Katahdin Mark is back on track

Bangor, ME – Katahdin Mark returned to form and maintained his lofty perch atop the Maine Breeders Stakes point standings with another victory Saturday (Sept. 17) at Bangor’s historic Bass Park.

Katahdin Mark returned to his winning ways Saturday at Bangor. Shelley Gilpatrick Photo

Scoring from post two in the $18,489 MSBS 3-year-old colt and gelding trot, trainer/driver Gary Hall put Katahdin Mark right where he likes to be—controlling the tempo on the front end.  While setting aggressive opening fractions of :30, 1:01.1, the son of Noble Venture appeared to be having things his own way with much of the field scattered as the result of earlier miscues in, and around, the first turn.

By the 1:31.1 third stanza, Katahdin Mark still had two lengths on the Chamorro (Drew Campbell / Valerie Grondin) and 15-plus lengths on the rest of the field.  As the pair turned for home, Chamorro and Campbell started to gain on the leader and got to within three-quarters of a length at the wire, but the wire came too soon.

Winning his seventh seasonal start, Katahdin Mark scored in 2:01.1 for owners / breeders James and Betsey Kelley.  He paid $3 to win.  Chamorro finished second; Warriorofthevalley was third.

The earlier non-wagering race for Maine-bred 3-year-old trotting fillies, vying for a purse of $18,736, had a much different complexion following four of the six entrants making breaks before the quarter pole.

When the dust settled, two of the three Valerie Grondin trainees had their eyes on the prize with Pembroke Honcho (Aaron Hall) grabbing the lead from post four, followed by Pembroke Faye (Heath Campbell) who avoided traffic trouble and got away second from post six.

Honcho and Hall set a swift opening panel of :31, and were on top by six at the quarter pole.  A tap on the brakes resulted in a 1:03.1 half and allowed stable mate Pembroke Faye to get within 2-1/2 lengths.  By the 1:34 third panel, Faye and Campbell were out and rolling while applying pressure to the leader.

Down the stretch, the final surge allowed Pembroke Faye to get to the lead and win in 2:03.3 by three-quarters of a length.  It was a new lifetime mark and first seasonal victory for the daughter of Pembroke Slugger.  Owned and bred by Bill Varney, it was just her fifth start of the year.

Pembroke Honcho finished second; Maplewood Slugger was third.

Sunday’s (Sept. 18) Farmington program features two $17,000-plus divisions of the Maine Breeders Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies.

The first non-wagering event is a four-horse affair with Marc Tardif’s divisional leader Pickmepickme looking for her seventh win of the season.  The daughter of Western Maverick has been no worse than third in eight seasonal starts.  She will be driven by Andy Harrington.  Post time is 1:30 p.m.

The pari-mutuel card gets underway at 2 p.m., with the opener a $17,989 MSBS companion event for 2-year-old frosh fillies.  Katelyn’s Angel (Kevin Switzer Jr. / Marc Tardif) has been installed as the 2-1 favorite from post five.  Having won half of her starts this year, the daughter of Western Maverick should handle this bunch on her home turf quite handily.

South St Dottie (Dave Ingraham / Mike Graffam) won her last start at Windsor and has been pegged as the 7-2 second choice.  Janie (9-2, Mark Athearn / Gretchen Athearn) has finished second in half of her eight seasonal outings and could add to the fray.

The Maine-bred fair racing continues for an additional three days at the Franklin County oval, with all dates carrying 2 p.m. post times.

After Farmington, harness racing returns to the Cumberland Fairgrounds from Sept. 28 through Oct. 2 for eight days of pari-mutuel action.  The 150th annual Cumberland Fair and First Tracks host the Maine Breeders Stakes 2-year-old finals on Saturday, Oct. 1.

The final stop on the Pine Tree State fair circuit is 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.

For more information about the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes, follow our facebook page @MaineBreedersAssociation, or go to the Maine State website:  https://www.maine.gov/dacf/harnessracing/breedersprogram/index.shtml.

Back to Top

Share via