Cumberland, ME — The $10,000 Bruce Ranger Open Pace is the centerpiece of a fun-filled weekend (May 26-27) at First Tracks Cumberland, which is dedicated to the Maine native who recently scored his 10,000th career driving win. Just the 19th driver in harness racing history to reach that lofty total, the Cumberland County native hails from a long line of harness racing legends that helped put the historic Norton Farm on the map.
Friday (May 26) will start with a cookout in the Cumberland paddock area for local and participating horsepeople, which is generously sponsored by Silver Streak Starters. The 11-race program features the $10,000 Bruce Ranger Open Pace, with six of the area’s top sidewinders vying for the five-figure purse. The wagering menu includes a 50-cent trifecta in every race, as well as the usual assortment of exotic wagers with 16 percent takeouts. The Bird Dance N (post four, 2-1) has been installed as the morning line favorite, and will be driven by Nick Graffam. Former track record holder Rocksapatriot (David Ingraham, post three, 4-1) is the trackman’s second choice. Ranger himself has a drive in the race named in his honor: Paternity Suit A (post five, 6-1).
To commemorate the distinctive weekend, a collectable color cover program wrap has been printed and is loaded with seven pages of old and recent photos of Ranger. These special editions will only be available on track at the regular program price of $2.
Saturday’s (May 27) program carries 10 races, and Ranger will sign autographs for fans on the apron immediately following the first race. During that time, the popular Maine Amateur Driving Club (MADC) will go postward in the second race. Now in its fourth week, no one not named Jason Bertolini has visited the winner’s circle in any edition of the MADC this year. The series is sponsored by the Blue Seal Feed Stores of North Yarmouth and Windham, Maine.
Live harness racing continues at Cumberland through Aug. 5 with regular racing on Friday and Saturday each weekend. First post is slated for 3:15 p.m. (EDT) during the extended pari-mutuel meeting.