Campbell-Grondin sweep Maine sophomore trots at Bangor

Bangor, ME — Two divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotters led the holiday weekend charge on Sunday (July 7) at Bangor, with driver Heath Campbell and trainer Valerie Grondin sweeping both events.

In the $15,758 stakes race, which was a non-wagering event held before the regular card, the three male high-steppers were eager to get things started. As the pylon-positioned Pembroke Will (Heath Campbell) protected his inside status, stablemate Chipper Dale (Drew Campbell) jumped off stride before the starting gate had sprung. This allowed Carrabassett (Mark Athearn) to grab the two-hole and track behind the pacesetter into a :30.3 opening panel.

Heading through the 1:03.3 modest half-mile marker, Chipper Dale had recovered from his early miscue and regained contact with the field. Carrabassett maintained his pocket trip until the 1:35 third panel where he made a move to the outside. Charging down the stretch Pembroke Will could feel the walls closing in around him, yet maintained his composure and his will power, to hold off the late charge of Chipper Dale and a tiring Carrabassett.

Scoring by a head in 2:04.4, it was Pembroke Will’s first seasonal victory which also resulted in a new lifetime mark. Driven by Heath Campbell for trainer Valerie Grondin and owner-breeder Bill Varney, the son of Pembroke Slugger upped his lifetime earnings to $79,176.

Pembroke Breeze grabbed her second win in a row in the Maine Sire Stakes. Holli Niles photo.

The $15,983 Maine Sire Stakes opened the regular betting card for the distaff 3-year-old trotters. At the start Pembroke Breeze (Heath Campbell) held on to her position on the pegs at the start and rolled through a :31.1 opening panel with My Saving Grace (Athearn) sticking close in second and Twisted Venture (Mike Cushing) cruising along in third.

At the 1:02.3 half the order had not varied, however, Cushing had pulled his filly to the outside to challenge. By the 1:32.2 third panel Twisted Venture had advanced to second position, albeit uncovered on the outside, while the leader Pembroke Breeze was allowed to trot unfettered.

As the field turned for home the pacesetter had gained separation on the field and the daughter of Pembroke Slugger drew off to win by 3-1/2 lengths in 2:02.2. Once again driver Heath Campbell and trainer Valerie Grondin displayed their collective prowess in the Maine Sire Stakes and took home another trophy for owner-breeder Bill Varney. Twisted Venture finished second; My Saving Grace was third.

Pembroke Breeze paid $2.20 to win and took a new career record.

The Maine Sire Stakes resumes on Wednesday (July 10) when the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers return to historic Bass Park.

For more information about the Maine Sire Stakes, go to their website at

Back to Top

Share via