Fryeburg, ME — The Maine Sire Stakes made its final appearance in front of capacity crowds on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 6 and 7) at the Fryeburg Fair in preparation for the rich finals next week.
The 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings squared off in two $14,567 divisions before the regular card on Saturday (Oct. 7), with Mattucci winning the fastest division in 1:59.2 over a track rated ‘good.’
The Maine faithful disregarded the damp conditions to cheer for their favorite harness heroes as the fans got what they wanted in thrilling victories and seeing their favorite horses and drivers in action.
Drew Campbell driving Mattucci left swiftly from post four and was treated to some of that good Fryeburg air into the opening panels of :29.3 and :58.3, having been hung out to dry by Facemaskrequired (Walter Case Jr.).
Finally clearing the lead while heading to the 1:29 third panel, Campbell had Mattucci on top and in control through the head of the stretch. However, Race Me Maverick (Bill Childs) made a first over move and challenged the leader down to the wire, falling short by a nose. Two Points (Dave Ingraham-Eric Bickmore) finished third.
Owned, bred and trained by Valerie Grondin with co-owner Gino Mattucci, the son of Western Maverick picked up his first win of the season in the strong effort, while establishing a new lifetime mark.
The other $14,567 division was captured by So Rock N’ Roll in 1:59.4. The son of Western Maverick was forced three deep into the :30.1 opening panel, and coasted home a winner after that, throwing in a :28.1 final quarter for good measure. Colt Bennett (Dave Ingraham-David Crochere) finished second; Twice The Ice (Kevin Switzer Jr.-Marc Tardif) was third.
So Rock N’ Roll is owned and was bred by the Leightons, and picked up his sixth win of the year, pushing his seasonal bankroll to $90,639.
On Friday (Oct. 6), the $15,418 Maine-sired 3-year-old filly pacers raced on the card, with wagering favorite Pickmepickme scoring in 1:59.2. It was a wire-to-wire, two length score for the homebred Tardif Taskforce stable favorite, who paid $3.60 to win. Katelyn’s Angel (Mike Stevenson-Marc Tardif) finished second; La Mambacita (Aaron Hall-Valerie Grondin) was third.
Driven by Andy Harrington for owner-breeder-trainer Marc Tardif, the daughter of Western Maverick now has seven wins this season and lifetime earnings of $155,025.
All the Pine Tree State-sired 3-year-olds reconvene at Bangor for their $280,000-plus divisional finals on Saturday (Oct. 14).
For more information about the Maine Sire Stakes, follow their Facebook page @MaineBreedersAssociation, or go to their website at www.mainesirestakes.com.