Caulfield seeks resurgence at CumberlandNovember 17, 2022,
Cumberland, ME — First Tracks Cumberland’s second full weekend of the current meet features 32 races across three programs, beginning Friday (Nov. 18) and running through Sunday (Nov. 20).
The action starts Friday (Nov. 18) with pacing fillies and mares filling six of the 10 programmed events. The $4,800 featured race pits a quintet of proficient performers against one another, all of whom having won a race in their last three outings. I’m Too Soxy (Andy Harrington) comes in as the 2-1 morning line favorite off a neck victory in her last start. Humor Me (5-2, Aaron Hall) is the second choice and gets into this event via a rare claiming tag. Third choice Rojas Blue Chip (3-1, Mike Stevenson) also won her last start against lesser foes.
Many of these horses are prepping for the upcoming Polar Express Late Closing Series.
Saturday’s (Nov. 19) card marks the return of many of the top pacers in the state, sans last week’s track record-setting Adriano Hanover, who equaled the all-age pacing benchmark of 1:53.4. The $6,500 Open 2 Pace will have to make do with just three current or former track record holders in Captain Nash (7-2, Andy Harrington), Ry’s Red Rocket (3-1, Matty “Ice” Athearn) and Rocksapatriot (4-1, Dave Ingraham).
In addition, Star Speaker (5-2, Drew Campbell) enters this week’s fray off a nose triumph in last week’s Open 3 Pace and a win the week before at Bangor in a $10,000 claimer. The aforementioned foursome drew for posts three through six, which should be a contest of who controls the pace or gets the trip.
The Sunday (Nov. 20) program has 11 races, four of which are trotting events. The featured $6,500 Open 2 Trot includes a stellar field of veteran performers, including Broadway Giant (5-2, Bruce Ranger) and last week’s winner Caulfield (3-1, Mike Stevenson).
Caulfield is a 10-year-old son of Kadabra and has earned $437,663 in 210 lifetime starts with 35 wins. A model of consistency, the Bobby Marston-trained gelding has been third or better in half of his career outings and hasn’t missed a check in his last eight starts.
Moving up into this class are two horses that visited the Blue Seal Feeds Winner’s Circle last week: Swan Before All (7-2, Kevin Switzer Jr.) and Namesmuscle (4-1, Mark Athearn).
On the undercard is the $6,000 Open 3-4 Trot, which has a handful of recent winners in Cherry Crown Jewel (3-1, Mark Athearn), Osprey Delta (4-1, Stevenson) and L Dees Yoyo Ma (5-1, Kevin Switzer Jr.). Mister Muscle (Walter Case Jr.) has been installed as the slight 5-2 favorite on the morning line, having dropped down from the top class.
Every race, all weekend long, has a 50-cent trifecta, and the final race each day also features a 20-cent pentafecta.
For the second season in a row First Tracks Cumberland will present the Au Revoir Retirement Showcase, slated for Dec. 17. The event is open to 14-year-old horses that are racing or retired and have Maine connections. Horses will parade in front of the fans in either harness or halter, be featured in a half-page bio with photograph in the program, as well as receive a Barbara Dresser-designed memento. Equine honorees must be present to participate. To enter your horse, or for more information, send an email of interest to Chris Tully at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Polar Express Late Closing Series for the winter meet begins Dec. 2-4; the three individual TrackMaster rating and conditioned events boast over $85,000 of additional earning opportunities for New England horsepeople, for which there is no entry fee. For further details, click here.
First Tracks Cumberland and the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association are collecting non-perishable food items in the paddock during the next two weekends of racing. This week benefits the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program and the following week helps the Maine Children’s Home in Waterville.
Next week’s schedule excludes ‘Black Friday’ (Nov. 26) and restarts on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 27-28), and the meet continues through December 24, 2022.
For more information, go to the First Tracks Cumberland website.