Bangor, ME — While the summer solstice marks the midway point of the astrological year, heralding the longest day and shortest night and promising the bounty of high summer, for 14-year-old Standardbreds it’s a poignant reminder that a career spent dazzling on the racetrack is steadily on a course of descent, with mandatory retirement looming in the not too distant future.
Most of these soon-to-be retirees refuse to go gentle into that goodnight (with apologies to Dylan Thomas). Such is the case with with a horse named Lifeontherange who has been raging against the dying of the light (sorry again Mr. Thomas) all month long at Bangor Raceway.
Winless throughout the entirety of 2021, the veteran son of Western Hanover-Modern Life has seemingly found a new urgency in his step as his career crescendos in this, his final season. He romped over an off-rated Queen City track on June 8 to score his first win of the year, only to recreate his gate-to-wire starring role over a lightning fast strip on Wednesday (June 22), taking the 37th curtain call of his steady career while giving no indication that this might be his final encore.
Trained by Kandace Niles for owner Shawn Gray, Lifeontherange obstinately clung to the lead on Wednesday, repelling persistent pestering at various points in the mile before posting the half-length margin. The epic was timed in a seasonal best 2:00.4 with driver Heath Campbell holding the honor of guiding the classy campaigner down Victory Lane.
With five weeks remaining in Bangor’s summer meet before the state of Maine circuit tips towards two full months of fairground racing, there will be plenty of opportunities for Lifeontherange to relish in his retirement tour before the winter solstice approaches.
In other Bangor news, drivers Shawn Thayer and Dan Deslandes held the hottest hands on Wednesday with both pilots recording driving doubles on the day.
The 3-year-old colt pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes returned to action at Bangor on Wednesday as Deal With It Roman (Western Maverick-Deal With Life) scored his third consecutive win for owner/trainer Marc Tardiff. Driver Kevin Switzer Jr. guided the gelding to the 1:59.3 victory in the first of two $11,702 stakes splits.
The second stakes division was claimed by Ugotaearnyrstripes (Deuce Seelster-Armbro BMW) who toured the oval in a seasonal best 1:59.1. David Ingraham held the lines for trainer Stephen La Casse and owner Edward Blash.
Maine Sire Stakes action returns to Bangor Raceway on Sunday (June 26) as the 3-year-old filly pacers make their second seasonal swing to the Queen City oval. Twin stakes splits worth in excess of $11,000 each will anchor a strong 10-race matinee performance scheduled to get underway at 12:15 p.m.
Bangor Raceway proudly features live harness racing every Wednesday at 3 p.m. (EDT) with the popular Sunday matinees getting underway at 12:15 p.m. Simulcast wagering is available Wednesday through Sunday from noon until 7 p.m.