Tardif’s Pickmepickme picks up her fifth in a row

Windsor, ME — Pickmepickme is getting all the attention she desires as the 2-year-old pacing filly picked up her fifth consecutive Maine Breeders Stakes victory for owner/trainer/breeder Marc Tardif on Sunday (Sept. 4) at Windsor Fair.

The Tardif Taskforce (Marc and Peggy) sent three fillies into two $17,800-plus MSBS divisions for 2-year-old pacing fillies, which was the second time in eight days that the division competed at Windsor Fair. All of the fillies got checks, but Pickmepickme was a decisive winner in both visits.

Pickmepickme picked up her fifth consecutive win Sunday at Windsor Fair. Shelley Gilpatrick photo.

In fact, the daughter of Western Maverick has just one blemish on her inaugural stakes season, finishing second at Cumberland on July 15. Otherwise, the sassy frosh filly has won every other MSBS event that she has been entered, for a total of six stakes wins in seven events.

Named after a youngster named Lauren who frequented the Tardif stable, at age five she always wanted to be picked up by Marc Tardif. As soon as she saw Tardif she would exclaim, ‘pick me, pick me.’ Suffering from some serious medical issues, and somewhat smaller in size due to the condition, she loved to be picked up and carried around to visit with all the horses in the barn.

As she grew older her summers were highlighted by visits to the Tardif stable where she always had a pony, some rabbits, and any other critters that she could fuss over. Over time, everyone around the close-knit Maine harness racing community would take turns looking after Lauren while the Tardif Taskforce was busy racing. She would visit the judge’s booth, the photo stand, hang out on the apron, anywhere that she could see the horses and be with horse people.

“She is the granddaughter of some of our close friends,” noted Peggy and Marc Tardif. “All she ever wants is to be at the barn with the horses, so we always welcome her any chance we get.”

With her condition improved, the filly with the name that she created, Pickmepickme, gives Lauren another reason to smile.

Scoring from post four, driver Andy Harrington was content to let La Mambacita (Ron Cushing/Heidi Gibbs) blast out to the lead from the outside post five and lead the pack through a snappy :28.2 opening quarter, followed by a more relaxed :58.3 half-mile marker.

Heading into a 1:28.3 third panel, Harrington moved Pickmepickme to the outer flow and got to within three-quarters of a length of the leader. From there it was all over but the shouting as the heavy wagering favorite had taken the lead and added seven lengths on the field by the time the group hit the head of the stretch. The homebred filly won by a total of 9-1/4 lengths in 1:57.4, which was a new lifetime best.

Pickmepick me is owned, trained, and was named and bred in Maine by Marc Tardif, paying $2.80 to win. La Mambacita finished second; Katelyn’s Angel (Kevin Switzer Jr./ Tardif) was third.

The early non-wagering $17,814 MSBS race was captured by South St Dottie in a wire-to-wire effort in 2:03.2. Driven by Nick Graffam for trainer Mike Graffam, despite the pedestrian final time, it was a maiden-breaking effort for the daughter of Western Maverick. Owned and bred by Jan Donaway, she posted a :29.2 last quarter. Ally Mac (Aaron Hall/Mike Graffam) finished second; Alittlemorebliss (Heath Campbell/Mike Cayoutte) was third.

Windsor Fair hosted all the Maine-sired trotters on Saturday (Sept. 3), with some of the usual suspects adding to their credentials, and a few upsets to keep the bettors on their toes.

On the Saturday card, the $18,489 MSBS 3-year-old male trot was captured by Warriorofthevalley (Harrington/Tardif) in 2:04.1, who held off the late charge of point leader and wagering favorite Katahdin Mark (Gary Hall) to win by a half-length. Warriorofthevalley, a 3-year-old son of Pembroke Slugger, paid $8.80 to win for owner/breeder Leighton Property. Chamorro finished third.

The Gordon Corey-trained Eustis picked up the first win of his career, winning for driver Mike Stevenson in 2:05. The 2-year-old son of Boy Band bested wagering favorite Outlawofthevalley (Switzer Jr. /Tardif) to win the $18,214 MSBS for freshman trotting colts and geldings. Owned and bred by Mike Andrew, Eustis paid $5.60 to win. Wabanaki (Ivan Davies, also owned and bred by Andrew) finished third.

She’salilbitmouthy won the early non-wagering $17,884 MSBS for 2-year-old trotting fillies in 2:08.4. Scoring easily by 4-1/4 lengths, the daughter of Victor Blue Chip was driven by Mark Athearn for trainer Grethchen Athearn and owner Bill Phipps. She was bred by Stephen Hall. Another Adventure (Switzer Jr./ Tardif) finished second; Wild Ending (Davies) was third.

A full field of eight completed the $18,961 MSBS trotting bonanza at Windsor, with Maplewood Slugger coming out on top of the diagonally gaited 3-year-old filly set. Driven to a 2:01.4 score by Harrington for trainer John Nason, the daughter of Pembroke Slugger grabbed her sixth seasonal victory for owner/breeder Maxine Hadlock. Stablemate Show No Tears (Nason) finished second; Pembroke Booboo (Heath Campbell/Valerie Grondin) was third.

Following the Windsor Fair, the Maine Breeders Stakes makes two stops at Bangor on Sept. 11 and 17, and then returns to the following fairs: Farmington, Sept. 18–21; Cumberland, Sept. 28–Oct. 1 (2-year-old finals); and historic Fryeburg, Oct 6–8.

The Maine-sired sophomore finale returns to Bangor for all of the 3-year-old MSBS divisional finals on Oct. 15. The 2-year-old championships will be held two weeks earlier on Saturday (Oct. 1) at the Cumberland Fair.

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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