Windsor, ME — With the Maine Sire Stakes rolling full-steam ahead at Windsor Fair, the Monday (Aug. 28) pari-mutuel card was previewed with two $14,000-plus divisions for 3-year-old pacing fillies, both of which were captured by Monday’s ‘King of the Fair’ Kevin Switzer Jr.
In the opener, South St Dottie returned to her winning ways for trainer Mike Graffam. The talented daughter of Western Maverick wasted little time pushing to the lead in the $14,459 dash, with Switzer controlling the tempo with :30 and 1:01.3 opening fractions. While it appeared that South St Dottie may have things her own way, last week’s winner Pickmepickme (Walter Case Jr.-Marc Tardif) had other ideas as she rolled first over into that soft half to challenge for the lead.
The pair battled down the backstretch into a 1:31.2 third panel, with the pursuer getting up to the leader’s saddle pad. That’s when Switzer gave South St Dottie her head and the filly responded by kicking away and gaining a length separation at the head of the stretch. But Case was not finished as he continued to urge Pickmepickme down to the wire, getting to within a half-length of the pacesetter as the toteboard indicated a 1:59.3 final time. Ally Mac (Aaron Hall-Graffam) finished third.
Owned and bred by Jan Donaway, it was the sixth victory in nine seasonal starts for South St Dottie who now has $94,657 in career earnings.
In the $14,684 division, Switzer was back behind his faithful filly Katelyn’s Angel, with which he was victorious in four previous outings. Scoring from the pylon position, Switzer put his daughter of Western Maverick right where he likes to be, in front and in command. Following a brief push La Mambacita (Heath Campbell-Valerie Grondin) ducked into the two-hole in the first turn, with Justcallmemimi (Case-Graffam) taking in some of that fresh Maine air first over in third.
While the pressure continued to mount for the pacesetter with :29.4 and 1:00.2 early fractions, Justcallmemimi had moved up to within a length of Katelyn’s Angel at the half, and to within three parts of a length at the 1:31.1 third stanza. But it was while rounding the final turn that the ‘Case chase’ diminished with La Mambacita sitting in the garden spot to pick up the pieces.
With a commanding :28.4 final quarter, Katelyn’s Angel tripped the final timer in 2:00 to gain her fifth consecutive victory for owner Leighton Property and breeder Lesley Leighton. Trained by Tardif, she was 2-3/4 lengths in front of La Mambacita at the wire, eclipsing the six-figure mark with $100,947 in lifetime earnings. Justcallmemimi hung on tough to be third.
Switzer led all drivers on the Monday card at the Windsor fair, sweeping both Maine Sire Stakes and then winning four additional pari-mutuel races, giving him six purse victories on the afternoon program.
The Maine-sired action resumes at Windsor on Tuesday (Aug. 29) with two $14,000-plus divisions for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. First early post is 2:30 p.m.
Looking ahead, the freshman pacers return to start the four-day weekend with fillies on Friday (Sept. 1) and their male counterparts on Saturday (Sept. 2). All the Maine-bred trotters return on Sunday (Sept. 3) with the aforementioned sophomore filly pacers closing out the meet on Labor Day Monday (Sept. 4).
For more information about the Maine Sire Stakes, follow their Facebook page @MaineBreedersAssociation, or go to their website at www.mainesirestakes.com.