Grondin and Campbell sweep MSBS stakes at Windsor Fair

Windsor, ME — The talented team of trainer Valerie Grondin and driver Heath Campbell took Windsor Fair by storm on Friday (Sept. 2) as the dynamic duo swept both $18,000-plus divisions of the Maine Breeders Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

Valerie Grondin’s Use Yah Blinkah (Heath Campbell) got his fourth consecutive win Friday at Windsor Fair. Shelley Gilpatrick photo.

The ‘pace car’ in the division, Use Yah Blinkah, has established himself as the leader of the pack with a decisive wire-to-wire victory in the $18,002 non-wagering event. Driver Campbell had the benefit of pylon position with the son of Western Maverick, controlling the tempo through well-rated fractions of :29, :59.4 and 1:29.3. With Ranaldi (Ron Cushing/Heidi Gibbs) hot on his heels, Use Yah Blinkah stepped up with a :29.1 final quarter to win by three parts of a length in 1:58.4. Storm Artist (Kevin Switzer Jr./Marc Tardif) finished third.

Trained by Grondin, Use Yah Blinkah is owned and was bred by David Thibault, Paul Vacca, Edward Nowak Jr. and James Hardy. It was the fourth consecutive victory for the glamour boys’ divisional leader.

With the $18,227 other division on the wagering card, and with betting favorite Deal With It Roman (Switzer Jr./Tardif) making an uncharacteristic miscue on the front end after the start, Grondin and Campbell’s Bandolito Blaze floated out from post four, avoided traffic trouble, and assumed command past a :28.1 opening panel.

With the rest of the field at his heels, Bandolito Blaze was content to relax and record a :58.2 half and 1:28.4 third panel before switching gears in the homestretch to win by two lengths in 1:57.3, equaling his lifetime best. Bandolito Blaze, a son of Western Maverick, paid $5.40 to win for trainer, breeder and co-owner Grondin with co-owner Rhonda Underhill.

Daughtry (Cushing/Gibbs) finished second; Ugotaearnyrstripes (Dave Ingraham/Steve LaCasse) was third.

On Thursday (Sept. 1), the 3-year-old pacing fillies went postward at Windsor Fair in two $18,000-plus divisions of the Maine Breeders Stakes. As expected, Pembroke Legacy continued her divisional supremacy, posting win number eight in the Pine Tree State-sired series.

Driven to a wire-to-wire victory by Campbell for trainer Grondin and owner/breeder Bill Varney, the daughter of Baron Biltmore has amassed $57,760 in seasonal earnings. Pembroke Legacy paid $2.80 as the odds-on wagering favorite, while scoring by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:59.3. Sweet Baby G (Walter Case Jr./Fred Ward Jr.) finished second; CBF Fin (Ingraham/David Crochere) was third.

The only sophomore pacing event not won by a pupil of Grondin and Campbell this week at Windsor Fair was captured by Wolverina (Aaron Hall/Mike Graffam). In an early $18,211 non-wagering event, the daughter of Cheyenne Hollywood enjoyed pylon position from the start and never looked back. Scoring by eight open lengths in 1:58.3, Wolverina was bred and is co-owned by Mike Graffam with William Arnold. Threetimessix (Shawn Thayer/James Smallwood) finished second; Sheza Rebel (Drew Campbell/ Tardif) was third.

Windsor on Saturday (Sept. 3) hosts the Maine-bred trotters, the 2-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday (Sept. 4), and wraps up with the freshman pacing colts on Labor Day (Sept. 5).

Following the Windsor Fair, the Maine Breeders Stakes makes two stops at Bangor on Sept. 11 and 17, and then returns to the following fairs: Farmington, Sept. 18–21; Cumberland, Sept. 28–Oct. 1 (2-year-old finals); and historic Fryeburg, Oct 6–8.

The Maine-sired sophomore finale returns to Bangor for all of the 3-year-old MSBS divisional finals on Oct. 15. The 2-year-old championships will be held two weeks earlier on Saturday (Oct. 1) at the Cumberland Fair.

For more information about the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes, follow our Facebook page @MaineBreedersAssociation, or go to the Maine State website.

Back to Top

Share via