Cumberland, ME — The first qualifiers at First Tracks Cumberland on Saturday morning (May 1) advanced nearly 20 additional horses for the new era of Southern Maine harness racing.
Under sunny skies, “catch-drive” announcer Mike Cushing called the action for a total of five races, to the delight of dozens of fans and spectators that lined the outside fence of the iconic Cumberland oval.
The first race of the day went to classy campaigner Hoboken Hanover p,4,1:50.4f ($421,746). Owned, trained and driven by Charles Eaton III, the 14-year-old son of Cam’s Card Shark has 69 lifetime victories to his credit.
Racing Secretary Marc Reynolds was extremely happy with today’s events.
“I could feel a genuine sense of excitement amongst the horsemen and staff,” he said. “Our track crew has done a fantastic job with the racing surface itself. Anyone that was able to tune in to watch would have been impressed with the quality and clarity of the signal. To me, this is a clear indicator of the level of commitment brought by First Tracks in providing a quality racing product.”
Fastest mile of the day went to Plus One p,1:50.4f ($113,378), a 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere. He was driven to a 2:01.1h solo victory by his owner Joseph Burke for trainer Robert Marston.
On the trotting side, the quickest of the day was a 3-year-old Muscle Hill filly named Me Too Baby 2,1:58.2f ($41,720). Owned and bred by long-time Maine racing icon Thomas Dillion, she tripped the teletimer in 2:05h with driver Matthew Athearn for trainer Gretchen Athearn.
Clearly a promising day for the future of Maine harness racing, First Tracks Investments LLC eagerly anticipates their opening day card on Saturday (May 8) with a 4:15 p.m. post time at the Cumberland Fairgrounds.
Qualifiers will also be held on opening day at 3 p.m., before the start of the pari-mutuel card.
More information about attendance for opening day will be posted on our website when it becomes available.