Maine’s sophomore sidesteppers shine at Fryeburg

Cumberland, ME — Three divisions of 3-year-old pacers competed over the weekend at Fryeburg Fair, looking for their places in the lucrative $240,000-plus Maine Breeders Stakes sophomore finals on Oct. 15 at Bangor.

Saturday’s (Oct. 8) lone $18,654 MSBS 3-year-old colt and gelding pace witnessed Bandolito Blaze flash some early speed to attain command and then coasted to an easy victory in 2:00.1.

Bandolito Blaze grabbed the final leg of the Maine Breeders Stakes for sophomore male pacers. Shelley Gilpatrick photo.

Scoring from post four, driver Heath Campbell set out for the front end, but had to take in some of that good Pine Tree State air through a :28.3 opening panel where Deal With It Roman (Walter Case Jr./Marc Tardif) had attained the lead.

Once the field passed the stands in a :57.4 half, the Valerie Grondin-trained son of Western Maverick had passed all his foes and was ‘large and in charge’ on the front end. Deal With It Roman came right back out and got hung while Ugotaearnyrstripes (Dave Ingraham/Steve LaCasse) was second over into a 1:29 third panel breather.

After wagering favorite Deal With It Roman called it a day, Ugotaearnyrstripes got to within a length and a quarter of the leader amidst a flurry of late closers. Ugotaearnyrstripes finished second; CBF Squirt Gun was third.

Bandolito Blaze paid $8.60 to win. Owned and bred by Valerie Grondin with co-owner Rhoda Underhill, it was the fourth seasonal victory for Bandolito Blaze who goes into next week’s $60,000-plus final as one of the favorites. With the Fryeburg triumph the colt now jumps to the top of the heap, sporting the most points in the glamour boys division.

Two $18,000-plus MSBS divisions of 3-year-old filly pacers went postward on Friday (Oct. 7).

Sweet Baby G (Walter Case Jr./Fred Ward Jr.) took the opener in 2:01 in an off-the-pace triumph. The daughter of Baron Biltmore was bred by Fred Ward Jr. and is still owned by Fred and his wife Sharon. Sweet Baby G paid $2.60 to win. Um Erika (Dan Deslandes/Marc Tardif) finished second; Mach Royal (Bruce Ranger/Scott Pooler) was third.

Wolverina continued her reign of terror, clawing her way to another wire-to-wire romp in 1:57. A winner of 11 races in 13 seasonal starts, the daughter of Cheyenne Hollywood raced back in just five days after her 1:53.2 score at Plainridge in a Massachusetts Sires Stakes race. Wolverina paid $2.80 to win. Pembroke Legacy (Campbell/Grondin) finished second; Cowgirl Rides Away (Shawn Thayer/James Smallwood) was third.

Bred, trained and co-owned by Mike Graffam with Bill Arnold, and driven to victory by Nick Graffam, she has earned $122,250 this year. Wolverina has only Pembroke Legacy in her path to a clean sweep of the final. Both fillies are neck-and-neck in the point standings, which should lead to a very exciting $60,000-plus divisional final.

For more information about the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes, follow our Facebook page @MaineBreedersAssociation, or go to the Maine State website.

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