Cumberland, ME – Maine’s track record book was re-written on two occasions Friday (Oct. 1) at the First Tracks Cumberland Fair, and a pair of horses finished in a dead-heat to kick off the final weekend of fair circuit harness racing at the Southern Maine oval.
The first highlight came before the wagering card had even started, with Warriorofthevalley trotting in 2:02 for driver Andy Harrington and trainer Marc Tardif in the second $15,567 division Maine Standardbred Breeders Stake for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The clocking was a state and track record for freshman colt trotters.
A son of Pembroke Slugger, Harrington was poised in the on-deck pocket and swung for the fences once the field turned for home. Drawing off by 2-1/4 lengths, Warrierofthevalley picked up his second win of the season for owner/breeder Leighton Property. Katahdin Mark (Gary Hall) finished second; Noble Thomas (Wally Watson) was third.
Driver Aaron Hall was aboard the second track record, piloting Whatchagonnadoboo to a 1:56.3 mark for 4-year-old pacing mares. Owned, trained and bred by Eric Bickmore, the daughter of Artspeak picked up the eighth win of her career following the wire-to-wire plateau-setting performance.
Whatchagonnadoboo paid $6.40 to win.
Veteran reinsman Dave Ingraham thought he would have things his own way when he left with Seafood King from pylon position, posted a :28.4 first quarter and then backed down the half to 1:01.2. However, driver Aaron Hall had other ideas with Best Brew as he sensed the slowing of the pace, pulled first up and grinded along the outside for the final circuit to end up in a dead heat for win in 2:00.2.
Best Brew is also trained by Eric Bickmore and Seafood King is trained and owned by Richard Bartlett. Both credited with the win, Best Brew was the favorite and paid $3.00, where Seafood King paid $3.80.
Heath Campbell took the late double and had three wins on the day’s card, and trainer Valerie Grondin enjoyed a training triple.
Looking ahead, post time is 1:30 p.m. for Saturday (Oct. 2) with nine races on the program, which features the Maine Family Feud. The brainchild of announcer Bill Ellis, the event hosts three $5,000 divisions that showcase the variety of horsemanship and talent that highlight Pine Tree State harness racing.
Race four has the following drivers competing, listed in post position order: Ryan Hall, Mike Graffam, Sherry Cushing, Kelly Case, John Nason and Mark Athearn. Race 6: Dave Ingraham, Drew Campbell, Heath Campbell, Ron Cushing, Andy Harrington and Matt Athearn. Race 8: Joey Mosher, Gary Mosher, Nick Graffam, Drew Campbell and Aaron Hall.
Special Maine Family Feud T-shirts will be tossed to the crowd by the winning drivers, and a meet-and-greet will take place on the apron. This has shaped up to be a fun-filled day with plenty of action out on the racetrack and activities for the fans.
The final day of harness racing at the First Tracks Cumberland Fair is Sunday (Oct. 3). Racing resumes at First Tracks Cumberland for our winter meeting, beginning November 3rd and racing through December 31, 2021. Post time 11:00 a.m.
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