Elegant Dulupin FR strikes at Cumberland Friday

Cumberland, ME — French trotter Elegant Dulupin FR was parked every step of the way and resolutely prevailed over the favorite McStoned Again to take Friday’s (April 19) $6,000 featured trot at Cumberland.

Elegant Dulupin FR made one final surge in the shadow of the wire to triumph by a neck in 2:01.1. Joe Shaw photo.

Steered steadily by hot driver Dan Deslandes, the 10-year-old son of Jasmin De Flore was eased out from behind the starting car from post two and took position outside of the pacesetting 4-5 choice McStoned Again (Nick Graffam). Going to the :30 first quarter, it looked like the victor was going to take a seat. But then tactics changed and the French horse did what many European trotters do, continued rolling on the outside for the duration of the race.

As the leader hit the half in 1:00.1, the aggressor was just a quarter-length off the top. By the 1:30.3 third panel it was barely a nose that separated the pair. As the field turned for home it looked like McStoned Again may prevail, having outlasted the parked immigrant.

However, Deslandes had other ideas as he continued to wear down the leader, and despite drifting slightly in mid-stretch, Elegant Dulupin FR made one final surge in the shadow of the wire to triumph by a neck in 2:01.1. Inquiring Mind (Steve Wilson) finished third.

Owned by Lawrence Huckins and trained by Jeff Deslandes, Elegant Dulupin FR paid $5.00 to win. It was the 29th score in his career and the victory pushed his lifetime earnings to $386,499.

The swiftest race of the day went to Adriano Hanover in 1:57. Driven by Kevin Switzer Jr. for trainer-owner Gerald MacKenzie Jr., the 7-year-old son of Western Ideal ran off and hid by 6-3/4 lengths in the $4,000 conditioned pace. He paid $2.20 in his 27th lifetime score, pushing his career bankroll to $334,463.

Pretty Gorgeous grabbed the $5,500 mares conditioned pace in 1:58.2, giving driver Kevin Switzer Jr. a hat trick on the card. Trained by Larry Dancer for owners John and Thelma Kiernan, the 7-year-old mare by I’m Gorgeous paid $13.40 in defeating heavy 1-5 favorite Granny’s Girl by a neck in a three-way photo.

Racing resumes Saturday (April 20) when the upper echelon male pacers tussle in the third race, with Second Bruiser (Drew Campbell, 2-1) set as the early morning line favorite from the pylon position in the $6,000 event. Trained by Eric Bickmore, the 6-year-old is looking for two in a row, having defeated a softer group last week. Second choice is Art Of Endurance (Switzer Jr., 7-2) with post four, who won five in a row at Cumberland last winter. Lexus Witha View A (Nick Graffam, 9-2) rounds out the top three contenders.

The Maine Amateur Driving Club goes postward as Saturday’s race 11, with some of the series’ most popular horses and drivers competing for purses and bragging rights.

Jason Bertolini drives his trusty Led Schneppelin (7-1) from the pylon position, with Southwind Terror (Benson Merrill) leaving from post three as the early 2-1 favorite. Just outside of him is the fan favorite Putnams Storm (Bob Nadeau) and then perhaps the season’s most seasoned entry, Polyester (Hunter Loftfus, post five) who has 10 seasonal starts under his belt and is now listed at 5-2.

The $5,000 event is faithfully sponsored by the helpful folks at Blue Seal Feed Stores of North Yarmouth and Windham, Maine.

Saturday’s card features 12 races with post time set at 3:15 pm.

First Tracks Cumberland’s Spring/Summer meet will continue with regular racing on Friday and Saturday each weekend during the extended pari-mutuel meeting, which runs through Aug. 3. For additional information, visit our website at firsttrackscumberland.com.

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