Gowestyounggrace equals Cumberland track record

July 13, 2024, by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland (Joe Shaw photo)

CUMBERLAND, ME – Heavy favorite Gowestyoungrace used a first over trip to overpower her rivals while equaling the track record at First Tracks Cumberland for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

In the first of two $16,000-plus divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes on Friday (July 12) driver Dave Ingraham was content to let the early speed advance to the front and let his star pacer come from off the pace.  The first to leave was Mrs Foxy Roxy (28-1, Nick Graffam) who protected pylon position through the first turn, with My Sweet Revenge (4-1, Kevin Switzer Jr.) ranging up on the outside to take command by the 29 second opening panel.

Moving into the 59.1 half Ingraham tipped Gowestyounggrace to the outside to challenge the pacesetting My Sweet Revenge.  The pace quickened as they battled down the backstretch.  The aggressor poked a nose in front of the defender, with the pair pacing a 28.1 third quarter in 1:27.2 and gaining separation from the rest of the field.

As they turned for home Gowestyounggrace showed her grit and determination as she rolled smoothly down to the wire in 1:57.2 to win by 1-1/4 lengths, equaling the track record and taking a new lifetime mark.  Owned, trained and bred by Fred Ward Jr. and Sharon Ward, the daughter of Western Maverick-Gracie Gracie picked up her second win in a row, paying just $2.20 as the 1-9 favorite.

My Sweet Revenge hung on for second; Pembroke Red (Heath Campbell) was third.

In the second $16,421 division of the Maine Sire Stakes for sidestepping sophomore distaffs, another heavy favorite prevailed in wire-to-wire fashion.

Heath Campbell never left the pylons with Who’s Perfect as the daughter of Western Maverick set comfortable fractions of 28.3, 59.3 and 1:29.1 through the first three stanzas.  By the head of the stretch the Valerie Grondin-trained filly had scampered away from the field and was on top by three.  Under the wire the margin increased to seven lengths as Campbell was on cruise control to score in 1:58.3, she paid $2.20 to win.

Bred by Lynn-Marie Plouffe, who now co-owns with Dick and Patty McKeen, it was Who’s Perfect’s second win in a row.

Animore Sass (Andy Harrington) finished second; Zoes Precious (Steve Wilson) RN was third.

The $6,000 featured overnight race, a conditioned trot, was captured by Little Macabee in 2:00 for trainer Chad Tompkins and owner Maryann Tompkins.  The 10-year-old son of Chapter Seven had been knocking on the door for the last month having finished second in his last three starts.  He paid $7.40 to win.

Twelve different drivers won races on the Friday (July 12) card, however trainer Bob Marston enjoyed a training double.

Looking ahead to Saturday (July 13), Cumberland welcomes the 2-year-old pacing fillies for their second round of Maine Sires Stakes action.  The field is led by Glorilla (4-5, Ron Cushing) who turned some heads with her swift and decisive opening round triumph in 2:02.3 last week at Bangor. 

Also on Saturday’s 11-race program of full fields includes the featured overnight $6,000 top pace, with Lifes A Puzzle (9-5, Richard Humphrey) looking for a softer landing spot after slugging it out with faster foes at Plainridge.  Instant Replay (7-2, Walter Case Jr.) is back and scores from the inner most post following a fortnight respite.

In addition, the $5,000 division of the Maine Amateur Driving Club (MADC) goes as race five on Saturday.  The MADC is sponsored by the Blue Seal Feed Stores of North Yarmouth and Windham, Maine.

Saturday’s (July 13) 11-race card (post time 3:15 pm) includes all of the track’s regular betting options, including 50-cent Pick-5 (races 3-7, $308 carryover); 50-cent Pick-4 (races 8-11); 50-cent Pick 3 (races 9-11), all with a low 16-percent take out. 

The First Tracks Cumberland meet continues racing on Friday and Saturday each weekend through August 3. 

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

Maine filly pacers highlight Cumberland weekend

July 12, 2024, by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland (Joe Shaw photo)

CUMBERLAND, ME –Maine-bred pacing fillies highlight the weekend at First Tracks Cumberland with the 3-year-olds on Friday (July 12) competing in two $16,000-plus divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes, followed by a single $16,071 division for 2-year-olds on Saturday (July 13).

The opener on Friday has Gowestyounggrace (7-5, Dave Ingraham) looking for her second win in a row following a series leading 1:57.3 score in her last outing at Bangor.  Owned, trained and bred by Fred Ward Jr., the daughter of Western Maverick-Gracie Gracie is also the leading point earner in the series with a pair of victories to her credit.  Just inside her is My Sweet Revenge (2-1, Kevin Switzer Jr) who has been 1-2-3 in her last three starts. She is trained by Marc Tardif.

In the second $16,421 Maine Sire Stake for 3-year-old filly pacers, the Valerie Grondin-trained Who’s Perfect (4-5, Heath Campbell) will look to keep her winning ways intact as she scores from pylon position.  With a win last week in 1:57.4, the daughter of Western Maverick-Perfect Launch has never been worse than second all year.  Her biggest threat comes from Ghost Of You (5-2, Switzer-Tardif) who has been nipping at her heels regularly.

The featured overnight race is the $6,000 conditioned trot led by Aaron Hall’s Jax Spratt.  The 4-year-old son of Devious Man has racked up five wins in eight starts this season for owner Bill “Yarmouth Lumber” Phipps.

Friday’s (July 12) 12-race card (post time 3:15 pm) includes all of the track’s regular betting options, including 50-cent Pick-5 (races 3-7); 50-cent Pick-4 (races 9-12); 50-cent Pick 3 (races 10-12), all with a low 16-percent take out.  There is also a $330 carryover in the 12th race Pentafecta.

Looking ahead to Saturday (July 13), Cumberland welcomes the 2-year-old pacing fillies for their second round of Maine Sires Stakes action.  The field is led by Glorilla (4-5, Ron Cushing) who turned some heads with her swift and decisive opening round triumph in 2:02.3 last week at Bangor. 

Also on Saturday’s 11-race program of full fields includes the featured overnight $6,000 top pace, with Lifes A Puzzle (9-5, Richard Humphrey) looking for a softer landing spot after slugging it out with faster foes at Plainridge.  Instant Replay (7-2, Walter Case Jr.) is back and scores from the inner most post following a fortnight respite.

In addition, the $5,000 division of the Maine Amateur Driving Club (MADC) goes as race five on Saturday.  The MADC is sponsored by the Blue Seal Feed Stores of North Yarmouth and Windham, Maine.

The First Tracks Cumberland meet continues racing on Friday and Saturday each weekend through August 3. 

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

Maine’s Freshmen Trotters Debut at Cumberland

July 7, 2024, by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland (Joe Shaw photos)

CUMBERLAND, ME – Maine’s 2-year-old trotters rolled into their first sires stakes action of the season on Saturday (July 6), with two $15,000-plus divisions opening the 12-race card at Cumberland Raceway.   

The diagonally gaited distaffs were the first $15,816 group out of the gate with the usual growing pains associated with green trotters. Following a few miscues after the start Ken Watson got Lady Lake Marty (6-1, Whataworkout) away from the gate cleanly and was on top by eight into a swift 30 second opening panel.  In a more subdued 1:02 half, the pair were on top by twelve and then eight lengths at the 1:34.1 third panel. 

That lead expired quickly when the pacesetting filly jumped it off while trotting into the final turn, allowing Pandemic Princess and Heath Campbell (9-5, Whataworkout) to roll through the apex and take command.  Down the stretch they strode to a 7-1/4 length score in 2:06.3.

Trained by Valerie Grondin for owner-breeder Lynn-Marie Plouffe, the duo paid $5.60 to win.

Katahdin Mistress (Wally Watson-Lisa Watson) finished second; Lady Lake Marty hung on for third.

The boys hopped into the fray next, vying for their share of the $16,028 Maine Sire Stakes purse.

The first to leave was Ken Watson with Whatawonder (9-2, Whataworkout) who cleared sharply and took the field into a moderate 31.2 first quarter.  Gapping out in the pocket was Mark Athearn with Iron Mike (5-1, Whataworkout) while heading to the 1:05 half, forcing Walter Case Jr. to come first over with Liberty’s Wildcard (2-1, Noble Venture).

Thru the paddock turn the second time Liberty’s Wildcard jumped, prompting Wally Watson and Katahdin Victor (4-5, Victor Blue Chip) to move first over into a 1:36 swifter third panel.  With Iron Mike on his inside Katahdin Victor grabbed second position, as the leader, Whatawonder, was on top by eight by the head of the stretch.

No further changes in the marching orders were realized as the pacesetter sailed home in 2:07.1.  Trained by Lisa Watson for owner-breeder Barbara Lawson, he paid $11.80 to win. 

Katahdin Victor finished second; Iron Mike was third.

Our favorite octogenarian was at it again this week, scoring another victory with N Expense in the Maine Amateur Driver Club (MADC) race.  86-year-old Bob Nadeau made a three-wide move down the backside to win by three in 1:59.1.  As the owner, trainer and driver, it was the second such triumph for the duo in the last month, but this time he paid a whopping $34.60 to win.  The MADC is sponsored by the Blue Seal Feed Stores of North Yarmouth and Windham, Maine.

Racing resumes Friday, July 12 as the First Tracks Cumberland meet continues with regular racing on Friday and Saturday each weekend through August 3. 

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

Walter Case Jr. puts on driving clinic at Cumberland

July 6, 2024, by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland (Joe Shaw photos)

CUMBERLAND, ME – Walter Case Jr., who ranks 9th on the all-time dash wins list among active drivers, added six victories to his lifetime total of 11,395 on Friday (July 5) at Cumberland Raceway.

‘Casey’ started his six pack by taking both $15,986 divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

The first division he captured with Massive Speed, using a two-hole trip to grab the lead in mid-stretch and get the son of Dude’s The Man a new 2:01.4 race record.  Trained by Marc Tardif and owned by Leighton Property, he was bred by Laurie Harding and paid $2.40 to win.

Pacesetter Ridgecrest Dan (John Nason) finished second; Dude’s Wanted Man (Heath Campbell-Valerie Grondin) was third.

Case came right back in the second division to score with the Tardif-trained Jax Attack in 2:05.  Again utilizing a pocket trip to score with the heavy favorite, the son of Deuce Seelster paid $2.40 for owner Leighton Property.  He was bred by Gary and Kristina Hall.

Gracies Tough Guy (Dave Ingraham-Fred Ward Jr.) finished second; Ella V Dude (Kevin Switzer Jr.-Marc Tardif) was third.

Case won his third race of the afternoon with another Tardif-trained pupil Pickmepickme in 1:57, paying $3.00 to win.  Then he continued his reign of terror in race eight with Royalty Again (1:58.1, $6.60); race 11 with To My Credit (1:59.4, $2.60); and race 12 with Virtual Success (1:58.1, $14.00).

Looking ahead to Saturday (July 6), Cumberland welcomes all the 2-year-old trotters for their first Maine Sires Stakes action, with two $15,000-plus divisions going postward as races one and three.    The filly trotters are first up in race one, and are led by Pandemic Princess (8-5, Campbell-Grondin)

Race three gives five trotting colts and gelding their time in the spotlight.  Katahdin Victor (6-5, Wallace Watson-Lisa Watson) is the early favorite and has already shown some flashes of brilliance.

Also on Saturday’s 12-race program of full fields is a $5,000 division of the Maine Amateur Driving Club (MADC) goes as race four.  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. 

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

Maine Freshmen to start their careers at Cumberland

July 5, 2024, by Chris Tully, for First Tracks Cumberland

CUMBERLAND, ME – With the Learn and Earn baby races behind them, the Pine Tree State-bred 2-year-old pacing colts will start earning their keep at First Tracks Cumberland on Friday (July 5) in two $15,986 divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes.

The action starts Friday in the 3:15 pm opener where five young lads will go behind the Wes Brown starting car with the hopes of being the next Standardbred star.  The early morning line favorite is Massive Speed (7-5, Walter Case Jr.-Marc Tardif) who took a 2:02.1 record three weeks ago.  Inside him is Dude’s Wanted Man (2-1, Heath Campbell-Valerie Grondin) who has won both of his qualifiers at Bangor.

Ridgecrest Dan (9-5, John Nason) leaves from the outermost post five, and was named after the late Dan Chamberlain, proprietor of Ridgecrest Horse Supply who parked his mobile tack shop outside of the paddock at many of Maine’s hotbeds of harness racing.

In race three another quintet of freshmen sidesteppers look to land the lion’s share of the $15,986 purse.  The favorite is Jax Attack (1-1, Case-Tardif) has several successful preliminary miles under his belt.  Just outside him is This Dudes Perfect (6-5, Campbell-Grondin) who also has some experience up at Bangor.

Friday’s card carries a total of 13 races, with all of the betting options and low take-outs that have made Cumberland a popular destination for punters.

Looking ahead to Saturday (July 6), Cumberland welcomes all the 2-year-old trotters for their first Maine Sires Stakes action, with two $15,000-plus divisions going postward as races one and three.    The filly trotters are first up in race one, and are led by Pandemic Princess (8-5, Campbell-Grondin)

Race three gives five trotting colts and gelding their time in the spotlight.  Katahdin Victor (6-5, Wallace Watson-Lisa Watson) is the early favorite and has already shown some flashes of brilliance.

Also on Saturday’s 12-race program of full fields is a $5,000 division of the Maine Amateur Driving Club (MADC) goes as race four.  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. 

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