Cumberland, ME — In harness racing, it is not uncommon to have a front-end speed duel in an amateur race. It is also not surprising to watch drivers sitting off the pace suddenly benefit from the high-spirited action. But in the Maine Amateur Driving Club race on Saturday (May 29) at Cumberland, not one but two drivers sought to snatch their share of the glory from the tiring pacesetters.
Ultimately it was Charles Eaton III and his own Hoboken Hanover that swooped the field and came away with the victory in 2:00.4.
At the start, driver Todd Whitney left alertly from post five with Three Day Forecast, got stung a little going to the quarter in :29.1 by Led Schneppelin (Mike McGee), but eventually cleared. Approaching the 3/8’s pole, Ben Merrill pulled the three-hole with River Runs Deep, only to be thwarted by Three Day Forecast (Whitney) past the half and through the third turn.
Going up the backside to the three-quarter’s Alex Richardson pulled Baywood Shadow three-wide to overtake the front-end battlers. While Richardson (Baywood Shadow) was gaining some separation on the field around the final turn, owner/trainer/driver Charles “Butch” Eaton moved Hoboken Hanover three wide and started his cavalry charge down the center of the racetrack.
Despite being positioned fifth and back three lengths at the three-quarters, the 14-year-old son of Cam’s Card Shark got up to win by a head over Baywood Shadow in a photo finish. Hoboken Hanover paid $13.80 to win, the 70th victory of his long career.
In the winner’s circle, Butch Eaton was greeted by Aimee Nichols, territory sales manager for Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, who presented a ‘swag bucket’ trophy of stable supplies on behalf of the Windham and North Yarmouth Blue Seal Feed stores.
The Maine Amateur Drivers Club race was the first of what is shaping up to be a weekly series of events for the casual reinsmen.
The featured trot of the day was the $6,000 Winners Over, captured by Bruizn and driver Andrew Harrington in 2:01.3. Trained by Kim Ireland for owners Dennis and Deborah Foss, the 9-year-old son of Musclini took advantage of a perfect two-hole trip and gave driver Harrington his first of two wins on the card. Bruizn paid $18.40 to win.
Maine-native driver Gary Mosher also enjoyed two wins on the program, both with horses trained by David Crochere.
Racing from Cumberland is presented live each Tuesday and Saturday, through July 31, with a new post time of 2:30 pm. For more information go to our website: firsttrackscumberland.com
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