jr. returns for trainer George ‘Triple Sticks’ Fenno III.

Two $5,000 divisions of the Maine Amateur Driving Club (MADC) go postward as races 5 and 8, with many of the usual suspects looking for bragging rights among the tight knit horsemen’s community.  Top point earner Hunter “Hot Lead” Lofthus will be looking for his fifth victory in a row as he has two mounts on the card.  As always, the MADC is sponsored by the Blue Seal Feed Stores of North Yarmouth and Windham, Maine.

The First Tracks Cumberland meet continues throughout the 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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