Cumberland, ME – Once again, First Tracks Cumberland welcomes the $200,000-plus Maine Sire Stakes for 2-year-old Pine Tree State-bred harness horses on Saturday (Sept. 30), being held on the final day of the 151st Cumberland Fair.
The racing begins 20 minutes before the regular 1:30 p.m. post time with an early non-betting event, the $50,000 Maine Sire Stakes Freshman Final for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Three males go postward with the powerful Valerie Grondin Stable sending two behind the gate.
The winningest chap is Chipper Dale who had six straight victories before jumping off in his last start over a wet track. Driven by conditioner Grondin, the son of Shake It Off Lindy is owned by top Maine breeding farm owner Lynn-Marie Plouffe.
Stablemate Pembroke Will (Heath Campbell) will look to pick up the pieces should anything go awry with the aforementioned sentimental favorite. The Athearns round out the field with Carrabassett.
The $50,567 pari-mutuel opener is the Maine Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old trotting fillies, which is led by early 6-5 morning line favorite My Saving Grace. Trained and driven by Team Athearn, the daughter of Shake It Off Lindy has five wins in nine seasonal starts. She has pylon position in the rich final.
Her biggest threat comes from just outside in post two, Pembroke Breeze. Trained by Valerie Grondin and driven by Heath Campbell, the daughter of Pembroke Slugger has been first or second in all seven of her starts.
Transitioning over to the sidesteppers, the sixth race features the $51,013 Maine Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old pacing fillies. The slight favorite at 8-5 is Who’s Perfect who has been holding up to her moniker having been first or second in seven of eight career outings. Trained and driven by the dynamic duo of Grondin and Campbell, the daughter of Western Maverick scores from post two.
Several other fillies have established themselves as ones to watch, including Gowestyounggrace (Dave Ingraham-Fred Ward), My Sweet Revenge (Walter Case Jr.-Marc Tardif) and Mrs Foxy Roxy (Nick Graffam-Mike Graffam). They have been doing battle against one another all year with no dominant distaff emerging. This race will come down to post position, trip and racing luck.
The final event is the $51,023 Maine Sire Stakes for freshmen, pacing colts and geldings. Interestingly, the 9-5 favorite, Two Fold Cold comes off four wins in a row, but leaves from post eight. He gets the services of his regular pilot Kevin Switzer Jr. and hails from the heavily-armed barn known as the Tardif Taskforce. The son of Deuce Seelster has won his last four races by a combined total 28-1/2 lengths.
Hesjustadelight (5-2) was shown more kindness by the post position Gods as he drew post two and will assuredly be forwardly placed by driver Ron Cushing and trainer/partner Heidi Cushing.
Including the Maine Stakes, First Tracks Cumberland has added several pop-up series finals to the day’s festivities, bringing the total purses on the program to more than $275,000. The seventh race features the Cumberland Derby where fans can enter to win up to $500 by picking the correct race winner.
For more information about the Maine Sire Stakes, follow their Facebook page @MaineBreedersAssociation, or go to their website: https://www.mainesirestakes.com.